Best Rotary Cutters for Fabrics and Crafts

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Knowing which rotary cutter is the best for fabrics and crafts is essential when you’re looking for a new tool for your projects. Rotary cutters come in all shapes and sizes for a wide range of crafts. Whether you’re a die-hard sewist or a fan of paper creations, a good rotary cutter paired with a trusty cutting mat will make crafting a cinch.

Choosing the best rotary cutter for fabrics and crafts isn’t easy, but this article will help. Keep reading to find the best rotary cutters available and the reasons why using them is so much better than sticking with scissors.

Best Rotary Cutters for Fabric

First up, we have rotary cutters designed for use with fabric. While most rotary cutters will work with all sorts of crafts, these are the choices best suited for sewing. From garment making to quilting, these rotary cutters will make accurate cutting a breeze.

Fiskars Classic Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter

Ergonomically designed for both right and left-handed sewists, Fiskars Classic Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter is a great choice for sewists who spend a lot of time cutting fabric pieces out. Perfect for slicing through multiple layers of fabric, this rotary cutter has a 45mm steel blade and is retractable for safe storage.

Key Features:

  • 45mm blade
  • Retractable blade
  • Designed for both left and right handed users
  • Curved handle
  • Lifetime warranty

Pros:

  • No need to buy a specialised left or right handed cutter
  • Comfort grip
  • Pet and child friendly

Cons:

  • Retractable blade may be awkward for some users
  • Some users have issues with the blade coming off

Martelli Ergo 2000 Rotary Cutter

Considering the amount of cutting and stitching sewists do, it’s no surprise many of us suffer from tired hands. The Martelli Ergo 2000 Rotary Cutter is designed to relieve the pain from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and hand fatigue. Better still, there are two sizes available for both multiple fabric layers and smaller projects. Both options are suitable for left or right-handed users.

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic design
  • 45mm or 60mm blade
  • Spring-loaded blade guard

Pros:

  • Reduces effects of arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and hand fatigue
  • Available in two sizes

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Martelli blades
  • Left-handed option sold separately

Fiskars Crafts Rotary Cutter

Fiskars Crafts Rotary Cutter

Another blade great for both left and right-handed sewists is the Fiskars Crafts Rotary Cutter. Coated in titanium, the 60mm blade is both durable and stays sharper for longer. Like the previous Fiskars on this list, the blade is retractable for safe storage and can be adjusted to suit left-handed sewists.

Key Features:

  • Titanium blade
  • 60mm blade
  • Blade can be adjusted for both right and left handed users
  • Retractable blade
  • Lifetime warranty

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Perfect for thicker materials

Cons:

  • Some users experienced frequent dull blades

Fiskars Crafts Heavy Duty Rotary Cutter

Fiskars Crafts Heavy Duty Rotary Cutter

If you sew a lot of quilts, you’re bound to need a lot of fabric pieces that are the same shape and size. The Fiskars Crafts Heavy Duty Rotary Cutter with its 65mm blade is perfect for slicing through multiple layers of material. Ergonomically designed with a comfort grip handle, with an adjustable blade for left and right-handed sewists, you’ll be able to cut pattern pieces all day.

Key Features:

  • 65mm blade
  • Comfort grip handle
  • Adjustable blade for left and right handed sewists
  • Retractable blade
  • Lifetime warranty

Pros:

  • Ergonomic design
  • Cuts through multiple layers of fabric

Cons:

  • Lock mechanism may fail after heavy use
  • Larger blade than normal may be harder to replace

Best Rotary Cutters for Crafters

Crafting applies to both applique and paper crafts. Rotary cutters make slicing pieces for both types of projects easy but, like a good pair of fabric scissors, rotary cutters may becoming dull when used to cut paper. While the following options can cope with both fabric for applique, and paper crafting, you may want a separate one for each of the different crafts.

Olfa RTY-2/C Splash Rotary Cutter

Olfa RTY-2/C Splash Rotary Cutter

Designed with simplicity in mind, the Olfa RTY-2/C Splash Rotary Cutter is a good choice if you want to brighten up your sewing or crafting space. Aqua in color, the ergonomic handle will spice up your hobby and let you comfortably cut everything you need. While the grooved head stops your hands from slipping, the built-in blade guard will keep the inquisitive fingers and noses of children and pets out of harm’s way.

Key Features:

  • 45mm blade
  • Contoured handle
  • Grooved cutter head for grip
  • Replacement blades included

Pros:

  • Can be used by both left and right handed sewists
  • Built-in blade guard

Cons:

  • Can only cut through a small number of layered thin materials

Omnigrid Pressure Sensitive Safety Rotary Cutter

Omnigrid Pressure Sensitive Rotary Cutter

If you have children or pets running around, the Omnigrid Pressure Sensitive Rotary Cutter takes the worry out of remembering to store the blade properly. Not only does it come equipped with a blade guard but the blade retracts, automatically, when not in use. With a 45mm blade and a cushioned handle, you might not be able to cut through several layers of material, but you can still make fast progress with your project.

Key Features:

  • 45mm blade
  • Cushioned handle
  • Compatible with both left and right handed sewists
  • Automatic retractable blade
  • Blade guard

Pros:

  • Useful for both sewing and crafting
  • No need to adjust the blade when changing hands

Cons:

  • Might be difficult to cut multiple layers of material

Olfa Perforation Rotary Cutter

Olfa Perforation Rotary Cutter

The Olfa Perforation Rotary Cutter is designed to make paper crafts simple and easy. A perforated blade allows you to spice up your paper cutting or make handmade raffle tickets for special events. With a one-touch blade replacement, you can switch and change the blades as needed and the built-in blade guard keeps wayward fingers safe from harm.

Key Features:

  • Perforated blade
  • Right or left handed design
  • One touch blade replacement

Pros:

  • Works with paper, vinyl and film
  • Takes the hassle out of cutting tickets

Cons:

  • May not work with fabric
  • Replacement blades are expensive

Best Heavy Duty Rotary Cutters

When a light duty rotary cutter just won’t cut through the amount of leather you need for your project, you need something heftier. That’s where heavy duty rotary cutters come in. Designed with thicker materials in mind, heavy duty rotary cutters are built to last and will leave the others on this list in the dust.

Hercules HRK-100 5-Speed Electric Rotary Cutter

Hercules HRK-100 Electric Rotary Cutter

Compared to the manual rotary cutters, the Hercules HRK-100 Electric Rotary Cutter is in another league. Useful for both light cottons and thicker materials, such as leather, this blade will soar through projects before you can blink. With five speeds available, even beginners can feel at ease with this powerful workhorse. Plus, the built-in sharpening stone means your blade will never dull.

Key Features:

  • Electronic
  • Effective for both light and heavy weight fabrics
  • 5-Speed
  • Handles multiple, thick layers, with ease
  • Built-in sharpening stone
  • LED work light

Pros:

  • Does the heavy lifting for you
  • Reduces back and wrist ache

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Intimidating for beginners
  • Cord may get in the way

Things to Consider

Now we’ve looked at the best rotary cutters for sewing, general crafts and heavy duty use, here’s a few things to consider when making your purchase. For first-timers when it comes to using rotary cutters, these questions will help you make an educated choice.

Why Do I Need A Rotary Cutter?

With scissors you have to lift the fabric to make each cut and can’t accurately cut multiple layers. Rotary cutters allow you to keep your material flat on the table. They’re designed to help you cut out shapes precisely and quickly. As a bonus, since you don’t need to lift the fabric to cut it, slicing through multiple layers at once is a breeze.

What Size Blade Should I Use?

45mm and 60mm are the most common blade sizes available. While there are others available, these two are the ones easiest to find. For the beginner sewist, sticking to these two sizes will help you get used to your rotary cutter without the worry of replacing hard-to-find blades.

If you’re looking for a good all-rounder, stick with a 45mm blade. They’ll tackle thinner fabrics with ease and, depending on the rotary cutter itself, even handle thicker fabrics, paper and thin card. For thicker materials like foam or multiple layers of fabric, a 60mm blade is the best choice.

What Tools Do I Need to Use With a Rotary Cutter?

You should always use a rotary cutter with a good cutting mat and a ruler. Regardless of what craft you prefer, a cutting mat will reduce the risk of scratches to your table and a ruler will keep your cuts accurate, whether you’re cutting a straight line or going around a curve. Saving you from the heartache of ragged cut edges when the scissors catch and your lines go awry.

How Do I Use a Rotary Cutter?

Lie your material, preferably marked with the lines you need to cut, flat on a cutting mat. Before you start cutting, make sure your ruler is on top of the pattern piece you want to keep and line it up with the edge of your markings.

Keeping your fingers out of the way, put weight on the ruler to keep it in place and use the rotary cutter to slice down the edge. Always make sure your blade is sharp before you start, dull blades will damage both your fabric and the cutting mat you’re using.

How Safe are Rotary Cutters?

Rotary cutters are no more dangerous than a good pair of scissors. We all grew up surrounded by rules regarding our favorite snips. Don’t run with them and keep them closed when not in use.

The same rules apply to rotary cutters. They’re sharp and, used incorrectly, can cause injuries. Keep the blades retracted when not in use and don’t leave them unattended when young children, or even pets, are likely to knock them flying.

Also, always make sure to use a ruler when you use a rotary cutter. This will keep your lines straight and negate the risk of accidental slices through either your fabric or your hand.

Respecting your tools goes a long way to keeping them in tip-top shape and lessens the chances of harm coming to you and your loved ones.

Should I Use an Electric Rotary Cutter?

Electric rotary cutters save time and energy. Whether you should use one, however, depends on how often you cut materials for your projects and how familiar you are with the tools themselves.

For the occasional crafter and the complete beginner, an electric rotary cutter may be too expensive and too fast. Not only can purchasing one make it difficult for you to buy supplies for your next project, you may find yourself having to buy replacement fabric to make up for cuts gone haywire.

Conclusion

Choosing a new rotary cutter for your preferred craft comes down to your personal preference and your own style. Whether you sew or create paper crafts, there will be a rotary cutter perfect for your chosen hobby.

With so many choices available, hopefully this list will help you figure out which rotary cutter is the best for fabrics and crafts.

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