How To Test Cut in Silhouette Studio & Find Your Ideal Cut Settings
If you own a Silhouette Cameo 1, 2, or 3 you probably know that you possess a very powerful machine that can cut all kinds of materials. Basically the crafting door is wide open and waiting for you to get creative. Whether you craft for business or pleasure, heat transfer vinyl is a useful material. Customizing textiles with logos, names, and images is simple with HTV. All you need is your Silhouette Cameo, Siser® HTV, and either a home iron or heat press. A home iron is great for general crafting, but if you want to start selling your items we definitely recommend investing in a heat press.
But before you make anything it’s best familiarize yourself with HTV and how to use it (that’s where this post comes in!) instead of wasting a whole roll of vinyl. The best way to reduce wasted material is to test and adjust your cut settings for every HTV type you use (ie. EasyWeed®, Glitter, Brick® 600, etc.) It’s also beneficial to do a test cut even when you may be using the same material, but a different color. There can be minor variations from color to color that can effect your cut settings. Knowing how to test cut and identify a good cut is invaluable! So let’s get started!
Place HTV Glossy Side Down and Matte Side Up
The shiny side of the material is the clear carrier. The carrier holds the heat transfer vinyl pieces in place so they’re always properly aligned. The carrier side goes face down on the cutting mat because we need it to stay intact for heat application. So the duller, adhesive side of the material is the side that gets cut. During heat application the carrier side will be face up. This is why you must always mirror your image and text in your designs before cutting.
Align and Load Cutting Mat
Line up the edge of the cutting mat up with the blue guideline on the left side. Your mat should now have an equal margin on either side of the pinch rollers. If your mat slides under the pinch rollers without resistance, they may not be locked in place. Double check the white lever on the right of the machine (red arrow pictured). If it’s turned down, the rollers are raised slightly and not ready for cutting. It should be turned up in the locked position.
It’s very important that the mat is fed straight into the machine. Press the mat up against the roller bar while pressing “Load” on the touch screen. If you’re working with the Cameo 1 or 2 you’ll select “Load Mat” unless you want to cut the HTV without the mat. Cutting HTV without the mat can be done and is helpful when you want to cut a design larger than the 12″ or even 24″ mat. Check out this post if you want to cut HTV without the mat.
Use The Test Cut Function in Silhouette Studio
Conveniently, Silhouette Studio has a test cut feature. To find this tool you’ll have to go to the Send window and select Heat Transfer (Smooth, Flocked, or Glitter depending on what you’re working with.) After selecting the material type, you can adjust the Blade, Speed, and Force settings if necessary. If you find yourself consistently changing these settings to our recommendations, know that you have the option to save those settings and label them “EasyWeed” for example.
If your machine only has one tool holder then you’re ready to select “Test.” However, the Cameo 3 is equipped with a dual carriage, so if want to use both blades select the drop down arrow next to the blue circle. Now you can make setting adjustments like you did with Tool 1. To test cut your second blade, select the blue circle next to “Test” and use the arrows in the software or on the touch screen to move the blade to a new area and select “Test” to cut.
If you have a Cameo 3 with the dual blade carriage, then you also received an Auto Blade. Please note that the Auto Blade is only compatible with the Cameo 3 and can only go in the first (red) tool holder. Also, the Auto Blade must be selected as the “Tool” in Silhouette Studio for the machine to know to adjust the blade length. If the “Tool” is set to Ratchet Blade, but an Auto Blade is in the holder, the machine will not adjust the blade. The Auto Blade is “automatic” in the sense that the Cameo will change the length of the blade to whatever you’ve set on the dial in Silhouette Studio. The Auto Blade does not sense the material thickness and adjust accordingly. You must manually select the blade setting for the machine to automatically adjust the blade length.
Unload the Cutting Mat
After the test cut is completed unload the mat.
Weed and Inspect the Test Cut
The Silhouette Cameo will cut a triangle shape inside of a square as the test cut. Weed the triangle first. If the material rips instead of separating easily then the cut settings were too low. Increase only the Force until you can weed the triangle easily. If you reach the highest Force and the material is still not cut deep enough then it’s time to bring your blade out further.
A good test cut will have visible score marks from the blade. The lines should be complete and connecting at all corners. However, if you run your finger on the glossy side of the carrier you should not be able to feel the cut marks through the carrier. If you can feel the cut lines through the carrier then you’re getting dangerously close to puncturing it. If you cut through the carrier, reduce your blade depth and/or Force.
Adjust the Ratchet Blade
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is the only Silhouette machine that uses the Auto Blade. This tool eliminates the need to manually adjust the blade depth. However since the Cameo 3 is equipped with a dual carriage, you can still use the Ratchet Blades. The older versions of the Cameo also use a Ratchet Blade.
To adjust the blade, remove it from the carriage (pull the plastic tab on the Cameo 3. The Cameo 1 and 2 have a twisting lock).
Then fit the blade into the adjustment socket. Align the white arrow on the socket with the red dash on the blade holder and twist until you’ve reached your desired blade length.
Keep in mind that a well used blade will require higher cut settings than a fresh new blade. Many Silhouette users dedicate certain blades to certain materials. Your HTV blade will stay sharper longer if it’s not also cutting through other materials like fabric and cardstock.
You’re now ready to take on HTV projects with your Silhouette Cameo 1, 2, or 3! If you liked this post, pin the image below. If you’d like to know more about the basics of HTV check out this post.
Help- I have a Cameo 3 with an auto blade. I have it set to 1 for depth and 1 for thickness and it is still cutting through the protective plastic material. I can’t lower is any more and I am using siser easy weed vinyl
Hi Mica, make sure within your Silhouette Studio cut settings that the “Auto Blade” is selected from the drop down menu. If ratchet blade is selected the Auto Blade will not automatically adjust. Additionally, remember to place the shiny carrier side face down on the mat and the duller side face up. If you’re still experiencing issues, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, can someone assist me.
I am trying to get familiar with the Silhouette Cameo 3 and can’t seem to get the Siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl to cut my design. Please advise what my settings should be? Urgently need this remedy. Thanks.
Hi Christine, You can find all of our cutter settings on each product page of the site. I’ve copied the Silhouette Cameo setting here for you.
• Blade: Standard, 3
• Material: Heat Transfer, Smooth
• Speed: 8
• Force: 6
Where can I buy this paper for good price and get good amount for my money please email me
Hi Jesus! Please check your inbox for an email from our sales staff. They will be reaching out to you directly.
I am having the opposite problem.
My blade is set at 10 and I have worked my way up to the maximum force of 33 and it still will not cut all the way through the HTV.
I don’t have this problem making stickers (I use Oracle 651)
Courtney, I’d suggest cleaning your blade or perhaps trying a fresh blade. Unless you’re working with Brick™ a blade setting of 10 should not be necessary. Our recommended cut settings for each HTV can be found on the product pages of our website. If a new blade and our cut settings don’t solve the issue, please email me directly at Lily.Campau@SiserNA.com and I’d be happy to help troubleshoot further.
Mine does the same thing. My carrier vinyl is face down like it should be.
Hi Cassey! Make sure the Auto Blade is selected in Silhouette Studio to ensure it auto adjusts. If you have an older blade, it may be best to use that one until your brand new Auto Blade gets slightly worn. Additionally, if you’re cutting through make sure to use a cutting mat to protect the cutting strip on your machine.
I figured it out! (Cameo 3) After much frustrated experimentation! After taking the auto blade out and manually changing the blade depth, I noticed that the software was always set at three and (even though I don’t have a rachet blade, the little hints on the send page said put the ratchet to 3. I changed the blade depth to 5 in the material editing page (thickness 8, speed 5, tracking enhanced on), and I GOT A CUT that wasn’t too thin or too thick! Before this minor tweak, I was trying the slowest (1), thickest (33) setting with no mat and not getting a deep enough cut, then using the mat, and setting it to the lightest cut (1) and a faster speed, it was cutting the carrier.
Sooooooooooo……………. The Auto Blade isn’t THAT auto. You must tell it via the software (the little image of the numbers on a dial) to change the depth.
Deep exhale… Just in time, I was running out of it!!
Can the auto blade cut heat transfer brick vinyl?
You sure can! You’ll need to set the AutoBlade to Blade: 10, Speed: 4, Thickness:20. However, these settings will vary especially if your blade is brand new or well worn.
I cannot get a good cut on my Cameo 3 on Glitter HTV it either cuts through or doesn’t cut at all. When I adjust setting on software sometimes the marker on actual blade goes to 0? What am I doing wrong!!!!????
Hi Stephanie, I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing issues with the Cameo 3! May I suggest trying the same settings in the software with the ratchet blade instead of the AutoBlade? If it’s the AutoBlade causing the problem, you may need to update the cutter’s firmware as well as the software. If you’re still experiencing issues, please email me directly at email@example.com with photos of your cut settings, and I will personally help trouble shoot this :)
I have a cameo 2 and I just updated my version to 4.1. I am having trouble cutting HTV, it either doesn’t cut or it cuts all the way through. Before the upgrade I had my setting at speed 5 thickness 11 and blade 2 for my HTV and thickness 27 for my glitter, it worked fine. With this new upgrade (i hate it) I can’t figure out what setting to use. What material setting do i use for HTV? HTV glitter? HTV flock, indoor and outdoor Vinyl? Please help a frustrated silhouette 2 user out!
Dee, any material setting on the Silhouette can be adjusted to different Thicknesses, Speeds, and Blade depths, so even if you’re using the HTV Flock setting, it can be adjusted to the settings for Glitter HTV. Our recommended cut settings for Glitter heat transfer vinyl can be found here. However, if your blade is new you may need to scale back the cut settings where if your blade is older or more used then you may need to increase the settings. A test cut will help to judge your settings before cutting the full design. If you’re still having trouble after these tips, please email me directly at Lily.Campau@SiserNA.com for further troubleshooting.
I’m using a Silhouette Cameo with a Rachet blade but it cuts right through the Siser Easyweed HTV. The sample corner works fine, but when I cut the words it cuts it all. Tried setting the blade down a notch and it didn’t cut enough. Any idea what I can do to correct this issue. Managed to ruin a whole roll already.
Hi Kitty, sorry to hear you’re having trouble cutting EasyWeed® HTV! If the blade isn’t cutting through at the lower setting you mentioned, try lowering the Thickness setting and bringing the blade to a higher setting. Our recommended cut settings for EasyWeed® heat transfer vinyl can be found here, but they may need to be adjusted if you’re working with a new, sharp blade or an older, dull blade. If you’re still experiencing issues, please email me directly at Lily.Campau@SiserNA.com with any photos of your cut HTV so I can help troubleshoot further.
Hello I have a question. Do I need transfer tape once I have cut the image out. Because I got a roll of htv there is no sort of back at all. All tutorials I have seen so far seem to have a white backing which ours does not. So I am missing that part. Also if I am making an image that’s is 2 inches by 6 I can cut the vinyl to that size and put it on my mat. And when using this brand I want my shiny side down because we mirror the image. Correct?
Jennifer, Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) does not require a transfer tape because the material comes on a clear carrier that functions as a built in application tape. Our new Pressure Sensitive Vinyl (PSV), however, comes on a paper backing and requires a transfer tape for adhesion to hard goods. Some HTV has a white backing to block dyes from the t-shirt from seeping through the HTV color and protects the HTV’s vibrancy, but not all colors require the white backing, so don’t worry if it’s not present. You’re correct though, a 2″ x 6″ image is fine to cut on your mat, and HTV always goes shiny side down so you must cut the image in reverse (mirror it.)
I have a Cameo3 and I am totally lost. I have Silhouette Studio the updated version and I cant get a good test cut or anything! I am using Siser EasyWeed with the autoblade. Its brand new. Is there anyway you can do a video from start to finish because the new software only has the blade, speed, force and pass.
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that, Quon! We have plans for future videos on this subject, so keep an eye on our Youtube channel. For the time being, just know that the “Thickness” setting in older versions of Silhouette Studio is the same as the “Force” setting in V.4. So, for example, our recommended settings for EasyWeed® are Blade: 3, Speed: 8, Thickness/Force: 6. However, with a brand new blade you will likely have to lower these settings in order to not cut through the carrier sheet. If you are still having trouble, please feel free to contact me directly at Lily.Campau@SiserNA.com.
Im trying to cut sissor heat transfer vinyl on silhouette curio and it keepa cutting right through I have thickness at 1 my blade is at 1, what am I doing wrong?
Hi Hope, if you’re using a brand new, sharp blade you may need to try an older one. Additionally, make sure to use a cutting mat, and leave the clear carrier sheet on during cutting and heat applying. If you’re still experiencing issues, please send photos and email me directly at Lily.Campau@SiserNA.com.
Hi Lily, I have wasted so much time & vinyl since the update to Silhouette Designer 4.1. Everything I did cut through the material & mat. I contacted Silhouette Support & they wanted me to make a video & send to them. Seriously I can’t that. So I have been on mission without their help. I used the EasyWeed settings above & was perfect! Now for glitter etc. That auto blade (NOT)works sometimes. The Heat Transfer Vinyl Smooth on Silhouette cuts through everything. I will be back for more settings to cut your other products. Thanks very much!
Hi Leigh, sorry you’ve been having so many troubles! I’m glad you found some help here. Our recommended cut settings for each HTV are listed on their product page of the website as well as the Siser App. It sounds like you may be using a new, sharp blade though so a test cut will help you know if you need to raise or lower your settings. Keep in mind with the Auto Blade as well, that it does not sense the thickness of the material and adjust accordingly. You still must indicate in Silhouette Studio the cut settings as well as the tool being used (just like when using a ratchet blade.) Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further questions :)
Do you think we can connect all these 3 machines “Silhouette Cameo 1, 2, 3” to only one laptop and using all of them at the same? If you know, please share me.
Hi! It’s possible to run multiple Silhouette machines at one time, however it requires the Business Edition of Silhouette Studio.
Which side faces up when cutting Siser glitter HTV with Silhouette Cameo?
Hi Donna! The dull, adhesive is face up while cutting Glitter. The sparkly side with the clear carrier should be face down on your cutting mat.
Hi im using the Cameo 3 and the design comes out perfect but when I try to take the excess vinyl off it seems like the cut just doesn’t go through the vinyl enough to cut it completely need help adjusting the settings correctly in order to get the cut im looking for.
Ps set vinyl adjustments at HTV smooth and nothing thank you.
Using Siser HTV
unable to find thickness settings
Hi Eric! HTV Smooth is a good starting point for EasyWeed® type products. The Siser recommended cut settings vary slightly and can be found on each product pages of http://www.SiserNA.com. You may want to test them out. Otherwise, it sounds like you need to increase the Thickness or Force as it’s now called in Silhouette Studio Version 4 and higher. “Thickness” was a left over typo since the update. Sorry for the confusion!
I have a cameo 3 business edition, 4.1. with the autoblade. Everytime I try siser htv is cuts through to the mat I have waisted a ton of vinyl and mats. I am trying to make a special shirt for my granddaughters birthday and am running out of time. Please tell me what the correct blade settings should be so I can compare them to the “presets” as well as the settings I have tried. Please help.
Hi Debbie, I’m so sorry you’re having troubles! I’d love to help you out, but I’ll need a bit more information first. Can you please tell me what kind of Siser® HTV you’re using and what cut settings you’ve tried? We have our recommended cut settings for each material listed on their product page of the Siser website, http://www.SiserNA.com. However, these are just a starting point and can be adjusted based on the age and wear of your blade as well as the intricacy of your cut file. If these tips don’t solve the issues, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you sort this out.
Do you have to use a cutting mat?
Good question, Christine! No, you do not have to use a cutting mat as long as the piece of HTV can fit evenly under the pinch rollers. This blog post explains how to adjust the settings in Silhouette Studio to cut without the mat.
I recently purchased the silhouette 3 and I feel like I wanna pull my hair out. I heard good reviews about it. I have wasted so many vinyl already. Its either cutting straight through or cutting but not at all… I am feeling like I made a mistake purchasing this machine.
Crystal, we have the cut settings for most craft cutters on our product pages. These will give you a good starting point for most materials. You may have to adjust based on blade condition and wear.
Hi. I’m new to my sihouette cameo 3, and when cutting it cuts through my easyweed. Please help have 5 days to do homecoming tshirts. My email is email@example.com. Thanks Alice.
Hi Alice! Can you please tell me what settings you’ve tried cutting EasyWeed® on? Also, are you using the Ratchet or Auto Blade? This information will help me advise you best. In the mean time, our suggested settings for EasyWeed can be found here. If you’re still having troubles, please feel free to email me at Lily.Campau@SiserNA.com with pictures of your project and I can help troubleshoot from there.
I had a cameo 2 and never had any issues but after I upgraded to the cameo 3 and the business software it now cuts thru my vinyl. I used easyweed HTv with a blade 1 speed 6 force 1 and it even cut the mat. I used this same setting on htv glitter and it cut thru material. Knowing I have been doing this for yrs without issues I do not believe it’s a user issue any ideas?
Hi Shana! I’m sorry you’re having trouble with your Cameo 3! I’d recommend checking your software and firmware for updates. Sometimes when they’re running on different versions there can be machine errors. Additionally, if you’re using an Auto Blade, ensure you’re adjusting the red tool setting in Silhouette Studio instead of the blue tool. If you’re still experiencing issues, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for further troubleshooting.
I have a cameo 2 and am using HTV vinyl. I cut through the carrier and was able to selvage my vinyl, but have some small areas of script writing where I cannot remove the carrier layer. Is there any easy way to remove it (the carrier layer) without stretching the vinyl out of shape?
Hi Hatty! If you have a weeding tool like our Siser® Weeder, you can use the point to separate the carrier from the HTV. Otherwise, a straight pin can be used to do the same in a pinch.
i have the first portrait and it works fine on card but when i try and cut heat vinyl it refuses to cut.put card back in and it cuts like a dream.please help
Hi Brenda! Our suggested cut settings for each type of HTV can be found under the color offerings on every product page of our website. I would suggest performing a test cut with these settings and adjusting if necessary. If you’re still experiencing issues, please email email@example.com.
I can’t get my canon 3 to cut my htv it don’t not cut the colour I need help
I’m sorry you’re having trouble, Ash! If your Cameo 3 isn’t cutting, make sure “cut” is enabled in the “Send” window. You’ll know its enabled when the design you want to cut has a thick red line (for tool 1) or a thick blue line (for tool 2) around it. If you’re still having trouble, please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I want to use my cameo to cut through the backing and vinyl, so that I can save scraps of HTV easier, what settings would I use for HTV easyweed? I want to cut through the layers, but try not to cut my mat too much. I have my settings for the actual image fine, but I just want to save a step of me using my scissors to cut out the scrap after I’m done with the image. Thanks!
Hello! Cut settings can vary depending on the age and wear of your blade. For us, a setting that just cuts through the carrier is Blade: 3, Speed: 10, Force: 30, but I’d recommend doing your own test cut to be sure these settings will work for your blade as well.
Okay just got my brand new cameo 3 and started messing around with all the materials it came with. I seem to be stuck in one particular part and I know once I get the answer to it I’m am going to be all like,”oh that’s what it was”. So I load my vinyl onto the mat, then unload. The problem here is once my vinyl is cut how do i get it off the cutting mat? Do I take everything off? Do I leave what I cut on the mat? This is the part that’s confusing to me. Please help ?
Hi Fernando! If your HTV was cut properly, you can peel the whole sheet away from the mat. If your cut pieces remain on the mat, then you cut through the carrier and your settings were too high, but the pieces are still usable. However, if you’re cutting EasyPSV™, I’d suggest peeling the mat away from the sheet, otherwise your PSV can curl afterwards.
Tried to cut siser htv glitter. Cut right through my brand new mat and ruined glitter. The autoblade isn’t very auto… I even clicked on the preselected ” Heat Transfer, Glitter ” option and ruined my mat. Im new but i would think that with ebough youtube videos it wouldn’t be this difficult. I also own a Cricut Maker and i havent cut through my mats…frustrating. I took the autoblade out and it was set to 10.
I’m sorry you cut through your mat! The Silhouette Auto Blade is a bit tricky since it’s not actually a true “auto” where it senses the material thickness and adjusts accordingly. It’s “auto” since you do not have to manually change the blade length, but you still have to choose the blade length setting in Silhouette Studio. Additionally, be sure to adjust the red tool settings and ensure your Tool is set to “Auto Blade” otherwise the machine will not self adjust the blade length. Silhouette’s pre-sets are a good place to start for their vinyls, but our recommended setting for each Siser® product can be found on every product page of our website. Please note that your cut settings will vary based on the condition of your blade, so a small test cut is always recommended to gauge the settings.
My vinyl cuts perfect but my actual design is sticking to my cutting mat HELPP!!
Hi Cierra! To separate a sheet of HTV from the cutting mat, just pry up a corner and peel away. If your design remains on the mat, you cut too deep and will need to pry up the design with a weeding tool or spatula. To separate a sheet of PSV from the cutting mat, flip the mat over and peel the mat away from the the PSV. This wil keep the vinyl from curling.
I am so frustrated. I have watched numerous of videos of what settings I need my Siser HTV to be set on my Cameo 3. I have wasted so much vinyl. I set it to what everyone has suggested, my designs stays stuck to the cutting mat and the blade is cutting the actual cutting mat. I have tiny letters in my designs and it would take forever to peel it off the cutting mat and apply it individually onto my shirt which will not make it neat and lined up. Please help? The lowest setting I applied was depth 1, speed 1, force 1. Still same thing
I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time, Savannah! Are you using the Auto Blade or ratchet blade when you cut? If you’re using the Auto Blade, please ensure it’s in the first tool holder (red circle indicator on top) of the machine. Then, in the software be sure to adjust the settings for “Tool 1” (also has a red circle indicator) as well as set your “Tool” to Auto Blade. If the software doesn’t know to use the Auto Blade, the machine will not auto adjust the blade length and will cut on whatever setting you used last. If you’re still having issues, please send pictures of your cut HTV and your software settings to me at email@example.com and I can help troubleshoot further.
I’d like to thank you Lily for being patient and taking the time to answer all these questions. You are truly a blessing.
Aww :) I’m happy to help! Thanks for being so sweet.
It’s my first time cutting with Siser Easy Weed HTV. My settings on the Cameo 3 are Setting 3, Speed: 8, Force 8, Passes: 2, with an Overcut .
It cut perfectly!!!
I am having issues with my Cameo 3 everytime I try to make something .The blade goes right through the htv vinyl. Its has autoblade suppose to not have to adjust the blade but when I pick the vinyl which I’m confused on that also bc I dont know if my vinyl is flocked glossy or smooth ? But I have tried all and they all go through the vinyl. What do I do to prevent this from happening and it does it also with my regular vinyl for decals on cars and stuff goes straight through ? Please help any advice appreciated nothing negative please
Hi Vanessa! Even though the Auto Blade will self adjust, you still have tell it what number to move to by setting the Blade depth in Silhouette Studio. If you’re working from the pre-set options in Silhouette Studio, Heat Transfer Flocked and Heat Transfer Smooth should have different blade settings. Flocked is for thicker HTV like StripFlock, Glitter, or Brick™. Smooth is for thinner HTV like any of the EasyWeed® products. However all of the pre-sets can be adjusted, which you will notice if you look at our suggested settings for each product on their page of our website. For decal vinyl like EasyPSV® you will likely want to use a Vinyl, glossy setting. If you’re still struggling, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures of the issue you’re experiencing. Thank you!
Hi I have a cameo 4 does anybody know the best settings to cut Siser EasySubli HTV? any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Rachel! I’d recommend starting with a test cut of Blade: 3, Speed: 8, Force: 15 as recommended on our website.
Thank you so much! I have a Silhouette Portrait with a ratchet blade, I used your recommended settings and got a perfect cut first try – How often does that happen!!
Thank you so much!
That’s great, Cheryl!! Thanks for letting us know :) and thanks for reading the Siser Blog!
i want to cut using just the blue tool , alone how can i change the settings
Hi Elaine! To use the Blue Tool 2 spot on the blade carriage, you’ll need to select the Blue Tool 2 drop down arrow on the “Send” screen in Silhouette Studio in order to change the settings.
Awesome instructions! Exactly the information I was looking to find. Thanks so much for being so explanatory.