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Rotary cutters question
Do the sharpeners work or is there a good one
avatrx

avatrx  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/15/13 9:29 AM

The part I dislike about sewing is cutting out the pattern. I think the rotary cutters are a great tool, but mine seem to go dull almost immediately. I don't know if it's operator error, equipment not well suited or just normal.

I have several cutting mats, but the one I seem to use alot is the large translucent gridded mat. Since I cut on a light table that I used to use for work, it makes it easy to see lines but as I cut my fabric gets 'stuck' or embedded in to the mat.

Am I pressing too hard? I have both a Fiskars and and Olfa cutter.

I'd thought about buying a sharpener since blades are expensive.

Any thoughts on those? Do they work? Which one is best?

OR , are there better blades out there and is my technique wrong?

I do have good scissors - Kai bent ones that cut well, but the rotary cutter is so much easier to use when it works and doesn't 'skip about every 2-3 inches. I have to go back and cut those areas with a scissors.

lgrande
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In reply to avatrx <<
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Date: 5/15/13 9:32 AM

I suspect that the culprit is your cutting mat. I use Olfa mats and my blades last an exceptionally long time.
I assume you're using good quality blades.
What types of fabrics do you cut most?

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

avatrx

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In reply to lgrande <<


Date: 5/15/13 11:01 AM

I typically buy Olfa blades. I have used the Olfa mats and seem to run into the same issues. Is there a better blade that Olfa? I have a 60mm olfa cutter and the Fiskars is smaller.

As for fabrics - currently I'm using a microfiber sheet to cut out a muslin for pants. I've cut a few knits lately - and also some fleece.

I don't have an Olfa mat long enough to cut out pants. I"ve been know to butt 2 together, but cutting on this (what is supposed to be) a cutting mat - is easiest. It doesn't slide around. I don't even know if they make a rotary cutting mat (Olfa or Fiskars) that is really large?

Do you know if any of the sharpeners work?

lgrande
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In reply to avatrx <<


Date: 5/15/13 11:46 AM

Microfibre fleece is notorious for dulling blades.
I have not heard any good reports on the sharpening systems. Seems most folk feel it's cheaper to replace blades.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

MrsCharisma
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Date: 5/15/13 12:06 PM

I've given up on the rotary tool unless I'm using knits (or I guess something light and flowy but I'm cursing chiffon and charmeuse's existence right now). They just do not work well for me. I have an Olfa mat which is new, bought this February. And have both Fiskars and Olfa rotary's.

I just don't like it. I will use them on woven's when I'm cutting nice, relatively straight lines. I line my big clear ruler up and go for it. But my blades dull SO fast and they're kind of expensive. so...scissors it is.

------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

lgrande
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In reply to avatrx <<


Date: 5/15/13 1:18 PM

On my cutting table I have two Olfa 36"x36" mats butted together and taped on each end joint with Scotch tape. They stay together and don't shift at all. And, though I'm usually cutting quilting cotton my blades last a long time. I did find that cutting microfiber fleece dulled my blades much quicker.
And I'm about to start cutting some canvas for a machine cover so I'll see how fast that dulls my blade.
Good luck, I hope you get to the source of the problem so you can continue to use your cutters...scissors kill my hands!

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

diane s
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Date: 5/15/13 1:27 PM

You might try rotating your mat to a spot that isn't used much and see if that helps. If fabric is getting stuck, there's either some permanent ruts or you're pressing too hard. If you try a spot that hasn't been used much, you'll be able to tell.
I also prefer the translucent mats.
I use rotary cutters at home and work, at work we change it once a week and at home, as needed.
I've had good luck with sharpeners, but only when my husband did it when he watched TV. I couldn't put enough pressure on it to make it work. I did see Nancy's notions has an electric sharpener.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

stitchywitch
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Date: 5/15/13 1:50 PM

I use olfa rotary cutters and a fiskars self healing mat. I also suspect the issue is your mat, because the translucent ones aren't self healing. My blades last a long time - maybe 3 months? I find that they dull faster on polyester knits. You can often find the refills on sale at Joann's. It's worth it to me because I also hate cutting, so anything that speeds it up is great!

I even have a separate cheap cutter (fiskars) that I use only for cutting pattern tissue - now it's so much faster!

stitchywitch
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Date: 5/15/13 1:51 PM

Oh, and to answer your original question, I don't think the blade sharpeners work... I wish they did!

diane s
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Date: 5/15/13 6:22 PM

I saw this info regarding the white translucent mats, such as Salem
These mats are tough enough to cut on, yet soft enough to tack into (pin patterns and fabrics to the mat to prevent slippage or crawling as you cut.) If the mat develops "ridges" as a result of cutting sharp curves or heavy use, sandpaper will smooth out the ridges without damaging the mat.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

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