Which cutting mat is best for vinyl?
The best cutting mat for vinyl is the Cricut StandardGrip mat. Cricut StandardGrip mat comes with the right tackiness that’s not overly sticky, but won’t cause the vinyl to fall off.
The key to making beautiful crafts with your Cricut is using the right materials, including the right cutting mat. Vinyl is one of the most popular things to cut with a Cricut because you can use it for many different types of projects.
Before you start cutting, you want to make sure you select the correct mat.
You might be standing in the Cricut aisle at your local craft store or browsing crafting websites to try to figure out the right mat to buy to cut vinyl. If that’s you, keep reading. In this article, we will cover all the tips to help you choose the best mat for your vinyl cutting project.
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Cutting vinyl with a Cricut Mat
Cricut mats are an essential tool for any Cricut vinyl project because it is the surface on which you will do all your cutting.
Cricut mats are made of a tacky surface to which you stick your vinyl before inserting it into the Cricut machine to begin cutting. The mats come in two different sizes (12″ x12″ and 12″ x24″), so you can select one that best fits the size project you are working on.
Once your design is completed, you can remove the vinyl from the mat and place it on the final surface for your project.
What are the different types of Cricut mats?
There are four types of Cricut mats which include LightGrip, StandardGrip, StrongGrip, and FabricGrip. LightGrip is the least sticky, followed by StandardGrip, and finally StrongGrip. FabricGrip is ideal for cutting Fabrics.
Which mat you use will depend on what material you are cutting.
Cricut mats are named clearly so that it’s easy to understand which one you need. Here is the breakdown of the 4 Cricut mats on the market today so that you can choose the right one for your vinyl project.
1. LightGrip Mat
The LightGrip mat (or the blue mat) is meant for the most delicate materials. As the name suggests, it has a very light grip, which means that it is the least tacky (or sticky) of the 4 Cricut mats.
The LightGrip mat is made to use with standard-weight paper materials like printer paper, construction paper, or even delicate vellum paper. It is a little too lightweight to hold vinyl material in place correctly.
The benefit of the LightGrip mat is that it’s effortless to remove your materials from it when you’re done cutting, but you wouldn’t want to use it with anything much heavier than paper.
You can try to use a spray adhesive to make your LightGrip mat stickier. Doing so may allow you to use a heavier material like vinyl.
2. StandardGrip Mat
The StandardFit mat is the perfect choice for any medium-weight material that you need to cut, like vinyl, heat transfer vinyl (HTV), cardstock, thick textured paper, and more. It’s an outstanding balance of being a bit tackier than the LightGrip, but still very easy to work with.
When in doubt, go with the StandardGrip mat. It is the most popular Cricut mat because it works for the widest variety of materials.
The green StandardFit mat is the mat that is included with your Cricut purchase, so you will be ready to start working on your vinyl project right away.
3. StrongGrip Mat
The StrongGrip mat is the purple Cricut mat. This mat is for serious crafters who work with a wide variety of materials. You don’t need a StrongGrip mat unless you work with thick, durable materials like wood, leather, magnets, cardboard, or thick cardstock.
The StrongGrip mat is a very sticky mat that is only designed to be used with very thick materials, so it’s not necessary for something as light as vinyl.
4. FabricGrip Mat
The FabricGrip mat is pink, and it is made specifically for fabric and cloth projects. It is not the right mat for cutting something like vinyl, so it’d be better to stick with the StandardGrip.
The FabricGrip mat has a light adhesive so that it doesn’t damage the delicate fabric, but the mat’s material is built to hold up against the use of the fabric cutting blades on your Cricut machine.
Can I cut vinyl for my projects without a Cricut mat?
It would be best if you had a Cricut mat for any vinyl cutting project (or any Cricut cutting project for that matter). It is not recommended to use your Cricut without a mat.
The ideal mat for cutting vinyl is the green StandardGrip mat because it has just the right amount of tackiness to hold material like vinyl in place.
A Cricut mat is essential to your project because it holds your material in place while running through the machine to make your design. Without the mat, your vinyl will get bunched up or caught in the machine and potentially ruin your design.
Once your design is finished cutting, you can easily remove your vinyl from your mat and adhere it to whatever you’d like.
Where can I buy Cricut mats to cut vinyl?
You can find Cricut mats in your local craft store either in person or online and on the Cricut website and Amazon. They are sold individually or in packages with one type if you need to purchase more than one.
There are several places where you can find Cricut mats for your next vinyl project. Because you need the green StandardGrip mat to cut vinyl, which is the most popular and widely used one, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one.
All new Cricut machines come with a 12″ x12″ green StandardGrip mat included in the box, so you may not need to buy one at all unless you’d like a second mat or would prefer the larger size. Depending on how much vinyl you need to cut, it might be helpful to have multiple mats.
Summary: Which cutting mat is best for vinyl
As you can see, the Cricut StandardGrip mat is best for cutting vinyl. Cricut also makes a LightGrip and StrongGrip mat, but they are not the right tackiness. The FabricGrip mat should only be used for fabrics.
You should use a mat when cutting vinyl with your Cricut. Failing to use a mat can result in your project getting ruined and your machine jammed.
Cricut mats can be purchased online or at your local craft store. However, your Cricut machine should have come with a StandardGrip (green) mat.