GIANT list of markers & pens that work with the Cricut Explore

Recently one of my viewers wrote to me and suggested that I should gently remove the Cricut Adapter and then I would be able to use my other Cricut markers.  This was a great suggestion, but I found that I was still limited in my choice of markers and pens.

With the markers, I now had to use a marker with a larger circumference or put the Cricut adapter back in.

With the pens, I now had to figure out a way of making the circumference of the pen as large as the markers or put the Cricut adapter back in…. ugh.

After a bit more research I found a site that had just released marker and pen adapters for the Cricut Explore.  I ordered both the adapters (from and now I have a GIGANTIC choice of pens and markers that I can use!

Here is my tested list:

  • Cricut Markers
  • Crayola Markers
  • Cra-Z-Art Classic Markers
  • Recollections Signature Especial – Masterpiece II Markers – All colors
  • Recollections Signature Especial – Bold Brush
  • Recollections Signature Especial – .07 tip
  • Recollections Signature Especial – Extra Fine Writer
  • Recollections Signature Especial – Medium
  • Foray Style Mark Pens
  • Sharpie permanent (marker and pen)
  • American Craft – Glitter markers
  • American Craft – Galaxy Marker – White
  • Gelly Roll – Metallic
  • Pilot Precise V Extra Fine Point
  • Paper mate pens
  • Pentel R.S.V.P. – Medium and Fine tip
  • Pencils – not recommended since the tip does not stay sharp so the writing diminishes while using
  • Fibracolor – Acid Free -100 pack markers
  • Michaels no brand name markers ($4.00 in the scrapbooking section of the store)

The list is endless, but I have tested the above markers and pens and know they will work.

Please email me your list of markers and pens that you know work with the Cricut Explore and I would gladly add them to the list!


This entry was posted in Cricut Explore, Markers & Pens, Scrapbooking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to GIANT list of markers & pens that work with the Cricut Explore

  1. Lisa Minnich says:

    I have some Artist’s Loft Fundamentals Fine Tip markets. Does anyone know if I can use them?

  2. Sondra says:

    Have you ever tried the Crayola glitter markers on the circuit explore? If so was an adapter needed?

    Thank you for all your great information

  3. Patricia says:

    How do you get any other pens to work? I tried to use sharpie pens and it didn’t fit in holder far enough down that it didn’t touch paper when I clicked “make it”

  4. Keith says:

    Hi. Can you recommend a fine tip pen
    that can be used in a Cricut air2 to write very small font sizes ?

  5. Keih says:

    What is the best pen for very small font size? Fine tip

  6. sue says:

    Hi. I have an adapter for the cricut explore air for pens, but I find that the pens are shifted a little to one side and not in the center of the adapter for writing in a certain spot. Do you find that?

    • Sassi says:

      I have a couple of the chomas adapters, with the screw on the side, that do that as well. I don’t use these adapters much, but when I do use them I use flora tape to wrap around the pen/marker to thicken the size of the pen/marker so that when I tighten the screw the pen/marker is centered better. I have heard other people use duck tape for the same reason. I hope this helps. Sassi.

  7. Amanda says:

    Hello I was wondering if you know of another brand of iron on sheets and vinyl you can use with the Circuit Air 2 machine?

    • sara says:

      I use siser easyweed that i buy from way cheaper and the quality is better than the cricut brand imo

  8. Christy says:

    Which chromas adapter (pen or marker) was used for gelly roll metallic ?

  9. Noreen says:

    how do you know how far down to push a non-cricut pen/marker in to the adapter so it will print? thanks!

  10. Kim says:

    Is there a trick to getting the fibra 100 pack markers to work?

  11. April says:

    Was searching everywhere for a good pen to use since my Cricut pen order is still in shipment, when I read this and realized I had purchased a few of those American Crafts metallic & galaxy markers from Target!!! Thank you for the inspo and just made some adorable cactus stamped thank you cards!

  12. Letha Kay says:

    Is there a way to use StampinUp pens with Cricut Explore Air? I have a huge amount of them and love the colors. Can you send reply to my email. Thanks.

  13. Morgan Holtz says:

    Hello –

    I am new to Cricut.

    I was wondering do you know where I can find a list of pens that will work in the Explore One? Or where I can buy an after market adapter for it?

    Every time I search I only find information on the Explore and Explore Air.

    Thank you,

    • Paulette Trent says:

      Cricut sells the pen adapter for the Explore One. It comes with a pen. We have some photos and writing tips using the Explore in our FB group, Cricut Lovers Guide to Design Space. Good Luck!

  14. Alissa says:

    Hi there, this is so helpful, thank you! Super new to my Cricut and still figuring things out so this may be a dumb question that you’ve already answered? So sorry if that’s the case!

    I want to use a white marker on darker cardstock, I had been doing some research on good pens for that but I’m not sure if they’ll fit the Cricut? How do you use non-Cricut pens in the machine? Do I need to buy another piece? Totally fine if I do, just need to know what to buy!


    • Sassi says:

      Hi Alissa,

      Thank you for you watching my video and for your comment.

      First of all my testing has all been done on the Cricut Explore and I did use a third party adapter from Amy Chomas that helped open all the pen and marker possibilities.

      I understand that the Cricut Explore Air has the same size pen/marker/scoring tool slot as the Cricut Explore so the markers and pens I have test should all fit. The holder for the Cricut One is a different size and while there are adapters for it, I have not personally tested any of them.

      I know that the American Crafts Galaxy Marker and the Recollections Signature Especial medium white markers both work with the Cricut Explore’s generic adapter.

      As to the color markers and pens: Check out my other videos regarding markers and pens that I have tested. Here is the link to the first one:

      I have a new video coming out tomorrow in which I am testing a new set of adapters for the Cricut Explore so that you can also use Sharpie markers and pen as well as the Sakura Gelly Roll pens. I really, really like this new set of adapters. You can also purchase the Cricut Explore adapters from Amy Chomas, I have also tested them using her adapters. I will be providing the link to purchase these adapters and Carrie, the seller is going to be giving a 20% discount to anyone who purchases 3 or more of her adapters. She also makes an adapter for the Cricut One.

      I have probably given you more information than you wanted so I’ll stop here.

      I hope this helps you.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. If I know the answers I am more than willing to share!


      • Paulette Trent says:

        While the outside of the pen adapter for the Explore/Explore Air is different from the adapter for the Explore One, the inside is the same and so, the same pens will fit. Otherwise, Cricut’s own pens wouldn’t fit in all the different Explore models! 😉

  15. betty says:

    Do these pens work in explore air also

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Betty,

      My understanding is that the Cricut Explore and the Cricut Explore Air have the same size “A” slots for markers and pens. I have not personally tested this out. I do know that the slot on the Cricut One is a different size and most of these markers and pens won’t fit.

      Just an FYI: This video was made using Amy Chomas Cricut Explore adapter in place of the Cricut adapter from the “A” slot.

      I have a new video coming out tomorrow in which I am testing a new set of adapters. It allows you to use regular Sharpie markers (fine point) and Sharpie pens (ultra fine) as well as the Sakura Gelly Roll pens. The best news is the the seller, Carrie, is offering a 20% discount on any purchase over $20.00 until Mother’s Day.

      I hope I have answered your questions.


  16. betty says:

    Do these pens work in explore air aldo

  17. Stephanie Lee says:

    Have you tried Paper Studio Art pens? It’s sold at hobby lobby. It comes in dual tip and 30 colors. It would be awesome if it worked with the adapter already installed on the explorer.

  18. Stephanie says:

    Has anyone found fabric pens – or tested any of these on fabrics? I used the cricut black pen on some cotton as a test – and it wasn’t horrible, but there was some bleed. I was wondering if someone had found something better. I’m looking to use these for custom pockets.

  19. Regina Adamy says:

    Ranger Emboss Pens fit perfectly in the Explore, they click in and tips do not drag.

  20. Ann says:

    I just got my Cricut Explore Air for Christmas and I have been following your youtube Channel and Blog. I just want to say thank you for everything you share! Also, I tried my Cricut Explore Air with Crayola Supertips and they didn’t fit. However, I had also Staedtler Double Ended Fibre Tips ( and they work super great!!!

  21. Kathy Burman says:

    I have an expression. Any tips on pens and markers that might work with it as I am finding the markers near impossible to locate?

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Kathy,

      When I had an expression I used to use an Amy Chomas adapter. It opened up the list to markers and pens that I could use. If I recall correctly I used to be able to use the mini sharpie markers without the adapter, but I had to use the adapter or a cricut adapter for the pens.

      I hope this helps you some.


  22. Bobbie says:

    The American Crafts markers only work if they are medium or fine point. The bold don’t seem to reach the paper. have you experienced this?

  23. Cynthia says:

    Would these makers work on the explore air? I’m not sure if it’s different from the explore. I’m new to cricut and am a little overwhelmed! I’ve had the air a few weeks and haven’t started a single project! Thanks for your help 🙂

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      It is my understanding that the Cricut Explore and the Expore Air have the same adapter. If this is the case then you should be able to purchase the adapter mentioned in the video. I know that the Explore One has a different size adapter, but I’m not sure of the size of the fitting that the adapter fits in.

  24. Jen says:

    Not really understanding the writing feature on the explore. I would like to use other font styles but it only has a few to offer if I want to write on my image. Any suggestions or is this the only options I have.

    • Nana says:

      Load up your computer with various ones from places like dafont, and there’s pretty much no limit to the number of fonts from which you can select.

  25. Kristen says:

    Where can I buy the Recollections and American crafts products?

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Kristen.

      I have purchased my Recollections and American Craft products from Michael using one of their weekly coupons.

  26. Patty says:

    After much frustration with finding markers, pens, anything that would fit, I saw a video, not sure where, to just use a pencil grip. I did not have time to order the adapter because I had to get the project out the next day. Anyway, I took out the installed marker holder, put a chunky pencil grip around my gel pen, and it works beautifully.

    I would have never had tried this, but the Cricut markers are total garbage. I used them on tiny writing, and in less that 500 1/4″ letters, the marker was looking faded, smudged, etc. Sorry Cricut, make better quality markers, provide better options to your customers, and they won’t look for work arounds. 🙂

  27. Cyndi says:

    I am wondering is there any pens that work with the cricut explorer without buying the adapter?

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Cyndi,

      Check out my video’s on my blog in the “Merkers & Pens” Category for markers and pens that work with the Cricut Explore’s default adapter. Click here

      I am still on the look out for additional brands that work with the Cricut Explore’s default adapter so I am hoping to keep adding to the list.


  28. Clare says:

    Fairly new to cricut and have been having a play with markers – I tried the pilot V5 markers today and on first go the cricut has ruined the nib – any tips on what I did wrong?

    I’m looking for markers to do fairly small writing and just not having much luck 🙁

    Thanks x

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Clare.

      Thank you for watching my video’s!

      When I insert the Pilot V5 marker I hold the side A assembly up with the forefinger of my left hand. Using my right hand I insert the marker applying pressure downward against my left hand. Inserting the marker I hear and feel 2 clicks telling me that the marker is in place. I then close the flap on side A to tighten the hold on the marker. The marker sits about .25 inches from the floor of my Cricut.

      I hope this helps. I am thinking of making a small video showing how I change out the markers and pens as well as removing the Cricut default adapter. Stay tuned!


      • Clare says:

        Thanks for the quick reply – turns out I was being an idiot; the tip wasn’t in fact ruined just seemed I needed to run the pen out a bit to get it working properly! 🙂 doh!

      • TJo says:

        Hi there,
        Thank you for all the great information you have been providing on the Cricut Explore.
        Just wondering if you made the video you referenced when you responded to Clare on March 21st of this year. I bought the V-5 pens, too. I was able to get the red one to work without any difficulty, but I cannot get the other colors in correctly. When I insert them, they don’t reach the mat when it’s time to write.
        Afraid to apply too much pressure and end up breaking something.

  29. Rachel S says:

    Hello! I was wondering if you could tell me how you removed the original cricut adapter? Or possibly make a short video? Im a bit scared to break something so i would really appreciate some tips if you have any to share. Thank you for your time!!

    • Sassi. says:

      Hi Rachel.
      Thank you for watching my video!

      To remove the adapter you do need to be careful. Make sure that you have flip the lever on the A side. I place my fore finger from by left hand under the adapter and use my right hand to wiggle and pull the adapter up.

      I will try to make a short video showing how I remove the adapter very soon.


  30. Cookie Mulheron says:

    Hello, where do I purchase the adapter for my cricut explore, I’m so new to this machine and your website has been very helpful

  31. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the article on pens that work in the Cricut Explore. Just wondering if you tried Recollections Signature Special “Dual Tip”. I purchased those and they didn’t fit my machine. BTW, I purchased my Cricut last month. Have you heard whether Cricut changed the size of their pen holder or are the Recollections Dual Tip a different size than the other Recollections pens? Have you tried the Dual Tip?

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Cathy,
      I haven’t tried the Recollections Signature Special “Dual Tip” as of yet. I have tried some of the other Recollection Signature and Masterpiece markers and they work great.

      As to Cricut changing the size of their pen holder – it is definitely a different size on the Cricut Explore. Mostly because of the built-in adapter. You can remove the built-in adapter and purchase the adapters that I did and it will open the options for the types of pens and markers that you can use. I have found that as long as the marker is NOT larger in diameter than a Sharpie marker it will fit the purchased adapter and work wonderfully with the Cricut Explore.

  32. Beth P Waldeck says:

    Do you know if the Stampin’ Up! markers will work with the marker adapter from Chomas Creations? I use these markers almost exclusively as they match my ink and paper I use for crafting.

    • Sassi says:

      Hi Beth,
      I am sorry, but I don’t have any of the Stampin’Up markers so I can’t confirm that they will work with the adapter. I would say that as long as the circumference of the marker is equal to or smaller than a Sharpie marker they should work with the adapter.

      I have tested the adapter with the Sharpie and it fits perfect. I wouldn’t go any larger than a Sharpie marker though.

      If you do get the adapter please let me know how it works for you. I would love to be able to add it to my growing list of markers and pens that work with the adapter on the Cricut Explore.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *