Cameo Silhouette 4 Inexpensive Blade
CB09 Blade Holder and Blades - Silhouette 4 Compatible
The Silhouette series of vinyl cutters from Cameo are some of the most popular and durable consumer-grade vinyl cutters available. Marketed towards the home hobby market, they are incredibly versatile. Their versatility also makes them popular for small to medium businesses as well.
The machines are very durable, and the only disposable portion is the cutting blade assembly. The assembly has an integrated blade. As the blade becomes dull or damaged, the complete assembly must be replaced at a considerable cost even though only the blade itself is no longer viable. The blades fail at inopportune times, likely in the middle of a job and without a spare available.
Thankfully, there are aftermarket blades and blade assemblies available which not only fit the Cameo Silhouette 4, but offer many advantages over the standard cutters. These alternate assemblies feature removable blades so that if a blade becomes unusable, only the blade needs replacement, not the complete assembly. Replacement blades are inexpensive, easy to replace, and available in various cutting angles. Blades with different cutting angles allow for different types of blades to cut different materials efficiently.
This walkthrough reviews blade assemblies and the various cutting blades available and demonstrate how to set up, install, configure, and cut materials. The process is simple and accomplishable by a novice Silhouette user. Although most of the information presented applies to the Silhouette 4, the assemblies are compatible across the complete Cameo family.
Where To Purchase
When purchasing your blade holder and blades, keep in mind that the holder does not typically include any blades. As a quick start, the 45-degree blade is the most common and is a general usage blade suitable for most applications.
To use the blade holder, you will also need to use the blade adapter which came bundled with your machine. The blue holder is the preferred and most commonly used adapter to use. If you intend to use multiple CB09 style blade holders (maybe to hold different size cutting blades), you can acquire additional adapters from Cameo dealers.
Choosing Which CB09 Blade To Use
- 45° Blades: This is the most common and widely used blade. Excellent for use with material up to ~1.5mm and requires average dragging force. Great everyday use blade for day-to-day applications such as regular vinyls, HTV vinyl, and papers. The 45° blade is the most common and widely used blade model.
- 30° Blades: This blade has less of a sharp angle and is for material up to ~1mm thick and requires the most dragging force. More of the blade surface is in contact with the material than the 45° or 60° blades. Excellent for rigid materials like fabric, reflective vinyl, and heavy-duty materials like cardboard and leather.
- 60° Blades: Have the sharpest tip and most effective cutting edge. The smallest portion of the blade is in contact with the material being cut compared to the other blade angles. Since only a small portion of the blade is in contact with the surface, it will also wear out quicker. It can cut the most intricate designs and delicate cuts and thick material up to approximately 2mm depth. Easily penetrates cutting material and requires the least dragging force. Use with thick materials like HTV glitter, StripFlock and brick, vellum, freezer paper reflective materials, masks, and masking tape. Blade is extremely good at cutting very small fonts and intricate designs.
Each cutting blade has a protective colored sleeve. Sleeves are generally Yellow, Red, or Blue. Sleeve colors are removable and supplied by manufacturers to protect the cutter tip. The sleeve color can vary from batches and should not be used to determine the cutter angle.
The CB09 Blade Holder
The CB09 blade holder is a precision assembly, with a depth adjustment knob on the top and black blade housing on the base. The black blade housing is removable and where you install the blade and spring assembly.
The holder assembly’s size is critical as it must fit securely into the blue blade adapter on the Silhouette 4. When using with earlier models of the Silhouette, the blue adapter is not required, and the assembly fits directly into the blade holder on the machine.
The CB09 Blade and Spring
Each CB09 blade includes a tensioning spring and is placed over the blade when installed in the blade holder. The blade itself is tiny, measuring only 19mm (0.75″) long and 0.9mm (0.04″).
You can reuse the tensioning spring if you misplace the spring when your blades arrive. However, try not to reuse the spring repeatedly as its tension will diminish with continued use.
CB09 Blade Installation into Blade Holder
To install the cutter blade with spring into the blade holder, simply remove the black cap from the assembly and also remove the protective color cap from the cutting blade.
Note: The blade is SHARP, use care.
Set the blade with the tension spring into the assembly with the sharp cutting end towards to the top.
Carefully install the black cap over the blade. You will need to guide the blade tip through the tiny hole in the cap. Finger tighten the black cap into place.
CB09 Blade Adjustment
With the black cap installed, you can now adjust the amount the blade extends from the housing. Using the Depth Adjustment control, have the blade slightly extend from the end of the black cover.
The very maximum the blade should protrude from the housing is approximately 2mm. When using the most common 45-degree cutter, the blade should just slightly extend from the end of the housing which is approximately 0.5mm. If you carefully drag your finger across the blade, you should just begin to feel it.
Some users have found that extending the blade slightly more also works. You may want to try different settings to determine the optimal cut for your requirements.
CB09 Blade Holder Mounting Into Adapter
With the initial depth adjustments set, the blade holder can be mounted into the blue adapter. The blue adapter is part of the bundle included when you purchased your Cameo Silhouette 4. Although other color adapters do function, our recommendation is to use the blue adapter.
The blade holder sits firmly into the adapter, with the blade holder’s ridges sitting into the matching grooves on the adapter.
The adapter can now be latched closed and is ready for installation into your Silhouette 4.
CB09 Blade Holder Mounting Into Adapter
CB09 Blade Holder In Silhouette 3
The CB09 blade holder is usable with earlier models of the Cameo Silhouette. Using the adapter in previous models has the advantage that a blade adapter is not needed.
Fitting the holder is relatively simple by unlocking the blade holder, slipping the blade holder into place, and reinstalling and tightening the locking ring.
Silhouette Studio CB09 Settings
The settings used in Silhouette Studio are easy to setup. For Tool 1, choose the Ratchet Blade, set Action to Cut along with the material to be cut. The setting for Force and Speed will take a bit of testing.
Our experience has shown a Force of 7 with a Speed of 6 to work very well. You will know if your settings are right when you do some test cuts. The top surface you are cutting should be cut entirely through, but the backing should only be lightly scored and not cut all the through.
Conclusion - Enjoy Your CB09 Cutter and The Savings
You can now enjoy the CB09 blade holder and blades. The quality of cuts achieved by this simple upgrade will be immediately noticeable. The flexibility and saving achieved by only purchasing blades will allow you to invest in other accessories for your machine.
As mentioned earlier, Blade holders and blades are available from several sources. Be cautious when purchasing as many variations of the blade holders exist. These variations are so severe that it could prevent them from working with the Silhouette. Even though the holder may be called a CB09, there are variations in the housing’s diameter, which can render them unusable and may cause damage to your machine.