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Why Bad Silhouette Cuts on Vinyl and HTV May NOT Be User Error (VIDEO)

If your Silhouette CAMEO is not making clean cuts when cutting vinyl and HTV, there's a good chance it's NOT user error (and I don't often say that).

Cameo 4, HTV, adhesive vinyl, silhouette 101, silhouette america blog

The default cut settings in Silhouette Studio V4.1 and higher are not accurate for the vinyl and HTV materials which makes getting a good cut without any adjustments nearly impossible. The trick for how to make Silhouette cut deeper should start with the force, not the blade depth.
This is how your blade should look installed in the carriage. No gap.

Cameo 4, HTV, adhesive vinyl, Cameo 4 blades installed, cut settings

If your blade is installed correctly in the tool carriage and you've ruled that out as the issue, it could very well be the default Silhouette Studio cut settings causing the issue of bad Silhouette cuts.

The Silhouette cut settings for glossy vinyl and smooth HTV both call for a force lower than what I think is necessary for a good cut.  The default cut setting for Heat Transfer Vinyl, Smooth is 4.

Cameo 4, Heat transfer vinyl, glossy vinyl, Cameo 4 blades installed, cut settings

Here is how this design weeded when cut with the Silhouette default cut settings.

Cameo 4, Heat transfer vinyl, glossy vinyl, cameo 3, cut settings

I didn't even bother to finish weeding the design because it's unusable at this point.

I took the same design, same size, and same material and did nothing more than increase the force by 10 points - to 14.

Cameo 4, Heat transfer vinyl, glossy vinyl, cameo 3, cut settings

As you can see the results are dramatically different.

Cameo 4, Heat transfer vinyl, glossy vinyl, cameo 3, cut settings

Watch the difference as I weed the two designs.

My suggestion, is when cutting smooth HTV and glossy vinyl you increase the force to 14 to get the best possible Silhouette cut settings. Forcing your Silhouette to cut deeper with force, rather than blade depth should always be considered - as this will make it much easier to weed vinyl and heat transfer vinyl.

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  1. I am new to the Cameo 4, but have been having some trouble with cuts there. I run the same design on my Cameo 2 with no problems, no changes to settings. I am hoping I get more used to the new machine soon! A project about a week ago using chipboard, I had to totally abandon the 4 for a successful cut on the 2. Wasted about 2 hours trying before I switched machines and got it the first try. Thanks for suggesting the force adjustment -- I'll try that next time.

  2. It is a flaw and they should correct it. Most of us want a turnkey machine that works everytime without having to think about what modifications need to be made.

  3. I have been cutting htv and selecting htv smooth and with the default settings it was cutting through the carrier sheet every time. Nightmare! Then I tried selecting reflective and that default setting has a blade depth of 1 and my cuts are perfect each time. I have a Cameo 3.

  4. Thank you for everything you do.

  5. This is so frustrating! I’m new to silhouette. My husband got this silhouette for my birthday in May. He was proud of himself for looking into what one I would like the cricut to the silhouette. He told me the silhouette 4 was supposed to be the best out there for crafting. I was impressed and excited to start crafting. I kept messing up my cuts and couldn’t figure out why. I down loaded the users manual, I watched every YouTube video I came a-crossed. I still could not figure out what I was doing right. I bought new blades, I watched more videos, still my cuts where not coming out. I’m so ready to box this up and get a cricut. For people that have used the later machines and have a little clue of whats going on does not help those of us first starting out.

    1. I am having the same experience. So frustrating

  6. Incredible!!! I got the Cameo 4 for Christmas 2 yrs ago and I am
    STILL having trouble with my cuts!! This has been SO frustrating. I have researched, watched tons of videos on you tube, bought new blades, new paper, wasted countless hours and doubted myself to finally find out it's not anything I'm doing wrong! Thank you so much for this article. I'm just sorry I didn't come across it sooner, lol.

  7. I tried cutting with my cameo 3 same settings as my cameo 1-- no luck at all. Doesn't even cut like your first pic. I'll def try force 14. thank you again


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