10 Important Facts about Rotary Cutters

Do you use a rotary cutter? Me too! When I started quilting there was no such animal. I only know that I LOVE mine but let’s learn some facts about Rotary Cutters.

1. Definition – I think we all know what it is but WiseGeek defines it as a cutting tool which resembles a pizza cutter and often used with quilting projects. Sounds like an apt description to me!

2. When – Unlike many things in quilting, this is a new invention. The rotary cutter dates back to 1979 (basically yesterday) and was invented by the Olfa company. I learned this here.

3. Who – Yoshio Okada invented the rotary cutter to use to cut fabrics in retail. Quilters saw the potential and the rest is history! You can see why he chose yellow also right here.rotary re 3

4. Companions – Oh yes, you will need a good ruler and self healing mat. Plus, a 12.5 inch square is handy as well. You can read a discussion on this or just trust me.

5.  Made of – Authentic Olfa blades are made from high quality tungsten steel as you can see on this Amazon page. rotary re 2

6. Knock offs – Yes, there are and the price should let you know. I bought a set of 10 replacement blades and they were from China, not Japan and not Olfa. I got them on Amazon and now the knock offs are not labeled at Olfa. Be careful!

7. Best one – I own four of them and currently, my Havels rotary cutter is my favorite. Here’s an Etsy discussion page and a Comparaboo page.  I think everyone has their own preference.rotary re 1

8. Sharpeners – Should you invest in a blade sharpener? I have heard bad things about these sharpeners. This sharpener is rated the best and it gets some negative reviews.

9. Life – How long will a blade last and a cutter? I have never had a cutter break but I know people who have. Even Olfa won’t say how long it will stay sharp.  For me, it’s about one quilt. After I cut out one, I notice a dullness. I put on more pressure and that hurts my wrist and the cutter. Read this discussion, there is no one answer.

10. Video – I looked at so many videos and this one was the one I liked the best. I ignore the mat lines also!

Sew happy!

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If these facts interested you then you might enjoy my last fact post on embroidery.

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Tags: rotary cutters

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