The Silhouette Cameo is easily one of the most popular cutting machines for creating Heat Transfer Vinyl transfers. In addition to the standard Auto-Blade, there are specialized tools available that make it a truly versatile tool for your business. In this blog and accompanying video, we’re going to show you four of the most popular Cameo tools and what they’re used for.
The 3mm Kraft Blade is great for cutting thick heat transfer materials like Siser Brick, Stripflock Pro, and more. While these materials are safe to cut with a regular blade, sometimes they require multiple passes to get a clean cut. You’ll be surprised at how clean and easy the cuts are with a longer, thicker, stainless steel Kraft Blade.
In addition to thicker heat transfer materials, you can also cut acetate, craft foam, chipboard, and even leather! These different materials can be used for packaging your products, or as fun side projects. You’ll find that a Kraft Blade is one of those tools that you may not need every day. But when the job calls for it, you’ll be very glad you have one!
This blade has a debossed “2” on the front, which indicates that it can only be used in carriage 2 of your Silhouette Cameo. This blade has to be manually adjusted prior to each cut job. To do this, extend the blade to match the thickness of the material you’re cutting by twisting the bottom collar. As always, use a cutting mat when cutting all the way through your media and perform a test cut to ensure the proper settings are being used. This tool will be automatically detected when inserted into your Cameo. Your action should be set to “cut”.
Have you ever cut a detailed design and then weeded out the wrong part? If so, the Punch Tool was made just for you! This tool is very simple, but super helpful. It punches a small hole into the negative portions of your transfer that need to be weeded out. These little punctures indicate where to weed and also make great starter holes for your hook tool. The Punch Tool takes the guesswork out of weeding and makes the whole process so much easier and enjoyable.
This Punch Tool has a debossed “2” on the front, which indicates that it can only be used in carriage 2 of your Silhouette Cameo. This tool requires no physical adjustment. The Punch Tool will be automatically detected when inserted into your Cameo. Your materials setting for the Punch Tool should match the setting for whatever tool is in carriage 1. Your action should be set to “punch”.
There are so many fun applications for the Pen Holder tool! Here’s how it works: Insert your pen or marker into the appropriate collar (small, medium, or large) and then screw it into the main pen holder. Be sure to insert it carefully, so only the tip is exposed. Once your pen or marker is properly inserted, place the tool* into either carriage 1 or 2 on your Cameo and snap it in place. Remove the plastic tip cover and you’re ready to go. From here, you can send your design from Silhouette Studio and have your Cameo sketch it out with your selected pen or marker!
For heat transfers, the Pen Holder unlocks the easiest and most affordable entry into the world of sublimation: sublimation markers! You can purchase sublimation markers - like these amazing sets from Artesprix - and use your Cameo to sketch out designs with them. These sublimation markers can be heat pressed onto any sublimation blank, just like a regular transfer made with an expensive sublimation printer. A fun project to try is have your Cameo sketch a coloring page with a black Artesprix Sublimation Marker, then color it by hand with the rest of the set.
You can also use your Pen Holder tool to sketch your Silhouette Studio designs with your favorite marker or pen onto cardstock or paper for invitations and other fun projects.
If you’re using a Silhouette Cameo 4, you’ll need the sketch pen smart adapter (blue) that came with your machine. This adapter will also allow your tool to be automatically detected when inserted into your Cameo. Be sure to set your action to “sketch” on the appropriate material setting. The Pen Tool can be loaded in either carriage 1 or 2 on your Cameo machine.
Unlike traditional blades, which are knife-shaped, the Rotary Blade is closer to a pizza cutter. This unique structure makes it ideal for cutting fabric, felt, wool, crepe paper, and other select specialty materials. Of the four tools mentioned in this blog, the Rotary Tool is the one that least lends itself to heat transfers. It’s a great addition to your arsenal if you want to expand your offerings beyond heat transfer or cut special shapes and materials for mixed-media applications. For example, custom felt pennants are a great way to incorporate custom-cut materials with heat transfers.
This Rotary Blade has a debossed “2” on the front, which indicates that it can only be used in carriage 2 of your Silhouette Cameo. Before using this tool, be sure to tighten the safety cap to expose the blade. Your Cameo should automatically detect this blade once it’s been loaded. With your object selected, set your action to “Rotary Cut” in Silhouette Studio.