Cricut Scoring Stylus Alternatives

Hey! Randall here with a great tip on scoring with a Cricut.

So as a lot of you know, Cricut has a tool called a Scoring Stylus, it’s really great for scoring fold lines on cards, boxes, basically anything you want to go from flat to multi-dimensional!

Well, it’s been out of stock for a while and a lot of people don’t want to purchase additional tools for their Cricut unless they have to, so I wanted to share my hack for scoring with a Cricut Maker or Explore Air without the scoring stylus. If you do have the scoring stylus from an older Explore Air, you can use that instead of the Cricut Maker’s scoring wheel. Just drop it in the second pen slot and you’re good to go.

What can I use as an alternative to a Cricut scoring stylus?

Cricut scoring stylus alternatives:

  • Flat side of a knife
  • A ruler
  • A pen or pencil
  • Bone folder (if you do any bookbinding)
  • Toothpick/skewer
  • Paperclip
  • Back of scissors

Basically you can use anything you have handy that won’t tear through the material you’re using.

Should I buy a Cricut scoring stylus?

A lot of people say that you don’t really need a scoring tool when you first get your Cricut. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Sure, it’s possible to do all of the same projects, but they take a lot longer and the folds don’t look quite as neat. They’re also not terribly expensive, maybe $10 which is probably the cost in materials you’ll save from not cutting through your paper.

It can be hard to find the score line, especially on lighter materials, but the crease it gives you does make your work a lot easier and faster.

If you make a lot of or work with:

  • cards
  • envelopes
  • 3d projects
  • lanterns
  • boxes
  • posterboard

it’s really great. And it’s for more than just scoring, too. I like to use it as a guide for making cuts.

What’s the difference between the scoring wheel and the scoring stylus?

Both devices have the same goal, to make folding paper a lot easier, but how they approach it and look are completely unalike.

The Scoring Wheel:

  • can only be used with the Cricut Maker
  • comes with two different tips for different thicknesses of materials
  • uses the new adaptive tool system which changes the pressure in real time to compensate for the material you’re using
  • offers more than 10x the pressure of the Scoring Stylus
  • can purchase a Double Scoring Wheel for two score lines at a time for working with really thick materials like cardboard

The Scoring Stylus:

  • Works with all Cricut Explore and Maker machines
  • single tip which works with fewer materials that the Scoring Wheel
  • a lot cheaper (~$10)

My recommendation is that if you can afford and use the Scoring Wheel, definitely get that. If you have a Cricut Explore and you’re thinking about upgrading to the Maker in the future, I’d stick with the scoring stylus for now.

If you notice your materials cracking, make sure that you’re placing the pretty side away from the score!

Thanks for reading! Please get in touch with me if there’s anything you think I left out of this tutorial, or if there are tips & tutorials you’d like to read about Cricut or Silhouette machines in the future!