If you are a quilter in 2019 who’s still using sewing scissors instead of a rotary cutter, then we ask you: why? You’re missing out!
A rotary cutter is essentially a razor blade that rotates (hence the name) and is used primarily for cutting fabric. Compared to scissors, they are faster and more accurate and efficient.
They are versatile, too: they can be a huge help in a variety of DIY projects that involve fabric, leather, and paper (that’s right—not just sewing or quilting!).
Finding the best rotary cutter for you will be a game-changer, trust us.
And that is what this article aims to help you with. Keep reading for our top picks, and definitive buying guide!
OLFA 45mm Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter
Fiskars Crafts 95237097J Rotary 3-Piece
Martelli Ergo 2000 45mm Rotary Cutter
There are many great rotary cutters out there worth buying. Choosing the right one can seem like a head-scratcher, so here is a list of our top picks—hopefully, this will make your decision easier.
OLFA is a trusted and recognized name in the market for, rotary cutters. This blade, in particular, is widely heralded as their best cutter, and for a good reason. It’s versatile, dependable, and comfortable.
For starters, this cutter can accommodate a range of specialty blades—so if you’re going to be using pinking, scallop or wave blades, you can easily switch out the blade in this thing for one of those. Decorative edging is easy with this thing.
But the thing that makes this cutter so worth your consideration is how great the built-in blade on this cutter is. It’s a 45mm, making it suitable for a wide range of projects, and it’s built from high-quality tungsten steel.
That means that it can cut through up to 6 layers of material at once, which means you can use it for a wide range of materials. So, you can expect this cutter to cut smoothly through the cotton fabric, paper, tarp, vinyl, upholstery, and more.
Something else to love about this cutter is its design. Not only is the handle ergonomic for increased comfort, but the blade can also be switched out to its opposite side to accommodate left-handed users.
Olfa haven’t forgotten about safety either. The safety lock on this thing is a double-action one: when you’re not using it, you can lock it inside the handle; when you are, you can lock it in place. Not just safe, but also convenient.
So, as you can probably already tell, there’s not much to not love about this blade. You really can’t go wrong with OLFA.
If you’re a beginner in the world of fabric DIY, then it’s usually recommended that you purchase a cutting mat and ruler along with your cutter. These will make your experience smoother and help you learn quicker.
That’s why this set is worth your consideration, because it has all of those things, and at a pretty decent price!
Here’s what’s in the package: Fiskars’ Classic Stick Rotary Cutter (with the default blade being 45mm), a durable, extra-large 18”x24” cutting mat, and a 6.5”x24” acrylic ruler to help you make precise measurements.
The blade on this rotary cutter is of a pretty decent quality; you can expect straight, clean cuts for quite a while before you have to start thinking about replacing the blade. Also, the blade holds your work material flat while it cuts, reducing the possibility of mistakes.
And because the acrylic ruler is transparent, you’ll easily be able to see the position of your cuts. Shape cuts are made simpler with the grid and highlighted seam allowances.
Oh, and, probably our favorite thing about the self-healing mat that comes with this set is the fact that it’s quite durable. You can continue to use it for years, even when you’ve moved on to more high-end cutters. Plus, the mat is double-sided, which, once again, reduces the possibility of mistakes.
So, if you’ve just begun looking into sewing or quilting, I can imagine few better places to start than this set from Fiskars.
The next cutter on the list is also from OLFA, which as we have already established, is the go-to brand for many long-time enthusiasts of quilting and sewing.
This one, in particular, is one of their cheaper models, but it’s dependable and will serve you for a pretty good while. The reason behind this, OLFA claims, is because of its unique design—the “splash” mechanism does away with the traditional washer-and-nut assembly, making operation smoother and more convenient.
To get smooth, clean cuts out of this cutter, all you have to do when using it is releasing the blade by sliding the blade-lock. This action is made swift and easy by the fact that that blade-lock is located on the back of the handle.
Something we love about OLFA is how much emphasis they place on comfort and safety. The contoured handle on this thing makes cutting comfortable and smooth, and the integrated grooves on the head of the cutter ensure that guard against accidental finger slips.
And of course, the blade features a cover for optimum safety.
However, if you’re going to be using specialty blades with this cutter, I would recommend spending a little extra and getting one of their more expensive models. While this will certainly take the specialty blades, it may make the wheel wear out more quickly.
Sometimes, you come across a deal that seems to be too good to be true. This isn’t one of those times, because this deal is real, and true as can be. Let me tell you why this is a great budget choice in rotary cutters.
This rotary cutter from Premier Blades isn’t just a great cutter, but also comes with 5 extra blades of great quality. The 45mm stainless steel blades are of almost unbelievable quality in comparison to the price, and that makes sense since the steel is coated with high-quality titanium.
The blade makes it easy to achieve straight cuts, difficult curves and eking out tight corners. So, no matter if you’re quilting, sewing, making cards or scrapbooking, this is a great choice if you’re on a budget.
The safety shield on this thing also locks very easily; it’s activated with a button, so that’s great. And coupled with the soft, ergonomic handle specifically designed to combat hand or wrist fatigue, using this thing will be a fun, safe experience.
You’ll basically be zipping through your fabric because of how smooth using this thing is. And all the while, you’ll be wondering how you got away with paying such a very reasonable amount for it!
The next one on the list is a set, and this one is also available at a great price. So, if a budget-friendly cutter set with replacement blades is what you’re looking for, then keep reading!
First of all, the replacement blades included with this thing are suited to a variety of operations. You can achieve straight, curved and dotted-line cutting with ease: 3 of the included blades are for straight lines, 2 for curved ones, and 1 for dotted. A versatile rotary cutter is always a good addition to a DIYer’s arsenal!
Using this cutter is also made safe owing to the safety button that helps the user lock the blade. Plus, the manufacturers have kept ease of use in mind as well; the blades can be installed on either side of the cutter, which makes it suitable for both left- and right-handed users. And considering the ergonomic handle, using this thing is quite easy and comfortable.
The blades that come with this cutter are made of SKS-7 steel, which the manufacturers claim makes the blades very sharp. However, some users have reported the blades as being dull, so even if you purchase this set, you may eventually have to resort to buying new, better-quality blades.
Still, that’s not a problem that can’t be solved with a little bit of oil dropped inside the cutter, and that’s a small price to pay for bigger savings in the long run. So, whether you’re on a budget or are just starting to experiment with DIY, this is a pretty decent choice for the price.
Quilting and other forms of DIY aren’t only for the able-bodied. Just because someone might have arthritic fingers or is generally prone to stiff joints doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to enjoy DIY!
That is the idea that drove Martelli to create this rotary cutter, it seems. The word “ergonomic” gets thrown around a lot, and sometimes indiscriminately. But achieving a truly ergonomic design requires dedication and sincerity, and I’m glad to tell you that this cutter reflects those qualities.
Honestly, this thing doesn’t look great—the handle is positioned at a right angle, giving it the appearance of an unseemly jut. However, it’s this very crooked handle that makes this cutter such a good match for those with arthritic fingers.
Plus, the blade is placed inside clear housing, and the cover of the blade is spring-loaded, making working with it easier.
This 45mm cutter has the ability to cut through up to a staggering 15 layers of material, all without putting stress on your hand or wrist. The contoured grip is truly designed for comfort, in such a way that it fits the natural way you hold your hand while cutting.
If you’re someone who loves quilting or sewing but at the same time suffers from arthritis, hand fatigue, or carpal tunnel, then this is really one of the best options out there. Especially when you consider the relatively low price of this thing, you’ll be amazed at how considerate some manufacturers can be.
The next one on the list is yet another set, and this is a great one. This one comes with 7 extra replacement blades that are suited to a variety of different cut styles. If you purchase this set, you’ll get 4 blades for straight lines, 2 for curved cutting, and 1 for dotted lines.
The blades themselves are constructed from SKS-7 stainless steel, which the manufacturers claim is of superior sharpness. You can cut through multiple layers of whatever material you’re working with, be it paper, fabric, leather, felt, or others.
Plus, this thing is fairly easy to use. The ergonomic handle has an anti-slide design that will not only reduce discomfort in your fingers as you work but also guard against accidents.
The safety button makes it easy to switch out blades quickly so that you can switch between different project needs uninterrupted. This cutter is so safe; the manufacturers claim that you can even hand it to a child and not worry about his or her safety.
This cutter is also fairly versatile; the blades can be assembled on both sides of the tool, so it doesn’t matter if you’re left- or right-handed; you’ll get easy operating experience in both events.
We’re also a big fan of the price of this thing, but a word to the wise—if you’re an experienced DIYer who works with fabric frequently and requires a more durable tool, then you might want to consider investing in a more high-end model.
As we’ve already mentioned, OLFA is one of our favorite brands. On that note, undoubtedly one of the best things about this brand is the range of quality and pricing that they provide. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, you’re likely to find a product that fits.
What’s great about this cutter is that’s suited to both types of users. We say this because of its very affordable price, which comes as a shock when you actually use the thing and realize how smoothly and perfectly it can make cuts of all types.
And what’s even more interesting is that despite the fact this particular model is from nearly 4 decades ago, it’s still a sought-after model. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, actually, considering the waves OLFA made in the sewing industry when they released this thing.
This 45mm cutter is popular mainly due to its convenient, compact size that also makes ample allowances for safety and comfort. The blade safety cover will reduce hand fatigue levels as you work.
But more importantly, you can expect amazing performance from this little thing. The built-in blade on this thing is sharp enough to cut through a variety of materials and last for many years to come. The majority of users say this thing cuts through material like butter!
You really can’t go wrong with this handy little cutter, no matter whether you’re using it to cut through fabric, paper, or any manner of mixed media, or even if you’re using it for industrial purposes. This rotary cutter is a true all-rounder that we highly recommend.
Another trusted name in the quilting and sewing industry is Fiskars. The model we’re now going to talk about happens to be one of the most sought-after ones, especially by dressmakers or those that work with other intricate projects.
The small size of this thing makes it quite handy, which is probably the best thing about it. Seriously, using it is almost unlike using any other rotary cutter, just because of how lightweight and easily maneuverable it is.
But a cutter is really only as good as its blade, and this one definitely delivers on that front. The blade is made from high-quality, precision-ground steel that many users have applauded for its durability over many years.
Plus, the steel of the blade is coated in titanium, which gives this cutter its ability to cut through multiple layers of whatever material your project involves.
Something else we greatly appreciate about this cutter is its symmetrical design. It makes using it much more comfortable, no matter whether you’re right- or left-handed. Safety is also ensured, thanks to the sliding safety button which extends the blade guard when you’re not using the cutter.
If you’re an experienced sewing and quilting enthusiast who knows what the best products look like, then this cutter will really speak for itself. Especially if you work with intricate designs, then this one is definitely worth your consideration.
To end this list of reviews, we’ve decided to save one of the best for last and present for your consideration the Fiskars 01-005874.
If you’re wondering why I say, “one of the best,” then you need only look at the name of the product to get an idea. What sets this rotary cutter apart is the fact that the blade that comes with it is constructed from titanium of premium quality that offers startling durability and consistent sharpness.
All of this is made better by the fact that the handle on this thing is really convenient to use, which many users claim is the best thing about it.
Why? Well, this cutter’s handle has a unique curved design that features a loop. The handle is built in this way so that you can get a good grip and still maneuver the cutter with supreme ease. That’s what enables it to fit so easily in your hand, where it can stay even as you work with different materials or shift things around in your workspace.
Plus, the Softgrip design makes using this thing so comfortable that it comes as little surprise that quilters who suffer from arthritis have come to swear by this cutter. No matter whether you’re a right- or left-handed user, the control offered by this cutter is difficult to find elsewhere.
And at the price that you can get this rotary cutter at, we really can’t make it up when we say it’s one of the best.
Rotary cutters come in various sizes and shapes, offering a range of uses. Understandably, finding the right one can be confusing.
Whichever cutter you choose, though, remember to take the following factors into consideration.
The blades of rotary cutters typically come in 4 main size specifications: 18mm, 28mm, 45mm, and 60mm (this is the measurement of the blade’s diameter).
As you can imagine, the 18mm and the 28mm are the smallest sizes of rotary cutters you can expect to find. These are the ones used for making smaller cuts. That makes them perfect for more intricate work, such as tight curves or detailed shapes.
If you’re an aspiring dressmaker who wants to or already works with intricate designs, then getting a rotary cutter with either an 18mm or a 28mm blade is basically a requirement for you.
The 60mm is obviously for bigger projects. The larger blade size allows you to cut more fabric, faster. If whatever project you’re currently doing requires yards of fabric (e.g., building a DIY tent), then you’ll definitely need a 60mm blade.
And finally, we have the 45mm. This is the one that is widely considered to be the perfect in-between blade size. They’re perfect for both small and larger projects.
That’s because it’s big enough that you can do a lot of cutting with it, but it’s still manageable if you’re doing more intricate work. The latter, however, will obviously require a bit of practice and a steady hand.
Finally, note that every rotary cutter is designed to match a specific blade size. So even if you’re purchasing extra blades, remember to buy ones that match the size of your cutter.
The majority of rotary cutters come with a safety latch, which does what the name basically suggests as it can be toggled to either expose the blade or cover it. This is of utmost importance, as it will determine how safely you can use the cutter—and safety always comes first.
The main thing you need to know in this regard is, if the cutter doesn’t feature a safety latch, it’s not worth your money. Seriously, don’t buy it—you’ll thank yourself later when at the end of your project, your fingers are still intact.
Safety latches can come in the form of either a sliding latch or a button that sits right under the thumb. Typically, it’s better to opt for a cutter that has a sliding latch instead of a button, as they are smoother and will be easier on your fingers.
Now, a little note about the placement of safety latches. It’s important to find a cutter that has the latch positioned in such a way that it’s accessible and easy to activate.
Some brands of rotary cutters have automatic closure mechanisms. This is obviously the smarter choice, but it may encumber your workflow. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what suits you best.
The handles of rotary cutters can vary quite a bit from one brand to another. Generally, you’ll find that they can be straight, curved, or ergonomic. What will suit you best obviously depends on your preferences, but also on your overall wrist health.
As ridiculous as that may sound to some, it’s still true, some people are more prone to wearing out their wrists than others. If that sounds like you, then go for a cutter with an ergonomic handle which will reduce the pressure on your wrist.
You might even consider the ones that are padded for comfort. However, note that those ones may be a bit cumbersome to work with.
To wrap up, we’re going to tell you about some extra things you can look for to get a better performance out of your rotary cutter: cutting mats and rulers. You can, of course, use the cutter without them, but they will make your experience much smoother.
A cutting mat, or self-healing mat, is made of a special material that “heals,” or goes back to normal when you cut it. So, if you have one of those, you won’t have to worry about finding an appropriate surface on which to do your cutting.
Cutting mats are available in a wide range of sizes, depending on your individual needs.
Next is a non-slip ruler, which you can use to cut against. Their non-slip feature is important because it lets you cut your fabric safely without running the risk of cutting yourself too in the process.
These rulers come in different textures and can have markings for both angle and length.
Many brands sell their rotary cutters in sets that include a mat and a ruler (or a set of rulers), so you can consider making a package purchase instead of just a solitary cutter.
If you’ve read through our reviews carefully, then you’ll know that OLFA features heavily in our top picks. Particularly their Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter is a good contender for the title of the best cutter.
Yes, in a few ways. A rotary cutter will greatly improve your speed, efficiency, and accuracy in comparison to using sewing scissors, and they’re easier to use as well.
This depends on the dimensions of the fabric you’re working with, as rotary cutters are available in a wide variety of sizes. The most common sizes are 18mm, 28mm, 45mm, and 60mm. A 45mm one is a good halfway option.
A rotary cutter is a tool commonly used to cut fabric or other similar materials. Its name is derived from its blade, which is circular in shape and works in a rotating motion. It is mostly used by quilters.
While rotary cutters and pizza cutters look identical, they are not interchangeable. Rotary cutters have comparatively much sharper blades, as they have to cut through fabric.
The performance of a rotary cutter has to do with three main factors: ease of use, blade quality, and safety features. The best rotary cutter will feature a combination of these.
With that in mind, the rotary cutter most worth your money is probably the OLFA Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter. It is durable and high-performing and boasts inimitable versatility.
However, there are other factors to consider. Some quilters may suffer from arthritis, hand fatigue, or carpal tunnel, and so have special needs. The Martelli Ergo 2000 is the perfect choice in that regard.
If you’re on a budget, too, great options have been reviewed. Our top budget pick is the OLFA RTY-2/C 45mm Splash, to which the Fiskars 95237097J 3-Piece Set is a close competitor if you want additional materials.
Without a doubt, the options are many and varied; hopefully, this review will help you make the right choice. Good luck!
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James Robert is a 27 year old Blogger from the USA. He Started Beasts Tools to provide unbiased reviews in the form of Top 10 Lists.