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Cricut Scoring Wheel vs Scoring Stylus – What Nobody is telling you!

Hi Daydreamer!

Every day is a good day to learn, and today we are going to compare the Scoring Stylus against the Scoring Wheel.

Before we dig in let’s see a quick review of what these tools are.

Both, the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel, are accessories you can use with your Cricut Machines. They allow you to make folds on different types of materials like paper, cardstock, poster-board, etc. If you enjoy making boxes, cards, or other type of projects that require you to make folds, then; these accessories will make your life extra easy and also fun.

Here’s the thing, although the Scoring Stylus can be use with any of the Explore Family Machines and the Cricut Maker; the Scoring Wheel can only be used with Cricut Maker.

Scoing Wheel and Tips 01 and 02 with the Scoring Stylus
Scoring Wheel Left – Scoring Stylus Right

Make sure to read this article, If you want to learn all of the differences between the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Machine.

On this post I will be covering all of the differences between the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel. I am also going to show you some pictures of how the score lines look in different types of materials, so you can make and informed choice of which accessory you need.

This is NOT a tutorial of How the Scoring Wheel works in Cricut Design Space. If you want to learn how this tool works check out my completely guide and step by step tutorial.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Differences between Scoring Stylus vs Scoring Wheel

Although, the Stylus and the Wheel have the same purpose – make folds – they both look very different.

The Scoring Stylus looks very similar to other Essential Tools – weeding tools, spatula, etc – that Cricut has to offer. However, the Scoring Wheel looks very similar to a blade.

Something extremely cool about the Scoring Wheel is that it has two different tips that you can use. 01 for light materials like cardstock and regular paper and 02 for thicker materials like poster-board and chipboard; 01 stands for Scoring Wheel, and 02 stands for double scoring wheel.

All Cricut Machines, except for the Cricut Explore One, have two tool holders or clamps. Clamp A is for accessories, and Clamp B is for Blades. The Scoring Stylus is always used with Clamp A and this is why you can use it with any of the Cricut Machines.

However, the Scoring Wheel can only be used on Clamp B. Here’s the caveat; though, just like the knife blade and the rotary blade the Scoring Wheel was built with Cricut’s new technology, the Adaptive Tool System.

The Adaptive Tool System controls the direction of t the new blades and scoring wheel at all times. In fact, This technology is so amazing that it can adjust the pressure of the Scoring Wheel to match the materials you are working with!

That’s why, the Scoring Wheel has 10X the strength and power than the Scoring Stylus has. Therefore, by using the Scoring Wheel you are going to get extra deep and extra sharp score lines.

Awesome Right?

Scoring with different Materials

Now that you’ve learned the differences between the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel let’s see how they both work on different materials.

For this comparison I will be using the following Materials and using both the Stylus and Scoring Wheel (01 and 02).

  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Colored Cardstock
  • Craft Board
  • Metallic Poster-board
  • Corrugated Paper
  • Craft Foam

In total we will have 2 materials for light, medium-weight, and thick materials.

Note: If you have the Scoring Wheel, Design space will always show you what tip is recommended. However, I decided to try with both tips just so are able to see how each tip would look and all of these materials.

On some of the materials – the ones that Made sense – I also scored a star on top of the design. Sometimes you would want to score other elements, not just just lines.

Right?

Let’s see the results!

Beforehand, let me apologize for the way some of these photos look. In order for me to show you the score lines I really had to decrease the exposure and brightness of some of the photos. They don’t look as pretty; However, my commitment to you is far superior than just having pretty photos. 🙂

Colored Construction Paper & Cardstock

For thin materials you can barely see any difference in the depth or smoothness of the scoring line. Honestly they seem pretty much the same. However, if you look at the stars, you will see that the lines that make up the star with the Scoring Wheel 01 are overlapped.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Construction Paper
Stylus, Wheel 01 and Wheel 02 – Construction Paper

This is a little disappointing actually, but it’s totally understandable. You see, the scoring tip is driven by the Adaptive Tool System therefore it makes sense for some overlapping in the score lines. You will be able to see this difference in our next materials.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Cardstock Paper
Stylus, Wheel 01 and Wheel 02 in OrderCardstock Paper (Zoom in to see better details)

This overlapping doesn’t happen with the Scoring Stylus because there’s no driven process and every line is made in a single stroke.

Craft Board & Metallic Poster – Board

For these two medium weight materials I started to see some differences. As you can see, the score lines look somewhat smoother than the ones made by the Scoring Stylus.

The Stars I made with the Scoring Wheel where also overlapped, but they do look smoother than the ones made by the Scoring Stylus.

Comparing smoothness of score lines made with the stylus and scoring wheel
Scoring Stylus Left – Scoring Wheel Right

Now let’s look at how the Metallic Poster Board behaved when I folded it. Here’s is where you can see why the wheel is so powerful.

Materials that are coated like Glitter Cardstock and or Metallic Poster board tend to crack on the folding process. When using the wheel with the 02 tip you create a two scoring lines that will make the folding process way smother.

Comparing folds of score lines made  with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Metallic Poster board
Stylus, Wheel 01 and Wheel 02 Top to Bottom.

Notice how much the Metallic Poster Board cracked with the Stylus. It even cracked with the 01 Tip. However, look the fold with the 02 tip! It’s beautiful.

Corrugated Paper & Craft Foam

For these two relative thick materials I decided not to score the star I stuck with the horizontal score line.

Finally, with these thick materials – specially the corrugated paper – I was able to notice the difference in quality and crispiness for the score lines made with the Wheel.

This is what makes the wheel a one of a kind tool!

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Corrugated Paper
Stylus, Wheel 01 and Wheel 02 in OrderCorrugated Paper

The Scoring Stylus was very tough with the corrugated paper and Craft Foam. Believe or not, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Craft Foam
Stylus, Wheel 01 and Wheel 02 in Order – Craft Foam

Think about it!

The Stylus works by exercising pressure on its – pointy – tip. So, it’s expected that when you are working with thicker materials, the pressure of the stylus will be concentrated on a tiny point.

However, with the Scoring Wheel the pressure is well distributed across of the 01 and/or 02 tip. And, in my opinion, this is what makes the scored lines look crispy on thicker materials.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 on Corrugated Paper
Stylus Left – Scoring Wheel Right

Which one Should you the Scoring Stylus or the Scoring Wheel?

I think the Scoring Stylus is a must have at all times. It’s so affordable, and you can create so may cools with it, that it does’t make any sense for you not to get it.

Now, the Scoring Wheel is a more expensive accessory. You can get it with just the 01 Tip, or as combo with both tips.

Compare Prices: For all of the scoring tools here

The decision of you getting the Scoring Wheel depends on what materials you are going use. As you just saw, when I used the Stylus and the Wheel on Light and Medium weight materials, the differences were very little.

Yes, it’s easier to fold when you score with the wheel, but not in a way that will leave you in disadvantage.

Scoring Wheel with Scoring Stylus and Cricut Explore Air 2 in the background
Scoring Tip 01 and Stylus in the background

If you are planning on working with thick and coated materials, like the ones I used on this post, and or chipboard I highly encourage you to get the Scoring Wheel with both tips. Cricut Materials can be quite expensive and if you re planning on doing multiple projects you want optimal results every time.

I didn’t have chipboard on hand, but I am sure if I had used the Stylus instead of the Wheel I would’ve totally scratch it. You don’t want this to happen to you.

Note: Remember that the Scoring Wheel is only compatible with the Cricut Maker, so if you have any of the explore family machines, you can only use the Scoring Stylus.

Pros and Cons

While doing these comparisons with the Wheel and the Stylus I got a couple of mixed pros and cons that I would like to share with you:

  • I love that with the Scoring Stylus you can Score and Write without extra intervention – you can set it and forget it – Since the Scoring Wheel goes on Clamp B – where all blades go – you need to change it and babysit your project till is done is scoring.
  • The Scoring Wheel will work great on any type of material. However, if you have very intricate score lines – like the stars I showed you above – the folds will overlap each other.
  • The Scoring Stylus works wonders to trace and score intricate designs. However, you are limited by the types of materials you can use. It works wonders with light and medium well materials, but not so great on thick materials.

What do you think?

Which tool is right fit for you? The Stylus or Wheel?

I can’t wait to find out, so make sure to let me know on the comments down below.

I love when I have comments ❤ I feel like I am not talking to the wall lol!

cricut design space digital ebook

Oh!

And just so you know, I also have a library full of free SVG files and Printables for all of my subscribers, a.k.a Daydreamers. You can see a preview right here or get access by filling this form.

Every day is a good day to learn, and today we are going to compare the Scoring Stylus against the Scoring Wheel. #cricut #cricutmade #cricuttutorials #cricutdesignspace #designspace #cricutmaker #cricutexploreair #cricutexploreair2 #scoringstylus #scoringwheel
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Sabina

Friday 24th of September 2021

Your help on the difference of these 2 tools really helped. Thank you!

Flor

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

Thanks for this info it really helped me to make my choice . I’m going for the scoring wheel🥰

Sue Brewis

Thursday 29th of April 2021

Thank you. I’m new to Cricut and needed to understand the scoring possibilities. You explained them perfectly...and of course I “want” both, but I will start with the stylus.

Catalina

Friday 7th of May 2021

You're very welcome! :)

Beth Tricase

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Thank you for your tutorial on the scoring tools. I have a cricut air 2 and my scoring stylus keeps popping up in the middle of a project, you gave me a solution to that problem. Another problem I'm having is my fine point blade isn't cutting all the way thru 65lb paper. I've changed my blade several times thinking my blade was dull but even a brand new blade isn't going all the way through. I've tried changing from the default setting to more pressure and then my blade pops up like the scoring stylus tool is doing. Could my blade clamp be broken also? TIA

Catalina

Monday 12th of April 2021

That sounds a little odd. I would check with Costumer service as well. It’s never happened to me.

Emilie

Monday 15th of March 2021

Hi Catalina! Thanks so much for your post! I got an Explore Air 2 a few weeks ago. I totally love it, but I am really jealous of the Maker's scoring wheel!! I was frustrated that sometimes my score lines are not that deep for my cardstock greeting cards. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the tip of copying and pasting another score line on top of the original score line. Many thanks and I can't wait to explore your blog! Have a great day!

Catalina

Wednesday 7th of April 2021

You're very welcome! Happy I was able to help.