How to Change Your Rotary Cutter Blade
13:10 23 March 2021
If you’ve never used a rotary cutter before, you may find it a bit intimidating at first, but using a rotary cutter is so much faster and more accurate than using scissors, you’ll be hooked in no time. You’ll also save your hands a lot of fatigue and possible pain as well.
Choosing a Rotary Cutter And Blade
When choosing a rotary cutter it’s important to choose the cutter that feels best in your hand. Make sure that you can hold your hand and wrist straight to prevent strain.
Which blade size to choose is dependent on the type of cutting you’ll be doing. A larger blade size, such as 60 mm, cuts more fabric more quickly. If you know you’ll be making many long cuts the larger size may be perfect for your needs.
A 28 mm blade is used for cutting curves or making other small cuts. For a more multi-purpose blade, a 45 mm is large enough to make long cuts and small enough you may find it manageable for smaller work as well.
Most rotary cutters have safety mechanisms, such as a plastic safety shield, or a safety lock button. Get in the habit of engaging whichever safety mechanism your cutter comes equipped with every time you stop cutting.
Even if you are only setting the blade down for a moment to adjust your fabric or ruler, use the safety. This way you will prevent unwanted cuts to your fabric, or your feet, or anyone else in the vicinity, should the cutter fall.
When Do I Need To Change My Blade?
A sharp rotary cutter blade cuts through several layers of fabric with ease. You’ll need to use only light pressure and the fabric will have perfectly clean edges.
When your blade starts getting dull you’ll notice it no longer cuts through the layers of fabric perfectly cleanly. That’s when it’s time to change your blade out for a new one. Using a dull blade can be dangerous, you have to press harder and will have less control over how the blade moves.
Changing The Blade
Rotary cutter blades are extremely sharp and you may be understandably nervous about handling them. Make sure you have a clear space to work in and move slowly and carefully. Make sure your blade’s safety cover is in place.
- Hold the rotary cutter by the handle and twist the nut to the left to loosen.
- Disassemble all the loose pieces and set them aside on your workspace, noting the order the pieces were in.
- If your cutter’s safety shield has started a lint collection, clean this off with your fingers or a soft cloth.
- If your new blades seem oily to the touch, carefully wipe one off with a paper towel.
- Place the new blade and the safety shield back on the cutter handle in the order they were before.
- Replace the nut and bolt and screw it back together. You only need to use your fingers and make sure you don’t tighten the nut down too far. If your blade is screwed on too tightly it won’t spin, if it’s too loose it will wobble.
Dispose of used rotary cutter blades thoughtfully. The blades are very sharp, even when they have become too dull to cut fabric cleanly. Sometimes the plastic packaging the blades come in can be used to dispose of, or recycle, the used blades.
If you don’t have the original packaging you can encase the blade in duct tape or packing tape to seal off the sharp edges and make it safe to throw away.