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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Replacement Blades for the Silhouette Cameo - UK users

From the moment I purchased my Silhouette Cameo I was in love.  The only way I could justify the cost was to start up a business, the only problem with this was the cost of the blades.  I was getting through a blade every few weeks, at just under £16.00 (including postage) for a single blade it was getting very expensive.  I knew that once business picked up I was going to either have to increase prices (never a good idea for new businesses) or take a big knock in profits.  The only solution I could see was be to try and find a cheaper solution to the blades.

I was first made aware of using disposable blades by Ligaya's Creativity Zone.  She had had success with an aluminium (CB09) Blade Holder.  This blog was invaluable for advice on the different angled blades available and suppliers of the CB09 Blade Holder.



The only drawbacks were the seller was based in Asia (have been stung for import taxes before, and it is a hefty amount) and there were reports that the holder actually had to be sanded down to fit in the machine.  I tried to find a UK seller on ebay, but most that stocked the CB09 Holder were unable to offer any advice on using it with the Silhouette Cameo.

I had asked for some advice from the UK Scrappers forum and all replies went against using a none Silhouette blade holder.  I was warned that using another type of blade holder in the Silhouette Cameo would void any warranty I may have had (my machine was second hand with no warranty) and that there was rumors that the extra weight of the holders can damage the machine.  I scoured the net, but couldn't find a documented case where another holder had damaged the machine, but it was difficult to find a lot of information on them being used in the Silhouette Cameo at all.  The UK Scrappers community pointed me in the direction of the genuine Graphtec website, but at £69.30 for the just the Blade holder it seemed like it wouldn't really be saving me money.

Undeterred I set to work contacting various blade holders (for other machines) on ebay to see if they had any advice.  Eventually I stumbled across CNC Blades on ebay.  The seller was actually amazing, I cannot recommend them highly enough.  They recommended a blade that fits the Cameo - the Liyu!


The lengths that these guys went to help me were amazing.  They had said that although the specifications noted it should fit the Silhouette Cameo, they hadn't had a customer purchase it for this use.  They offered me a full refund should the holder not fit!  They also offered to set the blade holder up with a blade so that I knew how to change it when needed.

In my opinion the Liyu blade holder has a better design and seems much more polished than the CB09 holder.  The best part was the price - £16.99 for the holder and £9.99 for a pack of 5 Roland blades - The original outlay worked out at £5.40 per blade - this will fall to £2.00 per blade with the next pack - a huge difference against the Silhouette Cameo Blades!

In my next post I will be comparing the two blade holders; The Silhouette Cameo vs The Liyu

29 comments:

  1. Hi there,

    Many thanks for posting this. It's exactly what I've been looking for. How are you getting on with the holder and the blades? I'm seriously considering getting them (my current blade seems to have completely lost its point).

    I'm also considering getting some of the Cricut 12 x 24 mats. It seems some people have advised against this. Have you had any issues?

    Many thanks,

    Leigh

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    1. Hi Leigh,

      Still getting on great with both the blade holder and mats - stay tuned as I plan to write an update as soon as I can :)

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    2. I have used the Cricut 12X24 mats with no problem at all and I was able to cut fabric without the fusable heat bond (I did have to manually cut a few areas) but the amount of fabric I cut it made it a lot faster than all by hand.

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  2. p.s. any updates on the use of the other blades and holder?

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  3. p.s. any updates on the use of the other blades and holder?

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    1. Here :)
      http://ramblingsofababymakingaddict.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/silhouette-cameo-blades-update.html

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  4. Hi, please did you buy 14mm Liyu blade or 12mm?. Thank you

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  5. Going to buy one of these. I have read your update. Question about the blades. You mention they have different angle options. What do you suggest. I also do a lot of intricate cutting and need something that works really well, but does not break the bank (like replacing the silhouette blade OFTEN).

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    1. Pam, I personally have the three blades that I switch between - the 45 is my standard blade (medium to thick materials), 30 is for thinner materials and 60 is for vinyl. If you contact the ebay seller is happy to mix and match them for you :)

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  6. I know to buy the 14mm holder, but I'm uncertain as to which blades to order. Are there different blades for the different mm holders?

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    1. Hi there, here is a link to the Roland Blades I purchase
      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5pcs-45-degrees-ROLAND-blades-cutting-plotter-vinyl-cutter-RABBIT-REFINE-GCC-/130858889003?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item1e77cc2f2b

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  7. Thanks recently bought the blade holder and 45 degree blades and feel a lot happier. They seem to work fine and I am not so afraid to use my machine due to blades breaking. I cant wait to try the 60 degree blade. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I am so glad you took the plunge and are as happy as I am with the results :)

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  8. Thank you so much for this info, it works fantastic and saves me so much money.
    Thank you once again Trevor of Ashford England.

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  9. i was looking for a new blade for my cameo but didn't want to buy just a single one very expensive in the end- i'm so glade i found your blog :) i purchased the blade holder and some blades different angles and it works fabulously thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Emma,
      I'm really glad you are happy with the blades :)

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  10. I have ordered a holder and blades, it will be interesting to see how that goes.
    I will take the time to create a blade height setting jig once I figure out the depths I need for the various papers I use.

    Machines such as Roland and others that have that style of blade holder all provide a jig for setting blade depth. I will have to check around and see if I can find one from one of the vinyl cutting firms for a reasonable price before I bother making one. Metric shim stock would also be an alternative way to gauge the depth the blade gets set out. Take the guess work out of it and you will get consistent results.

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    Replies
    1. When I first started this would have been perfect! After a few months though you tend to be able to accurately predict the blade depth based on experience. If you do however find one, please let me know and I can make a purchase and review :)

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  11. Hi I purcahesd the aluminium blade holder pictured above (the first picture) am unable to work out how to use it in the cameo silhouette, I googled and found a video on how to use the second pic. Any advice on how to use it, I think I have wasted my money. If youre not sure if it works maybe you should remove the pic, I only purchased it from seeing it here, I would hate anyone else to waste their money. It seems like I need to buy the second holder pictured (unless you have any advice how the one I bought works).
    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Cheers

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  12. Hi I purcahesd the aluminium blade holder pictured above (the first picture) am unable to work out how to use it in the cameo silhouette, I googled and found a video on how to use the second pic. Any advice on how to use it, I think I have wasted my money. If youre not sure if it works maybe you should remove the pic, I only purchased it from seeing it here, I would hate anyone else to waste their money. It seems like I need to buy the second holder pictured (unless you have any advice how the one I bought works).
    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, you are probably struggling to fit it into the coupling as they can be a bit on the snug side.

      If you click through to Ligaya's Creativity Zone blog (linked above) you will read she recommends sanding the metal shaft with a medium grade sandpaper to help it fit a little better :)

      The fact that it needed sanding to fit is actually what people me off and made me decide to purchase the cnc blade holder instead :)

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  13. I have a silhouette cutter, I think it is the machine released before the cameo. It came with the three separate little holders red blue and yellow. I then bought a slot in holder where you turned the grey bit at the bottom I was wondering if you know if the blade holder will be ok for my machine. thank you. Eileen

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    1. Hi there Eileen, I am afraid I don't have that model so I couldn't say for certain. I would advise you contact the seller I linked to (none affiliate link) and ask if you could return the blade if it is unused, but doesn't fit. Good Luck!

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  14. Hi

    I have a silhouette cameo and a liyu blade holder .

    I bought 45deg red blades and tried to cut vinyl with them.... my problem is that on detail at corners the vinyl does not weed correctly, it peels up the detail with it on approximately 7% of the detail..... I tried different thickness settings and changing the depth of the blades in the holder and the problem persisted. On close inspection I found the Roland blades differ from the official Silhouette ratchet holder and blade in that the point of the blade on the silhouette holder and blade has an angle only on one side and is straight to the point on the other. On the Roland blades there is the standard 45 deg angle.... however on the other side there is an incline too. My question is will the problem persist if I buy 60deg Roland blades? As they seem to have angles on both sides too. I have switched back to the Silhouette ratchet blade and everything weeds alright at this time.

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    1. Hi there, what you are experiencing are called 'vinyl ears' and there are a few causes of it;
      Your machine offset could be incorrect (I don't suspect this as the silhouette blades cut fine).
      Incorrectly positioned blade holder - you need to make sure it doesn't shift when using. I personally have a piece of chalkboard vinyl wrapped around the shaft to ensure a snug fit with the silhouette coupling.
      Too much drag from the blade - A 45 degree blade has more of a surface area in contact with the vinyl which creates drag. If you are trying to cut intricate designs then this drag will mean that the vinyl is pulled up in certain areas and your design will be ruined. The 60 degree blade has much less of the surface area in contact with the vinyl and so there is less drag and less chance of the vinyl lifting.
      Blunt blade - it is surprising how quickly a blade may blunt whilst you think that you haven't actually used it that much (happens to me a lot!), plus occasionally I will get a batch of dodgy blades that just don't seem to want to cut. It may be worth changing the blade and seeing if that works.

      As for the roland blades differing in design to the silhouette cameo, I don't think this would be the culprit for your vinyl cutting issues as I know a lot of professional vinyl cutters use the roland blades with no problems at all, good luck!

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    2. Thank you :)

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  15. Do you know if you can still buy the Liyu blade holder?

    CNC blades is no longer on Ebay. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jane, many thanks for your comment :)
      CnC blades are no-longer trading, but there are still a lot of Liyu blades available on eBay
      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/liyu-Vinyl-Cutter-Blade-holder-14mm-wide-/201513797957?hash=item2eeb288945:g:X3wAAOSwFqJWq1qG
      I'm still using my Liyu blade daily and it's still great!

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