How Test Cut Can Save Your Day

Test Cut

One of my favorite things about using the Silhouette Cameo is trying new products & changing things up!  However, there is nothing more frustrating than working on a project & going to cut — only to have a total fail!  And it seems that this fail occurs when you are using the last few inches that you have of a material!  Sometimes, there are a variety of factors — Your blade is old & needs to be replaced; There is a lot of “gunk” on your mat; or you are working with a material that is new to you & you’ve never cut it before.  Or, to be honest – -the moons just aren’t aligned correctly!  🙂

At our hands on Silhouette retreats, we used to have things like this happen & students become incredibly frustrated — not to mention waste a lot of materials!  So we began focusing on using the Test Cut feature in Silhouette Studio — and it has saved the day many a time!

This is a design from Lori Whitlock that I purchase in the Silhouette Design Store.  Its one of my personal favorites & I wanted to make some tea towels with this design from Siser Heat Transfer Vinyl.

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After flipping the design (because I am cutting the HTV from the back side) it is ready to Send to Silhouette.   Once I do that — I have the opportunity to Adjust my Cut Settings.

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Here is where you select whatever material you will be cutting.  Since I’m cutting Siser Heat Transfer Vinyl, I click on Heat Transfer Material – smooth (as opposed to the flocked).   When I do that, you see the “Editing” option pop up — along with an additional side scrollbar.

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Grab that side Scrollbarr, and slide it down until you see all of the options appear.  At the bottom, you will find a “Test Cut” button – along with some arrows that move the blade housing.  When you have your blade adjusted & your mat loaded with material, click on the Test Cut button – and a little triangle inside of a square will be cut in the upper left hand corner of your material.

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Test Cut


Unload your mat & check the cut.  If you get a nice, clean cut like in the picture above — then you are good to go & ready to cut your design!  (If you are cutting Heat Transfer Vinyl, be sure to lift up the carrier sheet & check that you have not cut all the way through.)   However, sometimes the cut isn’t clean — and you need to make some adjustments to your blade or other settings.

After making those adjustments, use the 4 directional arrows next to the “Test Cut” button (see pic above) to move the blade housing to another location on your material.  Load the mat back into the Cameo &  then click the “Test Cut” button again, and check again!   Be sure that your design isn’t going to run into your little Test Cuts — but once you have a satisfactory cut — you are all ready to cut your design!

This little extra step takes just a few minutes & can save you a lot of frustration & wasted material!  Many of the materials that we cut are expensive (especially Glitter Flex!), and this is a way to avoid wasting your precious materials!!

**Silhouette Savannah Retreat:  We still have 4-5 spaces remaining for our upcoming retreat in Savannah — Click on this link to learn more about the event & register!  Hope you can join us!

Until next time — Hugs, Terri


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  1. On this design, which I also purchased, is every color or area cut separately? I’m new to this. Thanks

    • The design comes in 2 parts — One is with the entire design all one color – -and the other is with separate cut pieces. You have to ungroup them to use it .


  1. […] that I normally use for Heat Transfer Vinyl — be sure to do a Test Cut.  (Check out this tutorial if you don’t know […]