How To Use a Rotary Cutter? A Ultimate Guide

This article will demonstrate how to use rotary cutters, transforming the sewing and craft industries. This marvelously simple tool is the solution for efficient pattern cutting and making. The rotary cutter guarantees clear, distinct, and precise cutting lines, which is the meaning of the term "clean cut." In addition, understanding how to utilize a rotary cutter expedites and simplifies cutting patterns and forms. What else could be expected of a cutting tool?

What is a rotary cutter?

how to use a rotary cutter

photo: amazon 

A rotary cutter is a fabric and craft cutting instrument with a sharp, circular blade and handle. The blade's rotation facilitates quicker and more efficient cutting. They are available in several designs, handle forms and sizes.

The sizes of the blades are 18mm, 28mm, 45mm, and 60mm, and they all have a safety lock so that the edge is not exposed. The two most popular sizes are 45mm and 60mm.

Why use a rotary cutter?

how to use a rotary cutter

photo: amazon 

The rotary cutter makes fabric cutting considerably quicker, simpler, and more precise. After using a rotary cutter, you will be converted entirely to this cutting process. The rotary cutter's razor-sharp blade slices through many layers of fabric and guarantees precise cutting of various layers or pieces of cloth.

This is the finest choice for a quilter or seamstress who intends to cut many pieces of cloth in various sizes and shapes. The cutting mat and the appropriate ruler simplify the process of cutting precise forms.

How to use a rotary cutter to cut fabric 

how to use a rotary cutter

photo: amazon 

Preparation work

Before using a rotary cutter, you must prepare the cloth for cutting. Whether you prewash the fabric, it must be pressed for precise cutting.

Then, fold the cloth so that the ends of the hem meet. This may need unfolding and refolding the fabric, shaking it slightly, etc., and the non-selvage edges may no longer be straight - don't worry about that. It is only essential that the selvage edges be aligned and parallel.

Now thoroughly press the cloth and ensure that the folded edge is crisp.

Second, prepare the cutting surface. Spread out your cutting mat and clean the surrounding area. Nothing is worse than having toy cars or candles off the mat to impede your cutting.

Cutting fabric

Step 1:  

Put your fabric piece on your cutting mat, so the raw edge is on the right side. Align the folded edge with the bottom of the rug.

Step 2: 

The first cut will be made to the right edge to square up the cloth.  Line the lines on your ruler with the folded edge to ensure it is straight.

Step 3: 

Put your left hand on the ruler to secure it. If you use a long ruler, such as a 6" x 24", you may need to use your elbow to prevent it from shifting. I've discovered that lifting my hand in the middle of a cut causes the ruler to move. However, this elbow movement eventually causes shoulder pain, so use it carefully.

Step 4: 

Cut along the ruler with your right hand. Use even, constant pressure. If you're new to this, be aware that it requires more force than anticipated.

Step 5: 

Rotate the cloth so that the newly squared edge is on the left. Do this step without raising the fabric to maintain your previous work.

Step 6: 

Align your ruler with the desired cut length. In this instance, a 5-inch strip will be enough. Align the ruler with the folded edge and ensure it is also straight along the squared edge.

Cutting tips 

  • Maintain a straight wrist while using a rotary cutter.

  • Reduce wrist strain by moving the rotary cutter using the shoulder and elbow rather than the wrist.

  • Maintain rotary blades' sharpness. A dull or broken knife needs more force to cut through the cloth.

  • Examine rotary cutters with various handle shapes to determine which ones are easiest and most pleasant to operate.

  • Large-handled rotary cutters may alleviate stress on the hand. A rotary cutter's diameter may be increased by wrapping and taping a sheet of soft foam around it. Ensure no button or mechanism that enables you to adjust the blade guard is obstructed.


What should be kept in mind while using a rotary cutter?

STRAIGHT ARM - Grasp the grip while maintaining a straight wrist, hand, and arm. This will provide the finest possible control and pressure. POSITIONS - Experiment with various grip postures. Some cutters like to guide the cutter by placing their finger on the top of the handle, much as a pencil.

Why won't my rotary cutter cut?

Did you apply enough pressure? If you do not have a dull blade but still find large areas where fabric layers were not cut cleanly or where only the topmost layers were cut, you may not be applying sufficient force to the cutter. Try cutting fewer layers of cloth at once.

What purpose do the various blades on a rotary cutter serve?

Rotary cutter blades are very sharp, resharpenable, and available in a variety of sizes: typically, smaller blades are used for cutting little curves, while bigger blades are used for cutting straight lines and wide curves.

Push or pull the rotary cutter?

Always maintain the blade of the rotary cutter against the edge of the ruler and shift a portion of your body weight into the cutter. Never pull the cutter towards yourself, and never use a sawing motion.

Are rotary blades superior to scissors?

Rotary cutters are superior than scissors for cutting long, straight lines because they are quicker and simpler to wield. When a cutting mat is purchased with a rotary cutter, the price of this pair may surpass that of scissors.

Final thought 

Now that you know how to operate a rotary cutter, you should know how to proceed in your search for the best rotary cutter for you. It is a step up in the world of cutting, and once you've gone the rotary cutter route, you'll never look back. Thanks for reading!

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