Thursday, June 22, 2017

A love letter to my rotary cutter(s) and some first impressions on a new product

Here's my confession for today.  I'm incredibly picky about the tools that I use (shocking, I know).  I expect them to perform consistently over time, and I try to do my part to keep them in good shape.

If the cutter looks strange to you, it's got the blade set for a left handed cutter.
One of the tools that I use most frequently is a rotary cutter.  The first rotary cutter that I bought  when I started sewing was a 45mm Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter (aka Deluxe Handle).  I liked it because the blade automatically retracted when you release the handle (there is a button to lock the blade in place, so it can be locked open or closed).  As a person that can be a klutz at times, I knew that it would be the safest for me.  I have used this cutter or one of its identical siblings (with new blades, of course) almost daily for the last 5 years.  I know that I can count on it.  This is my go-to cutter, and it's designed so that you can easily switch the blade to the other side for those of us that cut left handed.  I will also tell you that I have tried other cutters (other models and other manufacturers), but this is the one that I always come back to.

Over the next few years, my collection of cutters has expanded and they are all from Olfa.  In addition to my original 45mm Ergo, I've added a 60mm Ergo, a 28mm straight handle, and an 18mm straight handle.  The 60mm Ergo is great when I need to cut thicker items, like multiple layers of Soft and Stable or batting.  The 28mm and 18mm cutters work well for small cuts and with specialty templates.  (I wish those sizes were available in the Ergo design, but sadly, they aren't.)  I've purchased additional 45mm Ergo cutters over the years so I would always have one packed in the bag of sewing supplies that I use for classes, and I've bought them to use for cutting paper (the one that has the red x is my paper cutter).  I use slightly older blades that aren't as sharp in my paper handle.  When they are all too dull or nicked,  I keep them in a blade container that is not-so-creatively marked as BAD until they can be safely disposed of in a sharps container.

So, when I ran into a couple of ladies from Olfa on the floor at Quilt Market, I had to profess my love for their products (I have multiple Olfa cutting mats too - the rotating and folding mats are my favorites), especially the 45mm Ergo cutter.  They have recently released a new product, and they asked me if I would be interested in trying it out since I was already using their other products and share my experience.  Without hesitation, I said yes.  

The new product, the Endurance blade, is supposed to cut twice as long as their regular blade.  Wow.  That certainly sounded intriguing.  They handed me a shiny, new 45mm Ergo cutter that was already equipped with the Endurance blade, and off I went (quite gleefully, I might add).  

I'll be honest.  I haven't had the opportunity to cut as much as I normally would have since my return home from St Louis.  My kitty, Tabitha, had knee surgery, so I've been more focused on taking care of her.  However, I needed to cut out a few quick projects, so I grabbed my shiny, new cutter and started cutting.  I was not prepared for what happened next.  I expected it to cut well, but it was even more than that.  The Endurance blade is in-freaking-credible.  It was like I was just cutting through air rather than multiple layers of quilting cotton. The cuts were so smooth and effortless (and this was on a less-than-new cutting mat) that I actually had my husband try it for himself after he asked me what was wrong (I had just been standing there with my mouth hanging open muttering wow several times).  I put a new blade into my regular cutter, so it was a comparison of 2 brand new blades in the same model of handle.  I didn't tell him which was which, but he could tell the difference after making a couple of cuts with each blade (and he was pretty impressed).  As I mentioned before, I haven't cut a lot of things since coming home, so I can't speak to the cutting for twice as long part yet.  Even if it doesn't quite make it to twice as long, I'm still impressed. 

Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  

I'm not going to say that I will immediately get rid of the existing pack of new blades that I have because I won't, but I will be switching over to buying Endurance blades for my future purchases.  They are more expensive than the regular blades, but they are simply just that good. 

As I said in the post, I was actually given this new cutter with the Endurance blade and asked if I would share my experience.  For anybody that has met and talked to me, I will not hesitate to say that I'm not a fan of something (and I will tell you why).  This is my blog.  These are my opinions.  They may change over time, but they will always remain mine.  I am not willing to sacrifice my integrity in exchange for talking about stuff that I don't truly like.  That's not who I am.  


  1. Thanks to your recommendation, I'll be trying to get my hands on this product for my mother who loves sewing. I'm sure she'll love it as much as you do.

  2. So much nicer than when I started quilting. We used templates cut from cereal boxes, pencils to mark the fabric and scissors to cut. We are very lucky to have all these wonderful time saving and accurate tools.

  3. I've been using the endurance blade since last year when it first came out and I love love love it! Like you, once my other blades are "used up" I will replace with nothing but endurance blades. And yes, from experience, they do last longer!

  4. You understand your projects stand out of the crowd. There is something unique about them. It seems to me all of them are brilliant. bear cookie cutter