More Silhouette Cameo Problems and Solutions

Hi, folks. I’m back with more on the Silhouette Cameo.

One of my readers is ready to pull her hair out in frustration over the problems she’s having with her Cameo. Sound familiar? So, I thought I would share the note she wrote to me and my response to her. Hopefully, it will help some of you who may also be experiencing problems with your Cameos. If you have any other ideas or solutions that might also help, please leave a comment so we can all learn, together.

The reader said: “So, I just bought the cameo, and I am so upset.  I bought it for some big projects coming up and the mat is slipping everywhere.  The glue on the mat is so strong that my paper sticks to it each time and tears up when I try to remove it.  On top of that, It wont cut through, the mat slides all around and even when I try to adjust the rollers, the one on the right wont move.  It is in the grove so tight that it wont come out to slide it over.  when i adjusted the settings, it cut straight through my mat and it scratched it. i initially bought it so i could make rhinestone names on shirts but now, I cant even get it to cut through vinyl, let alone something else.  Help”

My response: Hi, I just read the comment you left on my blog, Globug Ideas, and I can really feel your frustration. I decided to write to you, one-on-one, to help you find a quick solution.

I had all the same issues with my Cameo. Thankfully, there are solutions.

Cutting mat too sticky:

After a few uses, it loses a lot of its stickiness and you may even find it’s not sticky enough…but there’s a solution for that, too. However, Silhouette America should be including some basic tools to help users remove the cut-outs from the mat. I bought a little kit at Walmart for $10. It’s the one for the Cricut, but it’s the exact same tools you will need for your Cameo. In the kit there is a little spatula which you slide under delicate cut-outs for easy removal…without tearing! The kit also includes a few other tools that you will also find useful.

Mat sliding around:

The Cameo is pre-set at the factory for the 12-inch cutting mat. You can change the width of the rollers by flipping the little blue handle on the right side of the roller bar. When the blue handle is in the down position, it allows you to slide the white roller toward the left so you can smaller sized media. Once you have the white roller set where you want it, be sure to push the blue handle back up—this locks the bar in place so that your cutting mat (or vinyl) won’t slip around. As a note, however, you can use smaller pieces of paper on the 12-inch cutting mat without adjusting the rollers. For example, sometimes I just want to cut out one bird image or a name. In this case, you would just use the settings in the software to choose the paper size.

Here is a YouTube video that illustrates how to change the roller width.

Blade problem:

You mentioned that you adjusted the settings. The setting for the blade should rarely be used at higher than 2 or 3 for cardstock. For vinyl, the blade should be set at 1, speed at 9, thickness at 8. For regular 80-pound cardstock, such as Stampin’ Up Whisper White, the blade should be set at 3, speed at 3, thickness at 33. Works perfect every time.


When the blade is set higher than needed, the tip of the blade chips. Once the blade is chipped, it will no longer cut. The only solution is to buy a  new blade. Silhouette American doesn’t do a good job of explaining all the little ins and outs of using the Cameo, and hundreds of my readers have had this experience. It happened to me, too.

So, the good news is that all of your problems can be fixed. The bad news is that you will have to get a new blade. Call Silhouette America and explain your problems. I spoke with them on several occasions and they sent me a new mat and a new blade. In fact, over a period of a couple of months, they sent me three new blades, until finally, one of their support staff explained to me about the blade settings. Since then, I have not set my blade above 3 (3 is the perfect setting for heavy cardstock).

I hope this helps.

Thanks, so much, for contacting me. Good luck!!


P.S. Please let me know how it works out.


Silhouette Cameo: problems and solutions

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your Silhouette Cameo?

If  you answered, “yes,” then you are amongst the majority. I have received so many comments and e-mails from crafters who love what their Cameo is capable of doing, but hate the fact that it just doesn’t do it all the time!

But, alas, between blade problems and cutting mat problems, the Silhouette Cameo is making many of us wonder if we will ever see the full potential of this, otherwise, amazing cutting machine. So, after much research, I have compiled a list of the common Silhouette problems and potential solutions.

By the way, if you find this article helpful, or if you have other problems, solutions, experiences with your Silhouette Cameo (both good and bad), or crafting ideas that you would like to share, please leave me a comment and I will respond to you promptly. And now, here we go…

Silhouette Cameo: the most common problems and potential solutions

The Cutting Blade

PROBLEM: The blade works fine for a few days and then it just tears up the paper. Just about everyone who has written to me is having this problem. In addition to several days of on-line research, I have spoken, at length, with the tech support folks at Silhouette America and here are some potential solutions.

1.  Clean the blade housing. Tiny bits of paper debris gets stuck around the blade, making it impossible to perform a clean cut. Use a sewing needle, piercing tool or a straight pin to clean any bits of paper from around the blade. Note: The blade is located inside the little hole in the white part of the blade housing (see photo above). Doing this regularly should keep the blade housing clear of any paper debris.

2. Defective blade? Silhouette America has had many, many issues with defective blades. If  you have tried cleaning the blade housing and you are still not getting clean cuts, it is very possible that you have a defective blade. Call the Silhouette America support line, explain the problem and they will send you a new blade. (They have sent me two within the first month). The contact information follows at the end of this article. Important note: When replacing the blade in the Silhouette Cameo, just drop the whole new cartridge right in the machine and throw away the old one. That’s it, and Bob’s your uncle (actually, Bob’s my brother, but whatever)!

3. Your blade is worn out.  If you had lots of great cuts with your blade and it starts tearing your paper or making sloppy cuts AND you have tried cleaning it, it could be that it’s just worn out and it’s time to buy a new blade. You can buy a new blade from Silhouette America for $12.95 USD or from for $16.95.

The Cutting Mat

12" REPLACEMENT CUTTING MAT New Silhouette Cameo Digital Design Cutter Machine

PROBLEM: The cutting mat is too sticky.

Don’t worry, this problem won’t last long. Most of us find the mat is too sticky the first couple of times we use it, and then, before you know it, the darn thing is not sticky enough!

PROBLEM: The cutting mat is not sticky enough.  This is a really common problem, but luckily, there are a number of good solutions for it.

1. Wipe your cutting mat regularly with baby wipes. For a quick cleaning method, many crafters are recommend using baby wipes to clean your cutting mat regularly.

2. Wash your cutting mat with warm water and dish soap. This is a more thorough cleaning method that gives your cutting mat a good, deep cleaning. Once you’ve washed it, rinse off any soap and dry it well. You should see a noticeable improvement in it’s sticking ability.

3. Spray your cutting mat with re-positionable glue. If washing your cutting mat doesn’t completely solve your problem, try spraying it with a re-positionable glue. The most popular brand among crafters seems to be  KRYLON Easy-Tack repositionable adhesive. Note: The majority of articles, reviews and posts that I have read recommend NOT using Elmer’s Fast Tack Re-positionable glue.

You will probably be able to buy Krylon Easy-Tack at your favourite craft store or on-line scrapbooking store. You can also buy it at for $6.85.

Easy-Tack™ Repositionable Adhesive

PROBLEM: The cutting mat is slipping around during the cutting process.

1. Check the blue lever.  On the right hand side, just in front of the roller bar, you will see a blue lever. Make sure this lever is in the “up” position and the rollers are making contact with the mat. If the lever is in the down position, it will not be able to hold  your mat in place and guide it through the machine during the cutting process.

2. Are the rollers on your cutting mat spaced properly? The rollers on the roller bar must be spaced properly to grip the edges of your cutting mat or other media. You can easily adjust the rollers by moving them along the roller bar.

3. Centre your cutting mat or other media directly under the rollers. Make sure your cutting mat or other media is position so that the rollers are directly over each edge.

CUTTING MAT TIP: To get more wear out of your cutting mat, turn it around and use the bottom half, too. So, instead of always putting the end with the arrow into the machine, turn it around and put the opposite end in (that means the arrow will be pointing toward you). This can really prolong the life of your cutting mat!

If, after trying these solutions, you are still having problems, it’s time to contact Silhouette America Support. I’ve talked with several of them and found them quite helpful.

Other Silhouette America Resources

Silhouette Studio User’s Manual

Silhouette Downloads, latest software and drivers.

Silhouette Tutorials

Silhouette Blog

Once again, if you found this article helpful, or if you have other problems, solutions, experiences with your Silhouette Cameo (both good and bad), or crafting ideas that you would like to share, please leave me a comment and I will respond to you promptly.

Thanks, crafters and good luck!