Costume Musings

Fabric Rotary Cutters

 

Rotary Cutter

Rotary Cutter

A rotary cutter is a fast way to cut accurate straight lines when used in conjunction with a rotary pad and rotary rulers.

Rotary cutting can be intimidating to the uninitiated but with a few instructions and tips it can be both safe and easy. Rotary cutting is a true time saver and makes such clean and accurate cuts that once you learn how to do it you’ll never look back!

A rotary cutter in its purist form is simply a circular blade, mounted on a handle. The blade stands proud from the handle when ready for cutting, and retracts when not in use. It accurately and quickly cuts both fabric and paper.

It is imperative to use a rotary cutting mat when cutting with a rotary cutter. This helps the cutter make clean cuts and protects the blade. A ruler is also recommended.

It is very important when cutting with a rotary cutter to keep your hand on the ruler but away from the edge as you don’t want the cutting tool to accidentally cut you! The blade is basically a round razor blade so it is VERY sharp.

You can cut thru multiple layers of fabric or a combination of fabric and paper which is very handy!

 

Using a Rotary Cutter – Advantages
replacement blades for rotary cutter

replacement blades for rotary cutters

1 – It can be used left or right handed
2 – You can cut forward AND backwards
3 – Cuts decorative shapes with slightly more control than scissors

4 – Can easily cut through a number of layers of fabric
5 – You can buy a guide arm that can be set for seam allowances

But of course, the rotary cutter is by no means perfect!

Using a Rotary Cutter – Disadvantages

1 – You MUST use a cutting mat
2 – The blades are VERY sharp and can cause injury
3 – Some blades DO NOT retract automatically
4 – It’s hard to ‘nip‘ into those smaller areas.

If blades eventually dull, you do not have to throw out the unit. Replacement blades can be purchased inexpensively.


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