You can use rotary cutters for projects from quilting to crafting to garment making.
Finding the right style and size is key to getting the most out of your rotary cutter.
Here’s Why Not All Rotary Cutters are the Same:
Rotary cutters come in different sizes, materials, and designs. Different sized blades are suited for different projects and are equipped with different safety designs. You can also choose from different blade materials for enhanced sharpness and durability.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Are There Different Kinds of Rotary Cutters?
While all rotary cutters are designed for you to make efficient cuts through the fabric on a special mat, there is plenty of variety to choose from.
There are many different rotary cutters, from pinking blades to extensive safety features.
One of the most important differences between cutters is the size. You can find different-sized rotary cutters designed for all types of different tasks.
Knowing what kind of project you need a rotary cutter will help you purchase the right one:
- Small bladed rotary cutters are ideal for paper, single layers of fabric, and cutting tight curves with precision.
- Large rotary cutters are better for handling several layers of fabric or cutting straight lines with speed and accuracy.
Let’s look at the most popular rotary cutter sizes and what each one is best used for:
Small Rotary Cutters:
There are tiny rotary cutters with 18-millimeter blades, about the size of a penny.
These small blades are ideal for maneuvering smoothly through curves and details. A small blade will be a great choice if you have some creative, freehand cutting.
You might find a slightly larger blade, around 28 millimeters, more suitable for you. This blade is still relatively small, appearing to be around the size of a quarter.
Its size works very well for the smooth curves you might need to cut while making a garment.
You will be able to cut around a pattern with precision without losing control and cutting into the pattern itself while going around a curve.
Overall, it would be best if you did not use these smaller rotary cutters for thick fabric or several layers at once. They are best for detailed work and thin materials.
Standard Rotary Cutters:
One of the most popular and standard sizes for a rotary cutter blade is 45 millimeters.
This is the best choice for an all-purpose rotary cutter. It is small enough to handle curves but is large enough to give you more swift-cutting stability.
If you are new to sewing and want to purchase your first rotary cutter, this standard size is a great place to begin. It is large enough to handle thicker materials or a few layers at a time without being cumbersome.
Large Rotary Cutters:
You can also find large rotary cutters measuring around 60 millimeters.
These rotary cutters will cut straight lines fast since a single rotation will cover a significant fabric.
Quilters also prefer these larger rotary cutter blades since they can cut through all quilt layers at once.
If you need a blade that can handle layers of fabric and batting simultaneously, you will be better off with one of these large rotary cutters.
Are Some Rotary Cutters Better than Others?
The best rotary cutter for you will depend on some personal preferences.
Different rotary cutters are suited for different projects, so your sewing habits will determine the best one for you.
You might also find some rotary cutters better in terms of their safety features and if they allow for both left-handed and right-handed usage.
Let’s look at all of these categories to help decide which is best for you:
Different rotary cutters serve different sewing projects differently.
If you want to cut thick fabric or fabric in several layers, you will want a larger blade.
If you are crafting with paper or want to focus on small details, you will want to choose a small rotary blade.
The safety features of a rotary cutter are essential to some sewers, especially those with young children or pets at home.
Rotary blades are sharp and will cut whatever they come into contact with. This is great when used properly but can make them dangerous if you’re not paying attention.
If you are concerned about safety, you will want to purchase a rotary cutter with an innovative safety blade design.
Some rotary cutters only cut when you squeeze the handle where the blade is released and is ready to cut. As soon as you let go, the blade returns to safety inside its plastic case.
However, this design is usually reserved for the more expensive cutters. If you go for a budget option, there will likely be a button that you push to release the blade.
Store the blade safely by manually pressing the button. This can be a safety concern anytime you accidentally forget to secure the blade after use.
Left or Right Handed:
By default, rotary cutters are often designed only to be used by the right hand. This can make it difficult for left-handed sewers to use them accurately since it can be hard to see where exactly the blade is going.
If you prefer to cut with your left hand, you will want to look for specially designed rotary cutters.
Some manufacturers make it possible for the blade to be placed on either side. While it might come with the blade on the left side of the handle, you can change it to the right side for easier cutting.
There are also designs where the blade is perfectly in the middle. These are truly ambidextrous rotary cutters and are a great choice if you share this tool with left-handed or right-handed sewing friends.
What Determines a Good Rotary Cutter?
A good rotary cutter will make a clean cut on the first try and continue to perform well over time.
While you can find rotary cutters at just about any price point, you want to make sure you get a high enough quality option for long-term, frustration-free cutting.
You can find rotary cutters with different blade materials. The lower price options will likely use a combination of stainless steel and tungsten for the blades.
While these can be less expensive, you can still get a quality blade from these materials.
If you want one of the titanium options, you will be looking at a higher price tag. However, titanium has the reputation of lasting longer and being more durable.
If you are an avid quilter or sewer, you can think of purchasing a titanium rotary cutter as a worthy investment.
No matter what material you choose, purchasing a high-quality rotary cutter from a respected company is a good idea if you want your new blades to cut cleanly over time.
Olfa and Fiskars are some of the leaders in the industry and manufacture quality cutters.
Which Rotary Cutters are Sharpest?
We have some recommendations if you are looking for sharp blades to cut through thick fabric or several layers of fabric at once:
Fiskars Crafts Rotary Cutter, 60mm Titanium:
First up is the Fiskars Craft Rotary Cutters with 60mm Titanium Blades available on Amazon.
These sharp cutters are ideal for slicing through several layers of fabric cleanly.
Their razor-sharp precision is built to endure, claiming to last three times as long as stainless steel blades.
OLFA 45 mm tungsten steel Ergonomic Rotary Cutter:
Next up, we have the Olfa Tungsten Steel 45mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter available on Amazon.
This Japanese-made cutter can cleanly cut through 6 layers of fabric at once.
This company prides itself on delivering cutters with maximum sharpness and high-quality, long-lasting blades.
Buying your Rotary Cutter:
Remember, you can buy replacement blades or sharpen your existing blades if they become dull.
Some cutters will even come with replacement blades or alternative, decorative blades that you can use on the same cutter.
Stay away from the cheapest option from an unknown company when in doubt. Often, these blades will cause you more headaches than the savings was worth.
You might apply great amounts of pressure to cut through your material. You might also struggle to get the blade to make a clean cut on the first try.
By spending a few more dollars up front, you can enjoy a smoother cutting experience as you sew.
Which Rotary Cutters are Most Affordable?
Stainless steel and tungsten blades are typically more affordable than titanium-coated options.
Titanium blades are designed to endure more use while staying sharp. However, a quality stainless steel blade can get the job done and last long.
Fiskars and Olfa are two of the most recognized brands for rotary cutters.
Choosing a more affordable model from one of these brands will guarantee quality at a low cost.
What is Kind Of Rotary Cutter Best for Quilting?
When it comes to quilting, you might need to cut through several layers of fabric and batting simultaneously with your rotary cutter.
A small blade won’t be able to handle this type of job well. You will want a large blade for quilting, ideally around 60 millimeters.
You might consider purchasing titanium-coated rotary cutters if you are a serious quilter. This high-quality blade will cut through several layers of fabric cleanly every time and stay sharper longer.
There are even electric rotary cutting machines available for serious sewers.
These cost significantly more than a hand-held version but can make cutting through thick fabric layers a breeze.
There is so much variety in rotary cutters on the market today.
You can find rotary cutters with many different-sized blades ideal for different crafting tasks.
You can also find different metals, safety features, and decorative blade options. Some rotary cutters feature more ergonomic designs, while others are ideal for ambidextrous households.
Consider your personal preferences and specific sewing needs when choosing the right rotary cutter.