Business Edition, Designer Edition, Designer Edition Plus, Let's Explore v4, Silhouette, Uncategorized

Let’s Explore v4 – Knife Tool

The Silhouette Studio software is jam-packed with Tools and features that can be used to design with. One of those is the Knife Tool.

In the Silhouette software, Tools are located on the left side panel and Panels are located on the right side.

Tools vs Panels copy

The Knife Tool is located on the left side of the Silhouette v4 software.

Knife Tool copy

Keep in mind that the knife and eraser tool are changing a lot of data when they are in use. There are many factors that will affect what a user sees when using these tools. These could be the design being changed, the computer processing power, the version of software a user has, etc.

A user may need to be patient with their computer when they are using these tools as the computer processes the change in data. If a design is “complex”, then there may be other options to alter the design versus the knife or eraser tools, such as Releasing the Compound Path and deleting. Keep in mind, that each design might react differently.

Knife Tool

Tutorial written in v4.3.372

Let’s take a look at a circle shape and how the knife options work with it. I used the drawing tools on the left side to draw a circle and then replicated it on the right side and filled it with color using the Fill Color Panel.

Tip: holding down the Shift key on the keyboard will make the Knife (or line drawing tools) cut in a straight line either vertically, horizontally, or at a 45 degree angle.

Solid Option

Knife Solid copy

With the Solid option chosen, the shape will be cut and create 2 solid images.

Knife Solid2 copy

Each piece is now independent of the other and can be moved.

Outline Option

Knife Outline copy

With the Outline option selected notice that the unfilled shape reacts differently than the color filled shape.

A shape with no fill, will cut apart the design and leave the shape open. It is cutting a closed shape apart and making it 2 open paths.

Open Paths copy

Open paths react differently than a closed path. Open paths can be found by double clicking on the line of the design and bringing up the Edit Points.
If there are any red dots, that means it is an Open Path.

What you see above, is 2 semi-circle lines that have been cut from a circle. Open Paths cannot be filled with color and will only cut from 1 red dot to the next red dot.
It will not connect the cut.

Knife Outline closed path copy

If a shape is filled with color, then it reacts differently when the Knife – Outline option is used. It will result in 2 closed shapes.

Knife Set Tools

Each user with the basic (free) Silhouette software has access to the basic knife function as shown above.
If a user has a software upgrade such as Designer Edition, Designer Plus, or Business Edition there are more knife options available.

Knife Options copy

With the software upgrades, there are several more fun options for the knife tool.

Knife Options zoomed copy

Let’s take a look at a couple of these options.

Knife Options 2 copy

Notice that the unfilled shape behaves differently than the color filled shape. There are open paths on the unfilled shape and you do not see the knife design. But, the filled shape the knife tool creates the shape according to the design option you have chosen.

Auto Apply or Apply

Auto apply vs Apply copy

Next on the knife tool bar is the options to either Auto Apply the knife option when the mouse button is clicked or to manually choose Apply to have the knife finish. This gives the user the chance to decide whether they want the knife selection before it starts the process of changing the data.

This is all a matter of personal preference. However, if Auto Apply is chosen, then you do not get the chance to adjust the knife selection before it applies to the design.

Some of the knife tool options have an additional slider that appears when you draw with it that can adjust the shape of the chosen knife.


Under the Preferences, there are options for how a user wants the Knife Tool to act. After Using the Knife can be set to “Continue Using Knife” or “Choose Select“.

Preferences copy

If it is set to “Continue Using Knife“, then you will need to click on the Select Arrow in the top left corner when done with the knife to turn it off.

Select Arrow copy

Check out more Preference options in this post
Let’s Explore v4 – Preferences – Tools

Do you use the knife tool?

Save this for future reference by pinning the image below.


I would love to see what you create!
Feel free to post on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.



SS Logo snip it

**This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher but I may get compensated for sharing.

10 thoughts on “Let’s Explore v4 – Knife Tool”

  1. Very well explained, just wished I could. learn how to do it without feeling nervous.
    I have saved all your tutorials ,Thank You.


    1. Thank you!
      I would say don’t be nervous, you can always use the undo button in the top left tool bar or Ctrl+z on the keyboard to undo something. Just be patient with your computer. The knife & the eraser tool are heavy data tools.
      Make mistakes, learn from them, and keep on playing!


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