Silhouette Cameo–get ready to cut!

Blade problems? New information!

Hi, folks! I am sure there are many crafters who are thrilled with their Silhouette Cameos. But, judging by the number of crafters who write to me every day, there are many who are still enduring a love-hate relationship with this potentially amazing piece of equipment.

Okay, so what’s happening? Well, the BIGGEST frustration is that the blade isn’t cutting or isn’t delivering a clean cut. What everyone wants to know is WHY, WHY, WHY!

Based on my own experience with the Silhouette Cameo and the thousands (yes, thousands) of crafters who search my site and/or write to me every month, in the hopes of gaining some insight, here is a summary of the issues and some potential solutions. I hope this helps!

1. My Cameo is not making clean cuts.

You probably have either a defective blade or your blade is chipped. Let me explain. When the Cameo first hit the market, it was shipped with a defective blade. According to Silhouette America, whom I spoke with on several occasions, the original blades were set at an incorrect angle, making it impossible to achieve a clean cut.

So, if your blade has never given you a clean cut, call Silhouette America and they will send you a new blade.  Even more good news, Silhouette American had all new blades manufactured and started shipping them at the end of February.

If your blade cut fine for a while and then started tearing the paper, it is quickly likely that your blade tip is chipped. This can happen when the blade setting is too high. Generally, your blade should be set at a 2 or 3. For example, Stampin Up Whisper White or Very Vanilla cardstock is 80 lb., which calls for a blade setting of 3, thickness 33 and speed 3. If you are doing a very intricate cut, you could even slow the speed down to 1 or 2, to ensure cleaner cuts. Do not, however, change any of the other settings.

Setting the blade higher than called for causes it to reach down further and, consequently, chip the end. Once that happens, your only solution is to buy a new blade.

 Here is a screenshot of the control panel. Notice the speed is set at 3 and the thickness at 33. As the medium, I chose 80 lb. cardstock. This is the setting you will likely use most of the time. Notice the “Change Settings?” option…clicking on this allows  you to select new settings for media, thickness and speed.One thing to remember, however, is that once you select the medium, such as cardstock, paper, vinyl, etc., your Cameo does the rest. It automatically selects the speed and thickness. Could it be any easier?
Here’s an example:I selected “Print Paper (Light)” as the medium. Cameo automatically turned the thickness down to 10 and the speed to 10. This lower speed setting slows down the cutting process to give the blade time to make clean cuts on delicate paper or on intricate cuts.The thickness setting of 10 tells the Cameo that the medium is lightweight paper.

The blade setting of 1  means that the blade will only come out of its casing far enough to cut the thin paper, but not far enough to chip the end of the blade.

IMPORTANT: Remember, although the Cameo automatically sets the blade  on the screen, you MUST physically set the blade before you begin to make the cut. Remove the blade from your Cameo, and change the setting accordingly. Then, replace it, making sure it is pushed down all the way before locking it in with the blue lever.

2. My Cameo is cutting, but not all the way through the paper.

Here’s a trouble-shooting checklist:

— Check that you have selected the correct medium. For example, if you are using Stampin Up Whisper White 80 lb. cardstock, be sure you select “cardstock, 80 lb.”

—  Be sure to take your blade out and physically turn it to the right setting as indicated in  your on-screen settings.

— Sometimes the “double-cut” setting is necessary to ensure that your cut goes all the way through the paper, without having to increase the blade setting.

— If you check all your settings carefully, and your Cameo is still not cutting all the way through, there is a possibility that the end of your blade has been chipped and is not long enough to reach through the paper. (And, even if your chipped blade did reach through, it would just tear up your paper, anyway).

TIP: When experimenting with new media and settings, do a Test Cut, first. It only takes a minute and will save you a lot of time, paper and frustration in the long run.

Just a thought, before I sign off…we are all so lucky to be part of a global crafting community, where we can share our experiences, problems and solutions. I have heard from Cameo owners on every continent, all with the same joys and frustrations, and all seeking to find and/or share solutions to common problems.

If you have any Cameo tips that you could share, please leave me a comment and I will publish them here, at Globug ideas.

Thanks, crafters. I hope you’re getting closer to solving your Cameo cutting issues.