Rotary Cutting

Have you ever tried to cut through fabric with your rotary cutter and it doesn’t cut all the way through? So you try again, and your ruler slips, so you end up with jagged cut. If so, you are not alone! Many people will try to cut harder or cut through fewer layers to alleviate this issue. But that isn’t addressing the root cause – your blade is dull. How can that be you think – it is certainly sharp enough to cut my fingers.

Before you get frustrated with wonky cuts, test your rotary cutter on the number of fabrics you plan to cut. Better to find a dull blade on scrap material.

That leads to the next question, how many layers should I be able to cut through with a rotary cutter? According to Olfa, a 45 mm blade should be able to cut through 8 layers of cotton fabric, while a 60 mm blade should be able to cut through 12 layers of fabric. Smaller blades are generally used for curves for a few layers of fabric.

Blade sharpener

If you take the advice to test the blade and find it isn’t sharp, what do you do? The first impulse is to change the blade, which is ok. But there is another alternative. You can sharpen the blade to remove nicks and burs. This will help your blades last a little longer.

Several manufacturers make blade sharpeners. They typically have two sides, each having a different grit. They are simple to use – you remove the center handle, insert the blade, replace the handle, and twist. It is strongly recommended to use cut resistant gloves when handling blades. Amazon, Lowes and Home Depot all have a good selection of gloves. Be sure to pick ones that fit snugly and allow you to maintain your dexterity.

Once your blades and maybe your wit is sharpened, you can cut in peace or piece.

Happy Quilting