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Thread: constantly blunt rotary cutter?

  1. #1
    Junior Member adorabowe's Avatar
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    Hi!

    I bought my Olfa 45mm rotary cutter about 4 months ago, but right from the beginning it was a bit blunt. I'm still not sure it's my method but I feel like I have to use quite a bit of force or go over the same area 2 or 3 times before I can get a cut without any thread pulling. I thought I might have just bought a dud blade so I replaced it with a generic blade but that was even worse! It felt fine for the 3 or 4 cuts but after that it was blunt as well.

    Anyway I was just wondering if it's likely to just be my method (I cut kneeling down mostly) or if it's possible it's my rotary mat? I bought the cheapest/largest one I could afford and it didn't specify whether it was self-healing but I'm thinking it's not. Could the mat be blunting my blades as soon as I use them?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorabowe


    Anyway I was just wondering if it's likely to just be my method (I cut kneeling down mostly) or if it's possible it's my rotary mat? I bought the cheapest/largest one I could afford and it didn't specify whether it was self-healing but I'm thinking it's not. Could the mat be blunting my blades as soon as I use them?
    If you are kneeling down, I'll guess that your mat is on the floor. What's under it? Carpet, vinyl, or concrete? If you have carpet under your mat, that's not a firm enough surface and you will have to make your cuts two or three times. Even a vinyl floor is not enough support, because there are areas where the vinyl is higher and lower.

    Have you tried cutting on your kitchen table or counter? It's much easier on your back, and provides a more stable surface for your mat. I'd try that first before I bought a new mat. Also, there are mats made by Fiskers that work well, but you can feel the difference between those mats and the Olfa mats --- the Olfa's are self-healing, where the Fiskers aren't. But both work for cutting. So.... I'm thinking it's what's UNDER the mat that makes the difference.

  3. #3
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    An old mat that has been used alot will blunt the blades, it happens at the studio I work at. I finally convinced the boss to get a couple of new mats but the old ones are still being used.
    Not sure about the non sealing ones; I have discovered that sometimes buying the cheapest sometimes end up costing me more money as I then I need to replace it. (Pins were my biggest, not wanting to speand the $ on the glass ones, I paid $ twice on cheaper ones, before saying H with it and love love the glass ones, so fine, thin and sharp)!
    Maybe you could save up and wait for a sale/coupon and buy a fiskers (my new favorite), or an olfa. long run will be cheaper than replaceing blades all the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lvaughan's Avatar
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    With my first Olfa blade I made some cutting mistakes just because the blade was too sharp. I used a Fisker rotary and mat before changing to the Olfa rotary and green mat and boy did it make a difference. Really like the Olfa. I got some of the Harbor Freight blades but haven't tried them yet. An Olfa blade is lasting me about four quilts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lvaughan
    With my first Olfa blade I made some cutting mistakes just because the blade was too sharp. I used a Fisker rotary and mat before changing to the Olfa rotary and green mat and boy did it make a difference. Really like the Olfa. I got some of the Harbor Freight blades but haven't tried them yet. An Olfa blade is lasting me about four quilts.
    I've heard lots of really good things about Harbor Fri=eight blades.... I've GOT to get over there and try some! :lol:

  6. #6
    Junior Member adorabowe's Avatar
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    Ahhh was definitely the carpet! Don't know why I didn't think of that. I suppose I thought the mat was firm enough on it's own. Guess you can tell how new I am to this !
    I think it's also a better angle cutting standing up because the pressure just from standing down works with the blade.
    I might give the harbor freight blades a try as well. I don't know why but I've got this obsession with wanting really sharp blades!

  7. #7
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    I had the same problem and was having to push hard and made grrovrs in Matt. I asked at my LQS and he let me try his cutter. It was like butter! Luckily I had bought another cutter and tried it! Butter! Someone said wrong size but they are the same size and brand. Just different style. Don't know but it is great Hope it helps some!

  8. #8
    patty48's Avatar
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    I might give the harbor freight blades a try as well. I don't know why but I've got this obsession with wanting really sharp blades!

    You have that obsession because there is nothing more frustrating than a dull blade. I know, I have the same obsession! Glad someone could help you out with your problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorabowe
    I think it's also a better angle cutting standing up because the pressure just from standing down works with the blade.
    The angle of your arm would make a big difference, too..... I didn't even THINK of that!

    :lol:

  10. #10
    Junior Member adorabowe's Avatar
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    Ah you guys are just too helpful :) Thanks so much! Should help me get moving a bit faster on my WIP!

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