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Beware: 'Silhouette' Cutting Mat Not Sticky? Here's Why!

Over the last six months or so I've been hearing quite a few people saying their new-ish Silhouette Cutting Mats are not sticky.

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Well....I recently bought two Silhouette Cutting mats on Amazon and within 3 weeks one of them would not even hold paper.  Something was definitely up.

 
I've been buying cutting mats for four years now - always on Amazon - and I can tell you they usually last at least 3-6 months depending on how often you cut and what you're cutting. These mats had lost their stick so quickly, even the cover sheet was not sticking to it.  Usually at least paper will stick to even a lightly sticky mat - nope, it was moving all over the place after no more than 10 cuts on this mat.

I reached out to Silhouette America to inquire about why there have been so many bad cutting mats lately.  It turns out....they are not actually Silhouette cutting mats at all!  They are counterfeits....and they are running rampant on Amazon, specifically.

There are off-brand cutting mats that some crafters use with their Silhouette cutting machine.  (I don't like to use off-brand mats because the grid is in a different place and they are typically thicker which can lead to cutting problems since those mats aren't made to go under the Silhouette machine rollers). The unsticky cutting mats I'm talking look almost identical to the Silhouette cutting mats. The biggest difference - and what's attracting buyers to them (including me) - over the real Silhouette cutting mats is the attractive price.

I unknowingly purchased two fake cutting mats for $7.50 each.  The price was almost half of the legit cutting mats - but don't be fooled in this case you get what you pay for.  I ended up needing to order a third cutting mat in three weeks just to be able to cut. This one is a real Silhouette cutting mat and I'm sure of it because I ordered from an authorized Silhouette America distributor (I'm sharing links to where you can get legit Silhouette cutting mats.)

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Since I had thrown out the packaging of the two fake mats I bought previously, I actually also ordered another fake cutting for the sole purpose of being able to compare both the packaging and the mat between the counterfeit and the authentic cutting mat.

You can see...the packaging of the fake mats (bottom) is different than the real Silhouette CAMEO cutting mats.  The packaging on the top is how Silhouette America is currently packing their mats.

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The fake mats are packaged in packaging that attempts to imitate Silhouette America's old packaging...in fact if you look closely the old packaging has a date of 2015 and the address is Silhouette America's old headquarters! They've since moved..which is reflected on the updated packing of the real mats.  Unfortunately not all legitimate sellers have updated their listing photos.

The packaging is not the only difference.

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First of all the fake cutting mats do not have the same type of adhesive which you can clearly see in this side by side photo. The top mat - with the cloudy type of adhesive - is the real Silhouette CAMEO cutting mat. The bottom mat is the fake. It's obvious the adhesive is different which is most likely why the fake mats become unsticky within just two to three weeks of use.

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Also, the counterfeit cutting mats have a thin film on the back side of the cutting mat - Silhouette America mats don't have that.

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For me, that extra liner was the first clue that something had changed.  I also noticed after just a few cuts that the protective cover sheet was not sticking to the mat, which I thought was odd since I had never had that issue before.

Looking at it closely the cover sheet looks slightly different than the authentic Silhouette cutting mats....and they curl terribly!  (Fake mat cover and packaging on the right below)

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And then of course what finally had me questioning these mats was the fact that after just a few cut there were areas that had almost no stick. None.

So to sum it up, here are the clues if you have - or are about to buy - a fake Silhouette cutting mats (I figure if you know what to look for you can avoid buying them!):
  • Super low price
  • A lot of bad/negative reviews 
  • Adhesive is completely clear and not cloudy 
  • 'Old' style packaging
  • Thin film cover on back of cutting mat
  • Different cover sheet 
  • Not sticky for long
So...how do you ensure you're not getting a fake Silhouette cutting mat one where the adhesive will stop being sticky after just a few cuts and you've wasted your money?  You buy from an authorized Silhouette America distributor.

Can you tell I'm annoyed I wasted my money on these mats and now have to go back and buy new ones? Yeah...I don't want you to get scammed which is why I'm making such a big deal about this...and why I want to make sure you purchase a real Silhouette Cutting mat from one of the legit sellers I'm linking to below...

Swing Design
Expressions Vinyl 
Heat Press Nation
Pro World Silhouette America (website)

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42 comments

  1. i bought these fake ones also. they came 3 in a pack. i informed silhouette, and after showing them pics and a video of a brand new mat straight out the pkg, they were convinced they needed replacing. there wasn't any questions about them being fake, however, silhouette did replace them for me. the fake ones wouldn't even hold copy paper. glad to see this post. thank you.

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  2. I’ve been noticing recent bad reviews on other silhouette accessories too! Like new auto blades that folks are saying are dull, and cut worse than what they’re replacing! I also got a bad Portrait last year from Amazon. It was $100, but didn’t cut anything right. I’m very happy w my machine from swing designs, and I guess I’ll be ordering accessories from them in the future. Might just have to wait for sales...

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  3. I needed to replace my 24" mat, but after reading the reviews I switched to the Cricut 24" mat.
    Glad to hear there are finally some answers.
    Is Amazon taking any action to get the fake mats off the market?

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  4. Did you reach out to Amazon about the bad mats? Earlier this year I ordered a mat, and I'm not sure if it was a counterfeit one or not (after reading your post, I suspect it was). But a big glob of adhesive came off of it when I pulled the blue cover off. It was a low price, too, but I still used the form at Amazon.com, and they shipped me a new mat and told me to keep or dispose of the old one. The new mat was not defective.

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  5. Thank you so much for writing this! I now know why all 5 of my cutting mats don't work well!

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  6. I knew something was up!!! Never before had I had such issues with the mats. I even wrote silhouette on their fb page to see if they changed their formula... I am so glad to hear that these are fakes and silhouette products are still made with quality. Lesson learned!

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  7. Thanks for being such a good detective!

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  8. Really interesting, thanks! In the UK I buy my mats from Amazon, from what seems like an official retailer, and their photos match your genuine mat photos. However, they last about 10-20 uses before becoming useless. I’ve started buying some fakes and they are perfect, they last so long compared to the real (possibly?!) ones it’s amazing! If a real silhouette mat was to last me 3 months I’d definitely buy it! Do you have any information on trusted retailers in the UK?

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  9. Glad I seen this before I purchased a new cutting mat as I was about too.

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  10. Hi there, I have a very simple but very effective solution for use of my cutting mats and that is: from the moment it doesn't stick that well: I fix everything with a little bit of cellotape on the sides. It's a little extra work but it works fine for me, I can do with the mats for a long long time even though they are not sticky at all. I always have a cellotapeholder nearby. I also use this for the paper work on the light mat as long as I can afford it not to use every part of the paper (because in case of using it for paper: when you are ready with cutting it might damage your paper on the sides a little bit in case you use the cheap cellotape) I hope I explained my self a little bit (for I'm not a native English speaker, I'm from The Netherlands). Oh my how i Loooooooove this blog, I read everything of it!

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  11. I bought 6 mats at the end of the year last year from Silhouette themselves and they have been the worst mats. The sticky stuff has come off on my projects. I emailed them about the problem and heard nothing. Then bought some at the store thinking maybe they were on sale because they weren’t the better quality ones but no had the same issues with the ones from the store. Just wanted to see if I was the only one having this issue.

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  12. Thank you for this heads up, Melissa. Do we know if Amazon is willing to remove known fraud items from its product offerings? I adore Amazon and realize this might be a lot to ask of them. It's my idealism creeping back in. Merry Christmas to all!!

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  13. Thank you Melissa for the Heads Up! I adore Amazon. Do we know if Amazon is willing to remove fraudulent items from their product line?
    Merry Christmas to all!!

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  14. Not sticky enough? totally the opposite maybe sticky enough for heavy duty materials but way to sticky for materials like card stock, paper and other paper crafting materials for card making. I had to wash the original glue from the matt and use a low tack spray glue so it doesn't rip the high detailed cuts apart. Also the pic scan matt is more durable than the normal cutting matt maybe Silhouette should think about bringing out a cutting matt that's made from the same material as the "self healing" cutting matts you use on a work surface that are the same thickness as the "Pic scan" matts. All I've read are people saying "the matts are to sticky and rip the designs when you take them off". I found also it's best to keep the matt level on both sides when cutting to ensure a good clean cut without fluffing at the corners of the cut. I use books to keep the matt level when cutting and it's most probably the high tack that adds to the fluffing because the glue moves when the blade moves. Take these thing into consideration even try them out. I know their are a lot of people out there who are having the same problems as I've had

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  15. Melissa, Thank you! I think I have one if those counterfeit mats. I bought one for 6.95 on Amazon. Good info! 👍

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  16. Thanks for letting me know about the fake mats. This information was so helpful to me. Now I know to look for certain things before I buy any mats. Thanks again.

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  17. Me too. I could kick myself, especially since I regularly shop at Swing and could have just as easily purchased my new mats from Swing. Talk about buyer beware!

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  18. Yikes! I think I got scammed too, but I haven't opened my new mat yet. I like to have an extra on hand, but it sounds like I'll be needing another new one sooner than I thought. Thanks for this update!

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  19. Thank you for this article. I just checked the mat that is in my drawer as a spare, and sure enough it is one of the fakes! I will be using your posted vendor suggestions in the future.

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  20. Thanks for this
    info, it will
    help a lot of
    people I'm sure.
    Carla from Utah

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  21. Authentic Silhouette mats have the best glue. Way better than the ScanNCut mats. I use Silhouette mats for months and even after I buy a new one I still keep on using the old one when I need to.

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  22. I am wondering if Amazon is aware of this huge problem and is doing anything to rectify it?
    Michele Owens

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  23. Is Amazon aware of this huge problem and are they doing anything to rectify the problem? Thank you for making us aware. I too have a fake mat.

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  24. I contacted Amazon. They offered me a refund which I declined. I did tell the representative that we crafters are serious and many and this will spread like wild fire among social media groups. I would rather they fix the problem so we who like to shop on Amazon can continue to do so with confidence.

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  25. thank You for this post. Are you saying not to order off of Amazon anymore? Is there a way to tell on Amazon if you've buying directly from Silhouette America? I just purchased a mat yesterday and it say Silhouette, but not Silhouette America. Is that the clue it's not officially Silhouette America? Thank You for always keeping us updated and in the know!! I appreciate all your hard work..

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  26. Also, the logo is different. The double t's on the fake mat and packaging are crossed all the way through, the real logo double t's only cross to the right.

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  27. Hey Melissa,
    If it has been less than 30 days, return the fake/defective mats to amazon and file a "product significantly not as advertised" complaint with Amazon and also with your credit card company if you used that to pay. You may be able to get a refund, and alert amazon about scam sellers.
    Jerry

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  28. Thank you so much for posting this. I bought one of these mats as well and couldn't figure out why it was so terrible. I was a relatively new Silhouette user so I thought it was just an update to the mats or I had accidentally received the less sticky version. I haven't bought a new mat in a while because I was worried I would get the same thing. Now I know it wasn't me and I can find the correct mats. Thanks!

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  29. Melissa - thank you so much for alerting us to the fake Silhouette cutting mats. In the past couple of months I have purchased three mats on Amazon and have had issues with all three. One of them was thicker on one side than the other so nothing was cutting evenly. All of them lost their stick after only a few uses. I was getting ready to give up on Silhouette and try to using a Cricut mat instead. So happy that you set me straight. Thank you!

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  30. Thank you for this! I bought one of the bundles on Amazon when I bought my machine - it came with a mat that I thought my stuff was supposed to stick to, but never did. I'm glad I read this so I didn't fall trap and buy a knock off.

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  31. i hope you contacted Amazon. its reputation is at stake with bad secondary sellers and i'd like to think it'd follow up.

    not sure if a refund would be involved. :( but more safety for the rest of us.
    THANK YOU!!

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  32. You mentioned the thickness being a problem I wonder if that means the Cricut mats are bad for the silhouette rollers too?

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  33. Good to know. I generally by mine through Swing Design. Thanks for the info.I would think that silhouette would be in touch with Amazon to stop the counterfeits.

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  34. I just order a year's supply of mats on Black Friday from Silhouette America every year. Just a little planning ahead saves you $$$$$

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  35. Thank you! I've purchased one of these. Glad to know the differences to look for.

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  36. I was duped! I ended up getting a fake mat too!! I hope Amazon does something about this, so people don't keep getting ripped off.

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  37. Great info! Sent me digging into trash for label on new one. Looks OK, though. Thanks!

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  38. The good news, for me at least, is that I am making shirts and signs as Christmas gifts this year and don't necessarily need a cutting mat to continue on with my projects and I have a roll feeder. Got that as soon as I got my Cameo however, I do still like using the mat for cutting vinyl. It seems to load better and stays where it is put. I wonder if the PixScan Mats and blades on Amazon are also fake.

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  39. My comment earlier on the matts being to sticky for card stock was with an original Silhouette cutting matt which totally was ripping my card stock designs to pieces hence I had to wash off the heavy thick glue that came on the matt from the box and spray a low tack glue on instead. I haven't been using fake ones and the matts need to be kept flat whilst going through the cutter to prevent the lifting or displacement of pieces that have been cut out from designs and still will say the matts have to be the same thickness as the pix scan matts for better stability and longer lasting. different materials need different strengths of glue you can't just have one glue for every material just like you can't have one blade for every material thickness.
    The Curio has a system that keeps the design/material flat when going through the machine? why not incorporate this into all of the cutters?

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  40. Ugh, I didn't know there were counterfeit mats. I've ordered them twice. The first set I thought was just a 'bad batch'. The second set I still have in their bags, never opened. I'm going to contact Amazon and see what they say. Thanks for this post.

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  41. I saw this post a few days ago and realized that the last mat I ordered off amazon was a fake... So I ordered one from walmart.com... I picked it up and now that I'm home, it looks fake too....UGH!

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