If you are a quilter or seamstress, then your job often involves cutting through fabric. While even the best craft scissors do the trick when it comes to cutting fabric for simple projects, you’ll find that more complex projects often require more efficient fabric cutters. However, while most fabric cutters can do just fine, the trick is finding fabric cutters that are easy on your hands and wrists.
You’ll also need a fabric cutter that allows you to cut your fabric fluidly without causing you pains or aches in the process. Rotary cutters are designed to handle various types of fabrics, including leather and even foam. There are various rotary cutters, and they often come in two sizes: 45mm rotary cutters and 60mm rotary cutters.
The Fiskars Titanium Rotary Cutter
NICAPA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter
W.A. Portman Rotary Cutter
45mm rotary cutters
The 45mm cutter is designed with a 45mm blade used for single fabric cutting. This type of rotary cutter is best suited for cutting thin materials. However, if you want to work through thicker materials, there are other options that you could use.
60mm rotary cutter
The 60mm rotary cutter is best suited for cutting thicker materials. The 60mm blade is designed to cut through foam easily and is meant to be used or heavy-duty materials. You could use this blade on fabrics that are thicker than paper, leather, or felt. The blade can also cut through multiple layers of materials quickly, making it great for individuals with a heavier workload.
There are many great rotary cutters; however, the most critical question you’ll need to ask yourself is if the particular rotary cutter you choose works best for you.
Six best rotary cutters
1. The Olfa Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter
The Olfa is a renowned brand with proven exceptional quality in manufacturing some of the most reliable blades and handles in the industry. The Olfa’s rotary cutter comes with 45mm and 60mm models that can simultaneously cut through six layers of fabric.
The tool is fast, efficient, and relatively safe to use. The cutter comes with a double safety feature that protects the user from any unexpected injuries when in use and storage. You can also switch the blade for purposes of decorative edging like waving or pinking.
The model features:
· Ability to cut through six layers simultaneously
· A 45mm blade
· A dual-action lock for safety
· Ergonomic handle
· A tungsten steel blade
· Fitting specialty blades
You could fit specialty blades like:
· Pinking blades
· Peak blades
· Wave blades
The Olfa’s handle is designed to fit in your hand perfectly with a roller cutter made of rubber to help reduce fatigue. The blade self-retracts whenever you squeeze the trigger for added safety. You can use the Olfa rotary cutter on materials like:
This is one of the most effective rotary cutters in the industry, with so much thought put into the design. However, what are the pros and cons of using the Olfa Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter?
· It has a dual-action safety feature
· It has an ultra-sharp blade
· It has an anti-slip grip plus a squeeze handle that automatically snaps off the blade
· The blade tends to become dull, quick
Note: The Olfa deluxe handle rotary cutter has a comfortable handle and serrated grips that improve your grip. The Olfa’s handle has a perfect size making it easy for you to cut fabric and other materials. It also has an excellent safety feature that makes it hard to hurt yourself accidentally.
2. The Fiskars Titanium Rotary Cutter
The Fiskars titanium rotary cutter is highly durable and is perfect for cutting through thicker materials. The rotary cutter has a larger bade, making it easier for the blade to cut through various materials, including:
· Multiple layered fabrics
The rotary cutter is great for both right and left-handed individuals, and its blade can be assembled on either side of the handle, providing an optimal and convenient viewing space. This makes it easy enough to cut through the thickest of materials with ease.
The model’s features include:
· It has a titanium coating for added durability
· A 60mm blade
· It is sharper blade because of the titanium coating
· It has a sliding safety button
· It has a curved handle for a better holding position
· It comes with a lifetime warranty
You could use the Fiskars titanium rotary cutter to cut:
· Cardboard and other rigid materials
· Cotton, etc.
This rotary cutter is great for people with heavy-duty needs; however, you could get yourself one if you want a durable rotary cutter that’s sure to last for a longer time. What are the pros and cons of the Fiskars titanium rotary cutter?
· It has a slide switch that protects the user from accidental cuts
· It has a sharp blade that can cut through multiple layers of fabric, cotton, etc.
· Has a titanium blade
· If you plan to use the blade in heavy tasks, you’ll need to ensure that you sharpen it frequently
Note: one thing that I liked with the Fiskars titanium rotary cutter is its ease of use. The manufacturers thought about everything when they designed the handle. The Fiskars is quite accommodating both for left and right-handed individuals.
3. NICAPA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter
The NICAPA Rotary Cutter is designed a rotary cutter that’s ergonomic, comfortable, and with safety in mind. The cutter has a safety button to lock the blade and an anti-slide grip. Also, the blade can be installed on the right or left side to accommodate both right and left-handed individuals.
The rotary cutter is 45mm with 5 stainless steel replacement blades, that’s 6 stainless steel blades in total. If you have an injury on your hand or you happen to be arthritic, then the NICAPA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter could be your go-to rotary cutter. The cutter’s handle and design make it easier for you to hold the tool and control your cutting.
The design allows you to maneuver and cut across various multilayer materials of fabric, paper, felt, and vinyl.
· A 45mm blade
· A sharp stainless steel blade
· A ergonomic handle for improved comfort
What are some of the cons and pros of the NICAPA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter ?
· It has a sharp blade that cuts through layers of material
· Its ergonomic design protects your hands from fatigue and pain
· Has safety lock
· Great for users with hand injuries or arthritis
· Easy to use for left and right handed individuals
· Some users report issues with the blade retracting
· Has a slightly complex blade replacement routine
Note: After testing the NICAPA Ergonomic Rotary Cutter, I found it to be excellent; however, it can be a bit limiting for quick individuals.
4. Fiskars Heavy-duty Rotary Cutter
We know Fiskars products are pretty sharp, and the Fiskars heavy is no different. This rotary cutter has some of the best features. For instance, it has a 65mm diameter to help you get deeper cuts; it has a sliding button for switching the blade, plus a comfort loop for added comfort and efficiency.
It comes in two sizes: 65mm and 60mm.
Cutting rigid materials can be pretty demanding; however, you could have an easier time if you chose to use the Fiskars heavy-duty rotary cutter. The Fiskars heavy duty is tougher, sharper, and easier to use. It is also safer.
What are some of its pros and cons of using the Fiskars Heavy-duty Rotary Cutter?
· It has a slide switch for added protection and handling
· It has an ultra-sharp blade great for rigid materials
· It has a loop handle for increased control
· Lifetime warranty (minus the blade)
· Some users report issues with the sliding button during use
Note: The Fiskars heavy duty is similar to the Fiskars titanium rotary cutter. The only difference is that the heavy-duty version has the capability of performing more complex actions.
5. Olfa splash rotary cutter
If this is your first rotary cutter purchase experience, then the Olfa splash rotary cutter is an ideal first option. However, it has lots of pros that make it a good-enough option. Some of the featured highlights include:
· Availability is various colors
· It has a relatively sharp blade that can cut through layers of thin materials
· It’s available in size 45mm
The difference between the Olfa splash and the Olfa deluxe is the blade’s replacement mechanism. The only other feature is the anti-slip mechanism, grooves, meant to prevent your fingers from losing grip of the rotary cutter.
What are some of the cons and pros of using the Olfa splash rotary cutter?
· It has a sharp blade
· It has an anti-slip mechanism
· It has a slightly inefficient handle
Note: I would advise you to purchase the Olfa splash rotary cutter if this is your first time using such a tool or if your budget is constrained.
6. W.A. Portman Rotary Cutter
If you are working with leather, quilts, or scrapbooks, the W.A Portman rotary cutter is your best go-to tool. The rotary cutter can slice through various thin layered fabrics like felt, vinyl, and paper.
The tool is also relatively safe, especially when it isn’t in use. Its design is meant to accommodate both lefties and righties and ensure that you don’t get tired or cramped, and uncomfortable using the rotary cutter.
The W.A. Portman rotary cutter offers:
· A dual-action lock mechanism
· A 45mm blade
· An ambidextrous handle
What are some of the cons and pros of using the W.A Portman rotary cutter ?
· You can install various types of blades to the rotary cutter
· The cutter is small, lightweight, and comfortable
· It has a sharp blade
· Not suitable for huge loads of work
Note: This tool is excellent for individuals that don’t need rotary cutters that often. If you use rotary cutters on occasion, then this could be the right tool for you.
What to Consider Before Choosing your Rotary Cutter
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t compromise with when purchasing a rotary cutter or any other tool is it’s safety. When choosing the best rotary cutter, you’ll have to ensure that the tool is not only efficient, but also safe. You could take some time to check the rotary cutter’s safety features.
The safety features usually include a sliding mechanism or a simple button. The sliding mechanism, or button, is designed to push a piece of plastic that goes slightly beyond the blade’s edge. The plastic is meant to protect you from any accidental cuts.
If you’ve already got yourself a rotary cutter, are looking to upgrade, or are looking to purchase one, keep in mind that you get a rotary cutter with adequate safety features. Also, ensure that you’re careful each time you use the rotary cutter. Ensure that you unplug your rotary cutter (for those with electric rotary cutters) and follow any additional safety standards set by the manufacturer.
Ease of use
When buying a rotary cutter, you should not only consider immediate ease of use, but you should also consider the ease of use over extended periods. For instance, you wouldn’t want a rotary cutter that requires you to apply too much pressure whenever you want to cut your fabric.
Blades that force you to apply too much pressure, either due to the manufacturer’s error or your own, could be bad for your projects or results in an accidental injury. Applying too much pressure on your blade could cause the blade to become dull; it could ruin your fabric and even cause you too much strain.
Keep in mind the project you plan to use your rotary cutters; if it’s for a baby quilt, cutting cotton fabric or even cutting terylene fabric. You want to be able to cut through the thickness of the material with ease.
Tip: You could try using a ruler, in addition to the drawn-up lines, to minimize the amount of time and effort invested in lining up your fabrics edges. Using a ruler could help you ensure that the edges are lined up perfectly so that you get to make a more accurate cut.
Choosing the right handle size often comes out to personal preference and comfort. You’ll need to ensure that you can handle the tool comfortably and not make your hand cramp. However, this can be a little hard to determine, especially if you do online shopping. You could try to make a rough estimate if you don’t plan to use the rotary cutter often.
If your workload demands that you use the rotary cutter often, then you’ll need to find some way to observe the rotary cutters physically. To start you off, get a handle that allows you to close your hand around without squeezing. Checking out six of the best rotary cutters listed above could help you get a rough idea of where you need to start.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.