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.

86 thoughts on “Silhouette Cameo–get ready to cut!

  1. Good Evening,
    I have had my cameo 2 for just over a year now and just today started experiencing some issues. It seems to only “selectively” skip some of the cut point in my image. It’s the same image I have used previously, same unaltered file and same cut settings. Not all parts of my image are miscut, in fact more the 50% is fine, but some parts it seems to skip the 90degree angle I’ve added and makes them 45degree cuts. Turning my letter “T” into an awkward triangle but only on one side.
    Any thoughts on this?

    • Seemingly I have fixed my issue by downgrading the software back to a previous version. Not a great solution, but it works for this massive project I have in front of me. Thanks!

  2. Good afternoon

    I really am having problems with the Silhouette Cameo I purchased – could not get the machine to cut a single design! After I have done the page setup and set the blade on 3 for cardstock I can see the blade following the design lines, but does not cut on the cardstock at all. Do you have a solution for me please. Kind regards Helen

  3. I got a cameo for Christmas from my husband and I’m just now getting around to playing with it. I’ve been too slammed with work to have free time. I HATE THIS MACHINE! Let me start by saying I have a master’s in graphic design so software and hardware things don’t scare me. I can figure things out just by playing around with them. The software, while not super user friendly (hello, where are the shortcuts) is fine. The problem is: this machine won’t cut anything. I’ve wasted about $30 on freakin’ carstock from Michaels that gets shredded, ripped, torn at the corners, not cut enough to pull out, cut too much (though my mat oops) etc etc. So far I’ve been able to successfully cut one scalloped square out of about….300 that I’ve tried. It won’t even cut printer paper. Liker regular 65# white copy paper from staples. I’ve gotten a new blade. A new mat. I’ve tried every setting 1-6 and so many different styles of paper my head is spinning. I hate it.

    I’m beyond frustrated and wonder…did I get a dud or am I THE DUD for buying this stupid machine. I’m about 2 seconds away from sending it back to amazon and ordering a Criket.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one. I have a MLS (librarian) so I can find my way around software. But I have lost count as to how many types of media I have ruined trying to cut on the thing. There is NOTHING out there on what happens if your blade cuts through the backing – all the forums are on what happens if your blade doesn’t cut. At first I thought that was normal becasue I was following the guidelines on the software for thinckness and blade depth for the medium I was trying to cut. Then I spoke with someone who teaches classes on the Cameo at my local quilt shop. She said never follow the recommendations because that’s what they are – run a test cut and adjust. She said the blade should not cut through the backing. My question now is on the thickness – which is higher and which is lower? Trust me it isn’t you. I wouldn’t contact Silhoutte because they will tell you it’s you and not the product. However, based on the forums out there on all the issues – it’s the Cameo and not always the users.

      • Yep…been here. Bloody stupid machine. Completely mis- sold. They advertise it as soon easy, just design and send to sol to cut. But it does not. Like you or rips, drags scores, won’t cut through or cuts completely through. I think I got a dud one too. I threw it in the attics in disgust! I HATE it.

    • I just wanted to stop in and say…thank god! I’ve had this stupid machine for a year, and I’ve spent HOURS of my life trying to get this f$%#ing machine to cut and do what it’s supposed to do and it just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to…I’ve emailed silhouette several times and they ignore me….I’ve changed paper, mats, blades numerous times…and every once in a while it wil work…but the rest of the time it just leaves me wanting a bottle of wine…I thought it was me! So thank you to everyone that has posted about the problems they’re having too…because I thought I just sucked at life.

      It’s not me. I’m going to go open that wine now. Stupid machine.

      • Dear Stef,

        I’m really sorry you’re having such problems. You may have a defective machine, so stay on Silhouette America’s back until they either guide you to a solution or send you a new machine.

        If you don’t get any satisfaction from Silhouette America, I strongly urge you to give up crafting and become a stand-up comedian–you’re hilarious!!!!

        Good luck, and enjoy the wine!!

        Globug Ideas

  4. I cannot get my cameo to cut on the design it always cuts the correct design but the cut is tilted or skewed down. Any ideas on how this can be corrected.

  5. I’m not sure if you’re still providing help when possible, but I hope so.

    I have wanted one for years and my dream came true this Christmas. I loaded the software purchased some files from the online store, made about three cuts which turned out great (using copy paper just to test).

    When I switched to card stock, changed the blade settings and used a gothic window cut file from the store, the cut was a little askew…thought I didn’t do something correctly and moved on.

    I tried two more cut files, one purchased from the online store and one of the free images (the control panel template) and every consecutive image is ruined with diagonal cuts no matter where I place the image. I’ve made no adjustments to the file. I’ve moved it to several places on the visual cutting mat. Closed the program without saving the file. Rebooted my computer and I can’t figure it out.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated…I’m starting to have a better appreciation for my 6 year old Cricut Expression.

    Thanks so much for reading my long plea for help 🙁

    • This is something I read a few others were having trouble with and apparently it’s because they were running version V3 of the Silhouette software. Those who were running V2 weren’t having these issues, so some of those with V3 have reverted back to Version 2. With that said, Silhouette may have put out an update to fix the V3 problems since you posted this, and maybe it’s corrected it for you. If not, hopefully reverting back to V2 help you out. 🙂

  6. Hi. I have had my cameo cutter for a week now. I have been watching my settings cleaning the needle and have used three blades to make 20 card front cut outs!! (Prabably 40 with all the not cut through sheets)The blade seems to fall under the chipped category. Do they chip this easy???? I am beyond frustrated with the machine and please help me!!! I called support but that did not help me! I am cutting light card stock at a 3 setting, 2 speed and 33 thickness. The card stock is 100.

  7. Hi
    my problem is the blade move up and down make the cameo not work>
    Do I need new blade to solve this problem??
    Help me please

  8. I am having the hardest time working with my cameo and the grafix .007 plastic sheet. I read article and originally set at 3 and no luck, then i moved it to 4 it was a little better. It does not cut all the way through on my daisy design. Any advice please. I have had this cameo since Christmas and in need of advice. Thank you!!

  9. I want to cut designs to make paper airplanes that are glued together. I usually use 100lb Bristol smooth paper. Will the cameo be able to cut this paper? Or should I look for a bit lighter Bristol?

    • if you haven’t gotten and answer to this question the answer is yes. Most times you will need to lower your speed and increase your blade setting. The paper is heavy so a sticky mat would serve well or attach washi tape in the corners at the top of the page to hold in place.

  10. Ok So i have had my cameo for about two months now, use it like daily, I also use Sure Cuts Alot, and I do alot of vinyl cutting.but the past few days it will stop cutting in the middle of A project…. any ideas on why?

    • I had the same problem. But I had to wait because the computer was sending info to the cutter. Also when more programs are running in the background the cutting signal becomes slower. And the Cameo will intermittantly stop more during the process. Eventually it will continue!
      Check the display to see if it is ready or not.

  11. I just recieved my Cameo this week. I am having a issue with cutting. I can cut images from the Silhoutte store but can not cut fonts properly, that are preloaded on the software. Either it cuts clean missing a letter or two, or tears the letters out. I have not had a successful cut with fonts yet. I have tried everything. The blade is clean and not broken, adjusted speed and other settings but still can not cut fonts.

  12. I am wondering what effect a too-sticky mat has on the cutting process, other than it may be difficult to remove the cutout without tearing it.

    • Hi, Seaside,

      I haven’t experienced any problems with the cutting process when my mat was new and very sticky. Also, no problems with the blade gumming up, either.

      I hope this helps,


      ***Dear Reader: I love receiving postcards from my readers! If you enjoy Globug Ideas and find it helpful, please send me a postcard from your hometown. Here is my address: 13 Tripp Crescent, Ottawa, ON, K2J 1C5 Thank you!***

  13. Hello,

    I just got my cameo and it seems to be a long process for me to get it up and running. I finally felt I was all ready to cut but it isn’t that easy. My machine is “acting” like it is cutting, but when it’s all done and tells me the print was successful, there isn’t one cut made on the vinyl…please help!~

    • Hi, Tamara,

      Are you sure there’s a blade in the blade housing? And, can you check to see if the blade tip is broken? Also, make sure you have set your blade to 1 or 2 (whichever is recommended for the vinyl you are using). It’s got to be one of those three.

      Good luck…let me know how it works out.


      ***Dear Reader: I love receiving postcards from my readers! If you enjoy Globug Ideas and find it helpful, please send me a postcard from your hometown. Here is my address: 13 Tripp Crescent, Ottawa, ON, K2J 1C5 Thank you!***

  14. Hi I just got my cameo for Christmas and up til now it was doing just fine. The last two times I’ve used it the machine is missing the paper and cutting on the mat. I just bought a new mat put a piece of 12×12 paper on it, set up a design to cut and it made the top cut of the design a 1/4 inch above the top of the paper. Can you tell me if there is some adjustment that needs to be made or what I’m doing wrong.

    • and I solved my problem. It turns out that my machine was set to load media instead of load cutting mat. Not sure how it switched to that setting and wished I had solved the problem before I cut my mat.

      • Hi, Rae,
        I’m glad your problem was easily solved!! That’s a common issue among new Cameo owners, so don’t feel bad. By the way, you can also use Cricut mats in your Cameo. I find them much better and cheaper, too!
        I hope you have lots of fun crafting!!


        ***Dear Reader: I love receiving postcards from my readers! If you enjoy Globug Ideas and find it helpful, please send me a postcard from your hometown. Here is my address: 13 Tripp Crescent, Ottawa, ON, K2J 1C5 Thank you!***

  15. I was having a huge problem with not getting clean cuts. It worked great the first couple of times I used it, and was starting to feel frustrated. I found your site and tried a few things, even changed the cutting speed down to 2. the blade was clean, and not chipped (from what i could see), so I started using the extra cutting mat. It made a clean cut! My machine is just a few days old, and I didn’t think the mat would make a difference, but it did.

    • Hi, Cory,
      That`s really strange, but if it worked, great!! Do you think it was a coincidence, or have you tried going back to the original cutting mat just to see what happens? I would love to hear how it’s going now!!

      Happy crafting!!

  16. nfhfoishgolshghgvlsh I am so glad to have found this site. I have blown through EASILY $300 in glitter transfer paper in the last two hours. This is my fun “side thing” to learn, so I understand that there is going to be a large amount of loss in learning how to do it. (Though why I do not chose to learn on the cheap white vinyl- or even regular copy paper and the cutting mat I have already trashed, that’s a whole other story.) But I am tearing up paper left and right. The vinyl gets wrapped around the blade where i have to unscrew the assembly and unwind inches of fine vinyl threads. The cuts are jamming the carrier and the plastic layer of the heat transfer material starts ripping and bunching and GAH – how long does a blade even last? I have had my Cameo for 3 days and have gone through two blades. Something has to be wrong. 🙁 I’ll keep tearing stuff up and go through your site to see if I am just overzealous or if I actually have a legitimate gripe about a machine that seems like it could really be be capable of doing so much.

  17. Thanks so much for taking the time to write all of these suggestions down for us. I just received my Cameo today and I am having trouble with intricate cuts. I was able to cut basic shapes without tearing and bunching. I am now trying to cut a more intricate cut using SU colored cardstock and I am having trouble. I have the blade set to 3 and thickness at 33. I have gone down to speed 1 and that helped some but did not completely eliminate the bunching. I then tried doublecut but that still had the bunching. Since I was able to cut basic shapes, I don’t think that my blade is damaged. Do you have any other suggestions? Maybe the shape is too intricate? I found it on the Silhouette online store (item number 52218). Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Hi, Amber,
      I’m sorry I wasn’t able to reply to you sooner. So many crafters get Cameos for Christmas, that I’m flooded with questions in January. I hope by now you have figured out your Cameo problems and are happily cutting all sorts of shapes.
      The intricate images are sometimes tricky to cut cleanly. I’ve had the same problems, too. Before starting an intricate cut, I always double-check my settings, and make sure that the blade in my Cameo is at the same setting as you see on your screen. For intricate cuts I like to use Stampin’ Up Whisper White or Very Vanilla. These are really smooth card stocks that give the best results. For some reason, the other Stampin’ Up colours are not as smooth and shiny and are better used for simpler shapes. Let me know how it goes!!

  18. This may sound stupid…..but can I just cut with silhoutte cameo and not use printer unless I choose to. I love the digital images but don,t always want to print an image, just cut it. Thanks pat

    • Hi, Pat,

      Yes! You sure can just cut! Most of the images that you buy from Silhouette America are just for cutting out. When you shop for images, the ones that have the letter P beside means you have to print them, first.

      If you have trouble getting started, come on back and we’ll go through it together!!

      Good luck! Oh, and by the way, there are no stupid questions!! LOL!


      ***Dear Reader: I love receiving postcards from my readers! If you enjoy Globug Ideas and find it helpful, please send me a postcard from your hometown. Here is my address: 13 Tripp Crescent, Ottawa, ON, K2J 1C5 Thank you!***

  19. Hi,
    I have just bought a Silhouette Cameo and it’s not cutting properly. I tried to cut vinyl but it just snags it when it comes to doing a turn (if you know what I mean). I have only managed to cut out a few letters from a quote at the beginning, but as it went on the snags started appearing and even took one of the letters out. I’ve checked all the settings are correct and re-adjusted slightly here and there. The blade is sitting in the housing properly and as it’s a new blade it’s clean… even so,I checked and give it a clean with a needle. Do you think the blade is defective? I used to have a Cricut before I got this, so pretty much know how they should cut. I only got the Cameo because I wanted to cut my own designs without relying on cartridges. I’d love to love this machine, but it’s so frustrating when it’s new and doesn’t cut properly. Any advise is much appreciated. 🙂

    • Hi, Michelle,
      Cutting vinyl is often tricky. Are you using the cutting mat or are feeding the vinyl directly into the Cameo? Have you checked the blade to be certain there is no debris stuck in the casing? If there is, clean it out with a needle. Are you using a very low blade setting–1 or 2. Sorry I’m not giving you a definitive answer, but there are so many variables that need to be taken into account. Please let me know how it works out. Good luck!!

      • I have the same problem!! The silhouette snags my vinyl. so glad to know that someone else feels the same way as me. My blade setting is at 5 when I am cutting vinyl and I am feeding it right into the machine without a cutting mat. Can you help me please?? thank you very much.

  20. I just purchased my Silhouette Portrait this week. I was wondering about the Rhinestone Template Material. The Silhouette brand is very expensive, but I found something called Wonder Flock from DAS and was wondering if you have heard of anyone using that or Sticky Flock with any success with a Silhouette. When I purchased the unit my plan was to use it for vinyl projects, but when I discovered it could do rhinestone templates, I got really excited!! The Cheer squad at my kids’ school is going to love me!!

    • Did you ever figure out how to cut the DAS Wonder Flock with your Silhouette? I’m trying to cut my rhinestone templates and it is slipping around and not making the cuts.

  21. I have a Cameo. It works fine for me, but I cut lots of cardstock and always keep my blade at “5”. I am so curious, if the blade is never to be set above 3, what are settings 4-10 for?? Ruth in WI

    • Hi, Ruth,
      When the Cameo first came out, the settings were different–for cardstock they were 3, 3, 33. When Silhouette America released a new software update, the settings changed. I now keep my Cameo blade setting at 5 and it works like a charm. The higher settings are for thicker card stock and other materials that require a deeper cut.
      I hope you’re enjoying your Cameo as much as I’m enjoying mine!!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Gloria,

    I have had my Cameo since March and before that I had the SD and hated the SD and HATE the Cameo, I have really not had good luck calling Silhouette either they are a bunch jerks to work with. I have tried to cut vinyl and to no avail with either machine , while with the exception of one time with the SD, but my issue is that when cutting vinyl it is not cutting all the way thru. and I have checked settings and and adjust blade and still am very frustrated. I found you today so I am feeling like there is hope. My best friend has the SD and she can cut intricate things and I have not had good success with that either.

    Thank you in advance for your help and kindness is helping all of those that you have.

  23. Hi! Thanks for having this helpful posts.Just got my cameo a few days ago and been trying to cut on cardstock. My paper is ripping off while cutting letters on a cardstock. Can I use any brand of cardstock so I can cut clean intricate designs? Please help I’m doing this for my daughter’s birthday party and its getting really close.

    • Hi, Ren,

      Congratulations! You will love your Cameo…as soon as it starts cooperating with you!!

      You should be able to use any kind of cardstock on your Cameo. However, really cheap construction paper–the kind that kids use in kindergarten–doesn’t always produce clean cuts. If you are using regular cardstock from Michael’s, Stampin’ Up, etc., you should not have problems. But–there’s always a “but,” …if you are not getting clean cuts, there are several other possible reasons:

      — is your blade at the correct setting–when you’re ready to cut, start with the default settings for cardstock
      — always use the “test cut” feature,” to be sure you’re going to get a clean cut. It only takes a few seconds and it’s better than wasting a good sheet of cardstock.\
      –be sure your blade is free of debris–see the articles posted on Globug Ideas that show how to clean your blade housing. This usually solves the problem of jagged cuts and tearing.
      –if you are sure you have the correct settings for your cardstock and your blade is clean and you are still not getting clean cuts then my likely have a defective blade. If the tip of the blade is chipped, the blade is ruined and the only solution is to buy a new blade.

      Please let me know how it turns out, Ren. Good luck!!!!!

  24. Hi,
    Have just stumbled on you QA for the Silhouette Cameo. Wonder if you can help me, I cannot see if there is anyway I can select Angles, i.e. I want a line that is exactly 45 degrees, I cannot quite manage it, surely there must be somewhere within the system I can do this, but just cannot see it. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi, Sylvia,

      Yes, there is an easy way to create a 45 degree angle line.

      Begin by just making a straight line. Next, click on your line and then open the ROTATE window and select 45 degrees. (The Rotate window is the 12th icon from the top right—it’s a sort of round arrow. That’s all there is to it!! I hope this helps.

  25. I just got my Silhouette Cameo in April for my birthday and I am loving it. The question I have is does anyone have a chart to tell us blade settings for the various brands of paper and card stock? I think this would be very helpful to have.Also could someone tell me the difference between the free software and the designer edition software? Thank you.

    • Hi, Sue,

      Congratulations on becoming a Cameo-owner!! I’ve had mine for well over two years and I love it more, every day. I hope the information below helps answers your questions…

      Blade Settings: Here is the link to Scrapadoodles blog. It lists settings for various paper types and thicknesses, as well as vinyl and metals.

      Silhouette Studio vs. Silhouette Studio Designer Edition: is essentially the same as Silhouette Studio, with the following additional features:

      You can open, manipulate, and cut .svg files
      Rhinestone tools let you convert designs into rhinestone templates so you can create your own rhinestone designs
      Sketch tools to convert designs into several styles of sketchable art
      Creative knife tools to allow you to clip designs using different patterns
      Enhanced eraser lets you modify designs with more precision
      Built-in ruler and guide lines for precise alignment and drawing

      I have the Designer Edition and I really love it. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth buying. I hope you continue to enjoy your Cameo!!!

      Drop by any time you have questions or would like to share some new Cameo discoveries with other crafters!!


  26. If I had known how difficult this tool is to use I would have bought a system that had live classes. I am seriously considering packing it up and selling it online

    • Lisa,

      Don’t pack it up, yet. There is a bit of a learning curve if you have never used a graphic design program. I will help you…let’s just do one step at a time and within a few days you will be creating all sorts of wonderful things!

      Tell me what you are trying to do and I will help you through it. Have you opened an image in your Silhouette Studio, yet? If not, that’s your first step…let me know how it goes.


  27. Help!! I can not figure out how to cut just one part of a pattern. I buy these patterns that show the banner in one color, the letters in another, then different flowers. How do you cut just the banners, then the letters, then the flowers. I have read til I am weary. What am I missing. I am a hands on learner so this is a bit frustrating for me. Thanks so much, Shannon

    • If I understand correctly what you mean, you have to select the pattern then go up to Object and select ungroup. The pattern will then be in pieces that you can move around. Hope this helps.

  28. Hi!

    I was wondering if the Cameo was able to cut crepe paper? I am planning to make wedding center pieces but I do not want to spend the grueling hours of cutting each petal by hand. I wonder if you think crepe paper (the sheet, not the roll) would not cut because it is too thin or the kind of texture it has? I don’t want to purchase the Cameo if it can’t cut.


  29. Thanks for having this site. I’m hoping you can give me some suggestions. I got my cameo for Christmas but only played a little. It was cutting siloutte files fine but I wanted to cut .svg files too so I just upgraded to the design software. It now lets me open svg files but it won’t let me cut. The machine acts like it cuts and gives a message that it cut successfully, however, the mat didn’t even move in an attempt to cut. Thoughts? Any suggestions are much appreciated!

  30. Hello again,

    I just tried cutting copper clay that is 0.25mm thick, and approx. 7mm high, and I was surprised it cut it using speed 3 and thickness 33. And to say I was surprised is an understatement; it cut a really intricate design perfectly.

    Did my earlier failure as a result of speed (like I said, I used the factory setting for medium paper)

    Even though the main reason I bought it was to cut intricate designs in metal clay, I would really love to be able to cut paper, card stock, designs for fabric, etc. as I’d sung its praises to my child who was very disappointed 2 days ago when I couldn’t fulfill my promise.


  31. Hello Gloria,

    I came across your site because I googled ‘silhouette cameo not cutting correctly’. I got my cameo about 2 weeks ago and tried to cut a test piece of medium weight printing paper 2 days ago, but it kept tearing it in places. I tried again a few minutes ago, and ended up disappointed. I used the automated setting (blade 2, speed 10, thickness 25) and just re-set my blade on the machine manually.

    Is it possible that I have a defective blade even though I bought it in Dec 2012 (months after you said they replaced defective blades? I live, and bought it in the UK.

    Many thanks for your time, and for a very educative site.

    • Hi, Anthonia,

      First, please accept my apology for the late response. My comments notification system went awry and I wasn’t receiving any notifications. It has been fixed and I am back in action! Yay!

      Ah, poor you! Yes, it is possible that you have a defective blade. It is also possible that the tip of you blade chipped off after you received it. For example, when you used the automatic setting of 2, 10, 25, did you also physically take the blade out and turn it to the number 2 setting?

      The other possibility is that there are still some of those defective blades floating around–I hope not, but you never know.

      Try cutting on a nice smooth piece of card stock, using the settings recommended in the Silhouette Studio software. If you are still having trouble, you should contact Silhouette America and ask them to send you a new blade.

      I hope you get your problem solved quickly so you can get on to some fun crafting! Please let me know how it works out. I will keep my fingers crossed for you!!


      • Hello all,
        Regarding the blade not cutting correctly, especially if the machine is new to you.
        i recently got my cameo for a b-day gift and i had issues with cutting right away. Parts of the pattern were being cut perfectly and other parts had a slight scoring, or no sign the blade even touching the paper.. At one point i actually cut right through my new mat! I spent hours trying different settings and going through Silhouette’s ‘set up’ instructions till i figured out what the problem was. The root problem is Silhouette’s instructions. If you look at the picture in their instructions, the blade cartridge tab appears to face the back of the machine. I couldn’t find any written instructions in the hard copy or the electronic manual, so of course followed what was on the picture. I turned the blade around; I don’t think I could’ve done any more damage if it was wrong, and voilla! Works beautifully.
        problem was.

        • Hi, Jennifer,
          Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I know this information will help many other Cameo-owners, too. I admire your persistence–good for you for persevering until you solved your problem!!
          Enjoy your Cameo and have a wonderful day!

  32. Hi,
    Have loved reading your input on the cameo. I also live in Ottawa and have ordered from the States (anxiously awaiting my machine). I know you mention using SU whisper white; have you tried any of the other SU papers (color cardstock and DSP). Are there any problems with those? And, would you know if there are any courses offered in Ottawa or surrounding areas? Tried looking but Belleville was the closest location…


    • Hi, Spy,

      First, please accept my apology for the late response. My notification system for my comments went awry and I wasn’t being notified. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t receiving any comments!! LOL! Anyway, it’s all fixed and I am back in action! Yay!

      Well, from one Ottawa crafter to another, welcome to the world of Silhouette Cameo! You will likely have questions (and possibly a few frustrations) when you start using your Cameo, so feel free to come back as often as you like. I always answer every question. I also love to hear any tips and tricks you learn, too.

      I almost always use SU Whisper White and Very Vanilla for card bases and, especially when cutting on my Cameo. They are smooth, yet sturdy, and always produce clean cuts. Of course, there are times when I need to cut shapes on other SU colours or on DP. I have noticed that the other SU cardstock, such as So Saffron (one of my favourites) is not the same texture as the Whisper White and Very Vanilla. These two seem to be in a class of their own.

      If your blade is sharp and clean, you shouldn’t have any trouble with SU or other good brands of cardstock. Where the problems start is when you try to cut very soft paper, such as construction. It literally falls apart and clogs the blade housing. I would stay away from it! You should check your blade housing regularly for debris, regardless of what paper you are using. You can simply run a needle or straight pin around the blade to loosen and remove debris. A small artist’s paint brush (the kind the kids use) can also help.

      When you mention classes, do you mean classes on how to use the Silhouette Cameo? I don’t know of any, but what a good idea! If I do find any, I will post it on Globug Ideas.

      Good luck with your new Cameo!! Let me know how it goes!!

      Have a happy day,

      • I just got my Cameo today. Am trying to cut some letters and numbers on SU’s Basic Black CS. I tried blade 3 and speed 3 and it shredded it. Then I changed to blade 5 and it really tore it up. Completely ripped out one of the letters while cutting! I don’t want to have to use WW or VV cs all the time and want to use the colored cs too. Any suggestions?


        • Hi, Joan,

          Congratulations on becoming a Cameo-owner! I know a lot of Cameo-owners have had the same frustrating experience–I certainly have!

          My recommendation would be to cut out a couple of very simple shape, such as a square and a circle. Make them each about 2″ across. If you get messy cuts on these large, simple cuts, then you likely have a defective blade. If this is the case, call Silhouette America and tell them what’s happening. They will send you a new blade.

          Good luck!!

  33. I just got the answer from my question below…

    1) File
    2) Preferences
    3) Advance
    4) Set Packet Size to 500 byte.

    but once set to 500 bytes it became super slow….. I had to readjust it back to 1000bytes…. walla it when smooth again… Thx Uncle Google.


  34. Living in deep, dark Africa, and simply loving my Silhouette Cameo. Todate have made all my family and friends birthday cards and then some! Received enough compliments to raise the Titanic!! Feeling very good about it all.

    Recently bought the Rhinestone starter kit and read about “pink cap”. Went through every bit of documentation I received with the Cameo but still couldn’t find out what a pink cap was. Hence the internet search and landing your your website.

    Discovered the pink, yellow and blue caps went out with the orginal Silhouette and the Cameo now has blade settings…what is this about settings above “3” – the blade has markings upto 10?

    Have bookmarked your website and will pop in whenever I need added guidance!

    Take care and keep well…

  35. Hi! Has anyone else run into this problem: When I set my Silhouette Cameo to “double cut,” the second pass does not line up with the first. The two cuts are off by about 1/16-1/8 inch. I have purchased brand new cutting mats — the paper is not slipping on the mat, I don’t believe… Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi, Kristen,
      I haven’t heard of anyone else having this problem. Here are my trouble-shooting thoughts:
      1) Try double-cutting a very simple image, such as a square. If the Cameo cuts this with no problem, then perhaps the image(s) you are trying to cut are blurred on the edge.
      2) This could be a problem related to the computer in the Cameo. Download the latest version of the software (which we should do regularly, anyway). It may contain some bug-fixes that will cure this problem.
      3) Double-check the settings in the software to be sure they are set correctly.
      4) If you’re still having this problem, call the Silhouette America support team and keep your fingers crossed that they can solve your problem over the phone.

      Let me know how it works out, Kristen. Good luck!!

      • I realize this is a very old question, however I am reading this so I am sure others are as well and my have the same problem you have. I HAVE experienced this more times that I like to remember since it ruins the cut on the project. The reason for it is that during the cut AFTER that area probably on the first pass it hit a snag and mucked up on a corner cut or something like it. Sometimes you will even hear it when it is stuck on a spot for a second too long. When this happens it throws off the design. Kind of like watching a movie or commercial that is just out of sync..Same thing. The only way to fix the problem is to figure out what needs to be adjusted to get that clean cut.

        One thing Gloria has not mentioned is that you CAN also adjust the thickness. This makes it not put as much pressure when it cuts. You definitely need a double cut if you do this, but I have and it has helped it when it continues to muck up my corners and adjusting my blade hasn’t helped. You can bring it down like from a 33 to a 29 and sometimes that small of a difference is enough to get a better cut.

    • I have 2 Cameo machines, both have the same problem when doing double cut, the mat seems to get pulled in more on one side and I get 2 lines instead of 1. I have returned one of the machines twice, and it has come back still not working. Did you manage to find out what has caused your problem, I would be grateful for any help.


      • Did you ever figure out what the problem was, had my cameo 3yrs and everything was perfect until this last week. Some double cuts are prefect others I have the two lines side by side. I’ve changed blades, new mats and changed the cutting strip. Any help would be greatly appreciated before I buy a new one x

  36. Thank you SO MUCH for this post! I was beginning to think my Silhouette Cameo was destined to be a very expensive paperweight. I bought a new blade (never set above 3) and everything is peachy keen. Off to the store to buy some paper for my wedding projects!

  37. Hi, I just purchased the cameo, and have not done any successful cutting. First, I have a mac and the cd’s didn’t work so I had to download the software but real issue seems to be with the blade or the rollers. The rollers don’t hold the mat down on one side which results in the mat swaying from side and side and I believe it is causing the blade to cut scribble scrabble or missing parts completely. I have tried moving the rollers but it doesn’t seem to help… The other issue is the blade, it cuts partial through some parts of the design…. Maybe because of the roller…. I first test the cameo and used printing paper on the correct setting, and it didn’t cut through, then used several 80# cardstock pieces, on “3” and it didn’t cut through it! Worried I may have a defective machine.

    • Hi, Margaret,

      I’m sorry to hear you are having problems with your Cameo. I think I can help…

      Roller: If your cutting mat is slipping around, check the blue lever which is located on the right end of the Cameo, directly over the roller bar. Be sure it is pushed UP—that will lock the roller bar into place.

      Blade not cutting through: If you have tried to cut 80 lb cardstock with the blade set at higher than 3, then it’s quite likely that the tip of your blade has chipped off. The only solution is to buy a new blade. When the first Cameos were shipped out, they had defective blades (the blades were set at the wrong angle) and none of them would cut properly. As of the end of February 2012, Silhouette America had a whole new shipment of non-defective blades. If you think your Cameo arrived with a defective blade, call Silhouette America and ask them to ship you a new blade. They sent me three before I finally got one from the new shipment.

      One last idea…have a look into the white casing that houses the blade to see if there are any tiny bits of paper stuck around the blade. If so, carefully clean them out with a needle or straight pin.

      I hope your Cameo is up-and-running, soon!! Please let me know how it works out. If you have any more questions, let me know. I’m always happy to help!


  38. Ok, so I am totally frustrated. The Silhoutte seems like a piece of crap! I paid $300, and have yet to cut anything successfully on paper or vinyl. Not to mention that I have wasted almost a whole roll of vinyl! I have contacted the company 3 times via email, and the responses with suggestions have been useless. Any suggestions?

    • Hi!

      I completely understand your frustration with the Cameo. I went through exactly the same thing—in fact, I thought I had made a huge mistake in buying it! But, now, I LOVE IT!!!!! I am cutting very intricate patterns with great success.

      First, can you tell me exactly what is happening when you try to cut? For example, are the paper and vinyl tearing? Is the blade cutting, at all? Does the mat seem to be too sticky?

      Together, we CAN solve all your problems and you WILL fall in love with your CAMEO—I PROMISE!

      Okay, so write back to me soon and I will respond as quickly as possible.

      Gloria 🙂

  39. Hi! Just wanted to send a quick note to say THANK YOU! I’ve been trying to troubleshoot issues with my beloved Cameo for months and just stumbled across your blog today. SO SUPER HELPFUL! I just called Silhouette and they’re shipping me a new blade and already emailed me better instructions for use. Fingers crossed this baby starts functioning properly with a new blade and proper user inputs! 😉 Thanks again!

    • Hi, thank you so much for letting me know that you found my articles helpful. That’s exactly why I write them! I get about 1500 crafters every month seeing help with their Silhouette Cameo issues, but very few take time to leave me a comment. You have definitely made all my efforts worthwhile.

      You will LOVE your Cameo once you get a good blade. Now that I have a non-defective blade in mine, I am cutting out the most beautiful and intricate embellishments for my cards and scrapbooks. It really takes our work to a whole new level!!

      Good luck, and thanks, again for visiting my blog and for leaving me a comment. Please come back and let me (and all the other frustrated Cameo-owners) know how it works out with your new blade!

      Until next time, take care! (Hope your new blade arrives soon).

      Gloria 🙂

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