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Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: OLFA Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

Reported by Christina Hammond

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When you work with fabric, one of the most indispensible tools you can own is the rotary cutter.  And let me tell you, they are not all created alike!  For years I have been working an “el cheapo” model I bought at WalMart the day my Great-Grandma gave me her 50’s era Singer sewing machine.  I didn’t own a single pair of fabric scissors, so I ran to the store and asked the lady there for help.  She tossed that foreign-to-me cutter in my basket along with a little self-healing mat and plastic ruler, saying “Trust me, you need these!”

Boy, what was she right!  That rotary cutter had become almost an extension on my right arm.  I used it everyday, but when faced with a large project like a large quilt to cut, I had begun to dread picking it up because it would, honestly, start to hurt. 

Olfa sent me the Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter and it has become the new extension to my right arm.  I am very pleased with how comfortable it is to use.  In addition to being ergonomic and easy on the wrist – it has a dual action safety switch.  I can use the switch to lock the blade closed for storage, or to lock it open so I don’t have to squeeze the handle to keep the blade out.  The deluxe system comes in both a 45mm and 60mm size, perfect for most cutting needs.

The blades are sharp and stable.  There is a small Belleville Disc Spring* under the thumb screw that helps maintain pressure.  Even after having used the cutter for a while, the blade doesn’t have a wiggle to it at all.

*admittedly, I had to ask my husband what this was called because I didn’t want to type “curvy washer thingy” for y’all. (Editor’s Note: “curvy washer thingy” is perfectly acceptable).

 Olfa has a great video right on the site – it’s not hard at all.  

To test the comfort of the cutter, I put myself to work on something that needed tons of repetitive slices.  I have so many quilts in progress, so I decided to try a knock-off of all those ruffley pillows I am seeing everywhere.

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This pillow was made with a fairly thick shantung, and I cut about 10 layers at a time with no problems at all.  I used the pinking blade to reduce the fraying.  I *really* like this blade.  Alot.  I made a couple of this style pillow, each taking about 200 3″x5” rectangles.  I didn’t have any pain at all and not a single complaint about the cutting.  YAY!
IMG_0637 While I was sewing, I switched back to the straight (AND VERY SHARP, oops!) blade and whipped out this cute giant bow pillow in no time at all.

Finally, I changed the blade over to the “Wave” blade and cut out 22 pennants for our all purpose “CELEBRATE” banner.  I used this blade because it looks fancy, a bit different than a standard pinking blade and I wanted to make this quick-n-easy.  We’ve used this banner for so many things already, I think I might just leave it up!
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A close up of the edges.  Look how pretty!
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Pros:

  • ergonomic claim is true!  So comfy to use.
  • can be used Righty/Lefty
  • readily available
  • decorative cutting blade available
  • safety lock
  • the handle is guaranteed forever! 

Cons:

  • initially pricey
  • blade replacements are slightly expensive, and the decorative ones only come in one blade packages.
  • a bit fiddly replacing the blades, but easy enough to do if you pay attention

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Olfa have given us gift pack to give to two lucky readers. Leave a comment answering the following question to be entered:

Have you ever noticed pain/discomfort when using a standard rotary cutter?  Do you think you’d benefit from this Deluxe Ergonomic cutter?

One comment per person per article (this is the first of four, over a two-day span), please. Winners will be chosen on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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47 Responses to Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: OLFA Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

  1. Lillian Child July 5, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Just recently I’ve begun to notice some arthritis in my hands when I craft for long periods of time. I would SO love to have a product that is ergonimic AND user friendly. This product would allow me to do what I love doing best, only LONGER! Thanks for a chance to win!

  2. Painthorse Lady July 5, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    I have pain in my hands as well as exhausted shoulders from struggling to cut my projects. After 7 spine surgeries over the past 5yrs, it has put a great strain on my nerves so the faster I can cut the better! Using this for my sheets I make for my rescue horses would be AWESOME!!

  3. Painthorse Lady July 5, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Crafting has become my escape from the pain from limited use of my legs following 7 spine surgeries! I can dive into a project for my grandchildren or my rescue horses. It takes my mind off the “poor me” and I can say, “WOW, look at what I just made!”

  4. catnap July 5, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Sounds impressive. I always opt for the lowest price stuff, but I’ve come to realize it doesn’t always pay in the end. I find that I get pain in my hands, and my joints are stiffer than they used to be.

  5. Elaine Wilson July 5, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I would love to have this as my hands have begun to ache while trying to cut fabric and while doing any type of handy work. What a wonderful product, thanks for the opportunity to win this!

  6. Emskyrooney July 5, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I’ve been slowly upgrading all my cheapy beginner type sewing tools that don’t work very well- this looks like a great choice for my next upgrade!

  7. nullgraph July 5, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I’ve never used a rotary cutter before (yes, I know I’m missing out), and can’t wait to try.

  8. rilojane July 5, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    I have a regular model dedicated to a pinking blade and my straight blade is on my deluxe model (featured in this article). I definitely feel the difference between the two. I love the lock on the deluxe model, too. replacement blades are a bit high, which stinks for someone like me who seems to always hit a pin while I’m cutting out patterns.
    Side note- I’m a lefty and the only problem I’ve had is that occasionally the frame of the cutter isn’t quite high enough to clear the edge of my ruler. Otherwise, it’s a pretty great pizza cutter. Er, I mean, Rotary Cutter.

  9. Jill July 5, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    This looks like a brilliant design! Getting a bit of arthritis in my hands, and this tool may be very helpful!

  10. Danielle July 5, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I find that I do get pain and discomfort in my hand so i think this would be something I’d like to try!

    Thanks for the chance

  11. Susan Ayers July 5, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    I would so love to have a cutter like this… I am back to quilting after years of hiatus lol… I had forgotten what I disliked about it 🙂

  12. Ellen Lord July 5, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    ive never tried a rotary cutter, but i have been looking at them. im not getting any younger, and cutting with scissors over and over is getting rather painful at times!

  13. Tamara July 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I don’t often spend too much time cutting, but recently I started an I spy quilt, and the cutting had to be broken up into shifts. I would love to try this new ergonomic cutter!

  14. mub July 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    I love my rotary cutters… I don’t know how people get by without them! I wasn’t actually aware that you could use the decorative blades on the ergo handle though, that’s great news! I use my straight cutter with the scallop blade and my hands don’t care to do too much cutting that way.

  15. Samantha T. July 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I’ve occasionally noticed stiffness, but not pain. I think this cutter would definitely cut down on that.

  16. wilcoxdesigns July 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I have had pain in my hands and I think we all need to be aware of being careful. Ergonomic tools should be a priority!

  17. Do Be Do Bead Do July 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I deal with pain in my hands and carpal tunnel — this cutter would be wonderful!

  18. Rebecca July 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    I would love to try the ergonomic model! I have a plastic cheap-o cutter and it would be a nice upgrade!

  19. rush July 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    i don’t notice any fatigue when using a regular rotary cutter. i think i would like an ergonomically shaped one, though. it seems to me that there might be more control.

  20. Kathy July 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Oh, YES! I have degenerative bone disease in both my thumb/hand joints, and cannot use rotary cutters that need a lot of pressure, because they cause pain. I would love to try this one out!

  21. Melissa July 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Yes, definitely! I’d love to try this one! Thanks for the chance.

  22. Whisk Woman July 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    While I haven’t experienced any problems, my Olfa cutter must be 20 years old, if not more, and there is NOTHING ergonomic about it. I’d love to try this one!

  23. Sylvia July 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I would love to use these Olfa cutters to make my own bias tape. I would also use them for scrapbooking!

  24. AShu93 July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    I haven’t done enough cutting at one time that my hands have hurt, but I figure, why take the chance. I do like comfy grips on my tools.

  25. Skittl1321 July 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I have a cheap cutter that is a horrible pain to use- like trying to cut with safety scissors as a child. It is just not made for comfort.

    By biggest problem is that my expensive cutter’s lock only works to keep the top from pressing down- we found out, by almost cutting my husbands toe off- that the guard will still move side to side!!! Sadly, it was in the “locked and away” position when he knocked down a shelf and it fell on him. Now it goes in the bottom of the bottom drawer. (The cheap cutter got tossed- after that accident with the nice one, I don’t trust it!)

    How is the lock on this thing? Comfort is important, and with nerve damage in my hands, I need it. But safety is my #1.

  26. La'Diva July 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I know about discomfort in my wrisk, arm, and shoulder. To have a product like this will be heaven sent!

  27. ddsharp50 July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I would love to try it, because I do notice it is hard to put enough pressure on my other cutter sometimes without feeling like it hurts my wrist.

  28. lois July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I haven’t experienced any pain using a regular rotary cutter, but would like to try this ergonomic one to compare.

  29. Caroline July 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Ive never had a hand held rotary cutter, but I do know that when I cut a lot with scissors, it just kills my hand! This looks like it’d be great to have.

  30. McStamper July 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    I haven’t had problems with a rotary cutter but this one seems like it would be a great tool.

  31. Melody (lacyquilter) July 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    I tend to notice more pain in my left hand that is holding the ruler down tight. As long as I’m using a nice sharp blade, I don’t seem to have any problem otherwise.

  32. Karen July 5, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    I have an old rotary cutter that was purchased when they first came out. It is hard plastic and does make your hand sore if you use it for any length of time. This would be a great tool to have.

  33. Georgee July 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Love your projects you made. I have neuropathy so rotary blades make cutting much easier. I have a really old one I purchased I think in 1982 – it really needs replaced…lol…thanks to you and Olfa for giving us a chance to win one!

  34. Sue D July 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Anytime I do a repetitive motion for a long period of time I notice problems in my hand so I usually craft in short stints of time.

  35. Kelly Sas July 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    My Olfa Rotary cutter is an antique – the quality is too good! I can’t justify buying a new one when my old one works like the day I bought it. I have cut many, many yards into strips for quilts and yes at the end of an hour or so I do feel it in my wrist so maybe I need to finally buy a new ergonomic one.

  36. Dollie July 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    I have yet to use a rotary cutter.

    Dollie

  37. Kayla and Samuel July 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    I have noticed discomfort after a while of using a rotary cutter and have to stop before it becomes pain. I would love to win this cutter as it would greatly benefit both myself and mother…I wouldn’t have to use hers anymore. I don’t own pinking shears and would love this option as well!

  38. dakotaessence July 6, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    I’ve been wanting to get an ergonomic rotary cutter. Cutters have come a long way since they first came out–I remember the first time I used one cutting out a dress pattern, what a mess I made! Didn’t know there’d be a learning curve…

  39. KanataNewf July 6, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    When I do a LOT of rotary cutting I definitely get stiff fingers. Thanks for the chance to win a tool that might just help with this!

  40. funkycrafter July 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    i haven’t had much pain using rotary cutters, but i don’t use them as often as i could because mine is a bit awkward to hold. this one looks like a great improvement. it would definitely be a benefit.

  41. Justin and Kitara July 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    I don’t currently have a rotary cutter, but I do have wrist problems, so I think this would be the way to go for me!

  42. Larissa Heskett July 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    WOW!! I LOVE the look of those pillows!! You did a GREAT JOB!!
    I have never seen one!!
    I feel pain when using mine because it is so old!! It means alot to me because it was my grandmas and even though it needs upgraded I haven’t done it!! =)
    THANKS for sharing and for the chance to win!! =)

  43. Michelle July 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    I actually don’t have a rotary cutter, but have always wanted one. I do feel pain in my hands when cutting with scissors so the ergonomic rotary cutter sounds like a dream to use! Thanks for the helpful review.

  44. Carol July 7, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Oh!my goodness…a new wrinkle and it certainly sounds like something that would be very helpful to me…since I just turned 80 a couple of weeks ago and still love to sew and quilt…this looks like something that I would really like after looking at the reviews…thanks for the chance!!!!

  45. rudie2shoes July 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    I tried cutting fabric w/ a Martha Stewart cutter & it was horrible. Now I know why they were on clearance. 🙁

  46. Charo July 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    this looks like a fun tool, will love to try it with paper or cardstock.
    Love to try it.

  47. kaheels July 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Um, yes, my cutter drives me nuts. I would love one that’s easier to use. Plus, I wouldn’t mind being able to use some of the designer blades.