What rotary tool to choose when cutting fabric?

babushka_catJanuary 14, 2014

i need to cut some more fabric for my churn dash quilt. my mom left me a pile of tools inlcuding rotary cutters - there appear to be about 12 of them plus large baggie of blades in varying sizes. i am cutting thin cotton into 1-3" squares. what rotary cutter should i be selecting?

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K8Orlando

Wow! 12... I'm jealous! I have 2 I can regularly find and another 2 that seem to migrate around the sewing room, hiding under piles of fabric. My favorite one is currently among the missing. I would say: "Use the sharpest one!" and whichever one feels most comfortable in your hand. I have a cutie-patootie one that I thought I would love because it's smaller, but it just doesn't feel comfy to me to I rarely use it.

Whatever you use: BE CAUTIOUS! These things cause nasty, nasty lacerations and are sharp enough to do it in an instant. ALWAYS CLOSE THE GUARD before you put it down. If you don't, you WILL find that open blade with the side of your hand at some point. It's not the pain I mind so much; it's all that bleeding on fabric that depresses me.

Kate

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:17PM
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quiltingfox

I only have 1 rotary cutter and I love it: OLFA, it's yellow and black and it has about a 2" diameter blade. I mostly use it for cutting strips, borders and bindings. I think mine is the 45mm blade size.

Best to you,
Sandra

This post was edited by quiltingfox on Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 20:24

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 3:57PM
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kathi_mdgd

I have several brands and several different sizes.I mostly gravitate to the fiskar with the 45mm blade,or the olfa with the same size blade.

If I'm cutting out small things like kids clothes I use the 28mm kai one.I probably have at least 6 different ones,Kai,Fiskars,olfa,and like them all for different reasons.

Just remember what the OP said,make sure you close it before you lay it down,and keep it out of reach of curious little hands.
Kathi,who loves rotary cutters.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:39PM
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mary_c_gw

This might seem like a silly comment - but make sure you use a rotary cutting mat!

I only say this because a friend asked to borrow one of my cutters, and then was mightily pissed off that cutting her stuff on a piece of plywood damaged the plywood, LOL. Honestly, I should have questioned her before I gave her the cutter. She was very intelligent, but lacking a few of the clues in the common sense area.

I use the 45mm blade for almost every cutting job.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 8:21PM
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grammyp

Good point, Mary. I use Fiskar 45mm because it is comfortable in my hand. Good advice so far.

beverly

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 11:32PM
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babushka_cat

thanks to all of you for your good guidance! i appreciate your patience with all of my remedial questions. i am a very experienced sewer, just need to learn new quilting tricks!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:06AM
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K8Orlando

b'cat - don't worry! We LOVE to talk about quilting and, as a group, we know lots of tricks. Keep asking questions!

Kate

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:31PM
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meldy_nva

"Use the sharpest one" :)

I don't think brand matters...I have five different brands and they are all well-designed, although I do prefer the easy-change feature that's now available. Use the handle-shape that feels most comfortable to your hand. Actually, most consider the 45mm the all-purpose and most-used size. 60mm is for long strips, it seems to be the least used. Some folks adore the little ones, but I only use mine for the tiniest cuts.

Next to being sure to *always* (no exceptions) cover the blade as you put it down, it's very important to keep a sharp blade. Unless you have platinum credit card, use a coupon (Joanne's frequently sends 50%-off ) and buy that little gadget that lets you re-sharpen the blades... then put a fresh blade in 5 to 10 hours of cutting (depends on what you cut). If you see skips or it seems to take a lot of pressure to get a clean cut, then it's time to put a new blade in. Please be very, very careful when handling the blades, they are really razors in a modern shape.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:28PM
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