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How (and Why) to use a Graphtec CB09 Blade with Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait

Looking for a Silhouette blade alternative? I'm not taking about a sketch pen or an embossing tip - I'm talking about a cutting blade that cuts materials much like the way a Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait blade does - only, some would argue, better.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait

Perhaps you're looking for a longer lasting cutting blade or a cheaper alternative to Silhouette brand blades or blade that can deep cut.  One of the most popular alternatives to the Silhouette ratchet blade is the Graphtec CB09 blade also called a Carbide blade. 

I purchased a few Graphtec CB09 blades for the purpose of testing and reviewing them here on Silhouette School....so here's what I learned.

First off you need to decide what blade angle you want to purchase. The lower the blade angle (30 degrees, for example) the more of the blade that will slice/drag through the material. Ideally you want just the tip of the blade going through the material to create a nice thin splice which is why I purchased a combo set of of 45 and 60 degree blades.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait

Along with the Graphtec CB09 blades you need a holder so if you're ordering for the first time be sure to get a combination set. 

This is the set I ordered from eBay.  It came with 5 blades, five springs and the holder.

Here's what the set looked like when it arrived.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait

To use the Graphtec CB09 Blade you first need to put it together. Remove the black top by unscrewing it from the rest of the holder.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait
Take one of the blades out of the case and remove the colored protective tip.

I found it easiest to slip the blade into the blade holder first, then place a spring over the blade.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait




Screw the black cap back on.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait
The silver threaded area at the other end of the blade holder is how you adjust the depth of the blade. There are no markings on the blade holder unfortunately, but just know that the blade will be further exposed that what you're used to on a Silhouette cutting blade.

To put the Graphtec CB09 blade into your Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait you will slip it into the blade housing. However you'll notice that the blade does not go down far enough. So you need to remove the lock on the blade house.  Then carefully and only slightly spread the blade house apart just slightly with your fingers so that the CB09 blade falls into the spot.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette PortraitGraphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait

Replace the lock and lock the blade into place.


Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait

Now you can use the blade to cut as you would with a regular Silhouette ratchet blade.  I would highly suggest you use the test cut feature until you get a good idea of how far exposed the blade needs to be. Adjust by turning the threaded silver end of the CB09 blade as necesarry. 

So why a CB09 blade in a Silhouette die cutter? The answer is you can often get a better cut, a longer lasting blade and a less expensive replacement.  I cut the exact same design - a small and intricate text design.  Everything remained the same:  the design same size, cut settings, speed, material...with the exception of the blade.  Just look at the difference in how it weeded with a weeding box. Obviously I hadn't finished weeding either of them, but I wanted to show you the drastic difference especially on a small design. You can see I lost a lot of my design to a bad cut with my ratchet blade, but the CB09 blade cut perfectly.

Graphtec CB09 blade, CB09 blade, blade, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Portrait

If you'd prefer to watch than read, here's a quick video to show you how to put the Graphtec CB09 blade together and insert it into the Silhouette Cameo or Portrait blade holder.



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!

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65 comments

  1. sigh... after reading/watching this, I guess I'll take the plunge and pull out my new blades... wish me luck!

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  2. This is great, thank you! Would you also recommend using this blade for paper crafts? For some reason I have the hardest time with paper crafts with the the sil blade either not cutting enough or typically a lot of dragging and completely messing up the design.

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    1. Hi Marcie. I've been using the CB09 for about 5 years now and I cut mostly card stock with it. It truly cuts like butter. Here's my blog post on the CB09: http://ligayatg.blogspot.com/2012/04/aluminum-blade-holder.html

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    2. So many times, I prefer the intricate designs, also, the back of the paper is a mess because Silhouette blade is not cutting "around the curves" as it should.
      Going to check out Gayle's blog about the blade. Thank you.

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    3. Oh, great. Thanks so much. I will definitely check out your blog. So many times I have to walk away from my sil because my blade is tearing up my paper. :(

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    4. Thank you so much for this, it's really informative!

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  3. i have that holder and it took me a while to get used to especially i got 60 degrees blades which weren't great for cardstock so i got 45 and i love it now :D takes a while to figure out but once u do that it's soooo worth it :D

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  4. How does this compare with the "premium" blade in the SA store? And I'd like to hear more about the angle issue and why you need 2 angles. Thanks for this review.

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  5. Thank you for this article. Will there be a follow-up article on how to set the blade for actually cutting the materials?
    Also, does the use of this holder and blade void the Silhouette warranty?

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    1. I would like to read more on setting the blade as well.. I have one and tried to use it but had nothing but problems.

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    2. When would I or you use the 45 versus the 60 blade? I can figure out how to get the blade to cut, but what is the use of each? Thanks Karen

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    3. As a rule the 30 degree blades are for thick materials like chipboard, the 45 degree blades are for your every day materials like cardstock, and the 60 degree blades are for thin materials like vinyl. The reasoning is that more angled the blade, the less of the blade is "dragging" through the material. Conversely, the less angled the blade, the more blade there is available to cut thicker materials. My recommendation is to NOT order a blade holder from China, I have never seen anyone who had good success with those. They are poorly made and don't fit correctly. There is a shop in Arizona called Atomik and they sell on Amazon- search them out and they can have your holder to you in a couple of days. They fit perfectly every time

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    4. I am afraid of cracking the blade holder housing-the part on the machine that the blade holder slips into. I got my CB-09, got the blade all set,slowly and carefully pulled the blade lock off, slowly and carefully put the CB09 blade holder in, snapped the lock back on and made a cut. Needed to extend the blade out a little more, took it apart, and it looks like a tiny crack on my blade housing. I can't even find this as a part to replaceo nthe Cameo. anyone have this happen or any suggestions or even can we buy this piece?

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    5. Anita, I can't find Atomik in arizona that sells these holders, do you have more info on them?

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    6. I had the same problem, after 2 days I found the correct site is Shopatomik. Try that and see if it will come up. ordered mine should be here 1/6/16.

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  6. Do you have to change your blade length depending on what you're cutting or once we get it where we want we can leave it alone?

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    1. This is a good question, I would like to know this too.

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    2. I rarely change my blade settings, I just adjust my Thickness (which is actually the downward cutting force) on my machine. This works well for me. I also have two blade holders, one for paper and one for vinyl, that way they each hold their own, correct angle, blade, and I don't have to change the blade out of the holder every time I switch materials.

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    3. Is there some sort of guide for knowing what your blade settings should be and then what to change the thickness to?

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    4. I read on another site... your blade should be half the depth of a credit card. Seemed to work for me.

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  7. Thank you for posting this! I've been contemplating whether or not I should get a CB09 blade and have heard mixed reviews on it. Your post convinced me to get one and I can't wait to use it!

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  8. The fact that I have another, and possibly, better option for a blade is so encouraging. I don't think Silhouette's blade is terrible but for the price I often think it really should be better. I am hoping this helps those frustrating times when cuts just don't work.
    I too would like more information. Why did you need two angles? For what materials do you change to a different angle? I saw the video (thank you!) that you could change the length of the blade quite a lot. I know there aren't numbers on this blade but is it possible to have a measurement of how far the blade protrudes from the case? Thanks for teaching us!

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    1. I'd love to know as well! Thank you!

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    2. Here is info I found on an Ebay listing as to the angles:
      30° Blades for Cutting large fonts and thick materials
      45° Blades for Cutting general fonts and vinyl film.
      60° Blades for Cutting very small font & intricate line-art logos

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    3. I find that I prefer the 60 degree for vinyl.

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    4. 30* blade for chipboards and thick materials
      45* blade for cardstocks
      60* blade for vinyl
      the design you are cutting makes no difference - the material determines the blade you use

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  9. Can it cut FELT? I'm thinking of buying a competing brand of machine for this reason alone...Sihouette cannot consistently cut felt well.

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    1. Hi There, did you decide on a cutter and does it cut felt well. I'm very interested in a cutter that can cut felt without having to put a new blade all the time. Please let me know. Thanks!

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  10. Can you tell me which ebay seller or kit this is.There are so many and I'd like this exact same one, beings I am following these instructions. Thank you :)

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    1. I buy mine from Atomik Shop on Amazon - he is out of Arizona.

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    2. Be careful! The holder is great - comes quickly from Arizona. However Amazon suggests the wrong blades for it, they come from China, take a month and a half to arrive and don't fit! Be sure you're ordering Graphtec blades with springs.

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  11. The seller I like is: coofix (17550 )
    He is out of Lenexa KS
    This is the link I used to find it:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Graphtec-CB09-Blade-Holder-5-Blades-for-Vinyl-Plotter-Cutter-30-45-60-Mix-/231523400193?var=&hash=item35e7deba01:m:m0L1YCb-qq-VJ4m7KhPJ0fQ

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  12. I've been using these blades for almost two years. I LOVE them! I set and forget it. I never, ever, ever change my blade depth or setting and I can cut anything. They also last much, much, much longer than the Silhouette brand blades. I can't recommend them enough.

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    1. Victoria: Can you tell me if you cut labels as well without adjusting the blade depth?

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  13. I think I've finally figured out this process. You have to purchase the holder AND the blades. I wonder if it's better to have more than one holder. Anyone have advice?

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    Replies
    1. I actually have one holder for vinyl, one for cardstock and one for intricate cardstock. this way I don't need to be switching my blade depth

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  14. Oh my! Answer to cutting thicker materials??? Melissa, please give us more info on how to set the blade length. TIA!

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  15. Hi, I see that there is a CB09 and a CB09U. Is there a difference, and if so, what is it? Thanks!

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    1. Yes. The cameo needs the CB09 . The CB09U will not work in the Cameo

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  16. Hi,
    I wish I had read the previous post before I ordered my blade!
    No - you are right, the CB09 doesn't work at all well. It cuts but not right through, despite the blade being at full length : (
    I am rather concerned too that the blade holder lock won't lock properly with the CB holder in.
    Is the CB09 a tiny bit smaller?

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    Replies
    1. Ooops, I meant the CB09B blade doesn't work! Apols

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  17. I bought the one from the link on this page from the same seller. I haven't tried it yet, but he says it will work. Heres what it says, Graphtec CB09U Blade .
    NOTE:It does work with the silouette cameo with a little modification sanding it a little
    it will fit pretty well. I hope it does.

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  18. I followed everything and got the blade into place but now my problem is how do you remove the lock after you slide the blade into place??? I can't remove the lock anymore!!

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  19. I am afraid of cracking the blade holder housing-the part on the machine that the blade holder slips into. I got my CB-09, got the blade all set,slowly and carefully pulled the blade lock off, slowly and carefully put the CB09 blade holder in, snapped the lock back on and made a cut. Needed to extend the blade out a little more, took it apart, and it looks like a tiny crack on my blade housing. I can't even find this as a part to replaceo nthe Cameo. anyone have this happen or any suggestions or even can we buy this piece?

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Can you cut fabric with this blade? If so, which one?

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  22. I am interested to know if it has been used with fabric also.

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  23. What manufacturer/seller did you order your CB09 Blade Holder from? My son ordered a blade holder for me for Christmas and the specs seem to be off. The black cap has a brass piece in it that prevents the black cap from screwing down to the aluminum holder, thus the blade will not protrude through the cap. I want to order another holder and would like to order from the place and manufacturer you used. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. When I first ordered my blade holder It was from a shop overseas and it has the brass fitting in the cap. I had the worst time trying to get it cut perfectly, then I found Atomik, out of AZ, and the two holders are very different. The one from overseas, the blade didn't rotate smoothly which is why my cuts were bunching up in the corners. The holder from Atomik rotates to deliver clean cuts. I have had nothing but good experiences with Atomik. Shipping is super fast (it helps that I live in AZ also :)) and when there was an issue with a defective holder they notified me to let me know that there was a delay. Go with Atomik.

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  24. I found a supplier online, ATOMIK out of AZ, found the CB09 blade holder and in the description it says it's "Made in China"! I'm reading not to purchase from China but buying from AZ is ultimately buying from China thru a middle man. Hmmmmm......

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  25. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blade-Holder-for-Graphtec-CB09-Vinyl-Plotter-Cutter-w-5-Blades-45-Degrees-USA-/201026514612?hash=item2ece1d2eb4&_sid=2048038 Is this the blade and holder?? Still cannot find "ATOMIK" in AZ that sells an American made CB09. The one I found sells one made in China!

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  26. Here's what I ordered, ships from US, has multiple blades and works perfect. http://www.amazon.com/Graphtec-Holder-Blades-Plotter-Cutter/dp/B01ARJRH5Y?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00

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  27. I purchase my holders here, and they fit perfectly. http://www.ebay.com/itm/172016793628?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&var=470890507328&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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  28. I don't know if somebody have the same problem than me, but when my machine cut with that blade, it scratches all my paper, but when I put my blade "smaller" it won't cut everything... Does somebody have a tip? (sorry for my bad english)

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    1. The same thing is happening to me. I wish I could help you but I am equally frustrated. I hear that getting the 45 angled blade would cut paper better, but I don't know. Totally bummed! xoxo Jen

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  29. Hi. I went the CB09 route and initially nearly gave up as i could not get a decent cut. After sleeping on it i gave it another go and came to the realisation that i had tried all diffent blade heights (amount of blade sticking out)but that was not the problem. The only thing left then must be the thickness(amount of pressure on blade). So i reduced the blade height and cranked up the thickness and it worked. Where i was using a thickness setting of 10 i am now using 16. I put the original blade back tested it, then went back to the cb09 and its all 100% repeatable. I am now happily using the cb09 albeit at higher thickness setting. I assume that this is due to the blades (45deg) being designed for a more heavy duty machine. Tim. nashtm@outlook.c*m

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  30. Hi! Is it possible to use the CB09 holder on the Curio. I'm unable to remove the knob on the blade holderas shown in the video on my Curio. Any other way to use the holder on the Curio?

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  31. I was wondering if this could also be used for HTV? Or only the sticky vinyl like 651?\

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  32. Hey just received my cb09 holder and blades and popped it in like the tutorial says to. The trouble is.... I'm trying to cut 7.5 mil mylar for reusable stencils, but the blade drags leaving cut marks everywhere! Worst part is that it still isn't cutting through the mylar unless it's fully protruding. I've tried adjusting the blade setting, the settings on the cameo, it just isn't working!
    I sell stencils as a side business, so i go through blades fairly quickly, really hoping someone might have some experience and suggestions for me! Also the holder seems longer than the ratchet blade. I purchased through aliexpress (before reading this forum)
    Thanks in advance!

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    1. I am having the EXACT same problem cutting mylar stencil material. No matter what depth the blade is set at, it does not change the actual depth of the cut. It seems to cut about half way through at every setting. I believe some of these holders are "knock offs" from China, and there is some minor difference from those that are made in America. I have a holder that I bought directly from Graphtec, and it cuts perfectly.

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  33. Shannon - I had a similar experience including the drag marks - see my comment 2 comments prior. I think you need to decrease the blade protruding and increase the thickness(maybe even using double cut if your material is thick/tough). Tim

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  34. TIM ~ OMGoodness! You are a lifesaver!!! I have been ruining vinyl left and right trying to cut an intricate design. THANK YOU for your post about increasing thickness! I intend to look further into the CB09, but in the meantime, I was able to cut my design with my current blade, based on your advice to up the thickness to 16. I am ecstatic! Thank you!!!

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  35. Anyone tried these with the Cameo3 yet? The lock on the blade holder is different and I am concerned that it may not be flexible enough to take this device.

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  36. i am loosing my mind. i have tried this blade several times. both 45 and 60 degrees various depth and I always have rough rough cut. double cutting. cutting twice etc etc etc never helps. i have no idea what i am doing wrong.

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  37. Beware when ordering blade holders from China. I found some on eBay for an extremely good price, Basically two for the price of one. When I got mine, I examined them closely, and then assembled them. Everything went together well and fit in the machine perfectly. They appear to be exactly like the ones from Graphtec. However, there MUST be something different. No matter how I adjust the adjustment screw, I cannot get it to cut properly. I have used Graphtec holders and blades for a couple of years now, and couldn't be happier. But the ones I got from China are junk. I'm not even going to go through the hassle of sending them back. I'll just chalk it up as a lesson learned. The old saying that you get what you pay for still holds true.

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