Silhouette Cameo Blade Settings Guide & Cameo Tips and Tricks

*Updated March 7, 2012 to include this tip from Diane

I got the impression that you should never use your cameo with the blade set higher than 3.  If you look at the presets, none of them use a blade setting higher than 3.

When I called Silhouette about a defective blade, they mentioned that people should not be cutting even thin chipboard or anything that heavy with the cameo.  It was about 2 months ago, but I thought I remember the person saying that the higher numbers on the blade holder shouldn’t be used, even though they were there.  It doesn’t really make sense to me to have higher numbers if they shouldn’t be used.

I can confirm that Silhouette customer service told me not to use the blade above a 3 setting or else I’d risk damaging it.  However, there are some papers that I just can’t get to cut on 3 so I do change it according to the chart below.  Just remember to use the blade settings at your own risk.  I agree with Diane, if they tell us not to use it above a 3 setting then why give us the guidelines with higher settings. ?? I’m baffled by this.  (Kat)

Original Post

As a relatively new Cameo user, I have found a complete lack of information available with regard to the blade settings for different types of paper/card stock so I decided to start compiling one myself.   I have scoured the internet, the Cameo user’s manual and my limited experiences with the Cameo to create this guide in the hopes that it will be helpful to other new Cameo users.  I will update this guide periodically so be sure to bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it later.  You can also subscribe to my blog via email in the right column over there —–> so that when I update the blog you will receive an email letting you know.  I will also be adding tips and tricks that I have learned or found to make using your Silhouette Cameo a fun and easy experience!

I hope that you will help me by adding any information you may have that is not listed here either by sending me an email or leaving a comment.  So let’s get started!


The Silhouette Cameo Manual  is located here.

Silhouette Customer support is located here.

Silhouette Plus Message Forum is located here.

Tips From the Manual

Cutting Speed:  To achieve the best results, slower speeds may be recommended for thicker materials or designs that are more intricate.

Thickness Settings:  Thicker materials will likely require higher Thickness levels.

Tips from Cameo users

Use the “normal” cutting settings for heavy cardstock BUT with the blade set on 4.  This will prevent the blade from getting jammed with paper bits..

Problems and Solutions

Problem:  The mat is too sticky.

Solution:  Take a tshirt and pat/rub it on the mat to remove some of the stickiness, works like a charm!

Problem:  I hate the Silhouette Cameo Mat and it’s expensive what can I do?

Solution:  If the steps above didn’t fix your mat and you are still unhappy,  you can use a cricut mat with your cameo.  You will have to cut the sides down a little to make it fit but it will work like a charm once you do.

Silhouette Cameo Blade Settings Guide

The only information that the manual provides is as follows:

Blade Setting Material
1 Thin materials such as vinyl and smooth heat transfer material
2-3 Medium-weight materials such as paper, cardstock and flocked heat transfer material
4-6 Thicker materials such as textured cardstock and pattern papers
7-10 Thick materials such as canvas

If you have used the Cameo then you know that that is just not detailed enough because of the different weight and texture of each type of card stock.  I am compiling a list of papers and the recommended blade settings for each paper.  If you have one that is not listed here, please let me know by emailing me or leaving a comment and I’ll add it to the guide.

TIP:  To figure out the blade and thickness settings, I recommend that you use the “test cut” feature which cuts a small square with a triangle on your paper.  This will let you know if the settings are correct or if they need adjusting.  Always start with the blade setting low and use double cut before going up to a higher number.  By not doing so, you run the risk of breaking off the tip of the blade.  (I was told this by Silhouette Technical Support).  So let’s say you start out with your blade depth set at 3 and it doesn’t cut all the way through, first try it with double cut and if that doesn’t work, then try setting it at 4.  If 4 doesn’t work, try double cut again and if that doesn’t work, then try 5, etc.

Paper Type Blade Setting
American Crafts 4
Bazzill 4 (double cut)
Coredinations 4 (double cut)
DCWV 4 (double cut)
Joanns 3
Momenta *New 6/6/2012 4 (double cut)
PaperTrey Ink 5
Recollections 3
Stampin’ Up 5
Silhouette Magnet Paper Blade 4, Speed 1, Thickness 30

If these settings don’t work for you or you use different settings, please let me know either by email or by leaving a comment.  Thanks!

Cameo Blade Settings for Vinyl – I got this information from Expressions Vinyl

Vinyl Type Speed Thickness Blade Setting
Indoor Vinyl – Oracal 631
Outdoor Vinyl – Oracal 651
Specialty Vinyl – Oracal 751
Specialty Vinyl – Oracal 951
Patterned Vinyl
Heat Transfer – Easyweed
8 9 2
Chalkboard Vinyl
Dry Erase Vinyl
Inkjet Printable Vinyl – Adhesive
8 9 3
Heat Transfer – Stripflock
Inkjet Printable with Laminate
5 33 3
Patterned Vinyl with Laminate 8 15 3
Dusted Crystal 3 14 1

Blade Settings for Freezer Paper ( Thanks to Krafting Kelly)

Speed 3, Thickness 10, Blade 1

More Help

If you’ve tried all of these tips and settings and nothing works for you you may want to try this which is from the Studio Calico message forum.

Launch the silhouette studio software
Go to file and click preferences
Under preferences you will see a tab that says advanced, click it
On the bottom right hand side you will see a column that says packet size
Click on the 500 bytes button do that it is selected
Press okay

Their explanation to me is that some machines are not able to handle the default setting of 3000 bytes.

I hope this guide helps you, as always I welcome your feedback!  Have a great day!

Thank you so much for subscribing to my blog.  I always love hearing from you so please feel free to leave a comment below or you can use any of the following links to contact me online.

Contact Me | My Ebay Store | Scrappy Resale Room | My YouTube Channel | My Facebook


About Kat

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, Kat's Scrappy, Bloggy Life. I am the proud mom of two young men, ages 23 and 18 and we live near Seattle, WA with our St. Bernard (Abby) two cats. I'm an avid paper crafter and I enjoy blogging and making videos for my YouTube channel which is all about scrapbooking. I also own a small home based scrapbooking store. I sell scrapbooking supplies online in the Scrappy Resale Room group on Facebook as well as in my eBay store, Kat Scrappiness. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact me.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I am always trying to remember the settings.

  2. Great post! I’m just getting to know my Cameo. :)

  3. Jennifer Partridge says:

    Hi Kat,

    Thank you so much for sharing such helpful information!!! :) I just got my Cameo for Christmas and am only now taking it out of the box…

    Thanks again,


  4. This is GREAT info. I will be sharing the link to your blog on mine this week as I think it’s a fabulous resource!! Thank you for sharing it!

  5. Wow- awesome tips! We’ve been doing something similar at with troubleshooting ideas , including how to bring the stick back to your mat. LOVE your suggestions on blade settings – thank you!!

  6. Thank you!! I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent trying to find directions. This will really help!!

  7. Thanks for sharing this! Very useful to have the blade settings handy for different cardstock.

  8. Thank you so much for the info! Very helpful!!

  9. Bonnie Cooper says:

    Thanks I am always fighting with the problem of blade settings..this was very helpful:)

  10. Thank you about 1000 times. I have been fighting with my Cameo since January. I can’t send it back because I live in Paraguay. I won’t tell you how much it costs to call their support line from here. Today I found the one little paragraph you have about File – Preferences – Advanced – 500 bytes. That did it. That was the magic key for me. I want to cry I am so happy. I have never seen that anywhere else. It needs to be on the Silhouette America blog. It is awesome and you wouldn’t believe how well my machine works now. Now, if I can just figure out what “Thickness” is, I will be in tall cotton. Thank you so much.

  11. Great tips. I’ve been frustrated about cutting thicker paper. For Momenta cardstock, use a 4 and a double cut. :)

  12. I bought from Joann’s their 65# card stock but it just wants to rip on 3 and 33 settings on my Cameo. Paper also wanted to stick to mat I cleaned and resprayed my mat but same results. Also cut the same design out on a little heavier card stock and it cut fine. Any suggestions?

  13. How do you do a double cut setting on the cameo? Also, what setting do you use for regular printer paper? Thanks!

  14. This has been so helpful! I keep referring back to this page – I just got a Cameo and these tips have been super great. Thanks so much!

  15. Thank YOU! I just found this, what a great bit of tips!

  16. sherry shapiro says:

    Good info! What settings would I do for craft paper? Kids, colored craft paper? I tried cutting an intricate snowflake. Not only did it stick to my matt, but the blade didn’t cut in all areas of the snowflake and then overcut or chopped it up in some. What can you suggest? I just bought it and I’m already frustrated :(

  17. Thank you for posting all of this great info! I just received my Cameo last night and was looking for info when I found you! Thank you for sharing all of this!

  18. Someone on a Facebook group prefers using the Sizzix eClips mats over the Cricut mats. She wrote that the pre printed grid on the eClips mat lines up perfectly with the Silhouettes Studio software compared to the Cricut mat. I think that might be important for someone who paper pieces their mats for cutting purposes.

  19. Karla Capo says:

    Thank you for the settings – got my cameo as a Christmas present and the learning curve is steep.

  20. This information is so helpful. Thank you! :)

  21. Melissa D says:

    Has anyone worked with paper that has glitter? I just got a Cameo and tried to cut using a nice holiday paper with glitter areas and the glitter kept catching and the paper moved :(

    • I use pow gitter paper or DCWV Glitzy Glitz glitter paper and it cuts fine. It sounds like your mat isnt’ sticky enough. Try a new mat :) What kind of glitter paper are you using and what settings are you at?

  22. Hello I am new to the Silhouette Cameo. I’m not sure what the black cartridge thingy is called, sorry, but it stays still, as in the far left…even when I click on cut it will only move slightly not all the way to the right? I called Silhouette support and they said it was off and would send me instructions on how to fix it, but still have not heard from them. Please help! thank you!

    • I would call them again, their support is very good, if you call during the day someone should either walk you through it or send you instructions via email. I’m sorry but I don’t know how to fix that.

  23. Pamela Glenn says:

    Kat, just discovered your site and read your posts on cut settings. Thank you so much for doing all of this research for all of us. I appreciate the time you spent doing this. I have printed this out and am going to follow these suggestions to see if my cutting improves. For the most part I have trouble getting a clean cut of designs that include lettering or writing. So I am going to give these settings a try. Thank You!

  24. Just received a Cameo for Christmas and needless to say i’m a little frustrated. Thanks for the tips. I’m going to give it another try today and see if I can get it to cut for me. I’m using SU paper (I’m a SU demo) and it’s not cutting completely through and especially with detailed images. Thanks again!

    • For stampin up paper I always choose “Coverstock” and set my blade to 6. It will double cut if you use the coverstock setting. Good luck!

    • Renee, I bought my Cameo when they first came out 2 years ago, or 3. I hand carried it back to my home in Paraguay. The first few months, I was so frustrated, but I was determined to figure it out. I LOVE my Cameo and use it all the time. Be patient with your learning curve. I cut mostly cardstock, Stampin Up and Bazzill and various patterned papers. I normally keep my blade set on 5. I do a lot of double cutting particularly on high quality paper like Stampin Up. And it helps to keep your speed low at 3 or lower unless you are doing rectangles, circles or other simple stuff. Learn how to clean your blade. That is important. Stay with it. It will be worth it. Check out YouTube for great videos. You will love your machine!

  25. I was having trouble with oracal 631 with these settings. The blade kept pulling up the small details. I tried changing the blade setting to 1, but that barely scratched the vinyl. Finally I dropped the thickness setting from 9 to 7 and it works much better now! Hope this helps anyone having problems with detailed vinyl work!

  26. Wow – strange that they say not to use it with the blade higher than 3. I have never heard of that. I have stencils i make and the plastic i use has to be on a 10 and double cut too. I have made a 100 or so of them and haven’t had any problems.

  27. Thank you so much for your advice on settings. I have had the blade on 10 and not able to achieve a clean cut. I have now changed that to 5 and doing a double cut and it works a treat!


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