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There are more rotary cutter options than just the 45mm!

There are more rotary cutter options than just the 45mm!

by Michael Smith

Welcome back! Yesterday I looked at decorative rotary cutter blades and today continues my look at Rotary Cutters. Though they are quite commonplace now, with many brands from which to choose, Olfa pioneered the market 40 years when they introduced the bright yellow straight handle 45mm rotary cutter. It’s become the industry standard, though there are now many more sizes, types and colors of rotary cutters available.

The original Olfa 45mm straight handle rotary cutter

Rotary Cutters aren’t just for quilters!

Yesterday, I mentioned rotary cutters aren’t just for quilters anymore; there are many more applications to use them! Today, I’m sharing some tips about using rotary cutters when cutting out garments.

Just as woodworkers have more than one saw and chefs have more than one knife, sewists, quilters and crafters should have more than one rotary cutter as each has a benefit to use for specific tasks. For example, I use the Olfa 28mm rotary cutter to cut out my garment patterns.

Olfa 28mm Quick Change rotary cutter is great to use when cutting out garment pattern pieces. Complete instructions on how to change the blade are conveniently on the back of the package.

I use an acrylic ruler to guide my rotary cutter along the straight edges, but use the adorable Olfa 18mm rotary cutter to free hand cut around the tight curves of the armhole and neckline.

The adorable Olfa 18mm rotary cutter is IDEAL to cut around tight curves of garments like armholes and necklines. Komfort Kuts Dylon Best Press

The 28mm and especially the 18mm size are ideal to cut curves. Think Drunkard’s Path blocks, or how about free hand cutting felt to mimic giant ric rac for a Halloween costume, or a home dec project? Sew many possibilities!

Olfa 18mm rotary cutter is the perfect size to cut around tight curves.

Komfort Kuts 18mm rotary cutter fits into the small, tight grooves of acrylic templates, especially those which are circular.

Komfort Kuts 18mm rotary cutter is easy to use freehand to make giant felt ric rac for home dec projects, costumes, etc.

Whether I’m cutting quilting cotton or slippery chiffon for an evening gown, I like to beef up the edge of the fabric I’m cutting by spraying the seam allowance with spray starch, like Dylon Spray Starch, which you may already have in your laundry room, or Best Press, which you may already use when you press your quilting fabrics.

I don’t spray the whole piece of fabric, just within the seam allowance where I’ll be cutting. It helps strengthen the edge, reduce stretching, particularly if I’m cutting on the bias or cutting knit fabrics, and I get a cleaner cut, especially with those fabrics which fray just by looking at them.

Changing the blade is a breeze!

As I mentioned earlier, there’s now a variety of brands and handle grips on the market so you can find the one or ones best for you. Though I’m basically an Olfa guy, I like the cute little Komfort Kuts 18mm rotary cutter with its slim hourglass shape which comfortably fits in my hand. This cutter also has a fabulous feature which many rotary cutters have these days: Quick Change blade release which makes replacing the blade even quicker and easier without any confusion of having too many parts to remove.

Komfort Kuts 18mm and Olfa 18mm rotary cutters each boast the Quick Change blade release feature, so changing blades is a breeze!

Not to fear, this fabulous Quick Change feature is available on some of the larger cutters too, like the snazzy Olfa 45mm SPLASH rotary cutters.

The colorful Olfa 45mm Splash rotary cutters have the Quick Change feature for quick and easy blade replacement.

Available in many colors, I recently brought home this elegant Navy Blue cutter, which is also available in a convenient quilt starter kit, which includes the Olfa 45mm Navy Blue Splash rotary cutter, a 6″ x 12″ acrylic ruler and 12″ x 18″ navy blue cutting mat. Who doesn’t want their sewing room to coordinate? I love it!

Match your rotary cutter to your mat! This kit from Olfa includes the fabulous 45mm Navy Blue Splash rotary cutter, 6″ x 12″ acrylic ruler and 12″ x 18″ navy blue cutting mat.

Be sure to check back to QUILTsocial tomorrow when I’ll share with you some of the fun rotary cutters available to take your sewing, quilting and crafting to the next level – and as always, doing it faster and easier with more accurate results!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Decorative rotary cutter blades for fun, quick and easy edge finishes

Go to part 4: 2 specialized cutters to create beautiful chenille fabric

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Cindy Shelley September 11, 2019 - 10:45 pm

I have alot of sizes… 60, 45, 28, 18. Love them all.

Denise Bennett September 11, 2019 - 5:29 pm

Nothing better than a comfortable rotary cutter with a sharp blade!

Tania September 11, 2019 - 10:49 am

so great to learn about the tool I tend to take for granted! thanks Michael 🙂


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