silhouette | getting cleaner cuts

One question I get asked a-plenty is “How do you get such clean cuts?” Some of those smaller, more detailed cuts with This+That can be tricky.

Here are my answers to the questions in the order of which I deem important–for me anyway. :)

  1. Double-cut the image.
  2. Use a newer mat.
  3. Use a newer blade.

The blade solution doesn’t seem to make as much of a difference as often for me. I find that the mat and the double-cut will always make the difference.

And of course, I love using American Crafts cardstock with Bazzill as my second choice. AC cardstock is the best with Silhouette

But what if you’re doing all those things and it’s still not giving you a clean cut?

This is a question that has plagued me because I haven’t had that problem. I just assumed it was always the product or cardstock being used on the user end.

Well, one of my readers–Miss Stephanie–saw something within a Silhouette user group and found another solution! (I believe that person got the answer from Silhouette.) She shared it with me because she was so gosh darned excited that it worked for her, so of course I HAD to share it with you all!

Go into File (or Silhouette Studio on Mac) and then into Preferences/Advanced.
It’s the Packet Size you want to change.

It’s currently set to 3000 bytes, but try changing it to 500 bytes.
This determines how much information is sent at a time from your computer to your Silhouette.
Stephanie did this and it worked for her!

Oh happy day!

Of course, this may not be as big of an issue on the Cameo, because I hear that you don’t even need to double-cut anymore. But if you are using either of the other Silhouette models, this may be the ticket for you! And if it does work? I would love to hear about it!


2017-02-07T18:28:19+00:00December 29th, 2011|silhouette, tips and tricks|42 Comments


  1. Carla December 29, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hey Kerri! Thanks for this information! I had the SD until Christimas and right before I got my cameo, I replaced my SD mats…they were the newer clear ones. The older mats with the green edges did do the job as well.
    I just got my cameo and it cut a lace paper so nice but the middle didn’t cut. Do you know anything about that?

  2. Pam December 29, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Thanks for the tip. I just purchased the printer’s tray and plan to purchase some of your This and That kits. I have the original Silhouette (which I LOVE) and I know I will need to fine tune it for some clean cuts on those mini-detailed images.

  3. {dawn} December 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for the tip, Kerri and Stephanie! This has not been such an issue with me since I discovered the “paste on top” button. But, that swirly tree on the Christmas Past T&T gave me some problems! I think I cut 6 times (various papers, various speeds). Of course, I am now making up three sets (for my daughter, my sister, and myself), so I am not complaining!… I will be checking out this tip, though!

  4. Barb December 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Thank you! I have had this problem and it was quite frustrating at times. I will definitely try this!

  5. Amber B December 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

    ahhhhhh thank you for this I am sooooo going to try it! that is the one thing that was super frusterating! will post back on how it works!!! THANKS!

  6. PaulaJean December 30, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Thanks so much for posting this. I’ve tried all the other things and still had problems. Thought it was just me cuz that’s usually just my luck!!! I’m going to try this! Thanks again.

  7. Ellie A. December 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    IT worked IT WORKED!! Oh I was doing a HAPPY Dance IIIIIITTT worked! MMMMMWWAAHH to Stephanie & you OH HAPPY DAY!!

    • Kerri December 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      That is absolutely FABULOUS!!!!! I LOOOOVE hearing that! It’s great news and a happy day indeed!
      Now, go play some more. ;)

  8. Amber B December 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    It worked It worked it worked!! Loving you right now girl!

    • Kerri December 31, 2011 at 9:12 am

      I LOOOOVE it! I’m so happy! :)

  9. Calli Saltmarsh January 2, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Awesome tips! I love the AC cardstock too! I’m glad I was able to stock up at the warehouse sale!

    Do you take requests? Please say yes?? Could you please, pretty, pretty please do some missionary sets?? Would be so awesome!!

  10. […] HERE for another post on getting cleaner cuts […]

  11. ansie terblanche August 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you so much for the info will definitelaty try got my cameo in June had to replace blade 3 times already Was to scared to use the machine because its was getting to expensive


  12. Stacyz September 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm


  13. Alejandra Quiroz September 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I can’t wait to try this tip! I’ve owned my Silhouette SD for over a year and absolutely love it, I got it to make my wedding invites and they turned out lovely, but the design was really intricate, so I ended up wasting a lot of paper… Anything that helps getting cleaner cuts is more than welcome! :D

  14. […] Are you having trouble getting clean cuts? Kerri Bradford helps you solve that problem here. […]

  15. Sherry Shapiro December 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Hi there! I’m trying to cut an intricate snowflake on white construction paper. The paper is like something kids use for crafts – it’s not thick or that textured. Can you please tell me the settings to get clean cut lines? I’m so frustrated :(
    Thank you in advance!!!

    • Kerri December 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Hey Sherry!
      Unfortunately I haven’t ever used that, so I’m not sure what the best setting would be. I did a quick search online and while some have done it successfully, some have not. And some said that cutting construction paper leaves fibrous stuff on their mat. One person recommended adhering it to some cardstock first too. Sorry I’m not much help there, but perhaps reading some of those other posts that I’d searched for (cameo construction paper) would maybe get ya headed in the right direction.

  16. Joe February 19, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I’m having few problems with it. It keep saying ( Cut page was successful), which it doesn’t started yet.
    Anyone got any ideas,pls??

  17. Diana March 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    This WORKED!!!!! I was getting really frustrated because I had tried a new blade, a new mat, and was still getting ragged cuts. This seems to have done the trick. Whew…thought I was going to have to send my machine in for servicing or return it altogether.

  18. Rhonda May 17, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Hi, I have a silhouette SD and I don’t have a Mac computer, so am totally lot what to do, so can you help as I have a windows running computer…

    Thanks in advance, and am sorry if it’s a dumb question…

    Rhonda A

  19. BornInaZoo (Bonnie K.) July 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I haven’t used my Cameo much, but this problem is most frustrating. Hopefully this is the solution. I’ll try it tomorrow because I had to put it away before I threw the machine in the garbage!

    The first thing I cut with my cameo was vinyl so I could etch glass. It worked great! Then I tried cutting both paper & cardstock. Very frustrating. It only cuts well on the left side (about 2″) of the machine. I’ve tried a new blade & cutting mat. Same issue. Tried cutting through vinyl again & still same issue.

    Looked for any jambed paper, fuzz, etc. The mat & any media feed through fine. It’s just the weird cutting issue.

  20. Laurie November 10, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I just came across this post. I tired changing that setting and it certainly helped! I was getting so frustrated with the torn papers, jagged cuts, and general sloppy messes I was ending up with, and I was starting to regret the money invested in this machine, not to mention all of the materials that I’ve wasted. Thanks so much for this tip!

  21. Marian Pena November 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Oh my guess is it happens with the Cameo as well, because the cutting problems on a Cameo are still imho bad. While this is the only cutter I’ve owned it amazes me to see how many people still have problems.

    I to am going to try it, I do believe that if it is sending information more slowly to the cutter it just might cut better, it would also not vibrate as much and move the fabric (for me, I’m cutting fabric), so I will give it a try, thanks for the tip.

  22. Jane Hollon December 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I tried this with my new cameo that I was having trouble with really slim slim font and it worked like a dream.

  23. Melinda Greer April 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I would to try this but just updated to the newest design studio and there is no packet size option in the advanced settings. Even preferences is moved to the edit tab. Any help with the newest software download would be great.

  24. Ulrika from Sweden May 10, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Go to Edit-Preferences-Advanced. You will find the packet size at the bottom.

  25. Lois May 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

    When I click on Advanced in the new software (v.3) nothing happens! I will contact Silhouette about this and let you know.

  26. Nancy Heater May 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I wanted to see if you had any additional tips for trying to get “clean” cuts from a Cameo. I have adjusted every setting I can think of. I’ve cleaned blades, replaced blades, tried cutting with a mat and without a mat … and I am still getting inconsistent cuts from my machine. It doesn’t complete lines or close loops. I always have to go over my vinyl with an X-acto knife before weeding to make sure all the lines are cut & connected.

    At first it appeared as if it was always happening in the upper left corner of whatever I was cutting. But now it happens all over the place.


    • Kerri May 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Hey Nancy!
      Unfortunately I don’t have much more info than that. I would suggest contacting Silhouette and see what they can do. It sounds like a bigger troubleshooting problem than what I have the skills for. :) They are really awesome and would be able to help ya out better. Sometimes it can just be a bad machine.


    • kat schriber November 28, 2015 at 7:17 am

      it could be your cutting bar needs replacing. that gets worn down thin in heavily used areas.

  27. Vicki Johnson June 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Hello, I am a newbie to all this svg…silhouette stuff. Actually have never made a cut or downloaded a file.
    I read your tips on making delicate cuts and you said “Pull the negative space from below so that you rip a layer of cardstock, it’ll be on the underside and not on top.” What does that mean?

    • Kerri June 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      So say you have a a capital R that you’ve cut and the center part of the R (the part you don’t need) didn’t quite cut away from the R itself. If you take that center piece and pull it away from the R–push it out under the R…on the backside, then if it were to tear, then it won’t show as opposed to if you pull the center piece forward towards you–from the front face of the R–then it could tear the front side.

      Does that make sense?

  28. Vicki Johnson June 10, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Kerri, yes, I thought it had something to do with that…
    Thanks so much! This blog is very informative, even for a beginner.

  29. Sasa November 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    currently cutting wedding invitation for a client. I have 55 under my belt and im only in my 10th piece when suddenly it gives me cutting problems. wont cut clean. I will give this a try and will be back to see how it works for me.

    thank you for the ti.

  30. Michelle November 22, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Hi, I’m having massive issues with my silhouette portrait and would like to try American cardstock (I’m in the uk). Can you advise me what exactly I should buy eg the gsm weight and what settings you cut it on. Thanks

  31. Gael November 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I have v.3 of Designer Edition, and I found it going to Edit, Preferences, Advanced. I don’t know if it’s going to fix the problem, but for the user who couldn’t get Advanced to show anything, I thought I’d mention that.

  32. Jenny September 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm


  33. Vanessa January 4, 2016 at 11:08 am

    A few months ago 4 exactly buy my cameo in Colombia , where it is still uncommon and few days ago has struggled consisting of marking the paper but fails to cut it completely , I tried changing the blade , adjusting the options section and nothing has me worked … if anyone can help me I would appreciate forever …

    • Kerri January 5, 2016 at 6:39 am

      Vanessa, it’s probably best to check with Silhouette directly.
      The are the best at troubleshooting cutting problems. :)

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