Explore: Pen Options & Writing Fonts

Pens for Writing and Drawing with the Explore:
There are several pens on the market that fit into the Explore.  Aside from Cricut brand, these will also fit into the pen housing and draw in the Explore.  I will continue to add to this list as we become aware of more that fit!  To make the list, pens have to fit without being assisted with tape or rubber bands, the points of the pens have to touch the paper, and the pens have to stay in place while writing.
  • American Crafts Chalk Markers (See note below -BOLD does not work.  Only the smaller tips work)
  • American Crafts Galaxy Marker (medium tip)
  • American Crafts Slick Writers (fine or medium)
  • American Crafts Precision Pens (fine)
  • American Crafts Metallic Marker Fine or Medium Point
  • Amy Tangerine Slick Writer - fine tip
  • Bic Round Stic Ballpoint (See picture above.  I had great results for my envelopes using Cricut handwriting fonts but not the best results for drawing fonts -system fonts- with lots of penwork.)
  • Crayola Fine Line (Use care not to push the barrel down too far in the housing otherwise the tip will drag on your paper!)
  • Marvy LePlume II (for ultra fine tip)  I used these pens for the 3/4" tags that I put on the bottoms of Hershey kisses.  They write very tiny text!  They are available in 108 colors! (photo below)
  • Pilot Precise V5 pens Extra Fine .5mm Rolling Ball.  My VERY FAVORITE pens! (Get the kind with a cap, not a clicker!  See photo below.)  I am told the V7s with the cap also fit, but I have not tried them myself!
  • Project Life pens (by American Crafts)
  • Recollections Fine and Medium Point (bold does not work in the Explore)
  • Recollections Photo Marker Set (Fine and Medium)
  • The Write Dudes Infinity Neon and Accent Pens (These Infinities work; the metallics do not.  Take care not to push them down too far. Great, bright colors!) See photo below!

Marvy LePlume II

The Write Dudes have more than one marker that says "Infinity."  It is the package that also says "NEON and Accent Pens" that you want!  The ones pictured above were purchased at Target.  Infinities will not click when inserted.  Take care not to insert them too far or they will drag on your paper.

Crayola Fine Line.  These will not click into place.  Take care not to insert them too far or they will drag on your paper.
Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine .5mm.  Font is http://www.dafont.com/kingthings-xstitch.font
This is what the Pilot Precise V5 pens look like. When someone tells me the ones they bought don't fit, it is because they have purchased the type with a clicker instead of a cap.  The ones with the cap are the ones that fit!  I have purchased these at Walmart and Target.  They do click when inserted.  I have been told that the V7s also work that look like this but I have not tried them myself.

Note:  Three markers are packaged together in the American Crafts Chalk white marker sets.  Two of them are narrow (MED) and one has a fatter tip (BOLD).  As you can see, they are different lengths!  The fatter tipped one (BOLD) will not work in the Explore; the tip won't touch the paper even though the barrel fits in the pen housing. The narrow tipped ones (MEDIUM) fit perfectly however! 

There are single stroke Cricut fonts available for writing with the Explore.  These are perfect for journaling and note, letters, and envelopes!

Click on the drop-down arrow next to All Fonts will give you the option for 'Has a Writing Style'.  These are special, one-stroke fonts found on Cricut cartridges.  I have noticed that those from Creative Memories are not listed but once you link those carts, the writing style font magically appears.  Below is a sampling of writing style fonts.  

Any image can be changed from cut to draw by changing the scissor icon to a pen icon.  Aside from Writing Style Fonts however, text and images will be outlined.  

Artwork from Word Collage (Cricut Cartridge) that was changed from cut to draw.
The machine cannot fill them in; this includes system fonts. The exception to this is that there are fonts that have a drawn-in fill as part of their design!  There are many fonts of this type to download!

Click below to see my post on these additional Explore font tutorials (including links to fonts):


Patricia L. Logan said...

I was looking for this, because I had my Cricut Explore for a month. I had tested the AC markers, but not the others. Thank You for sharing this

Sherrill Campbell said...

Try the Faber-Castell PITT Artist pens, the metallic are fabulous on black cardstock!

Janis said...

Nadia thank you so much for all your work & time put into this, which helps all of us who own the Explore. I appreciate your help.


6th Street Sundries said...

Where did you find the Chalkboard pens from AC? I can only find packs of the medium and bold point.

Nadia (WithGlitteringEyes.blogspot.com) said...

The Chalk Markers are packaged in medium and bold together. The medium are the pens I used; the bold will not work. I got them at Target.

Tereasa Wilson said...

Thank you very much! I've had my Explore for over a month & it's still in the box. It was a gift & came as I was in the middle of a craft room remodel (oh what a nightmare). Thankfully I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!
Now I know what pens to keep an eye out for! Thanks again! :)

Nellie said...

Thank you so much,for all this useful information on you blog!It's
just GREAT..

Dariela said...

Thank you for this post is awesome! If you find more markers or pens we can use please let us know is very helpful

Martha Arellano said...

I so appreciate you sharing this information, I had been looking for how to's for awhile.

Would it be tooooo much to ask you on a video tutuorial on the fill in fonts?

Jessica R said...

Thank you for the great information. I just found it through a google search. This is awesome!

Barb S said...

Thank you for sharing this information. It is thoughtful and generous. A great resource and just saved me from buying the wrong Slick Writer.

Charlotte E Padgham said...

This is really great info, thanks so much. I've been having problems with my Cricut metallic pens blunting as they get used which means I can't do finer work with them. Are there any alternative fine point metallic pens out there that can be used in the Explore? Thanks again.

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