As an update to my previous post, I have just received a CB09 holder and packs of both 45 and 60 degree blades from China I ordered these from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/win-win-mechatronic?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 on 29th December and they arrived, very well packaged, this morning, 6th January, which I consider excellent service.
The holder is a nicely machined aluminium tube, which fitted smoothly and firmly into the Silhouette Portrait carrier. To fit a blade, it is only necessary to unscrew the black cap at one end and slide the back, rounded, end of the blade into the holder. Then remove the protective cap from the blade and slip a spring (provided) over the shaft. Align the black cap carefully, so that the blade slides into the small aperture and tighten it up. The blade projection is adjusted by the knurled knob at the other end of the holder and there are no click stops, so it must be adjusted by eye. The blade components are very small, so you may need tweezers for handling them, and a magnifier to see how they fit together.
I bought some 60 degree blades as well as 45 degree ones, like that originally supplied with the cutter, as I have read that they are better for thicker materials and, more importantly, for finer details. The difference in the blade profiles can be seen in my following photograph of the original Silhouette cutter alongside the CB09, with a 60 degree blade fitted.
The acid test was to re-cut the same coach side with both types of blade; the results are compared below:
I cannot see any difference in the quality of the cuts. There are two rather square-looking corners (ringed in red) that appear identical in both cases. Re-examination of the drawings revealed that I had failed to 'trim' these to rounded corners! I think it is a testament to the cutter that the error is clearly visible!
It remains to be seen how well these blades last but, at about £7 for five, they represent a very considerable saving over the Silhouette product, which can only be bought as a complete blade and holder assembly.