10 Reasons Why Your Silhouette Cameo or Portrait Isn’t Cutting
and how you can fix it!

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Few things are more frustrating than when your Cameo or Portrait doesn’t cut properly – or worse yet, isn’t cutting at all. Virtually every Silhouette user has experienced this at one time or another. Sometimes the machine cuts…but not as well as you’d like. Other times the media looks virtually untouched, with no visible cuts whatsoever. There can be several reasons why your Silhouette machine isn’t cutting as expected. Here are some of the most common:

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Note: This post was originally published before the Cameo 4 was introduced. While many of the items listed here are applicable to ALL Silhouette machines, if you are having cutting issues with a Cameo 4, my first recommendation is to try a different blade – either a ratchet blade or a premium blade. This will help you determine if the issue is with the machine or the blade and what further troubleshooting is needed.

#1 Blade is not properly inserted and/or locked down

I’ve diagnosed this issue so often that I keep a photo of a properly installed blade on hand to share whenever someone is having cutting issues. To cut properly, the blade must be pushed all the way down, with no visible gap between the tool holder and the blade. This is especially true for the Autoblade on the newer Cameo and Portrait models. When your machine is new, you may need to press quite firmly for the blade to pop into place, but over time it will become much easier.

When using the ratchet blade, insert it with the fin on the casing pointed forward. Looking at the blade from the top, the fin will be at the 6 o’clock position when properly inserted.

In addition to being properly inserted, the blade must be locked down into the tool holder. On the Cameo 3 and Portrait 2, push in the lock lever until you see the little circle change to Silhouette blue. If your blade raises slightly when locking into place, open the lock lever and push the blade all the way down again. Hold it into place with one finger while locking the lever with your other hand. To lock the blade on a Cameo 1, Cameo 2, or the original Portrait, turn the black lock lever clockwise until it clicks into place.

#2 The blade is dull, damaged, or broken

This one is pretty self-explanatory. How long a blade will last depends a lot on what media you are cutting. Any kind of paper, especially thick cardstock or chipboard, will dull your blade more quickly than vinyl. Occasionally, you may also find that your blade is damaged or broken from cutting denser materials. If you suspect this may be the case, try using a new blade and see if the problem persists.

#3 Cut settings are not correct

The best way to avoid this problem is to make a practice of performing a Test Cut every time you cut a new material. It’s also wise to perform a Test Cut if you’ve been using the same blade for quite a while (even if your media type hasn’t changed) to see if your settings need to be adjusted.

To perform a Test Cut in Silhouette Studio Version 4, open the Send Panel and select from the list of available materials or add your own custom settings. Then click on the “Test” button in the lower right of the screen. Once the Test Cut is complete, check the cut and tweak the settings as needed. You can also create your own test cut using an image or text of your choosing.

#4 Cut lines are not turned on

If this has happened to you, don’t be embarrassed, because we’ve all been there at least once. To verify that your design has cut lines, view it in the Send Panel. The areas to be cut will be indicated by bold lines. These lines can sometimes be hard to see when the line color is very light (yellow, for instance) and/or matches the fill color. If you don’t see any bold lines, select the design and choose either “Cut” or “Cut Edge” from the menu on the right in the Send Panel and the bold lines should appear.

#5 Autoblade is not adjusting properly (Cameo 3 and Portrait 2 only)

To check the setting of the Autoblade, look at the red indicator line that is visible in the blade window. If it does not match the settings you have selected in the Send Panel, then it is not automatically adjusting as it should. There are several possible reasons for this. The first is if the adjustment slot is blocked in any way. This happened to me recently on my Portrait 2. I had positioned my mat too far to the left and the edge of the mat was covering the adjustment slot, which prevented the Autoblade from tapping down into the slot. Even though I heard the blade going through the motions, it was not actually adjusting.

Other reasons the Autoblade may not be adjusting include:

  • A blade type other than the Autoblade is selected in the Send Panel.
  • The Autoblade is inserted into the incorrect tool holder. (Must be placed in the tool holder on the left.)
  • The Autoblade is not inserted properly into the tool holder.
Silhouette Autoblade

#6 Blade is dirty and/or the cap is loose

Certain types of media can leave a residue on your blade. I’ve found this to be especially true with the Silhouette Scratch-off Sticker Sheets. It’s also common for small bits of vinyl or paper to collect inside the blade assembly over time. Kelly over at findingtimetocreate.com has a great post on how to adjust and clean all of the Silhouette blades. When you are finished cleaning the blade, be sure to fully tighten the blade cap. The ratchet blades, in particular, will not cut properly if the white cap is loose.

Ratchet Blade

#7 Firmware needs to be updated

If your firmware is not up-to-date, you may experience cutting issues. You can read my post that discusses firmware updates in more detail by clicking here.

#8 Cutting strip is damaged

The cutting strip is a long narrow piece that is found just under the blade holder and runs across the width of the machine bed. Its purpose is to prevent damage to the blade as well as the machine when cutting materials without a mat.

Over time, the strip may show some indentations and signs of wear that are perfectly normal. However, any nicks, gouges, or frayed areas are not normal and could cause cutting issues. If this is the case, the cutting strip needs to be replaced. You can purchase a replacement cutting strip here.  Complete instructions on how to replace it are printed on the package.

#9 The design contains too many nodes

When I was very new to the Silhouette, I purchased a design in the Design Store that was almost 9.5 inches wide and I resized it down to a little over 4 inches wide. When I tried to cut it, I couldn’t get a clean cut no matter what I tried. When I finally gave up and called Silhouette Customer Service, I learned about “nodes” and what happens when a design has too many of them.

If you view a design in Point Editing mode, you will see a series of tiny grey squares. Each of these squares indicates a node. A node is a stopping point that the blade makes along the cutting path. Tracing a design without simplifying it will often result in excess nodes. Scaling a large design down too far may also cause there to be too many nodes, which is exactly what happened with the design I mentioned earlier.

Excess nodes will cause cutting issues, especially if there are several within a very small area. You may hear a stuttering sound as the Silhouette tries to cut and the resulting cut will not be clean or smooth. To remove excess nodes, first try simplifying the design. If that doesn’t work, the nodes can be deleted manually.

#10 Mat needs to be cleaned or replaced

After completing a project, there may be fibers or leftover bits of paper, vinyl, etc stuck to the mat that interfere with the cutting surface. Clean the mat with a lint roller, baby wipes, or a Magic Eraser.

If your mat is older, it has probably lost some of its sticking power and may be showing signs of wear and tear. Either of these conditions can also lead to cutting issues. If the media is not sticking well to the mat, try using painter’s tape to help hold it down. Replace the mat when it becomes worn or damaged.

While cutting issues can be frustrating, they are often easy to fix. Learning to troubleshoot problems with your machine will provide you a great sense of accomplishment and save you a lot of headaches down the road. If you’ve tried these suggestions but your Cameo or Portrait still isn’t cutting properly, feel free to reach out to me by either leaving a comment below or joining my Facebook group. I’d love to help!

Until next time,

This post was updated November 2020.

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  1. Ok, so I am totally new at this. I made an image in Canva and it is now on my Silhouette screen, I sent it to the “Send” area. But it’s like greyed over, it wont select my text. I clicked the cut options but all it selects is a square around my text. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Mistie! What format did you save it in from Canva? If you saved it as an SVG with a transparent background, you should see cut lines around the shape/text you created. However, if you saved it as a PNG or JPEG, Studio will recognize it as an image and you may need to trace it to get cut lines. Here is a post that may help: https://caughtbydesign.com/2019/09/05/how-to-remove-the-background-from-an-image-in-silhouette-studio/ . If that doesn’t work, let me know and we can troubleshoot some more!

  2. I have a cameo 4. I am trying to cut felt with the rotary blade. It is not cutting with a test cut or regular cut. No cutting lines at all. It has cut felt before. I have taken the blade out and cleaned Debris from the blade. I Have no idea why it’s not cutting.

    1. Hi Nicole! Have you manually adjusted the depth of the rotary blade? Do you see blue bold lines in the Send Preview window? If the answer to both of those questions is “yes”, try changing the Action from “Auto (Rotary)” to “Rotary Cut” and see if that helps. Let me know! (edited to clarify that that setting needs to be for Rotary Cut action, not a simple cut action)

        1. The blade comes with the safety cap covering the blade. To use the blade, you have to tighten the safety cap to expose the blade. When you cut felt before, were you cutting with the rotary blade?

          1. I know that’s frustrating! Could you email me some photos or video of the mat loaded in the machine with the blade installed, along with a screenshot of the preview & the settings in the Send panel? We could also set up a (free) 30-minute troubleshooting session via Zoom or FaceTime if you think that would be helpful. My email is Lycia [at] caught by design [dot] com (no spaces).

          2. It’s really hard for me to say without actually seeing what it’s doing (or not doing). You can try resetting the carriage by unplugging the machine from the computer and the wall, then gently sliding the tool carriage all the way to the right and back to the left. Repeat for a total of 3 times, ending in the center or on the right. Then plug the machine back in and let the carriage return to its proper position. Because you’re using a rotary blade, this won’t affect the blade adjustment, but if the tool carriage is out of alignment it can cause other cutting issues as well.

    2. I am having the same problem sort of, with my cameo 4 and vinyl. i get the settings right for one Oracle 651 color (solid not glitter) and switch and then the blade goes crazy- i have auto blade, setting 1 force 2 speed 3 and it cuts right through the vinyl. i am so frustrated i want to return the machine.

      1. Hi Shari! I know that’s frustrating! The first thing to check is that your blade is fully inserted and locked into place. There should be no gap between the collar on the blade and the tool holder. Then watch the blade to make sure the red line is moving as the blade is adjusting. If it’s not, then the blade depth isn’t actually changing. Lastly, you may need to reset your carriage. Sometimes the tool carriage can get out of alignment, which will keep your blade from adjusting properly. I have a free download available that explains more of the troubleshooting tips in detail. If you’re interested, you can find it here: https://bit.ly/3e6oLrq

  3. Hi. I bought a silhouette Portrait 3. It came with an auto blade, and i think its installed correctly, i hold it down and close the lever, and the program recognizes “autoblade detectedl”, but the little light on the lever is not lit, and the machine will not cut at all. It will trace the design, and you can see it very faintly, but it is not cutting at all. I cant find any troubleshooting help, but did find your site.

    Thank you for any help.

    1. Hi Bill! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. The dot on the lever doesn’t actually light up, it just shows the color, so you’re ok there. Are you cutting vinyl? If so, try increasing the blade depth to 2, the force to 15, and the action to “Cut” instead of “Auto(Cut)”and see if that helps. If not, let me know and I’ll be happy to troubleshoot with you further.

      1. Thanks SO much, Lycia! Yes, sorry, i forgot to mention it is shiny vinyl. I will try these and see where that gets me. Thanks again!

  4. I got my Cameo 4 all set up, test print was perfect, when I wanted to cut my project the blade moved all the way to the right and start cutting next to the vinyl

    not sure how to fix this

    1. Hello Heike! It sounds like your tool carriage needs to be reset. Turn off the machine and unplug all the cords from the machine and the wall. Gently slide the carriage all the way to the right, then back to the left. Repeat for a total of 3 times, ending on the right. Restart the software then plug everything back in and power on the machine. The carriage should return to the left. Try the cut again and see if that fixes it. (You may want to download and print out my Silhouette Troubleshooting Guide so that you’ll have this info for future reference. You can find it here: https://bit.ly/3e6oLrq ) If that doesn’t fix it, let me know and we will troubleshoot further!

  5. Hello,
    I have a Cameo 3 and its been working perfect until recently. no matter what blade depth I choose it always goes to 1. It moves fine with its being adjusted but it always goes to 1 now. I have no idea how to fix this.

    1. Hi Danee! Do you mean that your Autoblade will not adjust beyond a setting of 1? Here are some things I would check: (1) is the blade housing cracked? (2) are the adjustment holes in the bed of the machine blocked? (3) Does the blade need to be cleaned? Also, have you tried a different blade?

  6. I have a new portrait 3 machine and it won’t cut. I contacted customer support and after waiting days I finally chatted with a guy who had me delete a file and unplug and replug everything. It worked – once. Now it is back to not cutting and doing those steps again didn’t fix it. I’m ready to return the machine but when I found your post I thought I’d reach out to see if you can help. I can see that the Autoblade is not changing settings even though it taps. I tried manually setting the Autoblade depth and it still didn’t change — the red line stays at 0. Help?

    1. Hi Debra! Thanks for reaching out! I know you must be very frustrated. The first thing to check is that the AutoBlade is fully inserted. If you’ve already checked that, email me (lycia at caughtbydesign dot com) and we’ll do some more troubleshooting.

      1. Thank you for being so willing to help. My husband insisted that the machine was defective and took it back to the store and exchanged it. The new machine works perfectly! It sounds different, too, so I guess the first one had something wrong.

          1. Your tip about the placement of the mat just saved me from pulling my hair out! I had been dealing with the issue of the Portrait 3 not cutting (always when I’m away at a crop!) and I could not, even after running through the “steps” from Silhouette for resetting everything, get it to cut! I read your tips and now it’s working! Of course, it was user error, but I’m just glad it’s working!

            Thanks so much!

          2. I’m so glad to hear that Sherry! I’m not sure why they made the placement different on the Portrait vs. the Cameo, but it’s confusing to a lot of people. Thank you for commenting – and happy cutting!

  7. I NEED HELP! I can’t seem to figure out why my silhouette portrait 3 won’t cut where its supposed to!? I’ve tried looking up videos on it and read up on it and I can’t figure it out. It won’t read the registration lines and it won’t cut out the image properly. It will either be too much to the left, or too much to the right. I must be doing something wrong but I don’t know what it is!

  8. Hi , urgent help needed
    My cameo 3 would not tap at all
    To begin to change the blade settings to start to cut the design

  9. I have the silhouette cameo 3. I have used it for a couple of years with no problems. Then a few weeks ago all of a sudden it wasn’t cutting around the designs all the way. I checked everything. Made sure autoblade was locked in right, make sure settings were correct, tried different designs, even tried rachet blade. It’s almost like when I was weeding it some spots were just perferated. I watched the autoblade to make sure it was adjusting to what the settings were and it was. So I decided to bump my blade setting up 2 and it worked, it seems to me that the carriage that holds the blades is not bringing it down far enough for the settings. I am at a loss here as to what has happened and can’t get help from anyone. Do you think it has anything to do with the strip needing replaced, I wouldn’t think so, but at this point I’m out of ideas. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Tina! The cutting strip was my first thought as I was reading your comment. However, if it happened suddenly it may be something else. Do you recall anything happening to the machine shortly before you had cutting problems? Is the problem always in the same area? If so, it could definitely be the cutting strip or the mat. If you’re using a mat, does it have any damaged spots or debris in the areas where designs aren’t cutting? Another thing you could try before replacing the cutting strip is to recalibrate the tool housing. Turn the machine off and unplug all the cords from the machine and the outlet. Manually slide the tool carriage all the way to the right and back to the left. Repeat for a total of 3 times, ending in the middle or on the right. Restart the software and reconnect the machine. The tool carriage will reset as the machine is connected. Let me know if any of these steps help and if they don’t, I’ll be happy to do more troubleshooting with you.

      1. I did try calibrating the tool carriage like you said, I was so hopefully that was going to fix it but it didn’t change anything. It’s a fairly new mat, no debris on it. I do not recall anything happening before I had problems, it was cutting just fine. The cutting strip doesnt look bad but I really don’t know what else to do. Like I said if I set the blade setting up 2 higher than what it calls for it cuts fine, I just want to figure out what happened and why I have to do this

        1. Hi again Tina. I know that’s frustrating. I’ll need to see pictures or video of the machine to troubleshoot further. If you will email me, I’ll work with you to troubleshoot further.

          1. Thank you so much for responding so quickly and trying to help me. I appreciate it more than you know. I will email you tomorrow with some photos and videos.

        2. Same thing happened to me!
          Cutting just fine, then the next piece of vinyl (same material same settings) only cut through half way! Re-cut and missed the same spots. I’ve only used the machine maybe 8 times, thought I could have dulled the blade. Changed that. Cut one time clean, then missed cuts. Not sure what’s wrong.

          1. If it’s missing in the same spots (and you’ve been able to cut the same design successfully at least once), it is most likely either debris getting in the way, a damaged cutting strip, or the machine needing to be recalibrated. If it’s missing in the same spot each and every time and you haven’t been able to cut it correctly even once, double-click on the design in Silhouette Studio and see if you see any bright red dots. If you do, there are some open cutting paths.

  10. Thank you for this great post, Lycia. I’ve been using a Cameo 2 for years and love it, however recently decided to upgrade to the new Cameo 4 Pro. I feel like its been a disappointing purchase. For example, the autoblade will not adjust – eg doesn’t move off the 0. (Have done all the troubleshooting suggested and have reached out the Silhouette customer service and waiting for a response)

    The biggest frustration is that when I set a cut for more than one pass, the blade doesn’t perform the second or third pass in the same place consistently – eg there will be several random places where it seems to cut slightly outside or inside of the first pass cut. This means the designs are not cleanly cut. This happens regardless of the type of media and adjusting the settings does not make any difference.
    Have never experienced this issue with my older Cameo, which would cut consistently in the same spot with each pass. Considering the cost of the new Pro its been very disappointing!
    Any suggestions on what might be causing this and how to remedy so I can get back to enjoying my crafting?

  11. Hi i have the cameo 4 and just today I noticed the autoblade isn’t cutting through my vinyl properly. no matter what setting i have it on and whether it is glossy vinyl or heat transfer it just will not cut through properly. i have checked to make sure the cap is tight, the blade is in correctly, i have just bought a new mat so it’s sticky! I’ve checked everything i can think of! please give me something I haven’t already tried, the blade seems sharp still too!

    1. Hi Michelle! Have you been able to cut vinyl with this machine before? If not, there are a couple of things I would suggest. The first is to check the blade and make sure the needle is actually moving when it adjusts. You could also try resetting the housing. Turn off the machine and unplug all cords. Gently move the carriage all the way to the right, then all the way back to the left. Repeat two times (for a total of 3), ending with the carriage in the center. Plug everything back in and let the carriage move into the correct position and try again. I’ve found that I have to increase my autoblade depth to 2 or 3 and increase the force as well. Lastly, try a ratchet blade or a premium blade with the vinyl presets. I get much better results with the ratchet/premium blades.

  12. I have a Cameo 4 and it leaves stray cuts on all types of material, vinyl, sticker paper, ect. Ive tried watching all the YouTube videos and I have tried their website and moved around settings and nothing helps. please help me, of should I get a refund?

    1. Are you using the Autoblade? It sounds like the blade isn’t inserted properly. The cap may also be loose, which will interfere with your cuts as well. Make sure the blade is inserted fully with no visible gap between the collar on the blade and the tool holder. Once you’ve inserted the blade, hold it down with one finger and push the tool holder in to lock it in place, then try to cut something. I find that a capital letter B makes a really good test cut!

  13. Hi, I have the Cameo 4 and my desings are cutting through the vinyl like they are supposed to but the issue is that some of the words aren’t cutting at all, I checked the cut lines and its not that, and also, on some of the designs it is almost like the vinyl moved because my writing isn’t lined up on the vinyl like it is on my computer. My mat isn’t as sticky but I tape the vinyl down so it isn’t the issue of it moving. I would so greatly appreciate it if you have any insight to what the problem is. Thank you so much!!!!

    1. Hi Donielle! The first thing I recommend is that you check to make sure your blade is inserted fully and locked into place. There should be no visible gap between the collar on the blade and the lock lever. Next, make sure that your housing is not out of alignment. Turn off the Cameo and unplug all the cords. Gently move the blade housing to the center of the machine. Restart your software, plug the machine back in and connect it to your computer, and allow the housing to reset. Then try the cut again. If neither of those steps work, try a new blade – either a ratchet blade (in the adapter) or a new Autoblade. Let me know what happens!

  14. I have the new Cameo 4. When I do a test it works perfectly. Then I press send and it won’t cut all the way through. It doesn’t look like the red line is moving from 0 to 5 or 6 or whatever number. Strange thing is that it moves and cuts on Test. Any idea??

    1. Hi Molly! I’m so sorry you’re having trouble! How long have you had your machine? There was an issue with some of the first Autoblades not adjusting properly but since yours is working for the Test Cut it may be something different. Here’s what I would suggest: (1) Make sure that the blade is pushed all the way down and locked into place. There should be no visible gaps between the collar on the blade and the Tool Holder. (2) Make sure there is nothing in the rectangular recess or the little hole in the bed of the machine just to the left of the tool holder (the little hole is different from the adjustment hole that’s toward the front of the machine). (3) Make sure your housing is not out of alignment. To check this, turn off the machine and disconnect all cords. Gently slide the blade housing to the middle of the machine. Restart your software, then plug in the machine and turn it on. The housing should move and reset to the left side of the machine. (4) If none of these steps work, I would try a different Autoblade. If the new Autoblade works, contact Silhouette America and they will replace the defective one. Let me know what you find out!

  15. I have a cameo 3 and am having a issue with cutting into my vinyl. Both blades are not cutting thru the vinyl. I have contacted silhouette several times, but have had no response.
    I have adjusted the blade settings to other settings but still nothing. Please help!

    1. Hi Rita! When you say “both blades” what exactly do you mean? Have you tried both the Autoblade and the ratchet blade or are you using some other type of blade? If you’ve tried a brand-new blade (or two!) and it’s not cutting, then the problem is either with the settings you’re using or the blade is not making contact with the vinyl for some reason. Remember though, you don’t want to cut all the way through the sheet. You need to make a “kiss-cut” that cuts through the vinyl but leaves the backing intact.

  16. Problem #5 – I had my autoblade stop adjusting in between two cut jobs. After about 15 minutes of making sure nothing was in the way, changing the blade, and just dinking around with it, I finally gave the machine a good old fashion reboot and it worked like a charm.

  17. Please help. I purchased a new ratchet blade to cut faux leather sheets and it is not cutting. I’ve check the white tip to make sure no gaps, installed it like suggested, checked settings ractchet blade and cut but nothing
    What am I missing

    1. Hi Carol! Sorry you’re having trouble. Cutting faux leather can be tricky. What cut settings are you using, what machine, and what type of faux leather? Smooth surface? Fabric or fleece backing?

        1. I haven’t used any of the Cricut leather. Have you tried cutting from the reverse side? Up the Force to 33 and see if that helps. You may also need more passes.

  18. Hi, I’m having trouble with my Cameo 3. After I hit Send, the machine says “Job Complete” but it didn’t cut or move at all. I dont know how to fix it. Please help.

    1. Hi Carol! Are you by any chance trying to cut an SVG file? If so, make sure that the cut lines are turned on in the Send panel. By default, they are usually turned off. Hope this helps!

  19. Hello! I just started having trouble with my Silhouette Curio. It cuts, but they’re not clean cuts, and it tears my paper. It was cutting just fine, then it started tearing. I tried cleaning the blade, but I’m pretty sure I accidentally twisted the way the blade is supposed to be facing and I don’t know how to fix it! Can someone please tell me which way the blade needs to be facing??

    1. Hi Itzie! Sorry you’re having trouble. Can you tell me which blade you’re using? You can also send me a photo of your blade and I’ll be happy to take a closer look. Email it to lycia .at. caughtbydesign.com

  20. This article helped tremendously! I have a cameo 3, used only a couple times but my auto blade was not cutting correctly . I wasted SOOO MUCH heat transfer vinyl. I checked that the blade was installed properly, bought a new auto blade and mat, checked settings, checked if strip was damaged….it all came down to updated firmware. I was only one update away from being current but that’s all it took. Wish I would have done that first and I wouldn’t have saved over $100 in materials. I learned and thank you!

    1. It definitely happens, Laurali. What version of the software are you using? Is your firmware up to date? Have you tried manually clearing the queue and/or shutting everything down, restarting, and sending the job again?

      1. The firmware I updated to 1.60 a few weeks ago. The software is Silhouette Studio 4.2. I have tried everything it cut one thing yesterday and has 1 queue and it won’t allow me to clear it at all.

        1. Were you ever able to clear the queue? My suggestion in a case like this is always to unplug EVERYTHING – from the wall, the computer, and the machine. Wait a few minutes, restart the software, then plug the machine back in and see if that helps.

  21. Hi,
    I tried to cut something on my portrait 2 and it says cutting complete but nothing has cut, the blade doesn’t infancy move.
    It is working to do a tester tho.
    Please. Can you advise?
    Kind regards

    1. Hi Suzanne! Are you by any chance trying to cut an SVG file? By default, they load with the cut lines turned off. Click on the design to select it then look in the Send panel (Silhouette Studio V4) and be sure the design is set to “Cut” or “Cut Edge”. Hope this helps!

  22. Hi I have the portrait 2 and while it has been cutting ok today I have tried to cut a basic number 30 checked all the setting nothing changed there also updated the software, cleaned the machine and the blade inside and out seems to do the 1st cut fine but then makes a juddering noise and the 2nd cut is way off please help

    1. Hi Patricia! I’m sorry to hear that you’re having this trouble! Is this happening every time? It sounds as if the blade is hanging up at some point. Have you looked to see if there’s any damage to your cutting strip? I know you’ve cleaned your blade, but have you also tried a brand-new blade? If you’ve been cutting adhesive vinyl, you might also look to see if there are any small bits stuck anywhere that might hamper the blade from moving properly.

      1. Hi Lycia me again I’m trying to make a happy birthday cake topper front and back I have my design and been using the replicate and mirror tools but for some reason when they have been cut they don’t seem to fit together the same one side seems to be being cut a bit bigger any ideas what I’m doing wrong hope this makes sense and really really hope you can help I’m at the point of giving up with the portrait 2 I’ve updated the software cleaned everything in the machine and even used a new blade and mat and Both sides still dont match up please help before I give up and bin it xx thanks

        1. It sounds like you’re doing everything right! I don’t think it will make any difference, but you could try using copy & paste and then flip one image horizontally (as opposed to replicating). Another suggestion – depending on what you’re cutting the cake topper from, could you simply turn the media over on the mat and cut the image without mirroring?

  23. I just got a new Cameo 3. I’ve had the original Cameo for years. I am trying to cut a design out of a cereal box and it’s just not cutting through. I’ve tried several times and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. It will cut just not all the way through. I’ve read several blog posts of people doing just this with their Cameo. What am I doing wrong?
    I’m doing a piece of cardboard (cereal box) with paper on both sides (glued) I’ve tried cutting on a 5 with 2 passes then on 10 one pass. I’ve tried 10 with two passes. Force is always 33.

    1. Hi Vicki! I assume that you’re using an Autoblade with your new Cameo 3. One of the most common issues (especially when the machine is new) is not having the blade properly installed and locked down. When not installed correctly, the blade cannot adjust properly, nor will it make proper contact with your media.

      To install the blade, pull the locking tab to open, insert the blade, press down firmly until there is no gap where the blade and the locking tab meet, then push the tab back in to lock. When your machine is new, it may feel like you’re having to force the blade down to get it properly installed but it will get easier with time. You may also need to press lightly on the top of the blade to hold it in place while locking the tab. Once you have the blade installed, watch the red needle as the blade auto-adjusts to make sure it is adjusting to the correct setting.

      Unless the paper you’ve added to the cereal box is quite thick, you should be able to cut as described, but may need multiple passes. The Cameo 3 has cutting depth of 2mm, so if your median exceeds that, it will not load or cut properly. If this is the case, you could try cutting the paper and cereal box separately and then adhering the pieces together. I often cut multiple pieces of Silhouette chipboard and then layer them together to get the thickness I want.

      I hope this helps. If you still have’difficulty, don’t hesitate to ask more questions. Happy cutting!

  24. I’ve had my Silhouette portrait 2 for about 6 months, and after a lot(!) of trying and failing I finally got to a point where everything I cut with the machine was exactly like I imagined it to be! BUT, I haven’t used my machine for a few weeks now, but yesterday I decided to get my crafts on again! Except, everything I’m trying to cut fails! The cut is uneven, it doesn’t hit the cut marks I’ve made in silhouette studio. I tried cutting an even circle both as a kiss cut as well as with a tiny boarder, but it’s all off.. do you have any idea why this is happening? when I’m printing several motives on the same page, the first motive usually gets cut right, but not the rest of them. So frustrating now that I’m so inspired and motivated..

    1. Thanks for the comment Mia! It’s hard to say without looking at your machine, but the first thing I would check is that the blade is installed correctly and fully locked down. Next, make sure that the mat (or the media if you’re cutting without a mat) is not slipping or shifting as it feeds through the machine. If neither of those things are the problem, there are additional troubleshooting steps to take like trying a new blade and checking the settings in Studio. Please let me know if you need further help!

      1. Thank you so much for replying to my problem!!
        I have checked the blade, even inside it to see if there’s resedue in it,but there were none. I have also made sure it is fully locked in place.
        How do I check if the mat is sliding? If that is the peoblem it make sense since the first motives cut right, but the rest is slightly off, everytime. I’m definitely looking in to buying a new blade!
        (I read some tips about closing the lid on the silhouette while cutting, if the glare of the light caused it, and it helped, but it’s still not on point).
        Again thank you so much for getting back to me so soon!
        Have an amazing day!

        1. Hi again Mia! I’m happy to try to help :). Are you cutting a Print & Cut design? (I ask because you mention closing the lid to reduce glare.) If so, that’s a different issue. The main thing to check in that case is that you’ve chosen the correct paper size to match your printer, that you haven’t adjusted the registration marks, and that none of your design is in the cross-hatched areas shown in the Silhouette Studio workspace. As for the mat slipping, watch it as it feeds through the machine and make sure it’s feeding evenly and straight. That’s not usually an issue with the Portrait. Let me know how it goes and we’ll do further troubleshooting if necessary.

  25. I have a silhouette portrait, it was cutting fine then all of a sudden it just seems to be scori g the vinyl, I’ve been through all the trouble shootings and adjusted the blade each time on each setting, I’ve cleaned the blade, sharpened and sharpened it, the settings on the computer haven’t been changed..

  26. I’ve had my machine for 2 weeks and I’m about to throw it away! Not once have I been able to load my vinyl, click send and it cut. The only way I can get it to work at all is to load it, push the usb button, let it check for it and then it will cut. SOMETIMES. A majority of thetime the blade will prime itself but never cut and then say that the job is complete.

    1. I know that is VERY frustrating, Keila! Can you give me a little more info? Which machine do you have? What version of Studio are you using? Are you Mac or Windows? Have you verified that your firmware is the most recent version (1.6)?

      1. I have the cameo 3. I have the basic studio version (if I ever get it to work correctly, I will upgrade to professional). I’m using windows and I do have the most recent firmware.

          1. I am having the same problem. I have wasted so much vinyl. Any help would be appreciated.

          2. Hi Elaine! I’d be happy to try to help. Can you give me a little more detail about what problems you’re experiencing?

    1. Hi Delphine! I’m so sorry you’re having trouble. Are you using the original Portrait or the Portrait 2? Either way, check to see if the blade cap is firmly screwed back into place. If you’re using an Autoblade, make sure the cap has not been overtightened and check the red needle mark to confirm that the blade is actually adjusting.

  27. Hi Lycia…Ready to throw my brand new machine away. Beyond frustrated! No instructions in regards to the blade…I googled, followed instructions, but as I see with your pics, the blade is not all the way in. Now I cannot get it out and am loath to add any more pressure downways to get it to be flush as in your pic. It seems to be stuck in no man’s land with that little space happening…just by the by…..there is a blue light….but I KNOW it isn’t all the way in. Any suggestions? Please feel free to email me. I can send a pic of what is happening.

    1. Hi Michelle! Don’t throw your machine out the window just yet ;). Email me a photo of your blade in the machine and I’ll see what I can do to help.

  28. So, I am cutting a large FAMILY out, but I am breaking it down to one or two letters at a time. Everytime I go to cut, it starts making crazy lines across, up, down, around, all over my viynl. I have erased and made a new one, I have updated silhouette studio, updated my firmware. I don’t know what eles to do. Please help

    1. Hi Brandy! So sorry you’re having trouble. Sounds like you’ve done a good deal of troubleshooting so far. It’s hard for me to offer any suggestions without a little more info. Is there any way you could send me a video via email or private message? Is your Silhouette behaving like this on all designs or just this one?

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