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    Rotary cutter sharpening?

    New quilter here. I have an Olfa rotary cutter that I have actually had for years, but for which I recently bought a new blade. I am using an Olfa self-healing mat. We have become good friends.

    My question is, how often do you change YOUR blade? I saw another thread about blades getting dull, and I can identify with the nicking of the blade on my ruler issue. I'm still learning, but am getting more confident as I go. I started using a lot of precuts, and am now branching out.

    I would just like an idea of how long I can expect my blade to last. Also, are the rotary blade sharpeners a good idea or no?

    #2
    Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

    there have been a lot of threads this year about sharpening blades and the general concensus was that its not really a good idea. I used a ruler with a sharpening edge and it made deep cuts in my self healing mat. The blades are pretty cheap in comparison to the cost of a new mat.
    Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
    Terry

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      #3
      Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

      I tried one, Dritz, and didn't think it worked that well. I'll have to pay attention more to how long one lasts.

      Just wanted to welcome you to the forum!
      🌺 Lorie

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        #4
        Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

        Thanks for the welcome! Just saying that you don't know how long your blade has lasted tells me a lot.

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          #5
          Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

          I am terrible when it comes to changing my blade. But I'm trying to get better.

          Basically I can stand when my blade skips a spot. When it starts skipping a second spot I will change it.

          There might be a rule of thumb out there somewhere (change every six months, change every other project) but I don't know about it. I know you are supposed to change sewing needles every 8 hours of use, but I don't do that. I just listen for a popping sound. And I do the same for my rotary blades - I just wait until it bothers me.

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            #6
            Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

            1) Sharpeners: posts in this forum on this issue in the past 1.5 years indicate the responders are split about 50-50 ... some use the sharpeners, others do not and some of the latter have commented that sharpeners tend to not make the blade as uniformly sharp as it was right out of the package and, therefore, causes some nicks in the fabric or shredding of the fabric ends, etc.

            2) I change my blade when cutting starts to hurt my wrist and arm. When the fabric is no longer cutting like butter and I start to use actual muscle and have to press down hard to cut, that's when I know I have to change the blade.

            Also realize the change of blade will depend on the type of fabric and how much of it you are cutting -- I was able, for instance, to get through a 60 x 70 Disappearing 9 Patch of 100% cotton quilting fabric using my 60 mm cutter (front and back which was also pieced), but when I'm cutting JEANS or DENIM ... I have to change my blade more.

            FYI -- I have started to write the month/year (6/16) on my blade with a Sharpie so I can remember when I last changed it and how long it lasts for the projects I've been working on.

            Some suggest folding tin foil into several layers and then rolling your blade through it several times to sharpen it. I have tried this and it works but only for a little while ... it seems to be good if trying to squeeze a few last cuts out of your blade to get through a project.

            I have bought generic blades from China (via Amazon) and do not believe they were as sharp and long lasting as the Olfa blades I buy at Joann's with 50 - 60% off coupons.

            Happy Quilting!
            Blessings, DramaMama


            "May your bobbin always be full!"

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              #7
              Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

              Just make sure two blades aren't stuck together. I was like what the heck is this shredding about? Two blades don't work better than one. lol
              🌺 Lorie

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                #8
                Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                Originally posted by Hulamoon View Post
                Just make sure two blades aren't stuck together. I was like what the heck is this shredding about? Two blades don't work better than one. lol
                I did that once! I felt like such a knucklehead when I realized what I had done.

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                  #9
                  Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                  @Drama Mama - What a great idea to write the date on the blade. I'm definitely doing that the next time I change blades!

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                    #10
                    Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                    Welcome to the forum from Southeast Louisiana.

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                      #11
                      Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                      Originally posted by DramaMama View Post
                      FYI -- I have started to write the month/year (6/16) on my blade with a Sharpie so I can remember when I last changed it and how long it lasts for the projects I've been working on.
                      Brilliant idea! I'm going to do this also.

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                        #12
                        Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                        I know some will think this extravagant, but I change my blade at the start of every project just like my sewing needle. I quilt for fun and it's no fun struggling with a dulled blade that you don't even realise needs changeing until you've done it!
                        I buy my blades in packs of 10 from China on Amazon. Works out to only $2 per blade. Why pay hundreds (or thousands) for a sewing machine and fabric, then cheap out on blades?

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                          #13
                          Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                          Originally posted by Lulu6 View Post
                          I know some will think this extravagant, but I change my blade at the start of every project just like my sewing needle. I quilt for fun and it's no fun struggling with a dulled blade that you don't even realise needs changeing until you've done it!
                          I buy my blades in packs of 10 from China on Amazon. Works out to only $2 per blade. Why pay hundreds (or thousands) for a sewing machine and fabric, then cheap out on blades?
                          It would be extravagant if you used expensive blades, but you have a great idea - buy them cheap and use them fast.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                            I get my Olfa 45 mm replacement blades from Amazon. There is a 10 pack for $15.97; they are made in Japan. Very good quality. You won't be able to read the writing on the pkg. because it's all in Japanese! But the blades work just fine & are the most reasonably priced I've found.

                            The suggestion about dating the blade is a good one, which I will incorporate.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Rotary cutter sharpening?

                              How long do they last can depend on the amount of use as well as the fabric and the ability of the user. Sometimes lint can collect behind the blade and make it difficult to rotate when the cutter is in use. In this case, just clean it.

                              You just have to use your own opinion as to when to change. And, the sharpeners cost money that can be used for something more useful.

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