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Thread: Rotary cutters

  1. #11
    Senior Member
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    One possible source of your rotary blade problems may be your cutting mat. Some mats are rough, something like the white mats Joann Fabrics sells. They actually wear out the blades faster. The smoother the mat is, there is less wear and tear on the blades.

  2. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I disagree about the mats. A hard surface mat, the blade rolls on top of it, a soft self healing mat the blade cuts into the mat. I worked in a field where cutting mats were used and they were always hard surfaced. The blades were too expensive to replace and couldn't be resharpened except for scheduled maintenance. A blade should last you a long time if you don't nick it. I have a manual sharpener and I sharpen a sharp blade. I don't wait for it to get dull. If you have the electric sharpener then use it on the sharp blade before you start cutting. If you can, find a quilt shop or guild close to you and let other quilters show you how to use a rotary cutter to get straight cuts.
    Got fabric?

  3. #13
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    try using a narrower ruler,if you have small hands it will make it easier. I also have the clear plastic on the backs of my rulers so they don't slip. I buy blades on ebay, usually the olfa brand
    Patski
    always learning

  4. #14
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    Are you cutting from the front to the back? are you cutting across your body? Are you using a cutting mat? I was talking to a lady today and she was using a piece of gyproc (sheetrock) to cut on...not so good for the cutter. Why are you changing the cutter, when you can just change the blades. I saw a video, not too long ago, where the quilter was using the hand sharpener and she sprayed the sharpener paper with water before turning the blade on it and she had been using the same blade for months.

  5. #15
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    the little dots sorta like sandpaper on your ruler will keep your ruler from sliding and therefore help you cut a stright er line . It sure helped me

  6. #16
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    I use the self-healing Olfa mats. I have had a large one for a couple of years. I clean it often with a soft brush to remove dust, lint and debris and have soaked it a few times. I recently purchased another Olfa mat and butted them up to each other on my long counter. When cutting a fairly long piece of fabric, I noticed my rarely used blade had 'skip' sections on my cutting line, but only on the old mat. I tested several other fabrics and changed to new blades and had the same problem. I wiped off the mat with my hand and slightly deeper cut lines in the mat. It occurred to me that the blades were skipping as there was no flat smooth hard surface for the cutter to go against. I used a kitchen brush that has the green microfiber pad on it and gently went over it a couple times. That did the trick. Blades glided right over and cut perfectly. My blades were acting dull, but they were not the problem.

  7. #17
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    I sprayed basting spray on the back of my ruler, then rubbed most of it off. It now 'grips' the fabric, so the fabric doesn't slide. Because my hands don't like holding the ruler in place, I place my forearm (elbow to wrist) about 4 inches in on the ruler. It works for me, but is probably not a the safest way to cut, as the blade does slip on occasion. I started using this method, though, the second time the blade got away from me and nearly cut off the tip of my thumb.

    Again, my method of keeping the ruler in place is probably not the safest way to do it. I did try the little sticky dots, but the ruler slipped anyway. The clear double sticky tape does sound like it would work very nicely, though.

  8. #18
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    What position do you cut in? Are you comfortable? Do you stand or sit? What height is your table?

    My cutting definitely improved after I bought a small banquet table just for cutting and a set of height risers. It's light enough to set up by myself and put away after (I 'store' it in the bath, lol). No more worrying about slipping onto my good dining room table.
    Lang may yer lum reek.

  9. #19
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    I agree with the little rubber dots on the corners of your rulers. They help ALOT. Another thought, if you have difficulty 'walking' your hand up the ruler, get a couple of spring-type clamps at the home supply/hardware store. It does limit your cutting to the far edge of your cutting surface/table, but the ruler definitely won't slip.

  10. #20
    Junior Member GypsyRse1's Avatar
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    I finally figured out that my problem is the mat....I had cut in the same spot so many times that the fabric was pushing down in there and the blade couldn't cut it. Try turning your mat around to an unused spot or maybe consider a new mat....I can cut anything now with no problem.

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