Copyright Silhouette School 2016. Powered by Blogger.

Silhouette Blades...Which Blade to Use When, Why, How?

I get a lot of questions about which Silhouette CAMEO Blade is best to use...there's not one standard answer as it will all depend on the type of material you're cutting, the design, and the Silhouette machine you're using.  Personal preference also comes into play!

silhouette cameo blade settings

So here's the lowdown on the Silhouette blades and tips that you can use with the die cutting machine.  By the way - you can click on any of the blade names to purchase...doing so supports Silhouette School blog (so I truly appreciate it!)

Silhouette Ratchet Blade

Silhouette Cameo blade replacement

The standard black Silhouette Ratchet Blade can be used to cut a splice in any of the CAMEO machines, the Portrait and the Curio.

To adjust the regualar Silhouette blade between a depth of 1-10 (10 being the deepest cut for thicker materials), use the gray ratchet that came with the blade or the built in ratchet on the actual Silhouette machine. Just insert the tip of the blade and twist. When inserted into the machine, the fin on the blade's housing should be pointing to 6 o'clock.

With the exception of fabric, the ratchet blade is used to cut all materials, ranging from paper to vinyl to stencil material, etc in the CAMEO and Portrait. It is used on the same materials in the CURIO. 

Silhouette Fabric Blade

silhouette cameo blue fabric blade

The blue Silhouette Fabric Blade can be used to cut fabric in any of the CAMEO models, the Portrait and the Curio.

To adjust the blade, use the gray ratchet that came with the blade or the built in ratchet on the actual Silhouette machine. Just insert the tip of the blade and twist.  When inserted and locked into the machine, the fin on the blade's housing should be pointing to 6 o'clock.

The blue fabric blade should only be used to cut fabric. The fabric blade is exactly the same as the black ratchet blade with the exception of the casing. It is simply in a blue housing so it can be easily distinguished and used exclusively for fabric.

Silhouette Sketch Pens


Silhouette cameo sketch pens

The Silhouette Sketch pens come in a variety of colors. They fit in the blade housing on the CAMEO machines, the Portrait and the Curio.

The sketch pens will draw just like the ratchet blade cuts - an outline. To 'color in' a sketched design, additional steps are needed. Check out this Silhouette School tutorial on filling in sketched designs for details.

Silhouette Deep Cut Blade

Silhouette deep cut blade

The Silhouette Deep Cut Blade is one of the newer Silhouette blades. According to the manufacturer, it should be used with the Silhouette Curio. However, I prefer to use it in the CAMEO (or Portrait). Please note using it against manufacturer recommendations may void your warranty.

The Deep Cut Blade has two rows of numbers to adjust the blade depth from 1-20.  The blade can be adjusted using your hand - so no ratchet is necessary.  If any part of the blue is exposed on the tip of the blade, that indicates the line is matching up with the blue row of numbers.

Silhouette CAMEO deep cut blade settings

There is no fin on the Deep Cut Blade so it does not matter how the blade is inserted and locked into the machine.

(Click for a Silhouette School Deep Cut Blade review and cut settings for the deep cut blade for felt, craft foam, burlap, and more)

Silhouette  Premium Blade 

  Silhouette Premium Blade vs regular blade

The Silhouette Premium Blade is one of the newer Silhouette blades and can be used to cut a splice in any of the CAMEO machines, the Portrait and the Curio.  The Premium blade is made of a material that lasts up to 3x longer than a standard Silhouette ratchet blade.

To adjust the blade between a depth of 1-10 (10 being the deepest cut for thicker materials), turn the tip of the blade with your hand.

There is no fin on the Premium Blade so it does not matter how the blade is inserted and locked into the machine.

Available as a single blade or as a 3 pack of Silhouette Premium Blades

Silhouette CURIO Stippling/Etching Tip 

silhouette curio stippling tool etching tool

The transparent blue Stippling/Etching Tip is for use in the Silhouette Curio. The blade depth does not need to be, nor can it be, adjusted.

There is also no fin on the blade. Simply place it into one of the two housing compartments on the Silhouette Curio and lock it into place.

When the stippling tool is selected, the tip will perform an up and down motion producing a dot-like pattern. When the etching tool is selected, the tip will drag along the material producing an etch.

Like the Silhouette Sketch pens, it does not 'fill' in the design unless specially instructed to do so by the user in Silhouette Studio.

Silhouette CURIO Embossing Wide Tip

silhouette curio embossing tool

The transparent black Wide Embossing Tip is for use in the Silhouette Curio machine. The blade depth does not need to be, nor can it be, adjusted.

There is also no fin on the blade. Simply place it into one of the two housing compartments on the Silhouette Curio and lock it into place.

To produce a better emboss, score first with the ratchet blade on a 0.

Silhouette CURIO Fine Embossing Tip

Silhouette Curio embossing fine tip

The transparent white Fine Embossing Tip is for use in the Silhouette Curio machine. The blade depth does not need to be, nor can it be, adjusted. 

There is also no fin on the blade. Simply place it into one of the two housing compartments on the Silhouette Curio and lock it into place.

To produce a better emboss, score first with the ratchet blade on a 0.

CB09 Blade  

cb09 blade silhouette cameo portrait

The CB09 Blade or Graphtec blade is an off-brand blade that can be used with the Silhouette machines.  It does not slide into the housing compartment very easily so make sure you check out this Silhouette School tutorial and demo on how to use the CB09 blade with Silhouette CAMEO.

The CB09 is very different from the Silhouette-brand blades in that it needs to be assembled and the actual blade can be switched out and replaced.  You must buy the housing and the blades in order to use it.

The blades themselves are actually three different angles and are different than the ratchet blades so they splice through the vinyl at a different angle making it much easier to cut intricate cuts.  I much prefer this blade for vinyl especially.

The one drawback is that there are no markings on the blade so there is definitely some trial and error when it comes to getting the blade the right depth. Once you find the perfect blade depth, my suggestion would be NOT to adjust it at all and keep this blade exclusive for vinyl.

Amy Chomas Etching/Engraving Tip 

Amy Chomas engraving tool Silhouette Cameo

The Amy Chomas Etching and Engraving Tip can be used in the CAMEO, CURIO, and Portrait. Simply slide the tip into the blade housing and lock it into place. While the blade etches and engraves well the biggest drawback comes from the lack of download force provided from the Silhouette machine therefore a deep/dark etch or engraving is extremely difficult to achieve.

Amy Chomas Pen Holder

The Amy Chomas Pen Holder is an off-brand attachment that can be slipped into the blade housing
on the CAMEO, Portrait or Curio. Before placing it into the Silhouette machine, slide a pen into the holder and tighten the black screw to secure the pen.

Amy Chomas pen holder marker holder Silhouette CAMEO Portrait CurioPlace the entire holder with pen into the Silhouette blade housing. You may need to adjust the pen height. It is at the correct height when a popsicle stick can be slid between the tip of the pen and the paper base of the machine.

Amy Chomas Marker Holder

The Amy Chomas Marker Holder is an off-brand attachment that can be slipped into the blade housing on the CAMEO, Portrait or Curio. Before placing it into the Silhouette machine, slide a marker into the holder and tighten the black screw to secure the pen.

Place the entire holder with marker into the Silhouette blade housing. You may need to adjust the marker height. It is at the correct height when a popsicle stick can be slid between the tip of the marker and the paper base of the machine.
 


And here's a quick video explaining even more about each of the different Silhouette Blades


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!
Pin It!

 photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pnguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpgUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png

Get Silhouette School lessons delivered to your email inbox! Select Once Daily or Weekly.

www.silhouetteschoolebook.com

11 comments

  1. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work.
    contact form | snapchat emoji

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for all the great suggestions. You really helped me learn to use my Silhouette. Your Blog is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks very much, I need as much information as I can get and this helps bunches. I wonder if anyone can tell me about the embossing tool. I had hoped to making greeting cards for the blind. I see no reason that I cannot if I use the PIXScan to load the alphabet. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks very much, I need as much information as I can get and this helps bunches. I wonder if anyone can tell me about the embossing tool. I had hoped to making greeting cards for the blind. I see no reason that I cannot if I use the PIXScan to load the alphabet. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Melissa! I was wondering what your favorite CB09 blade is for cutting vinyl. I actually purchased all 3, but haven't used any yet! Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I always read your posts - even when it's information I 'think' I already know. I've been reading your posts since before I even ordered my Cameo, so I don't see any reason to stop. lol
    Seriously - thank you so much! You totally rock.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Muchas gracias por esta explicación. Dios la bendiga.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for all your hard work, taking the time out to help us newbies and all your helpful information!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use my silhouette for making stencils and for stickers. Thank you so much for all the tips and ebooks.

      Delete
  10. Can the Amy Chomas Blade be used in the Portrait? You mentioned it in the text but not in the video. And would this be good for scoring? I just want a light score mark to show where something needs to be bent. Thank you so much!!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! We get several hundred comments a day. While we appreciate every single one of them it's nearly impossible to respond back to all of them, all the time. So... if you could help me by treating these comments like a forum where readers help readers.

In addition, don't forget to look for specific answers by using the Search Box on the blog. If you're still not having any luck, feel free to email me with your question.