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Silhouette CAMEO Cross Cutter Tool Tutorial...So THAT'S How You Use It!

The Silhouette Cross Cutter Tool is one that has always boggled my mind.  I had half-attempted to use it a handful of times, but never really understood what it would be useful for....plus it always seems to tear my vinyl. I mean, who needs to cut the vinyl at the back of their machine? That's why when Silhouette School weekly contributor Becky Dykes asked me if I had a tutorial already on how to use the cross cutter with Silhouette I basically just laughed and said, "I don't understand the use for that tool." 
Silhouette CAMEO Tutorials Cross Cutter Tool

Thankfully Becky and I were in the same boat - but she was ready to tackle this one and figure out exactly how to use the Silhouette CAMEO cross cutter.

Call me dense, I'm sure the answer has been out there floating around for a while, and if I had realized just how useful it would be, I would have researched this sooner!
My chief complaint was that the vinyl did not eject far enough out the back of the Cameo for me to use the crosscutter without cutting into my design.  

So to explain the crosscutter tool, we have to look at the options that cause it to work correctly. And when I say correctly, I mean to my benefit.  It's also important to note that the cross cutter is only useful if you are cutting materials without a mat.

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First, I keep my crosscutter tool hidden away in the little cubbie on the side of the machine. I've heard some say that this cubbie is actually for hiding your M&M stash, which is a great idea, but without this nook, I'd surely lose the cross cutter within a few days.

If you haven't experimented with your crosscutter yet, there is a track on the back of the machine that the crosscutter fits into perfectly.

Cross Cutter Track silhouette cameo tutorials vinyl

So this is the part I was getting to, that my vinyl did not eject far enough back for me to use the crosscutter.  But all of that changed one day when I stumbled across a few advanced settings in Silhouette Studio.

If you will open your Cut Settings window and scroll down to the bottom. After your material choices, you should have an option for Advanced (not the same as the Advanced settings at the top).

Advanced Cut Settings

After you locate and expand this submenu, locate the area that addresses Feed Options. The Feed Options tells your Cameo what to do once the cut file is through cutting. The default is to "Return to Origin". But today, we are going to change this to "Feed". After choosing "Feed", you'll notice another options appears called "Additional Advance" which is defaulted to 0.00.

Feed Options
Take a look at the illustration below. The red line indicates where my crosscutter would normally cut (we'll expand more on that in just a minute). By defaulting to 0.00 in the cut settings, the machine only advances to the end of the cut design, leaving no buffer room. By increasing the Additional Advance to a higher amount (I chose 0.100), you can give your crosscutter a little wiggle room.

Cut line demonstration

Your crosscutter tool is actually activated right after you cut a design. At the end, right before you would unload your material, you have a choice to Advance to Crosscutter.

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Once you have your settings in Silhouette Studio AND you have cut your desired file, choose Advance to Crosscutter on your machine. Your Cameo will now feed your material (with the cut design on it) through the back of your machine PAST your cut design and to your designated "buffer" cut line (depending on the amount of buffer you chose in the Additional Advance).

silhouette cameo vinyl cross cutter cutting without mat

So you may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal?" Good question, because you can technically wait and cut your material after you unload it from the machine. The cross cutter tool is useful because:
  1. It will cut in a straight line if you don't already have a paper trimmer.
  2. It's quick and painless if used correctly.
  3. Most importantly, it can trim your material close to the design without the fear of cutting into and ruining your piece. This is especially true in those hard-to-see HTV lines!
So give it a try! After working out a few kinks, I think you'll find that the Silhouette Cross Cutter is a handy little tool.

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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