Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tip on Rotary Cutter Blades


A few years ago I posted a tip regarding rotary cutter blades. I wanted to touch base once more because I do feel it is important. 

Rotary cutters make our lives so much easier when it comes to quilting.  We love them.  We cherish them. We want more of them.  However, along with them, come a few rules.  

The most important rule is changing out that blade.  It's like a razor for your legs.  The more you use it, the duller it gets, which results in a less effective blade.  

Ever notice when you are cutting, you don't get a clean line? You get a jagged wonky line? That's because your blade is too dull to give you that perfect straight edge. 

I change my blade every time I cut out a new quilt. ESPECIALLY if I used that blade to trim the previous quilt because of the cutting of the batting.  Plus, I just love how much easier it is to cut with a fresh blade.  It's like cutting through warm butter versus refrigerated butter. 

The cost isn't so pretty though.  I make a lot of quilts so it can get costly.  

This is where my tip comes in.  As much as I love Fiskars and Olfa, I don't like the cost of their blades. As you can see above I don't mind spending the money on the cutter. :) So I go to Harbor Freight Tools and buy their 2 pack of carpet blades.  Two blades for $1.99.  Wowza!! 



These fit the 45mm cutters and they are sharp sharp sharp! I mean, after all, they are carpet blades!! I've used them for years now and I have never had a problem. So go ahead and indulge... buy your self some blades. Buy yourself a LOT of blades and start switching them out more often and you will see ...

1.  Your cutting time will decrease.
2.  Your cutting will be more accurate.
3.  Due to #2, piecing will be more accurate.
4.  Due to #3 your sanity will remain in tact. ;) 
5.  Now that you've saved all that money on blades, you can buy more of those pretty cutters OR more fabric!! 

This cutter is on my wish list.... It's Olfa's Splash cutter.  Isn't it pretty.......???? 


Much Love!!!

27 comments :

  1. Oh my gosh! What an incredible tip. I am on a serious budget and squeeze out as I can on fabric but buying rotary cutter blades--BORING! So grateful you posted this, especially since my husband runs to Harbor Freight frequently. Thanks!

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  2. I bought a cutter and ten blades at my hardware store for ten dollars. Unfortunately I am left handed and the cutter is virtually useless to me! But I still have the blades- and boy, are they sharp! I have to consciously remember I am using a new one in case I get careless- ouch!

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  3. How do these blades affect the self healing mats? Are they that much different from regular rotary blades?

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    1. Hi Charlotte,

      I've been using them on all my quilts, 14+ this year alone and I have never had an issue. Granted, like all things, that's not to say it could never happen.

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  4. I have one of those new Splash cutters and I love it. So lightweight and comfy in the hand. Not to mention how easy to change blades!
    Now I'll be changing the Harbor Freight ones, thx to you.

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  5. Thank you so much for that information on the blades!! It seems that sometimes I'm only half way through a cutting project and the darned blade is dull. For l.99 for two blades I'm not going to mind too much.

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  6. I bought these blades at Harbor Freight, I got a set for me and one for a friend. Both of us got blades with chips/grooves in the blade so there would be skipped spots when cutting. Seeing that you use them regularly I may try again but I was pretty disappointed the first time.

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    Replies
    1. Really?! So far mine have been fine. I wonder if it was just a bad batch. So sorry for your mishap!

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  7. I'm with Charlotte, do these blades affect the self healing mats negatively?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly,

      They haven't on mine so far. I've made 14+ quilts with these blades and have never had an issue. But like with anything, I suppose there is always a chance. Esentially they are the same thing though.

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  8. Thanks for the tip...I didn't know about the carpet blades, and I hate how expensive those blades are.

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  9. I tried the Harbor Freight ones and they were covered with goo. I went through several packs to find a usable one. I buy my Olfa ones on sale at Joann's.

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  10. @Karen, yes, sometimes they have lubricant on the blades. I just wipe them off after they are safely in my cutter. Never had anything transfer to my fabric. I feel like they nick more easily than the Olfa blades, but at 1/5 or more of the price, i can change more often, so I don't mind. I've been using them for 3 years with no issues.

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  11. Thank you so much for mentioning this. I was just thinking this morning that I need some new blades before I go to my Sit and Sew this week. My hubby is going to be picking up some blades for me.

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  12. Thanks for the recommendation on the blades, I'll have to get some! I go through a lot of blades and I just broke down and bought the Splash

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  13. I have been buying them their for several years now sometimes they even have a coupon code you can use to

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  14. I got several packs and had to throw many out. I don't know why, but they would not cut through fabric. They cut my felted sweaters nicely, but fabric, no. I was so disappointed because I absolutely HATE being taken to the cleaners with the Fiskars blades, and I thought I was going to say SEE YA SUCKERS to those, but now I'm back to buying them. :-(

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  15. Wow - great idea. I am from Canada and I will try to find something like this at the Hardware store tonight. Hopefully I can because I hate getting ripped off and paying so much more just because they are "quilting blades".

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  16. That is a fantastic tip and thank you so much! I'm always looking for ways to save money and this is one really great idea.

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  17. Thank you so much! I am so excited to run up to Harbor Freight, right up the street!

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  18. I've heard Harbor Freight has good gloves to wear when cutting (they use them for when using saws) for around $2, but now I have a better reason to pay them a visit! Thanks!

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  23. I read this tip somewhere this week and went to Harbor Freight and purchased 7 packs. The first blade cut my mat but not my fabric. They plainly say 45mm rotary carpet cutting blades. I see where one commenter had the same non-fabric cutting problem. Can you give me an update as to whether or not you've had any problems? Thanks

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Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really love hearing from you!! :)

Happy Quilting!

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