If you are shopping for a new rotary cutter, you might be wondering about the difference between standard steel blades and titanium-coated blades.
While the price tag might be higher for titanium-coated blades, they come with several advantages that can make them a worthy investment.
Here’s Why Titanium-Coated Rotary Cutters are Better:
Titanium-coated rotary cutter blades will stay sharp significantly longer than their standard steel counterparts. Their titanium-coating makes them about three times as hard as non-coated blades. They are a much more durable option and don’t require much sharpening or blade replacement.
Does Titanium Make Rotary Cutters More Durable?
Titanium is a metal that is known for its strength and durability. It is a lightweight metal with a high density and is quite resistant to wear and tear.
These properties make it an ideal coating since it makes the blade three times harder than a non-coated one.
This added hardness is ideal for protecting your blade from knicks or pitting. Certain materials, surfaces, or debris can damage your cutters.
When you notice your rotary cutter leaves threads behind uncut, there is a spot on the blade that is no longer sharp and cutting correctly.
With titanium-coated blades, you are less likely to experience this inconvenient thread-skipping. Your blades are stronger and less likely to be damaged with regular use.
Even with thicker fabrics or metallic threads, your titanium blades won’t suffer the same damage as cheaper, lower-quality blades tend to experience.
While their durability makes titanium blades very appealing, their price tag can sometimes turn people away. These blades are often more expensive than standard ones, especially when compared to lower-quality steel blades.
Even though titanium-coated blades are usually more expensive upfront, consider how long a single blade can last. With their longer lifespan, you will find yourself sharpening or replacing this type of blade less often.
Many avid sewers and quilters like to keep replacement blades on hand for when the time comes to change blades. Since your original titanium blade will last for a long time, you can patiently wait for a sale on replacement blades before purchasing.
When a sale comes, you can stock up on your blades of choice and keep them on hand for when they are needed. This strategy helps you buy high-quality, long-lasting blades at the best possible price.
Titanium is also highly resistant to rust, so you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong with your backup blades sitting in storage. They will be ready to use when the time comes.
Are Titanium-Coated Rotary Cutters Sharper?
A brand new, high-quality rotary cutter blade will make a great cut, no matter the material it is made from.
However, if you are concerned with how long your blade will stay sharp, titanium-coated blades are the clear winning choice.
Titanium-coated blades maintain their sharpness much longer and more effectively than other less expensive steel options. If you compare a titanium-coated blade and a regular blade after a week or month of regular use, you will likely find that your titanium-coated blade is far sharper.
You might often use your at-home sharpener with regular blades or constantly reach for a new replacement blade. You won’t have these experiences nearly as frequently with titanium-coated blades.
They will continue to deliver clean, precise cuts much longer than your average blade.
Handling Sharp Blades with Care
Because titanium blades stay so sharp for so long, handling these rotary cutters with care is important.
Mishandled blades can easily cause accidents and hurt you or your family members. It is important to respect the power of these cutting tools and treat them accordingly.
One great step you can take to use your new blades safely is the type of rotary blade handle you have. Purchasing a rotary cutter with an ergonomic safety release handle is a good idea to use your titanium blades safely.
This rotary cutter style only releases the blade to the cutting position when you are fully squeezing the handle. As soon as you let go, the blade retracts to safety.
This design makes it impossible to leave the blade out in the cutting position accidentally. This will help prevent any accidents that might have occurred from an unattended blade left out in your sewing area.
Even if you are careful with your rotary cutters when in use, the sharp blade can still be dangerous even when locked in the safety position. If you get your fingers too close to the edge of the blade when it is retracted, it can still cut you.
You can store them in a special case to prevent any accidents when you are not actively using your cutters. Rotary cutter cases have the space to store your cutters and your replacement blades.
These cases zip up, making sure no one in your house can accidentally access your razor-sharp cutting tools.
When Should You Use Titanium-Coated Rotary Cutters?
Titanium-coated rotary cutters are a great choice for anyone who wants a smooth, hassle-free cutting experience.
You can make beautiful, precise cuts without applying much pressure when using a sharp blade.
People can get frustrated with rotary cutters when they buy cheap blades that quickly become dull and skip threads when cutting. Dull blades require the user to apply too much pressure and can be a physically tiring experience.
It can also be dangerous to exert so much force when using a blade. If you are pushing extremely hard to get the blade to cut through fabric, it will have a lot of momentum if it accidentally gets off track. This can lead to nasty accidents or damaged surfaces.
Using a sharp blade, by contrast, only requires a light touch to make the perfect cut. Titanium-coated blades will stay sharper much longer, giving the user many more hours of the ideal cutting experience.
Especially using some of the bigger blades, like the 45-millimeter and 60-millimeter options, you can enjoy cutting through multiple layers of fabric very quickly.
This makes titanium blades especially appealing to quilters who need to make many cuts through many layers of fabric and batting simultaneously.
Cheap, low-quality blades might not even last through the cuts required to make a single quilt. On the other hand, titanium-coated blades are much better suited for these intensive tasks.
Tips for Using Your Titanium-Coated Blades
Like any rotary cutter, you must use a specialty cutting mat every time you cut.
These mats are designed to provide an ideal surface that both protects the blade and your furniture.
You can purchase self-healing mats full of elastic fibers, bouncing back to a perfect surface after every cut. These mats are great since they provide a consistently smooth surface no matter how often you cut on them.
Quilting rulers are excellent tools to help you make long, straight cuts with your rotary cutter. However, if you are using a large blade, make sure you purchase a thick ruler that provides many barriers between your fingers and the blade.
With thin rulers, your blade might easily slide onto the ruler itself. This can be dangerous for the fingers holding the ruler in place.
Make sure your ruler is thick enough to securely guide the blade without letting it accidentally jump onto the ruler itself.
Remember to hold your rotary cutter somewhere between a 30 and 45-degree angle when cutting. If your hand is too close to the fabric, you won’t be able to apply the needed pressure to make the clean cuts your blades are capable of.
However, you don’t need to hold it too vertical since it will be harder to make a smooth cut in that position.
For additional tips on using your new, sharp blades effectively, you can check out this tutorial on YouTube:
Where Can You Buy Titanium-Coated Rotary Cutters?
Titanium-coated rotary cutters and their replacement blades are widely available at your local craft stores and online.
You can likely find these blades wherever you typically purchase your sewing notions and supplies.
If you are looking for a high-quality titanium-coated rotary cutter in a standard size, you can check out the Fiskars 45mm Softgrip Rotary Cutter on Amazon.
This rotary cutter comes with a single titanium blade and will stay sharp as you cut through multiple layers of material.
However, if you want to purchase a package of replacement blades for your current rotary cutter, there are many options. This set of 10 45mm Titanium Coated Rotary Cutter Blades is available on Amazon.
A set of 10 titanium blades will last even an avid sewer quite a long time.
What Are Common Rotary Cutter Blades Made Of?
No matter the brand, Rotary cutter blades are all made from hard metals.
The exact type of metal used will often determine how durable the blade will be. It will also influence the price of the cutter or blades.
Besides titanium-coated blades, tungsten steel is another top choice for high-quality rotary cutter blades. Olfa is one of the best-known brands of rotary cutters, and they often craft their blades from tungsten steel. You can also find carbon steel used by other top brands for a high-quality blade.
The less information the brand provides about the metal, the less quality it is likely to be. Most blades are made from some type of stainless steel.
The lower quality of the steel, the more quickly it can become dull and the less effective it will be with multiple layers of fabric or thicker materials.
If you want a good-quality blade without titanium coating, look for one specifically labeled as tungsten or carbon steel. These are your best options for a great blade without the added cost of titanium.
If you are an avid sewer who loves the clean, precise cuts of a fresh blade on your rotary cutter, titanium-coated blades are for you.
These high-quality blades will stay sharper for far longer than the average steel blade.
You can reach for your titanium-coated rotary cutters repeatedly without worrying about them skipping threads or dulling quickly.