Troubleshooting The Silhouette Ratchet Blade – Silhouette America Blog

Troubleshooting The Silhouette Ratchet Blade

blade troubleshooting - open blade 1

Hello! Today we’re going to do a little blade troubleshooting. Sometimes you might notice that the cut quality of your blade isn’t as precise as it used to be, even though you’ve used the same cut settings many times before with no issues.

When this happens, it’s probably time to clean your blade.

Maintaining And Cleaning Your Blade

If you’re having cut problems, the first thing to check is your blade. You want to make sure nothing is trapped inside the blade housing that would impede the blade’s cutting edge or the blade’s movement.

See how the hole for this blade is clogged with debris?

blade troubleshooting - debris

Let’s clean it out. Did you know the top of the blade housing is removable?

Removing The Top Of Your Blade

1. Turn the ratchet blade down to zero.


blade troubleshooting - open blade 1

2. Carefully unscrew the top of the white section of the blade housing.

blade troubleshooting - open blade 2

See all that paper dust and debris in there? You may be surprised what you find. It could be tiny pieces of vinyl or other material you’ve cut that gets caught in there to hamper blade function.

Inspecting Your Blade For Debris Or Damage

blade troubleshooting - inside dirty

1. Blow on your blade, tap the side of it, or use a small paintbrush to clean out the cap and blade.

Just make sure you don’t use your fingers; it’s sharp!

blade troubleshooting - inside blade clean 1

2. Visually check the tip of the blade to see if it looks blunt from damage.

If it’s chipped or blunt, it’s time to use a new blade.

blade troubleshooting - blade clean 2

3. Once the blade is clean again, carefully replace the white cap.

Be sure to tighten it all the way so it doesn’t come loose while cutting.

Using Your Blade In Your Silhouette

The other thing to pay attention to is the proper way to install the blade once you’ve set it to the correct depth for your material.

1. Place the blade in the machine carriage with the fin of the blade in the 6 o’clock position, facing the front.

blade troubleshooting - blade installation

2. Make sure the blade is seated correctly by pushing it down all the way in the blade holder.

3. Be sure to lock the blade in completely by twisting the knob clockwise. You’ll hear a click when it’s in place.

We hope this helps with any blade trouble you may be experiencing. You may also want to see my previous post on Test Cuts, or check out Silhouette’s troubleshooting and FAQ.

What other questions do you have about the Silhouette blades?


Kelly Wayment

Hi! I'm Kelly Wayment and am thrilled to continue on with Silhouette America's design team for a fourth term. I live in Utah with my husband of 17+ years and our four kids ranging from first-grader to teen. I work part-time as an auditor in an accounting firm, but I would always prefer to be crafting. I started scrapbooking and cardmaking in 1999, and that has spread into other crafts over the years. The Silhouette machine has literally changed the course of my life as it has turned my simple hobbies into ways to push the boundaries with my creativity, along with innumerable opportunities to teach and share that joy with others.


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  1. some silhouette blades have no fin–
    how do you correctly place those blades?

    1. If it doesn’t have a fin (like the premium blade or the deep cut blade), I don’t believe the orientation makes much difference.

  2. Thanks for this post, Kelly. I didn’t know you could take apart the newer blades. Is there any way to clean the older blades that don’t unscrew at the blade end?

    1. The one time I tried to open an older blade, I broke it, so I don’t recommend trying to force it open. I suggest extending the blade all the way out and using a soft brush to brush it off, or retract the blade all the way and tap it to try and get debris to fall out. Isn’t it nice that they made the newer style? 🙂

  3. Thank you! My blade is not cutting properly, I will try this. Boy, did I need this troubleshooter!!

  4. How can you clean the Silhouette Premium blade. Thanks!

    1. That’s a good question. Because the premium blade and deep-cut blades don’t appear to have a twist-off cap, I would just tap them or use a soft brush to do what you can. I suggest asking Silhouette Support this question.

  5. Every time I clean out a blade it ends up being useless. I do exactly what u said and when I’m done 0 isn’t 0 anymore. I’ve tried “resetting” as suggested but turning it from 00 to 10 and back a few times and never get anywhere. It never cuts right again. I have several blades I only used 3-4 times that I can’t get the settings right for anymore. Any tips?

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Rebecca. I haven’t experienced that problem. Make sure when twisting the blade that you never go past 0 to move on to 10, or when dialing up to 10 never go further to 0.

  6. I would also like info on cleaning and Silhouette Premium Blade. TIA Janet

    1. Please see my response to Nina, above.

  7. How do you get the dial unstuck,I can’t get my dial to turn for the life of me ,its brand new never cut a thing and it just won’t adjust

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