Pros:sharp edges, blades are made from steel, variety of sizes and designs to choose from
Cons:be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges
The Bottom Line: My rotary cutter with the new blade sliced the Bottom Line neatly in half. Arent two Bottom Lines better than one?
I own a lot of different size Olfa rotary cutters. Eventually, the round razor-sharp wheels grow dull and need replacing. When I need new blades, I always purchase Olfa Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades.
Recommend this product?
In case you are not familiar with rotary cutters, they are essentially a round razor blade attached to a stick that serves as a handle. Grabbing the handle, one can roll the razor-blade wheel across fabric or paper. The sharp wheel slices through layers with ease.
Olfa replacement blades come in a variety of sizes. All the blades are circular, but some of the blades have smooth cutting edges and some have fancy edges for decorative cutting. All the blades are constructed of stainless steel. This steel is tungsten carbide tool steel, and Olfa says these are the longest lasting blades in the business. Each wheel has a hole in the center that fits over a peg on the rotary cutter.
The wheels come packaged on blistercards. On the blistercard is a hinged plastic case that holds the blades. Sometimes the wheels are sold individually (one in a case), and they can also be purchased in multi-packs (several wheels in a case).
Here is a list of the different size rotary cutter wheels available:
18mm smooth rotary blade
18mm perforation blade (good for cutting out pieces of fabric for applique)
28mm smooth rotary blade
45mm smooth rotary blade
45mm pinking blade (to reduce raveling of fabric edges)
45mm scalloped blade (gives a scalloped or peaked cut)
45mm wave blade (decorative edge for polar fleece and paper cutting)
60mm smooth rotary blade
Olfa rotary cutter blades last me a long time. The life of each blade depends upon various factors, such as how often the blade is used and the type of material being cut (paper dulls blades faster than fabric). I know a blade is dull when it misses sections of fabric as I cut. Sometimes one thread is missed, or a 1/4" of material is not cut. That means a section of the rotary cutter blade is dull and not slicing correctly.
It is not good to use a dull blade. A dull blade can harm the fabric, causing pulled threads or an uneven cut. What you may not realize is that a dull blade also causes extra hand stress. It takes more pressure to cut with a dull blade. This is not good for the hand.
I own a lot of Olfa standard rotary cutters, instantly recognizable by their straight bright yellow handles. Currently, I have one 18mm, three 28mm, and two 45mm Olfa rotary cutters. As you can tell, I love these cutters. I also have the correct size replacement blades for all of them.
It is simple to replace the blade on any of these rotary cutters. Olfa suggests taking the rotary cutter apart and laying the pieces on a flat surface in the order that they are removed. That way it is easier to reassemble the cutter. To start, unscrew the plastic screw on the back of the cutter and remove both screw and washer. Then remove the front center plastic piece that holds the blade in position. Carefully remove the blade and set it aside. Slip the new blade into position and reassemble the cutter.
Olfa recommends disposing of the old blade in the plastic holder the new blade came in, and taping the container shut before throwing it away. This works fine as long as only one blade came in the plastic holder. However you dispose of the blade, make sure the edges are well covered (or inside another container) so that no one gets hurt on the sharp edges.
I own all of the decorative blades as well as the smooth blades. I use the smooth blades for slicing through layers of fabric for quilting. The pinking blade is useful when using the rotary cutter to zip around pattern pieces that will sew into clothing. The pinked edge resembles a zig-zag and helps prevent the fabric edges from unraveling while sewing. I use the scallop and wave blades for cutting decorative edges on paper. A neat feature of the scallop blade is that when the blade is inserted into the rotary cutter one way, it cuts a scalloped edge. When the blade is turned around and inserted in the cutter, it cuts a peaked edge. Scrapbookers and crafters might enjoy trying these blades.
Since paper dulls blades more quickly than fabric, I keep the blades I use on paper separate from the blades used on fabric. Since the rotary cutters come with a hole at the end of the handle, I thread a piece of fabric or ribbon through the handles of the cutters that I have designated as fabric cutters.
Olfa replacement blades are available at craft stores such as AC Moore and fabric stores like Joann Fabrics. I usually buy my replacement Olfa blades from Joann Fabrics, usually at their brick and mortar store, though they are for sale online (www.joann.com). Here is a sampling of their prices:
18mm (smooth blades) 2 pack / $4.99
18mm (perforation blade) 2 pack / $5.66
28mm (smooth blades) 5 pack / $9.99
45mm (smooth blades) 5 pack / $19.99
45mm (pinking blade) One blade / $8.99
45mm (wave blade) One blade / $7.99
60mm (smooth blades) 5 pack / $30.99
Olfa Decorative blade set (includes pinking, scallop/peak, wave blades) $19.99
Since Olfa makes a variety of rotary cutters, make sure the blade you are purchasing will fit into the cutter you own.
Olfa replacement blades are easy to use. It is simple to pop the old blade off the cutter and insert a new one. The blades are nice and sharp, too. I will continue buying Olfa blades for as long as I own my Olfa cutters ... and I expect that will be for a long time!
I hope you have found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
Olfa North America
33 South 6th Street
Terre Haute, IN47807
Toll-free Phone: 800-962-OLFA
Please read my other reviews:
Olfa 28mm Rotary Cutter
Fiskars Pinking Shears and tutorial
Quilters Dream Sewing Table
Horn of America Sewing Chair
Janome Jem Sewing Machine
Black & Decker Pro Finish Iron
Bernina Accessory Box
Quilt Pro Software
Keepsake Quilting Online Store
Joann .com Fabric & Craft Store
Copyright 2004 Dawn L. Stewart