If you notice that your rotary cutter is giving uneven cuts and requiring more effort to cut through your fabric, check if the blade is dull and needs sharpening.
If it so, do not rush to the store for a replacement blade. It is expensive and sometimes will cost you half or one-third of the cost of your cutter. Again all replacement blades will not fit your rotary cutter.
There is an economical and effective solution for you. Instead of constantly replacing them, buy a rotary cutter blade sharpener and sharpen it whenever it is needed sitting at home. You will save both money and time because it will not take more than 1 or 2 minutes.
All you will need is a rotary cutter sharpener. You will find sharpeners for different blade sizes. However, it can be a problem if you want to sharpen blades of more than one size. You will find this rotary cutter sharpener in your nearby sewing stores.
The process is given below with a picture for your convenience.
1. Take your rotary cutter apart
To sharpen a rotary cutter blade at first you have to take the rotary cutter apart and expose the blade. You can see the nut, the body of it, the blade holder and the blade.
The little sharpening device has two parts. One part holds the blade and the other is to tighten it with the first part.
2. Pick the blade carefully and put it on the holder
Pick the blade up very carefully. Even it is dull for cutting your fabric layers smoothly, it is enough sharp to cut your hands! Put it on to there and hold it up. Now take the top and screw these two pieces together.
3.Screw the two parts together and start sharpening the cutter
Be very careful about the extremely sharp blade exposed all sides. The other part of the sharpening device is actually the sandpaper rings that are on placed on a little plastic disc. There are two different grits in two different colors. The grey one is the coarser grit, the black one is the finer grit.
Now we will use the coarser one first and then turn it over the way to use the finer one.
Put a little water on that from a spray bottle. Take your blade in the holder and insert it and make it go around in the same direction. Don’t go back and forth, go in the same direction. You can hear the noise inside it while doing this. Do it for 20 or 30 turns. Now one side of the disc is done.
4. Turn the blade and do the same with the finer side
Turn the blade over. Now do the same with the silicon sandpaper that is the finer grade sandpaper. It’s the black paper. You need to do this for 20 turns in the same direction every time.
5. Take the blade apart and reinsert it in your cutter
Now take the blade apart and reinsert it into the rotary cutter. Do that very carefully. Because you can see how sharp it is. Put the blade back on that little screw spindle.
Set the rest of the rotary cutter on top of it. Keep it in place carefully. Set the nut. Now the rotary cutter is in the closed position.
6. Try it on your fabric
Now try it on your fabric! You will see the difference. It will cut your fabrics like a breeze!
But if you think that it is not enough sharp yet, you can repeat the process again.
- Don’t wait until your rotary cutter blade is so dull that it won’t be revived. Do it often if you’re cutting a lot of strips. Make your rotary cutter blades last longer.
- Be very very careful while handling the process. Do not give attention to any other thing while doing it. Make sure it doesn’t fall from the table and injure your legs.
- Do not hold the blade with hand. Especially after sharpening.
All you get after sharpening it
- It is several times cheaper than buying new replacements blades. If you are a regular sewer, it will be more cost saver for you. Because every now and then you end up with a dull rotary cutter after cutting too many fabrics and strips.
- The blade will be very sharp after sharpening. Though it will not be the same as a new blade, it will work fine.
- Remove very small nicks which would cause a skip in the cutter wheel. So, you will not have those missed cuts again.
- If you have larger nicks, cracks or breaks, it won’t fix them. If it is just dull, it will sharpen it.
- Discarding or recycling rotary cutter is not a good way. Sharpening it and using it for a long time is the better option. However, if you want to throw it away, put a little bit of aluminum foil around it and put it inside some cardboard. Then, tape it so someone may not get in there.