Frequently Asked Questions


Silhouette Blades Overview

Silhouette offers a variety of blades that can be used to cut an expanded variety of materials.

Click here for a compatibility chart for which blades work with which machines.

The lifespan of the blades will depend on a variety of factors. Thus it is unfortunately not possible to provide a standard lifespan estimate for how long blades should last.

Factors contributing to the cutting mat's lifespan include:

  • Frequency of use
  • Overall line length for jobs performed
  • Intricacy of designs
  • Material type being cut

Some materials will wear the blade down much more quickly than others, especially those that are thicker or denser. Also, detailed designs where the blade may turn multiple corners sharply can wear down the blade more quickly.

Attempts to cut certain materials that may not be designed to be cut or which are more dense may ruin the blade or result in the blade dulling extremely fast. Certain specialty materials that contain foreign objects imbedded in the material (i.e. certain glitter cardstock materials with hard glitter chunks) may immediately impair the blade. We strongly recommend against attempting to cut such materials.

Click here for information on finding proper settings in order to extend the lifespan. We would recommend to avoid overextending the blade by setting it to a higher level than is necessary to cut your material. 

Click here for further information on blade maintenance.

The blade should not need to be replaced unless you are unable to successfully cut through materials that have been known to previously cut without concern. Replacement blades are available for purchase.

Some materials that are fibrous in nature, such as paper and cardstock, may collect fiber strands or pulp during the cutting process and build up over time within the tip of the blade's chamber. This can cause concerns where the blade does not properly adjust, or where designs are not cut well even when using the proper settings. This can also cause concerns where some areas of designs are cut cleanly while other areas are not.

To remove any collected materials and clean the blade, please do the following:

  1. Carefully grip the tip of the blade at the edges and unscrew it
    • For the AutoBlade, use the Blade Adjustment Tool included with your machine (white plastic tool with two holes) to properly grip and unscrew the cap
    • For other standard blade types, you can grip it with your fingers
  2. Once the blade cap has been removed, carefully place it to the side
  3. Proceed to clean out any debris that has built up in the blade's housing
    • You can either blow into the cap or use a soft brush to remove any debris
  4. When finished, screw the blade cap back into place manually.

WARNING: Never cut with the blade cap removed.

With some older blade models, the blade cap cannot be unscrewed or removed. If you have an older model blade that does not have a removable cap, you may alternately expose the blade to a level of "10" and then use a fine tipped brush (such as a soft paint brush with fine tip bristles) to dislodge any debris. Once dislodged, you may blow into the aperture to remove the material.

Click here for information on finding proper blade settings and performing a test cut.

AutoBlade

If you are experiencing issues with the AutoBlade adjusting properly, first ensure that you are loading and locking the blade completely into place. If the blade is not fully seated before being locked into place, it will affect the blade's ability to properly adjust.

Click here to view a video confirming the appropriate blade loading procedure.

If you are loading the blade properly and the AutoBlade is still not being properly adjusted, please do the following:

  1. Remove the AutoBlade from the machine
  2. Hold the Autoblade in one hand with the blade pointing up
  3. With your free hand, attempt to turn the white cap on the top of the blade clockwise
    • You can either use the Multi-tool inlcuded with your machine, or insert your fingernails into the notches of the cap and push or pull in the appropriate direction
  4. Ensure that the cap is secure
    • While the white cap should be secure, refrain from over-tightening

Once you have determined that the cap is securely fastened, please do the following:

  1. Turn the AutoBlade so you can see the red line on the face of the blade
  2. Press down on the cap firmly (making sure to avoid pressing down on the blade itself)
  3. Press down until the cap is thoroughly depressed, and then release
    • You should see the red line on the face of the blade move as you depress the cap
  4. Perform this action several times, verifying each time the red line ticks up to the next blade depth

These actions should ensure that your AutoBlade is properly set up in the machine and is able to be adjusted to the defined level in the software.


Other Blade Types

If the blade was previously working, then this concern is likely the result of dialing the blade outside of the intended range, beyond the 0 or 10 mark.

If the blade is dialed beyond the intended lowest or highest mark, it can then appear to get stuck and not turn freely anymore. If this is the case and your blade is at a setting near the lowest or highest setting, please attempt to turn the blade back beyond the lowest or highest setting. For example, if the blade setting appears to be on higher setting (such as 9 or 10), please attempt to turn the blade from the 10 mark directly to the 1 mark. If the blade setting appears to be a on lower setting (such as 1 or 2), please attempt to turn the blade from the 1 mark directly to the 10 mark.

⚠ NOTE: Turning the blade in this manner may take some force. However, once the blade is back in the proper range, it should turn more freely.

Click here for a guide on using the Rotary Blade.

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