Use the Test Cut feature in the SEND panel to find the optimal settings for your material.

How to use the Test Cut Feature

The Test Cut feature will cut a small square and triangle in the upper left corner of the material to test the settings. 

When performing a test cut, you will first need to position the blade over your material using the arrows (1), and then press the "Test" button (2) once the blade is in position and ready to perform a test.


If additional testing is needed after adjustments are made, you may use the arrow keys to feed the material in or out or move the blade left or right to test in a different position.

Here is a video showing the test cut process:

Finding Optimal Cut Settings

Cut settings can be customized in the SEND panel of Silhouette Studio as follows:

⚠ IMPORTANT: The key to successful cutting results is to find the lowest possible setting levels (Blade and Force setting combination) where the material is cut successfully.

Blade Setting

The main factor in cutting is of course the blade. The blade setting determines how much of the blade is exposed to cut your material.

You will need to ensure the correct tool is selected in the SEND panel. 

If using an AutoBlade, your AutoBlade will automatically adjust to the number displayed in the software. All other blade models need to be adjusted manually to the recommended or selected level prior to loading them into the machine.

Most blades (AutoBlades, Manual Blades, Ratchet Blades, and Deep Cut Blades) can be adjusted in 0.1 mm increments. As more of the blade is exposed, the blade will be pushed through the material to the level of the blade’s setting.

For example, if you are cutting cardstock that measures 0.3 mm thickness, you would need to set your blade to a setting of at least ‘3’ to cut through the material.

If not enough blade is exposed, the blade won’t likely cut all the way through the material.

If too much blade is exposed, the resulting cut might appear fine, BUT there can be a few resulting issues


  • The blade wears down more quickly or gets chipped more easily
  • The blade goes through the material too far and cuts into the machine (if not using a cutting mat)
  • The blade goes through the material too far and catches on the mat causing cutting misalignments (if using the mat)

Force Setting

Another primary factor in cutting is the Force setting. Force determines how hard the blade is pressing down as it is dragged through the material.

Some materials that are thinner or more delicate in nature, such as copy paper or film materials such as vinyl, require lower Force settings whereas materials that are thicker or denser in nature, such as cardstock and chipboard, require higher Force settings.

The Force setting is controlled by the software and ranges from a numerical setting of 1 up to 33.

The key to successful cutting is to cut at the lowest Force setting possible where the cut is successful. You can of course increase the Force setting to be higher and the cut will still appear to work, but it can cause additional issues including:

  • The blade wears down more quickly or gets chipped more easily
  • The material may tear more readily, especially at the corners of designs

Speed Setting

The Speed setting determines how fast the blade travels as it is cutting through the material.

Some materials that may require more finesse or be prone to tearing generally require slower speeds. However, most film materials, such as vinyl and heat transfer can generally be cut at higher speeds.

The Speed setting is controlled by the software and ranges from a numerical setting of 1 up to 30. Each setting represents the number of centimeters being cut per second.

Speed is largely a setting of convenience to control the time it takes to cut. You usually want to cut as fast as the material allows to shorten the length of cut time. However, you’ll want to make sure that the material can handle higher speeds.  Going too fast can cause cutting issues including:

  • The material may tear or not provide a clean cutting result, especially at the corners of designs

Passes/Double Cut 

NOTE: This setting is labeled as "Passes" for software version 4.0 and above. It is alternately labeled as "Double Cut" in lower software versions.

The Passes setting determines how many times the machine should go through the motions to cut the design

This has a default setting of '1' for most materials. For some thicker materials, such as Chipboard, it may be increased as needed. 

If you are cutting a  thicker or denser material and it is not cutting through after increasing other settings, you may wish to increase the number of Passes in order to provide a cleaner or more complete cut.

Line Segment Overcut (Triangle icon

The Overcut function creates a clean-cut corner for each point where two lines meet by extending the cut beyond the end of the actual line. In the image below, you can see the line endpoints extending beyond the original design's corners:

The overcut lines are very small and usually unnoticeable. The blade will begin cutting 0.01mm before the line begins, lift between each line, and end the line 0.01mm longer. 

If you are using a material that requires weeding (such as vinyl or heat transfer), or the corners of the design are slightly torn or not cutting through, you may wish to turn ON Line Segment Overcut to achieve clean-cut corners. 

By default, this setting is OFF.  While off, the blade will cut each shape without lifting. The blade tip rotates to accommodate corners and curves.