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11 Reasons Your Silhouette Is Not Cutting (or Not Cutting Completely)

Silhouette, Silhouette Cameo, troubleshooting, not cutting, Silhouette Studio

I get questions almost daily from Silhouette users who are having issues with their Silhouette not cutting.  There are at least 11 reasons why your Silhouette may not be cutting and most of them are really easy to fix.  Some of the issues have to do with the blade itself, while others stem from settings in Silhouette Studio and still others are user error. No worries, just go through this checklist to figure out why your Silhouette isn't cutting.
  1. No Blade - Oops perhaps you forgot the blade altogether! Just put it the slot, push it all the way down and turn the lock. 
  2. Blade is not down into the blade holder - If the blade is not fully down into the blade holder it will be reach the material and therefore won't cut.   You may also notice a clicking noise while cutting when the blade is not full into the holder.
Silhouette, Silhouette Cameo, troubleshooting, not cutting, blade

3.    Blue Lock is not Locked - Going right along with the blade not being full in the holder, if the              blade lock is not fully turned to the right to lock the blade into place it will also cause the blade not        to cut or not to cut correctly.  

Silhouette, Silhouette Cameo, troubleshooting, not cutting, blade

4. White Cap Not Screwed On - If the white cap on the very end of the blade is not completely                screwed on it will prevent the blade from reaching the material and therefore it can not cut. Just give      it a twist or two to screw it on until it's hand  tight.

Silhouette, Silhouette Cameo, troubleshooting, not cutting, ratchet blade

5. Blade Fin is Not Aligned at 6 o'clock - The black fin on the blade housing must be pointed at the 6 o'clock position or cutting will not work correctly or at all. Unlock the blue lock and turn the blade until the fin is in the correct position.

6. Blade Obstructed - If a piece of scrap material - usually vinyl or paper - is stuck on the blade it will cause cutting issues. Most common are incomplete cuts were some areas are cut, but others areas of the design are missed. Unscrew the white cap on the end of the blade to remove any lint or scraps that    may be obstructing the blade.

7. No Cut Lines - This is most often the root of cutting issues with SVG or imported images. If there are no cut lines around an image (indicated by "No Cut" in the cut style panel) the Silhouette doesn't   know what to cut.  Be sure you have thick red lines around your design.  Go to the cut style window   to turn on cut lines. If you are attempting to cut  a JPEG or other image, you must trace the image       first to get cut lines around it.

Silhouette, Silhouette Cameo, troubleshooting, not cutting, Silhouette Studio, cut settings, no cut

8. Wrong Settings - The wrong cut settings can definitely be causing the Silhouette not to cut. For             instance, if you are trying to cut cardstock, but are using the vinyl settings, it's likely the blade won't       even make a mark on the paper.   Be sure to pick the correct medium from the material list in the cut       style window and then adjust your blade accordingly.  Remember, the thickness and speed are               adjusted  within the Silhouette Studio program, but you need to turn your blade to adjust the depth.
9. Interference - If your Silhouette is making a tapping motion when you send it to cut it is most likely    caused by interference from a wireless device nearby - most often a wireless printer. This could be a      printer that's no longer in use, but still installed on the same computer you are using to cut with your      Silhouette.
10. Silhouette Not Plugged In - This seems silly, but if your Silhouette is not powered on or not                 plugged in (either to a power outlet or into the USB port on your computer) it won't cut.
11. Mat and Material Not Loaded - If the mat and material are not loaded...well that's a problem as I         found out a few weeks ago.

Silhouette, Silhouette Cameo, troubleshooting, not cutting, not loaded

Hopefully by now you have figured out why your Silhouette isn't cutting.

I'm sure there are other reasons, I have missed...have you experienced a snafu with your Silhouette not cutting?  How did you finally fix it?  

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!


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