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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
    Senior Member 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!

  11. #11
    Super Member QuiltswithConvicts's Avatar
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    This is a case of "You get what you pay for." The cheap cutting mats are not the best for your cutter. Since you are going to be using your cutting equipment a lot, it's wise to invest (yes, this is an investment) in the best equipment. The best mats to purchase are either the Fiskars 24" x 36" - you can get it at WalMart for under $30.00, ot the Ofla or Omnigrid green mats. They are more expensive, but I would assume you could get them at Joannes with a coupon to make the cost less.

    I have the original Fiskars grey with orange mat. Have had it for nearly 15 years. I do a lot of cutting. The mat is still going just fine. I'd like to get the yellow one, but keep resisting as there's nothing wrong with my grey one. It's just that my favorite color is yellow!

    Now, there have been cases of a blade being duller than it should be from the get-go. I have been using the Harbor Freight blades & am loving them! The current blade is 4 months old! Probably ought to think about changing it out, but it' still cutting just fine.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
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    love the harbor blades!!!
    dar

  13. #13
    Senior Member cpfrog's Avatar
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    Kneeling down? is this on the floor? is your mat on the floor? that may be the problem. Try working on the kitchen counter - a great height - or at least table height.

    Then check your mat... they can sometimes be a problem if you cut in the same place(s) over and over... the invisible grooves made with the blade become clogged! They are self mending but.... and by all means, use the green Olfa ones, largest you can reasonably afford and store... the other plastic jobs are awful, in my opinion.

    last... make sure you are using 1 blade... sometimes two can even look like one and that causes a problem... ask me how I know! HAhahaha

    Good Luck.

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Rotary mats are mats, no matter what brand. The self healing mats get cut by the blade and close up, the hard mats don't get cut so don't' need to heal. A very worn mat should be replaced. I like the hard mats better, they last much longer and do not warp. In industry the hard mats are used and the blades there cost hundreds of dollars to replace.

  15. #15
    Senior Member marknfran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorabowe
    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?
    I have been using my olfa 60mm cutter for over a year without changing the blade. It has always had a skip in it, and being new to this, I thought it was just me. Well, today I started using my new olfa 45 mm cutter and WOW, what a difference. No skips and so much easier to use. I did not want to have to buy 60 mm blades so bought the 45 mm on sale; hubby got me a pkg of 45 mm blades because they were cheaper than the 60 mm. Guess I need to change blades more often.

  16. #16
    Super Member caliquocat's Avatar
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    Nothing more frustrating than a blade that skips!

  17. #17
    Super Member Airwick156's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marknfran
    Quote Originally Posted by adorabowe
    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?
    I have been using my olfa 60mm cutter for over a year without changing the blade. It has always had a skip in it, and being new to this, I thought it was just me. Well, today I started using my new olfa 45 mm cutter and WOW, what a difference. No skips and so much easier to use. I did not want to have to buy 60 mm blades so bought the 45 mm on sale; hubby got me a pkg of 45 mm blades because they were cheaper than the 60 mm. Guess I need to change blades more often.
    Go to Harbor Freight, or you can go to their store online and buy blades. They are called Carpet Cutter Blades and they come with 2 blades in a package and it depends on where your at they cost is between $1.49 and $1.99. They fit 45mm cutters. Thats what alot of us are using these days. ;)

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