Silhouette Blades: Which one do I need?

There are several different types of blades for the CAMEO including the ratchet blade, the AutoBlade, the premium blade, and the deep cut blade. That can seem a bit overwhelming, but I’m here to break it down into the short and sweet of each one for you.

Ratchet Blade

The ratchet blade is the regular blade that you manually adjust by taking it out, changing the depth, and putting it back in the holder. It’s usually black but also comes in blue. The blue one is advertised as the fabric blade, but they are the exact same blade, just in different colors, which is useful because you want to use one blade for each type of material you cut such as vinyl, paper or card stock, fabric, photo paper, stencils, sticker papertattoo paper, transparency paper, etc. You don’t have to, but assigning one type of material to a blade makes your blade last longer. I usually use one blade for specialty paper, one for vinyl, one for paper and cardstock, etc.

This is the one blade I keep a surplus of because it’s very affordable and you never know when that blade is going to dull and cause you problems interrupting your current project. I will say that switching from a dull blade to a new sharp blade means you usually have to adjust the thickness to be less thick (smaller number) by a couple numbers or it cuts through at least part of the backing of vinyl. That’s my experience. Of course, I usually bump it up a couple numbers when it starts to dull, so then we’re just putting it back at its normal thickness.


The AutoBlade is new as of the CAMEO 3, which has 2 blade/pen holders. One of those two, red position one, holds an AutoBlade allowing you to adjust its depth from the software. Obviously, the benefit to this blade is that it stays in the holder so you don’t have to take it out to check the setting or adjust it. Now that I also have a CAMEO 3, I have some AutoBlades, as well, so I can replace it as needed. You can use all of the same materials with this blade as with the ratchet blade.

Note: This blade cannot be used with CAMEOs before the CAMEO 3, the CAMEO and CAMEO 2.

Premium Blade

The premium blade has been around for awhile. If you use your CAMEO a good bit, this is a wise investment as it lasts three times as long as the ratchet blade and is only twice the price usually, so that well offsets the price. This is a blade I need to invest in. So far, my CAMEO use is a bit of a roller coaster. Sometimes I use it for hours every day and then I might go two or three weeks with little use. It all depends on what is happening in my family life, in my businesses, and for that time of year. I have ample ratchet blades right now because of a sale a while back, but as my supply starts to dwindle, this is at the top of my list. You can use all of the same materials with this blade as with the ratchet blade.

Deep Cut Blade

The deep cut blade has a longer blade of 2 mm allowing it to cut through thicker material. It also contains tungsten alloy for extra durability. You’ll notice that it has depths past 10, 11 to 20, seen in red on the blade. This allows you to cut material like craft foam, cork board, chip board, magnet sheets, burlap, thin metal (comes in sheets), faux leather (also comes in sheets), and even plastic cutting mats (flexible ones).

When adjusting the blade, you want to make sure only the red is showing around the blade for settings 1 to 10. For settings 11 to 20, you want to make sure you can see blue around the upper part of the red around the blade.

Additionally, because you are cutting thicker material, make sure the thicker materials are not touching your white rollers along the edge of your mat as this can cause several different problems. It’s best to keep your material to a narrower width.

Any of these blades are great! It all depends on your needs and preferences, and hopefully, those are easier to identify now that you know what each one is used for.

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Have a great and successful day!


All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate-related (allowing me to keep sharing content with you) where I receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but the price remains the same for you. It is important to note all content is based on my own knowledge, skills, and experiences.

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