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Thread: Rotary cutter problem

  1. #1
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    Rotary cutter problem

    I have had to replace my 45 mm blade on my OLFA cutter five times this week and I am trying to figure out the problem. I am getting nicks in the blades, I know that much.

    I thought it might be dirt or sand as I am cutting on the floor (but I always cut on the floor and this has never happened before) so I vacuumed carefully, shook out my fabric (I'm using flannel which is a first for me if maybe that means something?), cleaned my cutting mat, replaced the blade again, and it's still happening.

    There is a nick on my cutting mat, could it be the nick on the mat that is damaging blades? I don't see how though.

    Could it be the flannel somehow?

    Thanks for any ideas...

    Lainey

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Are you sure that it's a nick in the blade? If you cut over a damaged part of a mat, the blade will skip. Try flipping the mat. If it's still an issue, did you get all the blades from the same pack? maybe you got a bad batch. The only other thing I can think of is that the blade is somehow hitting the side of the cutter, but can't figure out how that would actually nick the blade as they are all plastic.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
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    I thought of that, that the blade was hitting the nick in the mat, but it's not. I did try flipping the mat to no avail.

    I have been through three different packs of blades so far.

    This is why I am perplexed and also a little panicked over the cost of these blades!

    Can debris like sand lodge itself in flannel? That doesn't sound right...

  4. #4
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    what? you cut on the floor? actually directly on the floor or on your cutting mat?????????? Whew, mat. good . but a nick on the mat may be the problem.what brand mat? try cleaning it. use one of those nylon kitchen round scrubbies.http://www.olfa.com/CustomerServiceGuarantee.aspx
    Last edited by nativetexan; 12-06-2013 at 02:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    1. What brand of blade are you using?
    2. Where did you buy the blades?
    3. Were they in individual packaging or as multiples in a package?
    4. How are they stored?

    In over 30 years of teaching, I have found that all 4 of these questions' answers have relevance to the issue.
    I ALWAYS buy Olfa blades, never at joann's/walmart/etc., and I keep them stored in the original packaging where they are not exposed to contact with other tools or dampness. It is my intuition that you have gotten a bad batch of blades.

    I look forward to your responses.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  6. #6
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    I thought of that, that the blade was hitting the nick in the mat, but it's not. I did try flipping the mat to no avail.

    I have been through three different packs of blades so far.

    This is why I am perplexed and also a little panicked over the cost of these blades!

    Can debris like sand lodge itself in flannel? That doesn't sound right...

  7. #7
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    I cut on the floor on an OLFA mat, with OLFA blades, it's not the same pack as I have used three different packs, all OLFA and all from that yellow case they come in.

    Could it be that the blades are being damaged by a nick in the OLFA mat? Because there is one nick in the mat for sure and although the nick is not causing my troubles (I tried using the back of the mat and the blades still had the nicks), could it be that the nick in the mat is damaging the blades?

    I can't see how a nick in the soft mat could harm the steel blades?

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I think it's unlikely the mat would be causing nicks in the blade. Are you examining the blade before you put it in the cutter? That way if you are sure the blade is not nicked going in, you know that it is being nicked from the cutting. I assume you can see the nick in the blade when you take the blade out of the cutter?

    In my experience, it *is* possible to nick a blade on the ruler. When this happened to me, I realized I was not holding the rotary cutter properly when cutting. I was angling it in towards the ruler instead of holding it straight up and down.

  9. #9
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    Interesting: I wonder if since this is my first time using flannel, I wonder if I am cutting at a weird angle to the ruler...

    I know it's not the new blades because each one works fine for about seven cuts - while I hold my breath!

  10. #10
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    PLEASE Lainey, you are a talented quilter and you need to get up of the floor to do your cutting. I can not picture you safely cutting with a rotary blade on the floor. Safety first. If you haven't a table, then find an old bookcase and make yourself a table top. Guys at Home Depot love to help women when we walk into the lumber section. Tell them what you want and they will get everything you need. You have to always think safety first whenever you have a rotary cutter in you hand. Be safe!!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

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