How to Choose and Use a Rotary Cutter


Not so long ago, the only choice for cutting fabric was scissors, but now there is another method - the Rotary Cutter - that has revolutionized how quilters and other crafters do their cutting. Here are some tips for choosing and using a Rotary Cutter of your own.

1. Choose a size. Rotary cutters come in sizes from 18mm to 60mm. Larger diameter blades roll easier and are more convenient for volume cutting, while smaller blades do better around curves and in small quantity cutting.
2. Choose a handle. This is completely personal. You can find straight handles, curved handles, ergonomic handles, padded handles and everything between. Go to a sewing shop and feel some of them out for your self.
3. Choose a safety latch style. Most cutters have a safety latch that locks a guard in place to keep you from cutting accidentally. Test the latches available. Some are easier to use than others, and if you have hand mobility issues, the type of latch could make a big difference, as you will be using the safety latch fairly often.
4. Choose a cutting board. The main difference is the size on these, so suit yourself.
5. Lay your fabric flat on the cutting board.
6. Lay and/or pin the pattern on top of the fabric.
7. Open your safety latch.
8. Roll the cutting blade along the pattern line. Do this slowly at first, or you'll risk cutting your pattern. Rotary cutters cut a lot faster than scissors!
9. Always make sure the blade is retracted every time you put the cutter down.

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