There are several things you can do for your Silhouette machine maintenance. In 2021, I published a tutorial on several things you can do to keep your machines in good condition. Check out the Silhouette Machine Maintenance tutorial HERE.
One of those things I touched on was the cutting strip on the Silhouette machines. I changed mine this year after 2 years of owning the Cameo 4 and I was surprised by what I found. Read below to see what I found on my machine.
This is a very important piece. Let’s explore more about that in detail.
The cutting strip is the rubber strip that runs below the housing of all Silhouette model machines except the Curio, Alta, and Mint.
If it’s damaged, it will cause inconsistent cutting issues that have a wide range of results. This could be missed areas cut, cutting too deep, not cutting at all, blade getting stuck, etc. For each user it can be different because each situation is different.
When we troubleshoot, the cutting strip is the last thing we look at if nothing else has fixed it. But we first go through everything else that could be affecting the cut.
The cutting strip is what provides the even surface underneath where the blade cuts. If that is uneven from damage, that can affect the cut.
The cutting strip is an important component of how the machine can complete the cuts whether you are using a mat or cutting matless. It provides the “solid” bottom to where the blade cuts in order to complete that cut. If it is uneven or missing, the blade just pushes down and meets no resistance, which means the material gets pushed into a “hole”. The cut will be incomplete, missing areas, etc.
Damage to the cutting strip may be visible or able to be felt by running your hand along the strip. But, often times we may not even be able to see the damage that there is to the cutting strip because it’s translucent and only seen when it’s removed. That was the case for my Cameo 4. The damage was not visible to me.
We won’t even talk about my Cameo 1, my cutting strip looks like a complete wreck, but it still cuts perfectly fine, so I do not mess with it.
Here is mine after replacing it on my Cameo 4. Keep in mind that this is after 2 years of thousands and thousands of cuts, class development, and testing on the Cameo 4.
Lines cut through and a chunk missing on the edge of the cutting strip.
More cuts and damage to the cutting strip.
Completely cut through on the end.
Damage to the cutting strip can happen for several reasons. Here are a few, however, this is not an extensive list.
– cut settings too deep
– blade depth too deep
– blade getting stuck in the material or mat
– sending to cut without material loaded
– using the Kraft or Rotary blade with too deep of settings
– cutting completely through materials with no mat
For those who replaced and it didn’t fix the issue, it’s generally for 2 reasons.
1. It was not the issue to begin with.
2. They didn’t install it completely flat. I’ve seen users rush and not remove the old adhesive completely or install it with an edge lifted. Both will affect the cuts. If the instructions are followed carefully, it is pretty easy to do.
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How to Replace the Cutting Strip
The cutting strip can be replaced easily if the directions are followed carefully. The hardest part of the task is removing the adhesive completely from beneath the cutting strip. But, it is the most important part!
If the cutting strip is not completely flat, it can cause future cutting issues.
I found that using the Silhouette Pick Me Up Tool and a little bit of elbow grease mixed in with some patience, that it was not difficult at all.
An alcohol swab will help remove some of the sticky residue and make the surface clean for the application.
Next, make sure you buy the correct cutting strip for your machine model.
Then follow the instructions step-by-step from Silhouette America found HERE.
I printed them off and found it very easy to follow.
Ta-da! Nice new cutting strip ready for many Silhouette projects.
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