The best Cricut pens in 2023

The best Cricut pens; a pen on a table with papers and a Cricut machine
(Image credit: Cricut)

The best Cricut pens enable you to bring your craft projects to life using various inks, from bold colours to glitter and metallic finishes. These best pens for Cricut are used with Cricut Maker, Explore and Joy models to add typography, logo designs and illustrations to cards, gifts and more.  

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. If you're using the best Cricut pens in my list then you may also want to invest in one of the best heat press machines, to transfer designs onto shirts, bags and more fabric makes.

Cricut itself produces a range of pens, from fine tip pens to markers, gel pens and more (see our best markers guide for more traditional products). 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

Cricut pens for Cricut Joy

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.

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Ian Dean

Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.

With contributions from