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.

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