Troubleshooting Cut Issues
In this post, it is important that you read through the entire post and all the steps are followed exactly as described or this will not help fix cutting issues.
The first place to start troubleshooting cut issues is at the beginning for all users.
We troubleshoot hundreds of issues daily and if you do not start at the beginning and work your way through the troubleshooting steps, you can spend hours trying to fix something that could have been fixed in a few minutes.
Blade Housing Reset
One of the main reasons I see for cut issues with Silhouette machines is due to the housing being out of alignment.
If the housing is out of alignment, this means that the Autoblade cannot hit the adjustment holes properly in order to adjust properly. You will experience inconsistent cuts.
It also means that the cut will not match the exact location on a Silhouette cutting mat as it shows on the virtual design mat, if the mat is loaded properly.
If you are using a 3rd party cutting mat, it may be a different size and will not match the virtual design mat spacing.
The housing can become out of alignment for several reasons.
A few of the most common are:
– blade not installed properly & locked in securely – until this is corrected, you will continue to have inconsistent cuts
– blade depth is too deep
– cut settings are too high
– blade has gotten stuck while cutting
– cutting thicker materials, glitter cardstock, faux leather, etc.
– using the Kraft or Rotary blades with the Cameo 4 models
*Note – these are the most common reasons but not an all inclusive list
A blade housing reset is considered part of machine maintenance, especially when you are cutting thicker materials or using the specialty tools.
It is NOT the same thing as Calibration.
I have confirmed with Silhouette Support that they do not refer to it as calibration. The correct terminology is Blade Housing Reset and many users are confused by other information they are reading that is not from Silhouette America.
Calibration is a completely different process and is for print and cut issues only. It is a diagnostic tool that is rarely needed and is only used as the last possible solution when troubleshooting print and cut issues.
If you are having print and cut issues, I would suggest following the steps below and then try a test print following the steps in this post
Let’s Explore v4 – Print and Cut Basics
Following these steps exactly will eliminate a lot of the possible reasons that print and cut is not cutting accurately.
Blade Housing Reset Steps
First, how do you know if your Autoblade is not adjusting properly?
The key factor you may notice is that it doesn’t cut properly.
It either cuts too deep or not enough.
The next factor you need to look for is the red line inside the window on the front of the Autoblade.
Does the red line match the blade depth you set on the Send tab in the software?
On the Send tab, the middle number on the black dial with the blue shading is the blade depth.
If your Autoblade is not adjusting properly or the blade (any style) is not cutting in the area of the cutting mat where it should, something is not right.
Make sure the blade is installed properly & the lock is pushed in securely.
There can be NO gap between the lip of the blade and the housing. And the lock has to be pushed in securely.
Note: the blue dot (or other color) on the lock mechanism means absolutely nothing except that the lock has been pushed in. It will show the color whether you have a blade installed or not, if the lock is pushed in.
It DOES NOT mean your blade is installed properly.
This is important for ALL Silhouette machine models. If the blade is not installed properly and locked in, you will experience inconsistent cuts until it is fixed.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT step otherwise the Blade Housing Reset will NOT fix cut issues.
Unplug the Silhouette power cord from the machine.
Carefully move the blade housing all the way to the right and all the way to the left.
Do NOT push down on the Tool 1 housing when moving or it will drag.
Move the housing ALL the way to the left & ALL the way right – 3 times.
And leave it on the RIGHT side.
Plug the Silhouette power cord back into the machine securely.
Turn it on and the housing should reset to it’s proper location.
Note: proper location can vary by machine model, this is why we ask for a photo when troubleshooting cut issues because we can identify it based on the Silhouette machine model.
Check the adjustment holes for debris.
Carefully remove any objects that can be blocking the adjustment holes.
How do I know a housing is out of alignment?
This is why I ask for a photo of the blade installed in the machine WITH the mat/vinyl loaded. The housing aligns to the same exact place each time, IF the housing is in alignment.
How did I learn this?
This is something I have learned through years of troubleshooting Silhouette machines, verifying with Silhouette Support, and by watching my Silhouette machines as they work.
Load the cutting mat properly.
For Cameo 4, Cameo Plus, and all older models of Cameo machines, the left edge of the cutting mat should be next to the line on the left side, but NOT over top of it.
For Cameo 4 and Cameo Plus model machines, if it’s loaded over the top of the line or too far to the left, it will block the adjustment holes and not allow the blade to reach the adjustment holes.
Loading the Cameo Pro
For Cameo Pro owners, there are 2 ways mats or materials get loaded.
On the Cameo Pro, when using a 24″ x 24″ cutting mat, the left edge of the cutting mat gets loaded next to the line on the left side of the arrows.
This is the ONLY time this line is used to load materials.
When cutting without a mat or using ANY other size cutting mat on the Cameo Pro, the mat gets loaded next to the line on the right side of the arrows.
This is an important step when using the Cameo Pro, so things will line up properly on the mat or for print and cut projects.
Loading the Portrait machine
For the Portrait model machines, the mat gets loaded next to the line in the photo above. There is no gray line or arrows on the Portrait machines.
This photo is courtesy of my colleague Sarah Clark with Silhouette Made.
Find her complete post on loading the Portrait machine HERE.
For the Portrait 2 and 3 models, the mat cannot be loaded too far to the left or it will block the adjustment hole that you see to the left of the blade housing in the photo above.
This is how your blade and housing should look on a Cameo 4 & Cameo Plus models.
The blade housing should be directly behind the left roller and the right roller should be on the edge of the cutting mat and not rolling across the adhesive on the mat or the material.
Here is how it should look on the Cameo Pro.
The blade housing should be lined up directly behind the right roller, which is located underneath the roller bar directly where the dot is on the front of the bar.
When using a cutting mat, the right roller should ALWAYS be on the edge of the cutting mat and not rolling across the adhesive or material on the mat.
The rollers are located underneath the roller bar and there is no easy way to access the rollers for cleaning. If the roller is rolling across the adhesive it can cause cutting issues, the mat to skew, or the mat to get stuck in the machine while cutting.
I also do NOT recommend 3rd party cutting mat with the Cameo Pro (I don’t recommend them in any model, but especially the Pro). This is a new roller design and in past models, 3rd party cutting mats have affected the lifespan on the machine and rollers.
Did it work?
The way to find out is to test it.
Type out a capital B, choose your material on the Send tab and send it to cut.
Does the red line inside the blade adjust to the correct number?
If yes, the housing reset worked.
If no, something else is happening.
We can continue troubleshooting on the
Silhouette Secrets+ with EllyMae FB group.
Please make a post with a photo of the blade installed in the machine WITH the mat loaded and describe your cutting issue in detail.
Did the red line adjust correctly but it did not cut?
If it didn’t cut well, increase the blade depth by clicking on the arrow on the right side of the black dial on the Send tab, move the capital B on the virtual design mat, and cut another test with the B.
For more tips on cut settings, check out this post
Perfect Cut Settings in Silhouette HERE
If you are still having cut issues, try a new blade.
Make sure it’s installed properly and does it adjust?
I always recommend having extra blades and mat on hand. This will save you frustration when you are in the middle of a big project.
A new blade and mat can make you do a happy dance when things aren’t going well.
If you are having any other issues when cutting, make sure to search the blog for past tutorials as well. I have an extensive list of troubleshooting tips, tricks, and tutorials from the last 5 years.
Now that the blade is installed properly, the housing is aligned, and the blade is adjusting properly
Hopefully these tips have helped you save some frustration!
Whether you have had cut issues recently or not, this is great information to save for future use because ALL users no matter their experience level run into issues from time to time.
If you are Beginner or have not touched your Silhouette machine in awhile, check out the Beginner Video Class I created after I saw so many users struggling with the same issues getting successful cuts.
I’d love seeing what you are creating with your Silhouette machines or software.
Feel free to post photos or questions on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
Save this for future reference by pinning the image below.
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