Why is Your Cricut Ripping Paper? How to Fix It

Cricut cutters are very popular and there are many reasons why. When Cricut launched it’s first machine many years ago it main purpose was to cut paper for teachers and crafters. Just like any other product out there it can have issues.

One of the biggest issues that people have found when it comes to using their Cricut to cut paper is that it rips the paper when making the cut. This can be for a few different reasons.

Here are some of the main reasons why your Cricut is ripping paper and how to fix them:

  1. The blade is not sharp enough – most common but also easiest to fix. Take the blade and poke it into a ball of foil a few times. This will sharpen it up a bit.
  2. The design it too small – if your design is too small, you may need a different material to cut, like a thicker cardstock or more durable paper.
  3. The design has too many intercut parts – designs that have lots of tiny holes or loops with thin letters can cause chaos in a cut, try setting the material to “washi” and that should solve the issue
  4. A different type of blade is needed – sometimes for thicker paper you may need to use the Cricut Knife Blade or replace the blade you have if you have already tried the sharpening trick.
  5. A different material is needed – sometimes the type or weight of paper you chose can be the culprit of the issue.
Cricut ripping paper feature

These are the main reasons your Cricut could be ripping paper and just a brief description of how to resolve your issue. In this article you are going to learn exactly how to solve the issue of your Cricut ripping paper.

The Blade is Not Sharp Enough

The most common issue causing your Cricut to rip your paper is that the blade is dull and not sharp enough to cut through the paper like it is supposed to. If you are using a Cricut fine point blade then you are using a high quality blade, I will not recommend using blades from Amazon or any third party seller that is not a verified Cricut dealer. If you chose to use a blade other than Cricut blade you risk damaging your machine and voiding the warranty.

aluminum foil ball

Cricut blades will last about 2-3 months before needing replaced or at least sharpened with everyday use. If you use your Cricut to cut a lot of paper then you will need to replace it sooner.

The easiest way to make your blade last another month or maybe even two is to sharpen them. You can sharpen them by grabbing a sheet of aluminum foil and crumbling it into a ball. Then you will remove the blade from the Cricut housing and carefully poke the blade into the ball. You can repeat this as many times as you would like.

Other than doing a test print there is really no other way to know if your blade is sharp enough. Place the blade back into the housing and try a practice cut, usually this works very well and you will only need to poke the ball about 5-10 times.

The Design is too Small

The second most common issue for why your Cricut is ripping paper is that the design you are using is too small. If the design is too small then the blade you are using could catch or fray the edges, then every time the blade housing glides across the design to cut another piece it will rip the frayed edges.

There only two ways to avoid and resolve this issue:

  1. Make the image larger to remove any smaller parts. the very small parts will cause a big headache if the paper is not the perfect thickness. If you have some thing that is very detailed with tiny parts go with a medium thickness of paper.
  2. Use the washi setting on the Cricut – the washi setting is meant for a very thin paper tape. It is almost as thin as tissue paper. This will tell the Cricut to be more delicate when cutting. You can also try the tissue paper setting but if it does not cut all the way through just run it through again.

Those two tricks should solve the issue. If not continue reading and try the other resolutions.

The Design Has Too Many Intricate Parts

If your design has too many intricate parts it will rip easily. Sometimes the design can’t be changed or you don’t want to because that is what the customer or you want. If there is no other way around it and you need those parts in the design then use the washi or tissue paper setting. If the washi or tissue setting do not make a better cut then you can also switch to a different blade. Read on for more on using a different blade.

A different type of blade is needed

Cricut Blades Explained

The knife blade is meant for thicker materials like thick cardstock but it can also be used on lighter papers if needed. Again, you would need to tell the Cricut that it needs to be delicate by selecting the washi or tissue setting when you use the knife blade.

You have to really be mindful on what type of material you are using when you chose the knife blade. This blade is basically a small razor blade so it will cut like butter but if the material is too thin it will make a mess of the cut. I highly recommend sticking to something like 65lb cardstock or higher.

A Different Material is Needed

Sometimes choosing the wrong paper material for the design you want is the issue. There are many different types of paper products out there, tissue, washi, cardstock, presentation and more. So how do you know which to chose for your project.

I like to use the term – keep it simple stupid. Smaller projects need thicker paper and bigger projects need thinner paper. Opposite to what you would think, I know but trust me, it is true. Cake toppers are one of the most popular paper crafts as well as, cards of course and both of which are smaller projects. Using thicker paper will allow for thinner details and intricate designs.

Final Thoughts

As you may have noticed there are several reasons as to why your Cricut is cutting but there are just as many ways to fix it and many resolutions to work your way through creating a beautiful project in the end.

Be sure to check out some other nifty functional craft ideas through our other posts here on Craft-ILY as well as checking out some videos on DIY and How To’s over on YouTube. Look for “Crafting Unedited” or just click the name in blue to see!


Hi! I’m Cierra and I’m a craftaholic! I’ve been crafting for a few years now and it’s honestly become my zen. I love crafting, fitness, spending time with my family and friends doing whatever the day allows, peacocks (hence the logo), the beach and adrenaline - give me all the roller coasters and fast cars!

2 thoughts on “Why is Your Cricut Ripping Paper? How to Fix It

  1. I was gifted with a Cricut Cake mini. Model # CCMOO1. It camewith nothing except the cord/cables and a cake mat. I was told that I could use scrapbook paper and card stock on it. Loaded it with a cartridge, placed card stock on a mat, pushed cut, but it didn’t accept the mat into the machine. A message across the screen said “please load mat/paper before cutting”. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi thank you for reaching out! The cake mini isn’t meant for paper, while you can use paper in it I definitely do not recommend as the blade is meant for softer materials. However the machine should still accept any material, are you positive it is a cake mat and not a regular Cricut mat?

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