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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > About using powered rotary cutters, like the Bosch XEO ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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About using powered rotary cutters, like the Bosch XEO
Are powered cutters any good for cutting fabric?
ulna

ulna
Member since 9/16/06
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Date: 4/17/12 2:45 AM

Hi,

I recently came across the powered rotary cutters on Amazon like the Bosch XEO 1 and XEO 2 cutters, they look to be of a similar type to the fabric cutters used in clothing manufacture.

I was wondering if anyone has used this kind of cutter, either for fabric or other things. Or if anyone has an opinion on if it would work for fabric.

Also, how well do you think they would work for cutting different kinds of fabric?

Many thanks for your thoughts on this.

MegquiltsinVT

MegquiltsinVT
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VT USA
Member since 6/3/09
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Date: 4/17/12 6:12 AM

I've never used a power rotary cutter and probably wouldn't. My thoughts are that I'd make too many mistakes too quickly. They may be useful for folks who have trouble cutting due to arthritis or other issues if the unit is comfortable enough to hold in the hand, though.

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Vicsguy
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Vicsguy
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Date: 4/17/12 8:35 AM

I can't imagine what benefit a powered rotary cutter would provide over a manual rotary cutter for a home sewer. I cut everything with a rotary cutter. Everything but my steak.

nancy2001
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In reply to ulna <<


Date: 4/17/12 8:37 AM

I do not understand why a home sewer would want or need a powered rotary cutter when an unpowered rotary cutters work perfectly well on all types of fabrics. Even unpowered rotary cutters must be used with caution, and adding power to the mix just increases the likelihood of a serious injury.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

nancy2001
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In reply to MegquiltsinVT <<


Date: 4/17/12 8:43 AM

The very last thing I would have wanted is to have my late 85 year old grandmother who suffered from arthritis, as well as poor vision, to get her hands on a power rotary cutter -- or a power chain saw.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Kari_cardi
Kari_cardi
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Date: 4/17/12 9:41 AM

I have one! Different brand than yours though. I do find it useful for cutting through stacks of thick fabrics like polar fleece and felt. I purchased it when I was sewing stacks of cloth diapers. I find that it is less fatiguing than shears and more accurate than manual rotary cutters for these applications. I don't like using it for cutting lightweight materials, it's hard to keep the tension for good cuts.

It's a tool I could live without, but when I use it, I'm glad to have it!

ulna

ulna
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Date: 4/17/12 12:10 PM

Thank you for all the helpful replies,

My apologies, I should have said that I find it hard to cut through fabric with an un-powered rotary cutter & cutting mat, and shears rather heavy and hard on the hands.

One of the reviews I saw for these powered cutters says it 'trundles' along, so I don't think it will be fast.

Kari_cardi, may I ask, what brand is your cutter? It sounds great!
I wonder if there is anything that could help keep the tension with light fabrics, pehaps pattern weights, paper weights, or clips.
I like that you say it is accurate, and less fatiguing than shears, that is very helpful thank you.

I hear they can be good for cardboard, but didn't know about how good they would be with different kinds of fabric or layers of fabric.

Many thanks for your thoughts.

Kari_cardi
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Date: 4/17/12 10:58 PM

I have the Skil Multi-Cutter, 2152-01. To say that it 'trundles along' is a good description, it isn't fast but it is a good steady clip. I've thought that laying out lighter fabrics between two layers of tissue would help maintain that tension so that the fabric feeds evenly and doesn't get pushed away instead.

One plus about the Skil is that it holds a charge for a long time. I've had it for a couple of years and once it was charged initially, it hasn't needed re-charging.

jorgel
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jorgel  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/18/12 5:17 AM

I have one, but also a different brand. It was an industrial model made by Eastman, the Chickadee lightweight rotary cutter. I used to make polar fleece clothing for sale and I cut a lot of it. I could not have managed without it. It was fast, accurate and easy on the hands. I normally cut 2 layers at a time, more was often harder. I had trouble with thinner fabrics. It also had a very sharp, heavy duty blade with a built in sharpener, which I used with the touch of a button every few minutes to keep it really sharp. It was also very noisy, I used to wear ear protection while using it. I'm not sewing fleece now, so I don't use it any more. I do use a hand rotary cutter now and find it hard on my hands. In addition, I find it aggravating how quickly the blade dulls.

ulna

ulna
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Date: 4/18/12 6:12 AM

Kari_cardi, thank you for the information, I looked up the model you have, but only found different one by the same make. It looks similar to the bosch product. If lighter fabrics get pushed away, maybe it would not be good for a few layers of different fabrics?

jorgel, thank you for your reply, I had a look at the industrial cutters, they are quite a lot more to buy, also thanks for the comment about how loud it is, that's something I hadn't considered.

I am wondering how well these types of cutters do at cutting round corners and curves. Ideally I would like to cut a few layers of thick and thin fabric, I'm not sure if powered rotary cutters are the best answer or if something else would be better. Maybe power scissors?
Or it could be that not all un-powered rotary cutters are created equal?
I have a Silverline 28mm. When I tried to use it, it took 2 or 3 cuts to cut one layer of medium weight fabric, and it pushed fabric fibres into the mat, I now have the shape of the pattern pieces in raised fluffy ridges in the cutting mat. Not big enough to get hold of, but enough to feel when drawing round shapes.

Going to go read reviews of rotary cutters to see if other cutters might be more effective or easier on the hands. You have to push down hard with the one I have, is that usual?

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