The best Cricut pens offer a huge range of creative possibilities, helping you to get the most out of the popular crafting machine. Adding a pen to the Cricut Maker, Joy or Explore turns them into writing and drawing machines. Doodle and scribble your designs in Cricut's Design Space software, send them to your machine, and the pen does its thing.
As you can tell, there's a lot to consider with Cricut's approach to craft and design. You can get up to speed on all of the craft cutting machines Cricut offers in our guide to the best Cricut machines as well as our review feature, Cricut Maker vs Cricut Maker 3.
Cricut itself produces a range of pens, from fine tip pens to markers, gel pens and more. Cricut's larger machines, the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore series, have interchangeable pens that you can use in either machine (though you'll need Cricut's Accessory Adapter if you have the older Cricut Explore One).
The smaller, more portable Cricut Joy, has its own line of pens. However, there are also other brands that design pens specifically to fit Cricut machines, and you can even use an adapter to fit your regular favourite pen in the machine (skip to the frequently asked questions at the end for more on that).
In the guide below, we'll look at the best Cricut pens whether you want to write, draw illustrations, add colour to designs or print onto textiles. We'll start with pens that are compatible with the Cricut Maker and Explore and then move on to the Cricut Joy. We'll cover the best Cricut pens for a range of different uses and styles, and also include some non-Cricut branded options.
The best Cricut pens available now
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Cricut pens for Maker / Explore
The Classic Cricut Pen Set contains five fine point (0.4mm) water-based pens in the basic colours that will be useful for making your first designs. If you're new to drawing and illustrating using a Cricut machine, you probably don't want to splash out a complete range of pens just yet.
These are ideal for designing event invitations, decorations or adding a message with a handwritten look to any project. The ink dries permanently in 24 hours, creating a long-lasting design.
Cricut's Ultimate Fine Point Pen Set contains 30 0.4mm pens in probably every colour you could want, allowing you to personalise cards or invites with a handwritten font or add phrases to framed art or scrapbook pages.
Once you're sold on using your Cricut machine for adding text and illustrations to designs, it's probably time to invest in a larger collection of pens. Cricut pens are far from cheap and you can end up going through them fairly quickly (make sure you replace the caps on your pens as soon as you've finished using them to avoid them drying out).
This all means that the best Cricut pens for those who use their pens a lot come in collection packs, which work out a lot more economical than buying several smaller packs of five. If you use your Cricut machine to make a wide variety of different designs and want to experiment with colours, it also makes sense to have a wider variety of colours to give you more options when it comes to making a new design.
If you’re looking for a finer tip for more intricate designs and precise lettering, the Cricut Ultimate Extra Fine Point Pen Collection offers a similarly comprehensive range of colours as the collection above, but with finer 0.3mm nibs.
These are particularly useful if you want to write or draw on smaller projects and material areas, such as labels or gift tags. This is a great set of pens for incredibly fine and delicate precision, which makes them perfect for event invitations where you want that handwritten feel – remember, Cricut will write out dozens in one go.
If you want to add an extra touch burst of colour to your projects, the Cricut Gel Pens are just the ticket. They have a roller ball instead of a felt tip and come in 1.0mm thickness. The ink looks bolder and is more vibrant, great for adding personality to projects on paper that have doodled illustrations or text – although they're not recommended for glossy or textured supports.
The pens are available in five packs designed around complementary colour palettes with intriguing names like "Peacock", "Urban Rainbow" and even "Suburbia Disturbia". The five packs might even inspire your choice of colour palette for your project. However, again, it works out cheaper in the long run to buy the larger multipack if you plan to use multiple colours.
The Cricut Martha Stewart Glitter Gel Pen Set is a new Cricut range of glitter gel pens for adding some extra bling to your designs. Is there anything more sparkly than this three-pack inspired by celebrity crafter Martha Steward?
Coming in gold, silver and a darker metallic grey, these are guaranteed to add a special touch to wedding invites or anything else that needs an extra-special touch. Better still, they’re water-based, acid-free, nontoxic, permanent after drying so you can design and craft safe in the knowledge these are, well… safe.
The Cricut Washable Fabric Pen works, as the name suggests, with fabric. Chances are at some point you'll want to draw designs onto your material before you cut it, and you'll want to be able to wash the marks away.
Marking patterns and cutting out fabric is probably the least fun part of sewing, but using the Cricut Washable Fabric Pen can make it less of a chore. It's billed as an accessory for working with the Cricut Maker’s sewing patterns, but you can use it more generally to quickly draw pattern instructions for fabric crafts, clothing and much more.
It's easy to control using Cricut Design Space, but just bear in mind that it's designed for use on cotton. If you're working with another fabric, you'll have to test it for readability and for how well it washes out – and of course, you need to be sure the fabric you're using is washable too.
If you want to vary the thickness of the texts and illustrations in your designs, then the Cricut Variety Pen Set offers that flexibility. This is particularly useful for calligraphy text designs.
While it's only available in black and silver, you get three different thicknesses of pen: two 0.3 pens (Cricut's Extra Fine Pen), one 1mm pen and two 2mm calligraphy pens. That means you can choose the perfect pen for the style you want to design a greeting card, personalise a banner, or anything else.
Infusible Ink pens and markers are the latest edition to the Cricut range. They use a heat-activated process to bind specially formulated ink to compatible materials, from T-shirts to bags and more. You use the Infusible Ink Pens and Markers in your Cricut Maker or Explore to draw a design onto laser copy paper. You then transfer it to your fabric using a heat press.
Of course, Cricut recommends using the pens with one of its own EasyPress heat press machines and its own Cricut Blanks range of substrates – it has a range of T-shirts, tote bags, coasters, and mugs tested to work with Cricut Infusible Ink products.
However, other heat presses and blank supports will likely work too. These pens are a quick, easy-to-use option for permanent transfers that don't wrinkle, crack or bleed, which makes them great for making T-shirts and other fabric items.
The five-pack of Cricut Infusible Ink pens is available in two sizes – a 0.4mm pen or 1.0mm marker, the latter probably being more suitable if you want a design that's legible from a distance, on a T-shirt for example.
There are also several choices of colour palettes. The basic pack, pictured above, offers blue, green, red, brown and black, but for livelier designs, there's also a set of neons and a set of deep "nostalgia shades".
The Craft World 0.4 Tip Fine Point Pens are one of the best alternatives for your Cricut machines. Cricut pens are expensive, especially if you use them a lot, and there are other brands that make pens designed specifically with the dimensions to fit Cricut machines.
Using Cricut’s own pens, and as well as that making commercial sense for the company, also makes a lot of sense for customers since the pens are guaranteed to fit properly and to be able to take the pressure of Cricut's machine. But don’t fear trying other brand’s pens.
One of the most reliable sets for the Cricut Maker and Cricut Joy is this multipack from Craft World. Like Cricut's own Ultimate Fine Point Pen Set at number 2 in our list, this contains 30 pens in a wide range of colours – in fact the colours seem to have been chosen to mimic Cricut's own set as closely as possible.
Although you may notice the ink is not as vibrant as that of Cricut's own pens, these offer good value. You also get a sturdy plastic base to hold the pens, which is a nice touch depending on how you planned to store them. It's no use if you want to store your pens pointing downwards.
We've just mentioned the option of going for non-Cricut pens, but what about your regular favourite drawing or writing tool? That’s where you need the Craverland Pen Adapter for Cricut.
This comes in useful because most pens that haven't been specifically designed for Cricut's machines won't fit, but there are adapters – such as Craverland’s adapter – available that let you use other pens. Some resourceful Cricut users even make their own adapters.
If that sounds a bit risky, this set of 40 adapters from Craverland is as complete as they come, offering adaptors designed for a range of the most popular brands of pens, including Sharpie, Crayola, Papermate, Stabilo, Staedtler, BIC and Cricut itself.
Some users swear by the adapters, particularly fans of Sharpies, but Just be aware that such adapters are not endorsed by Cricut. Indeed, using any non-Cricut pen in your machine could void its warranty. So be aware of what you're doing before you jump in and use an adaptor.
Cricut pens for Cricut Joy
The smaller, more portable Cricut Joy machine has its own range of smaller pens, the official Cricut Joy Pens. Again, they're fairly expensive, so as we mentioned within our selection of the best pens for Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore, you probably don't want to invest in a huge collection if you're just starting to experiment with writing and drawing using the cutting machine.
This pack of Cricut Joy pens includes three basic colours to get you started. You might not be able to make a huge variety of designs with just red, blue and black, but it's enough for you to start to experiment with the process.
We're not quite sure why, but unfortunately Cricut Joy pens only come in packs of three, whereas Cricut's pens for the Cricut Maker and Explore come in packs of five 15 and 30. This is why you need the Cricut Joy Gel Pen Variety Bundle.
This limited format means the Cricut Joy pens quickly become more expensive if you want to use a lot of colours, and it means selecting the colours you need carefully for each project and ordering new pens specifically.
Fortunately, this bundle of gel pens allows you to save a little on what these four separate packs of three would cost if you bought them separately. You also get two different thicknesses which can be useful for adding more variety to card designs, doodles and illustrations.
If you want to write on dark paper or card, the Cricut Joy Metallic Markers show up wonderfully well, offering chances to create dramatic contrasts with shiny types. These have Cricut's 1.0 marker tip, so they're not suitable for small type, but they look great written large on cards, flyers or event invitations.
There are two packs available, both of them come with a silver marker, while one combines it with violet and copper and the other with gold and a shiny metallic blue. Both offer a nice, classy design choice for whatever project you have in mind.
Cricut Joy Infusible Ink Pens are a great addition to Cricut’s accessories, as we mentioned in our selection for the best Cricut pens for the Maker and Explore machines, Cricut has developed a range of Infusible Inks pens designed for printing onto textiles using the Cricut EasyPress (another heat press should do the job too).
You print your design using the Cricut Joy and then press it onto your chosen support using a heat press. The pens are great for applying long-lasting designs to t-shirts, tote bags and more.
Again the downside with the Cricut Joy is that you only get three pens in each pack, so while there are a range of colour combinations available, from all black to 'Wild Aster, Bright Teal and Party Pink', it can get quite expensive if you use a lot of colours.
Talk about variety. With Xinart Dual Tip Pens for Cricut Joy you not only get 33 colours (there are 36 pens but four are black), but also each pen comes in two thicknesses thanks to the handy dual end design. It's the widest range in any of the best Cricut Pen sets we've seen, and the dual thicknesses make the set even better value.
The choices of colours they've included is a little unconventional and despite the wide range, you might find you don't have the colour you want, for example, there are several pastel shades but no real green or purple. All in all, it's a great value set when you consider that official Cricut Joy pens only come in packs of three.
Cricut pens: frequent questions
What pens work in Cricut?
The official answer to this question is only pens made by Cricut. Cricut makes a wide range of pens with different colours, thicknesses and types of ink. Each type of pen is identified by a different letter on the base.
Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore have interchangeable pens so you can use the same pens in either. Cricut Joy, however, has its own line of smaller pens – these say Cricut Joy on them, while pens for the other machines just say Cricut (some packets say Cricut Explore, but the pens will also work in the Cricut Maker series).
Using Cricut's own pens has its advantages. They're easy to fit since these are designed specifically for use in its machines, and the points can stand up to the pressure they're put under. That said, they are expensive. Other brands offer more economical options designed specifically to fit Cricut machines, but note that you could void your warranty if you use non-Cricut pens.
Can you use regular pens in Cricut?
Yes and no. To be able to fit a pen into a Cricut machine, you'll need it to be the right size, which means using pens specifically designed for Cricut machines, whether they're Cricut's own or the best pens for Cricut designed by another brand.
However, you may well find other pens that happen to be the right size, and if you don't, there are adapters that can allow you to fit some of the most popular brands of pen into the Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore. We've mentioned one such set of adapters at number 10 in our guide to the best Cricut pens above.
Note that while some non-Cricut pens will fit in a Cricut machine, you’ll need to mark them for depth so you know where to load them. Again, remember that using a non-Cricut pen in your machine could void your warranty.
Can I use Sharpies in my Cricut?
As we mentioned above, there are adapters that allow you to use a range of popular pens in a Cricut machine, and one of the most popular brands of all is Sharpie. The Craverland Pens Adapters for Cricut set at number 10 in our list of the best Cricut pens includes 40 adapters for a range of different pens, including adapters for the Sharpie Art Pen, Sharpie Fine Point, Sharpie Ultra Fine Point and Sharpie Paint Fine Point and Ultra Fine Point.
What is the purpose of Cricut pens?
The best Cricut pens can be used for all kinds of creative purposes, most commonly for drawing or writing text or illustrations onto craft pieces such as cards, invitations, labels, posters, banners and framed art work. Some of the pens are more suitable for some purposes than others, for example the fine point pen offers a 0.3mm tip for more precise writing or illustration, which is more suitable for work on small pieces, while the 1.0 marker tips are good for writing on larger pieces but won't be legible in small type.
How do I install Cricut pens?
It's very easy to install Cricut's own pens. In the Cricut Explore and Maker, insert an uncapped pen in auxiliary Clamp A while holding the bottom of the tool holder. Push down until the pen clicks – and make sure you hear the click! On the Cricut Joy, there's no separate clamp for the pen. You need to unclamp and remove the blade to fit the pen. In this case, don't push down or you could cause damage; simply set the pen in place then fasten the clamp.