Blades and Carriage Tools
Tools perform the basic functions of your Silhouette, be it cutting, embossing, debossing, etching, or stippling. Certain tools can only be used with certain machines, so make sure that you check and see if your machine is compatible with the tool you are using.
There are currently five blades available to use with your Silhouette: the Ratchet Blade, the Premium Blade, the Deep-cut Blade, the Fabric blade, and the AutoBlade. Each blade is standard size, meaning that you can (mostly) use the same blade in your Curio as you do in your Portrait or Cameo. The Deep-cut Blade should only be used in your Cameo 3 or Curio and the AutoBlade should only be used in your Cameo 3.
Silhouette blades are made of a sintered tungsten alloy that is extra sharp and durable. With the Silhouette blade you can cut, perforate, or even score your creative materials with professional precision.
Silhouette blades can last up to six months. The actual blade life will depend on how much you use your machine and the type of material you cut with your blade. Thicker materials will wear down the blade much more quickly. Frequency of use, overall line length for jobs performed, intricacy of patterns (where the blade turns more corners), and type of media being cut can all affect the length of your blade life. If you notice your blade isn’t making as clean as cuts as it once did, you might want to get a new one.
Your blade life is also affected by the density of the media you cut. The ratchet blade is not made to cut extremely thick media, like balsa wood or thick chipboard, and doing so may ruin or dull your blade.
On the other end of the scale, fibrous papers (like newspaper or recycled paper) can leave behind small particles that impair the blade’s cutting ability. This problem is easily solved by carefully twisting the tip off the end of the blade and blowing gently to remove any particles. If your blade continues to have issues cutting, it might be time to replace your blade.
AutoBlade: The Silhouette AutoBlade is only available for the Cameo 3 and can only be used in the left-hand tool holder. With the AutoBlade, you don’t have to manually adjust your ratchet setting! Simply let your machine do all the work for you. Silhouette Studio® will give you recommended cut settings, and you can adjust these in the software if you’d like. Then, when you send your design to your Silhouette, your machine will automatically adjust your AutoBlade to the blade setting you chose in the software. Sit back and watch your machine work its magic.
Fabric Blade: What is the difference between the ratchet blade and the fabric blade? Besides the color, nothing! They are color coded so you don’t cut fabric with your ratchet blade and vice versa. Just as you wouldn’t use your fabric scissors to cut paper, we recommended keeping one blade specifically for fabric to help both blades last longer.
Blade Adjustments and Numbers
There are three different numbers associated with blades in Silhouette Studio®. To find the correct settings to produce a clean cut, there are three things to take into consideration: the blade level, force setting, and speed.
The blade level controls how far the blade is exposed in 0.1 mm increments. This accommodates for how thick the material is. For example, a blade level of 1 = .01 mm, a level of 2 = 0.2 mm, etc. If you have a material such as cardstock where the actual thickness is 0.3 mm, setting the blade to a higher exposure (such as 0.6 mm or a setting of 6) would mean you are exposing the blade beyond the actual depth of the material. This does not allow the blade to cut better. It just exposes more of the blade and extending beyond the actual thickness of the material can dull down the blade tip much more quickly (or in extreme cases break off the tip). This would then result in ragged cutting results. From that point on, you would then have to expose the blade to a higher level because a setting of 6 would actually be only exposed 0.3 mm since you had worn down the excess tip beyond the material’s thickness. So, we would discourage attempts to overexpose the blade to try and get a “better” cut.
The Force setting (Thickness in older versions) from the software controls how hard the blade is pressing down. This accommodates for how dense the material may be. For example, a sheet of paper that measures a 0.3 mm depth versus a sheet of denser cardstock that measures the same 0.3 mm depth would require the blade to be pushed down with different force levels.
If you feel that the material in question may be slightly deeper than the recommended blade setting recommendation, we would recommend that as you raise the blade level, you also lower the Force setting in the software so that the blade, if overexposed, is not still being pressed down with the hardest force possible and potentially harming the tip. You may then gradually increase the force according to further test results.
The key to successful cutting results is to find the blade setting and force setting combination where the Silhouette is still able to cut your material successfully. For example, if a specific material is able to be cut with a blade setting of 3 or 4, you should opt to go with the lower setting that is still allowing you to have a clean final cut. Likewise, if the Force setting works at 28, it would likely also work at 30. However, the lower setting should be selected to avoid overexerting the blade beyond what is necessary to achieve a clean successful cut.
The Silhouette Send panel also includes a Speed level to control the speed at which the job is cut. The speed is generally only necessary to adjust for specific materials that may require the blade to move at slower speeds around corners or intricate detailed parts of the image. Faster levels are available to expedite the overall cutting process. You may wish to slow down the Speed level if you are finding that certain parts of the design (especially corners) are not cutting as well, if the material is being lifted from the backing during the cutting process, or if the start/end point of an image is not matching up exactly.
The Stippling & Etching Tool and the Wide and Fine Embossing Tools can be used only with your Silhouette Curio™. The Stippling & Etching tool lets you create patterns or pictures with different shadings of small dots or by etching your design into a metal surface.
The embossing tools create wide and fine channels for different embossed effects.
Do you want to use a felt-tipped marker or a pencil instead of Silhouette Sketch Pens? You need the Pen Holder! Replace your Silhouette’s blade with a pen to sketch instead of cut. It’s easy to use, and it will hold a wide range of drawing instruments from a thinner standard pen to a thick felt-tip marker.
The Silhouette specialty tools, the hook, scraper, spatula, and Pick-Me-Up®, are available for sale separately or together in the Silhouette Tool Kit. The Silhouette Tool Kit also includes a ruler and a microfiber cloth.
The Hook tool is the most essential tool when doing vinyl and heat transfer projects. While the hook is used mainly for weeding, Silhouette users find many ways to use it for other projects, like poking out those stubborn pieces of cardstock from within a pattern or even pulling up the corner of Silhouette Sticker Paper.
With your Silhouette Scraper, you can clean your cutting mats by scraping off stubborn pieces, apply transfer paper to vinyl artwork, and eliminate air bubbles after you apply a smooth adhesive. Much like other Silhouette tools, you can find a variety of uses for the scraper and it’s always great to have on hand.
The Spatula tool will become your best bud. It is the perfect tool to lift delicate designs from the cutting mat without curling or tearing. The pointed tip makes it easy to get under cutout designs and work around the most intricate shapes. It won’t take long before this handy tool is a necessity for all your crafting projects.
If you’re anything like us, you probably spend a lot of time chasing your smaller craft pieces around. This tool was created with this in mind and has a tacky tip for picking up and placing small objects and a sharp tool to poke out hard-to-weed parts. You don’t have to chase those bits and ends around your table top (or your floor) anymore; the Pick-Me-Up® has you covered.
Do you find yourself juggling rolled vinyl or heat transfer while doing a project? You need a roll feeder! The roll feeder provides an easy and convenient way to place rolled material into your Silhouette. The feeder properly aligns your project to ensure that it loads straight. If you are sending large projects, a roll feeder will save you from babysitting your machine.
Mats and Bases
Here at Silhouette we’re all about that base—and mats too! Dive in and find out what kinds of options we have to make your material stick.
Each Silhouette cutting machine comes with a cutting mat in the box. The mats have a special adhesive that sticks to thin and thick media, like paper, cardstock, fabric, and magnet paper. The adhesive is strong enough to hold most media and a “broken-in” mat will not rip thin paper. The cutting mat allows you to cut thin media like paper, and matching media to the grid lines on the mat and in Silhouette Studio® means you can position each cut exactly where you want it.
Cutting mats are sold in two dimensions for the Cameo (12 in. x 12 in. and 12 in. x 24 in.), one dimension for the Portrait (8 in. x 12 in.), and two dimensions for the Curio (8.5 in. x 6 in. and 8.5 in x 12 in.).
Light Hold Cutting Mat
The light hold cutting mat is designed to hold more delicate materials that require a lighter adhesive. It’s ideal for cutting thinner materials, including copy paper. Light hold cutting mats are sold in two dimensions: one for the Cameo (12 in. x 12 in.) and one for the Portrait (8 in. x 12 in.).
Cutting Mat for Stamp Material
This cutting mat is specifically designed for the Silhouette stamp material. It will help you create customized stamps with your Silhouette cutting machine. (Don’t get this mixed up with the Silhouette Mint™ stamping machine. This mat is to make custom stamps using your Cameo or Portrait.)
PixScan™ Cutting Mat
The PixScan™ cutting mat lets you unlock a whole new world of project possibilities. Available for the Cameo, Portrait, and Curio, the PixScan™ mat lets you cut precisely around a printed design or position cut lines in a specific location on your material.
Want to know how the PixScan™ mat works?
Curio Embossing Mat
The Curio embossing mat is made with an adhesive cushioned surface that cradles the Wide and Fine Embossing Tool tips, allowing for unique embossed and debossed effects. The embossing mat comes in two sizes (8.5 in. x 6 in. for the small Curio base and 8.5 in. x 12 in. for the large Curio base).
Curio’s base allows you to feed thicker media through the machine that would otherwise be too large or too stiff to feed through your other Silhouette machines. Each Curio comes with an 8.5 in. x 6 in. base as well as 4 platforms (2 of each 1 mm and 2 mm platforms). For bigger projects, a larger base (8.5 in. x 12 in.) is also available.
Travel & Storage Accessories
Silhouette machines are easy to travel with and store. Keep them safe with our selection of dust covers and totes. Personalize these with Silhouette creative materials and express your style.
Silhouette CAMEO® Light Tote
The Cameo Light tote has minor padding to carry your machine without bulk. This fits the Cameo 2 and the original Cameo and is available in grey and mint green.
The Cameo 3 Light Tote is available in grey and is slightly larger to fit the Cameo 3.
Silhouette CAMEO® Tote
Transport and store your Silhouette CAMEO® in one of these durable rolling totes. The padded interior offers plenty of room for your Cameo, laptop, and accessories. With a 25 in. x 10 in. x 12 in. reconfigurable space, you can organize your accessories however you want.
Silhouette Portrait® Teal Tote
The Portrait is designed for portability. The tote is perfect for carrying your Portrait, laptop, and accessories with you wherever you are going. This 18 in. x 7 in. x 12 in. teal tote will also accommodate the original Silhouette and Silhouette SD.
Silhouette Dust Covers
The functional Silhouette dust cover fits snugly around your machine, keeping it clean and protected. The Cameo 2 dust cover is available in teal, grey, natural, and pink. The Cameo 3 dust cover is available in grey or pink. The Portrait dust cover is available in red, grey, navy and pink. The Curio dust cover is available in natural or blue.