How to Find the Best Rotary Cutter

How to Find the Best Rotary Cutter [2021] Picks

Crafters know that it is so vitally important to have the best crafting tools to complete and enjoy their hobbies. If you only have a subpar tool, it is more likely that you will have a subpar finished product and a subpar creative experience. Rather than subpar, crafters aim for superb.

So, let’s learn how to find the best rotary cutter, and how to operate with one too!

Let’s Cut to The Details

The first rotary cutter hit the market when the Olfa company released its version in 1979. Up until then, scissors and shears dominated the clothing, textile, and crafting markets.

Once the rotary cutter came along, cutting delicate and detailed projects became so much easier, and every crafter and creative had to get one.

If you craft with fabric or paper, you have probably used a rotary cutter at some point in time. You have probably also wondered if one brand or type of rotary cutter was better than another for certain projects. Well, wonder no more. We are going to learn all we can about these crafting tools and discover how to find the best.

Designed for a Purpose

“What makes a rotary cutter the best”, you may ask. To answer this, we need to first discuss what a rotary cutter does. When we know what the purpose of this tool is, it will be much more apparent what qualities we are looking for when we look for the best.

A rotary cutter consists of a small, round, and very sharp blade set into a handle. It is designed to cut straight lines or broad curves in fabric or paper. It is often used in the construction of quilts, clothing, and papercrafts.

Quintessential Qualities

Rotary Cutter

Having discovered the purpose of the rotary cutter, we can use that design purpose to decide what qualities constitute the best. When you look for the best rotary cutter, you should be looking for these qualities:

Blade Size

Rotary Cutter blades range in size from 18mm to 60mm. The bigger the blade, the easier it is to cut through more layers and larger swaths of fabric.

However, the smaller blades make intricate and detailed cuts easier. You will need to consider how you will use your rotary cutter the most to help determine which blade size is best for you.

18mm Blade – This size of the blade is going to assist you best if you are working on small and detailed projects. Anything tiny, like fabric or paper applique, is going to be a breeze with this blade.

28mm Blade – Again, this blade will work well for smaller projects.

45mm Blade – This size of the blade is the perfect middle ground and it is the most commonly used. It works wonders for quilting and card making.

60mm Blade – A large blade like this will cut through thick layers of fabric with ease (as long as it is sharp).

Blade Type

Not only do Rotary Cutter blades come in different sizes, but they also come in different types. Below is a list of the basic options of blade types and how they are used. Consider what sort of projects you will be focused on and if one type is better for you than the others.

Pinking Blade – These are similar to pinking shears. They are used to keep the fabric from fraying and they produce a nice wavy pattern to the edges of what they cut. For more information on how to use the pinking blade, enjoy this video.

Scallop Blade – A scallop blade is used for aesthetic purposes. It is great for cutting paper for a scrapbook. If you would like to know more about how to use the scallop blade, watch this instructional video.

Wave Blade – This is another blade used for decoration, similar to the scallop blade. Learn more about the wave blade in this video.

Handle Type

Remember that you will be using a firm grip on the handle of your Rotary Cutter for long periods of time, so you want something that doesn’t cause discomfort or pain.

If possible, hold the Rotary Cutter for a bit to determine if that particular handle is best suited for your hand. If you cannot hold the cutter for yourself, check out all the reviews possible so you are well informed about the product.

Safety Features

Rotary Cutters are sharp and can be dangerous if used or stored improperly. The best Rotary Cutters are going to offer great safety features that will give you peace of mind.

Better Than All the Rest

Now that we know what to look for in the best Rotary Cutter, let’s start looking at what is available on the market.

Best Rotary Cutter for Quilting

OLFA 45mm

With its many positive features, OLFA 45mm Tungsten Steel Ergonomic Rotary Cutter may be the ultimate tool for quilters. It will work perfectly to cut almost any material. Plus, it features interchangeable specialty blades.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Can be used by both right and left-handed users
  • Cuts up to six layers
  • Fits specialty blades (Scallop, Pinking, & Wave)
  • Cuts through felt, vinyl, tarp, fleece, paper, & upholstery
  • Designed with a dual-action safety lock

Cons

  • None to speak of

Best Rotary Cutter for Leather

Fiskars Classic

Fiskars Classic 45mm Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter can be used for a variety of projects but is especially nice when working with leather. Try it the next time you cut out leather straps for homemade jewelry.

Pros

  • Easy to grip and use the handle
  • Sliding blade locks into place for use or for safe storage
  • Full lifetime warranty
  • Can cut through multiple layers
  • Can cut through fabric, paper, felt, vinyl, and leather
  • Can be used by both right and left-handed users

Cons

  • Some users said that the blades are difficult to change

Best Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

My Comfort 45mm Cutter

My Comfort 45mm Cutter can be used by longtime crafters or newbies. Its design is meant for comfort and quality.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Customizable handle
  • Can be personalized with photos
  • Can be used by both right and left-handed users

Cons

  • None to speak of

Best Electronic Rotary Cutter

 

RESHY Electric Cutter

If long days of cutting fabric have worn out your hand, you may want to opt for an electric Rotary Cutter. You get all the crafting fun without the fatigue with the RESHY Electric Rotary Fabric Cutter.

Pros

  • Comes with a durable steel blade
  • Comes with a sharpening function
  • Designed with a machine head protection device
  • Available replacement within one year of purchase

Cons

  • Some users have stated that the instructions are vague

Best Circular Rotary Cutter

OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter

Regular Rotary Cutters can only cut in large broad circles, so if you have circular shapes in your project, you will have to use old-fashioned scissors. Fortunately, there are circular Rotary Cutters available, like the OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter and they make circular cutting so easy.

Pros

  • Patented ratchet handle reduces wrist fatigue
  • Designed with a blade guard and spike guard for safety
  • Cuts circles between 1 ½” and 8 ¾”

Cons

  • Some users have claimed that the blade guard doesn’t work properly
  • Some users have claimed that it doesn’t cut through thick material

FAQs

Question: How Long Do Rotary Cutter Blades Last?

Answer: Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered with a specific number. The reason for this is that the longevity of a rotary cutter blade depends on so many factors, such as:
• The type of fabric you are cutting
• The amount of fabric you are cutting at one time
• The type of cutting mat you are using

Question: How Can You Know When a Rotary Cutter Blade is Bad?

Answer: If you have to put a lot of pressure on your rotary cutter to slice through the fabric, you should look into either sharpening or replacing the blade. Also, if your cuts are not smooth, it is likely that your blade has gone bad.

Question: How Should You Dispose of a Rotary Cutter Blade?

Answer: When you dispose of an old blade, remember that it is still sharp enough to injure someone. With that in mind, consider how you can safely dispose of the blade. Here are a few options for consideration.
Put the blades back into the container they came in, bubblewrap the container, and mail it to LP Sharp for recycling. You may even be able to get a discount on new blades by doing this.
Take your rotary blades to a local recycling or scrap metal business.
Wrap your blades in aluminum foil and cardboard before depositing them in the trash bin.

Question: How Can You Sharpen a Rotary Cutter Blade?

Answer: Sharpening the blade of your rotary cutter can save you both time and money. As long as your rotary cutter blade doesn’t have a nick or any other damage, it can be sharpened. In fact, you have two different options for sharpening a dull blade.
• Use a Rotary Blade Sharpener
• Use a piece of Aluminum Foil

Question: How Can You Care for a Rotary Cutter?

Answer: Caring for your rotary cutter is going to help it last longer and work more efficiently. Here are a few basic tips for increasing the longevity of this essential crafting tool.
• Close the cutter after every use
• Store the cutter in a safe and clean place
• Clean the blade before putting it away or after a few hours of use
• Disassemble the cutter frequently for in-depth cleaning and oiling
• Always use the rotary cutter with a mat

Question: Do I Need More than One Rotary Cutter?

Answer: This depends on the type of crafting you do. If you work with both fabric and papercrafts, you should have a Rotary Cutter, or at least, a designated blade for each type of craft. Just like scissors, materials dull the blades, and blades don’t work well going from one material to another.

Also, you may need more than one Rotary Cutter because you need different sizes and types of blades for all the projects you do. Unfortunately, there are projects where using a specific type or size of the blade is better. This is just something to keep in mind as you get your crafting tools together.

Question: How Can I Use a Rotary Cutter Safely?

Answer: Hold the Rotary Cutter Correctly – If you don’t hold this tool correctly, it can cause you some injuries. Take the time to learn how a Rotary Cutter is meant to be held and used before beginning your next project.
• Use Safety Gloves – You can use a Rotary Cutter without gloves, but if you have a tendency to slice your fingers, you may want to consider getting some just in case.
• Use the Safety Features – Don’t forget to latch and lock the blade when you have finished using the cutter. Make this an unbreakable habit between each pass and you won’t have to worry about any accidental injuries to yourself or others.
• Use Pattern Weights – This will keep your hands out of the way of danger when cutting fabric. Watch this video to learn more about how pattern weights can be used.

Question: What Accessories Does a Rotary Cutter Require?

Answer: To get the most out of a rotary cutter, it is best to pair it with some amazing accessories. These have been designed specifically to complement and enhance the work of a rotary cutter.
• Rotary Cutter Mat – This is an accessory that you should never work without. It will keep your rotary cutter blade and your work surfaces safe from damage.
Sewing Machine Oil – Use this accessory after you have cleaned or sharpened the rotary cutter blade. It will help to keep the blade in a better working condition. Here is an article to walk you through the steps for how to clean and oil a rotary cutter.
• Clear Ruler – This accessory will help you as you are making all the delicate cuts required when working with fabric.
• Extra Blades – Keep an extra set of blades around just in case you need them. It’s better to buy a few extra now than to stop in the middle of a project and make a trip to the store for more.

Concluding Thoughts

Now that you are an expert in all things “Rotary Cutter” you should be able to find the best one for your crafting supplies. Once you do find your cutter of choice, you are going to have so much fun quilting, cardmaking, creating jewelry, or piecing together a new wardrobe. Have fun in new your new crafting adventures and enjoy all your newly created items.

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