Silhouette Cameo: how to get a clean cut every time!

Is your Cameo giving you clean cuts one minute and tearing your paper the next? Well, if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone. There’s a good chance this frustrating problem could be caused by something as simple as a dirty blade. 

If you are not deeply in love with your Cameo because it doesn’t always give you clean cuts, have a look inside your blade housing and tell me what you see. If it looks like the one in the photo below, then it’s time to give it a cleaning.


This is my blade. I was working on a card for a customer last night and all of a sudden, my Cameo started misbehaving and tearing up my paper–my good paper! I took the blade out of the machine and this is what it looked like: lots of paper debris clogging the opening where the blade lives. Of course, it can’t make clean cuts–it can’t even get close enough to the surface of the paper with all that debris stuck in it.




The blade definitely needed to be cleaned before I could go any further with my project. So, I pulled my trusty needle off my bulletin board, inserted it gently into the blade housing, and ran it around the opening several times. Chunks of debris began to fall out. I kept poking at it until I had removed as much as possible.




The photo on the left shows some of the debris that came out of that tiny opening. Of course, this is an enlarged view, but believe me, it was enough to completely clog the blade housing.





This is what it looked like when I finished cleaning it. You can still see some little bits on the lower edge, but they were not visible to my naked eye.

I made several more clean cuts after that cleaning and then pulled the blade out to have another look. It was all clogged up, again!

So, the bottom line is that if you want clean cuts, you must have a clean blade.

Take care of  your Cameo and it will give you the most glorious, intricate and clean cuts of any die-cutting machine on the market!


5 thoughts on “Silhouette Cameo: how to get a clean cut every time!

  1. I have tried everything…new mat and new blade. been emailing with Silhouette…for two weeks, I have done everything they asked me to and I still can’t cut the design I cut and mailed to a friend of mine, and she wanted more. Now, the machine won’t cut them, sort of wrinkles up the cut. 2 new blades later, still won’t cut right.

  2. HELP!
    I have just set up my new Cameo today. I have sat and watched 6 videos and read blogs and other comments about cutting. So far I have not had one clean cut. The design I’ve done consists of fancy writing and it won’t cut any of the swirls 🙁 I’m at a loss as I have been at this all day and still no success. I need some advice or help please. Help if you can.

    Thank you x

    • Hi, Suzanne,

      I feel your frustration! It can be really tricky to get clean cuts when you are working with intricate designs, such as text. Are you able to get clean cuts on simple shapes, such as a square. If so, then your blade is okay. If you can’t get a clean cut on even simple shapes, then there are two possible problems: it could be that your blade tip is broken, in which case nothing will cut clean; or, it could just be that your blade simply needs to be cleaned. To do this, run a straight pin or needle around the blade to remove any debris from the casing. (By the way, if your blade tip is broken, contact Silhouette America and they will send you a new one).

      Also, you may want to adjust your settings so that you are cutting at a very slow speed–go down to a speed setting one (1), if necessary.

      Don’t give up, you will fall in love with your Cameo!!!

      Good luck, and let me know how it goes,


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  3. I have had the silhouette SD and now the cameo, I have had many of the problems that were discribed in you blog and still am having trouble with mine it has NEVER cut a good intricate item and I am so tired to being told things like ” you can’t use Stampin Up ! paper then” by silhouette staff they replaced my cameo after only 3 days of owernship. Yesterday I tried to cut a vinyl saying and it tore up the vinyl in spots and in others it didn’t cut thru the vinyl (I am using Silhouette vinyl) . Very Very frustrated at this point. I will try some of the ideas again and hope soon it will cut better.

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