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Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: Olfa Quick-Change Rotary Cutter

Reported by Susie Ziegler

I can’t imagine sewing without an Olfa Rotary Cutter, especially since I prefer sewing in straight lines and rectangles. If you sew and you don’t already own a rotary cutter, you really need to go and get one. You will hardly believe you sewed without it! Olfa first introduced this innovative tool in 1979, revolutionizing the quilting industry. If you can even imagine this, quilting was a dying art in the 1970’s and 80’s until the Olfa rotary cutter caught on. I’d say that as a quilter, I use my rotary cutter more than my scissors. It’s so convenient! With an accurate ruler and a cutting mat, I can cut a whole stack of fabric neatly and evenly into any shape I like.

I tested the Olfa Quick-Change Rotary Cutter and I got to try out the specialty blades on the Olfa Ergonomic Rotary cutter. A rotary cutter works like a pizza cutter; the blade is basically a rolling razor blade.

The Quick Change Rotary Cutter has a split blade cover with two sliding mechanisms that pull back to cut left-handed or right-handed interchangeably.

Olfa rotary cutter blades are made of high quality tungsten steel. They can cut up to 6 layers of fabric and used with care, they will last and retain their sharpness for a long time. Eventually, with time and use, the blade will need to be replaced. You will notice that the blade skips threads or requires increasing pressure to cut successfully.

Time to change the blade! With the Quick-Change Rotary Cutter, this could not be easier. Just pull back the locking mechanism on the back and the blade pops right off.


This blade has only two parts that come off. All I need to do is pop on the new blade, insert the little bolt thingy through the hole onto the cutter (bolt thingy is a technical term) and slide up the lock mechanism and you are ready to go!

I love it! This is so easy! No more little washers and nuts to keep track of!

Store and dispose of blades in the convenient container provided.

Listen though, if you are using a rotary cutter, you absolutely MUST have a cutting mat underneath. My husband used mine to cut some papers for his work and sliced right through the tablecloth and into the dining room table. He actually let the kids take the blame for this mishap until fessing up. My kids know not to use the rotary cutter.

You should also get into the habit of locking your blade after every cut. Apart from being very dangerous, you will greatly shorten the life of the blade if you leave it exposed to knocking about.

The Quick-Change Cutter feels great in the hand and its small profile stores easily. Olfa also offers the Ergonomic Rotary Cutter which uses the same 45mm blade, but it also has a safety button to lock the blade closed between cuts..

Changing the blade on the Ergonomic Cutter requires a bit more care and organization. Don’t lose those little parts!

I have some Olfa specialty blades to try out. Olfa has a Pinking blade, a Scallop & Peak blade, and a Wave blade. None of these will fit the Quick-Change Cutter, I have to use the Ergonomic one. That’s okay, I’ll keep one cutter for straight cutting and another for pinking and decorative edges.

See that yellow washer? It is a spacer that goes on the underside when using a straight blade, but move it right underneath the blade when using the decorative edge blade.

You do not need to use a ruler when cutting with these blades, but you can. Note that the cut edge will be a little bit away from the edge of the ruler:


I used the Pinking Blade on these fabrics and then laundered them. You can see how well the edge held up! I cut them lickety-split. Who needs pinking shears? This is so much easier on my hands!
Here are some felt strips I cut with the Wave Rotary Blade and the Scallop & Peak Rotary Blade. Can you tell the difference? I really can’t. The Wave is more gentle, and the Scallop & Peak is more peaked. The differences might show up more clearly if you use the rotary cutter on paper.

Using these blades, I can make my own felt rick-rack!

I used the wave blade on some felt to make a scalloped edge for this flower. It was so quick and easy. The blade zips right through felt.

Pros:

  • Blades are very sharp, high quality, and durable. Used correctly, Olfa blades and Rotary Cutters last a long time.
  • Quick-Change Cutter is comfortable in the hand and is not bulky for storage.
  • Equally useful right-handed or left-handed.
  • Very easy to change the blade with the Quick-Change Cutter.
  • An essential sewing tool that makes cutting quick, comfortable, and accurate.
  • Safety mechanism is easily engaged.

Cons:

  • Quick-Change Cutter only uses straight blades. It would be great if the specialty blades can be used with this tool. You’ll need to get the bulkier Ergonomic Rotary Cutter to use the decorative specialty blades.
  • Now that you know you have to have a rotary cutter in your tool kit, you are going to have to get a cutting mat too. This starts to get pricey.
  • Be careful! You can get cut pretty badly if your fingers get under the blade. Always engage the safety cover when the blade is not in use, preferably between every single cut.

Check out the reusable bags I made using fabrics cut with my Olfa Quick-Change Rotary Cutter. My husband agreed to model them even though I outed him for ruining my tablecloth.


I made this baby quilt not long ago using shapes cut with my Olfa Rotary Cutter:


I have made countless projects with my rotary cutter: quilts, pillows, curtains, napkins, tablecloths… How about you?

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:

What would you use the Olfa specialty blades for?

One comment per person per article (this is the second 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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70 Responses to Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: Olfa Quick-Change Rotary Cutter

  1. wilcoxdesigns July 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    I use my Olfa cutter for fabric and love it. I’ve had it for years and being left-handed I was thrilled to see the one that can cut either way!

  2. mub July 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    This is so boring but I usually only use the decorative blades (mainly the pinking blade) to finish seams.

  3. Do Be Do Bead Do July 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I use my rotary cutter for fabrics, paper and polymer clay. Would love to have an Olfa, they make the finest blades!

  4. Ann July 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Excellent review, Susie! I would use the cutter to cut sheets of paper into quilling strips.

  5. Rebecca July 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    awesome review! I’d love to use the pinking edge one – that looks divine!

  6. Natalie July 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    This is great for quilting projects! Seems like a great tool 🙂

  7. rush July 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    i would use the decorative blades for paper crafts to add a little zing to my projects.

  8. Kathy July 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    This seems like a cool tool, one that is easy to use and actually works! I would use it to cut shapes for quilting, my next new ‘need-to-learn’ hobby!

  9. Whisk Woman July 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I love my Olfa rotary cutter, can’t sew without it! Like you I’m all about straight lines and rectangles. I’ve never used the specialty blades though, but I should get at least the pinking blade – I launder all new fabric before putting it away and there are always so many loose threads to trim afterwards, I *should* trim everything with a pinking blade first.

  10. Melissa July 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I’d love to use the specialty blades for different edges on fabric flowers, or making fabric mini books. Thanks for the chance!

  11. SassySissy July 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Awesome tool, a must for cutting fabric! I’ve actually been looking at a cutting tool for a project that I’m working on and te Olfa Cutter looks like it would do a great job!

  12. AShu93 July 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    I do like the fancy blades & I love how your ric-rac turned out. I think it would be fun to cut felt.

  13. Skittl1321 July 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I love the idea of making your own rick rack, but the specialty blades would also be nice for when you need the advantages of a pinked edge, but don’t want the hassle of pinking shears!

    This reminds me…I need a new cutter, and ruler.

  14. La'Diva July 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    I would use my Olfa cutter to create banners, bags, pillows, and start on my first quilt!

  15. Sharon July 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    i would love to use them in scrapbooking to get straight lines. I have a baby one had for years blade smaller than a quarter.

  16. LaceTopDesigns July 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    What wouldnt I use them for! I’ve never tried a rotary cutter, but now Im tempted!. I’d use it to cut ric rac, papers for card making, fabric for mini pillows..everything!
    The decorative blade looks perfect for lazy me who loathes pinking shears.

  17. vntgkitten July 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I am a brand new sewer (not sure if that’s the correct word) and I don’t have this item. The thing to me that really got me interested is that it can accomodate lefties and righties. As a lefty this is great as unless you spend a ton of $$ getting something to work correctly using your left hand can always be such a problem.

  18. ddsharp50 July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    I would use it for cutting felt and flannel for my cards. I hope I win one. That would be great!!!

  19. nullgraph July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Definitely will try quilting with this. The idea of cutting strips of fabric with scissors have always put me off.

  20. lois July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I would use the rotary cutter for sewing projects and changing the blade for rubber stamping/card making.

  21. Cari D. Cruse July 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Love the Olfa brand, & if I had one of the rotary cutters I would use it for cutting paper, cardstock, and felt. 🙂

  22. Caroline July 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    I’d use in my scrapbooking and cardmaking in a variety of uses on paper, fabric, and the thin sheet metal I use. Yep, I’d have to have just one blade for each though like I do scissors. Thanks for the review… seems like a really nice cutter… I’ve never had a free handed rotary cutter, but know it’d be handy to have!

  23. ann July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I currently use my Olfa for fabric. I have never tried the decorative blades. They look very useful.

  24. McStamper July 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I love the idea of making the ric-rac and felt flowers. Thanks for the ideas and the give-away.

  25. Melody (lacyquilter) July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I would be lost without a rotary cutter. I’d use a specialty blade for papercrafting more than quilting.

  26. Barbara July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Oh, love this giveaway. I do use a cutter, this ergonomic handle looks so much easier to use. Love the info on this review, fabric frays so bad when laundered, can’t wait to try this method. Never thought of using cutter for paper or polymer clay. Thanks.

  27. Karen July 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    I would love to have this tool as I am just starting to learn to quilt. The decorative blades would be great for seam edges and since I am also a cardmaker, I could make some fun embellishments for my cards.

  28. Laura Stewart July 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    I want to sew some tote bags

  29. Creatively Yours, Karen July 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    I would use for my scrapbooks and my quilting!!!

  30. Georgee July 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    I would use it almost everyday!!! In my sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, flower making… I have an old one from 1982 that I very much need to replace… Thanks for the critique – I love these rotary cutters!!!

  31. Sue D July 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    I would use it to make the felt ric rac–so cute.

  32. kitkabbit July 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    ooh. love the wavy cutting line! I’d have to go dig out my felt, that flower looks so cute. I think a flower felt garland would be so pretty! I’d love the quick-change cutter, that is just brilliant. Excellent and thorough as always, Susie!

  33. Charro July 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I am all about aprons right now, so I would use the cutter to assist in making an apron with my flair 😉

  34. Kelly Sas July 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I love my OLFA Rotary Cutter. Olfa makes such quality items that my cutter is an antique! I would love to have the quick easy change kind. I use mine for quilting, decorative edging flannel burp cloths for baby shower gifts and fleece blankets.

  35. nopinkhere July 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I have mostly used their decorative blades in my paper rotary cutter. I can tell that I should get some fresh ones and try them on fabric. My hands get tired very quickly using my pinking shears, and this would be much easier.

  36. jperr July 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    I have used the Olfa cuters when I was making quilt they were one of the most used tools I had.I have left my quilting behind,and have been into card making for about 6 years love it.I would sure love to have the fancyblades to use on my cards. I loved the idea of cutting felt into my own rick rack trim.
    Please pick me.
    Jocelan

  37. Dollie July 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    I would use them to make some fabric banners 🙂

    Dollie

  38. paperpapier July 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I would use them to make fabric flowers as scrapbook embellishment.

  39. Vicki W July 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    I use the specialty blades often to create fusible fancy binding for my journal quilts and placemats. I have the Olfa ergo cutter and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  40. carpediem July 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    i’d love to use the pinking blade for my fabric projects as my pinking shears are dull and have been sitting in a drawer for years!!!lol -great review! laura j

  41. AmbreRose July 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    No I haven’t used them. I would actually like to start using them, my sister has a pair and loves them. I would use them for some baby quilts I will be making for the hospital this summer. ambrerose at(aol) dot(com)

  42. Arlene July 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    I have never used a rotary cutter, but after reading this review, I can hardly wait to get one. It would make my sewing and crafting so much easier!

  43. hafza July 6, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    I would use the Olfa specialty blades for cutting fabric for my quilt and other small sewing project. Thanks for the giveaway…

  44. Amy July 6, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    I’m new to sewing so I love hearing about great products to help me in my new hobby! Looks like I’ll have to pick one up to help me make my purses and my next project of a clutch!

  45. dakotaessence July 6, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I’d use the pinking/scalloping blade for cutting clothing (pattern) pieces. Will try it next time I wash fabric–I hate those thread snarles!

  46. KanataNewf July 6, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I already have a couple of straight OLFA cutters for quilting. The decorative edge cutters would be great for making decorative flowers for the cards I make…and for making decorative edges on smaller sewing projects.

    thanks for the chance to win!

  47. Anita July 6, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I love my Ofla cutting tools, I mainly use my tools for fabric but occasionally use them for paper.

  48. doodlingdebbie July 6, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. doodlingdebbie July 6, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Oopsie, I had some kind of typos so this is a re-do post.I guess reviewing a post is somethng I need to do more often….lol

    I’ve tried many rotary cutters and have been left not so impressed. The Olfa Quick-Change Rotary cutter isn’t one I’ve tried. I would gladly trade several not so hot cutters to win this one.

    The review of the Olfa really impressed me. Thanks Susie,for doing such a nice critique.

    *P.S. My hubby would have had to tell me the name of the wavy round thing too…lol.

  50. Kimberly S. July 6, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Wow…what a GREAT review!! I would use it for fabric, felt (to make my own ribbon and roses), and paper!! I LOOOVE the pinking and decorative edge cutters!!

  51. Susan Ayers July 6, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I would use it to cut more quilt blocks 🙂

  52. Kayla and Samuel July 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Wow, for my first project, I would make some curtains for my home since I don’t have any yet. Next, I would finish some quillows (quilt with hidden pillow pocket)which are starting to collect dust. I could list many more plans!!

  53. LisaAnn July 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    I am totally wanting to make my own ricrak now!!

    lhy5@yahoo.com

  54. funkycrafter July 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    i use my rotary cutters for paper. easier to cut longer edges than using special scissors or punches. i like to use the wavy blades, so the more that are available the better i like it.

  55. Lori July 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I’ve been using Olfa rotary cutters for YEARS, but just bought my first pinking blade this past month. OH… MY…. GOSH!!!! It’s awesome. I don’t even know why I own a pair of pinking shears. The pinking blade on the rotary cutter is SO far superior.

    I like the idea of the quick change, but I think I’d rather for just a few dollars more have two dedicated cutters. (Unless I fall in love with the wave blade…)

  56. Justin and Kitara July 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    I think I would use the decorative blades for scrapbooking or for when I make hair bows for my girls.

  57. Larissa Heskett July 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    THANKS for the GREAT demo!! I have a Rot. cutter, but it doesn’t change heads!! My grandma left it to me when she passed away!! I’ve used it for 8 years and I’m sure she had it for altleast 20!! =)
    I’d like to make those flowers and that felt ric rac is SO NEAT!! =)
    Thanks for the chance to win!!
    Have a FABULOUS DAY!! =)

  58. Michelle July 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    I have been debating about buying a rotary cutter for the longest time but wasn’t sure if they’d be worth the expense. My current obsession has been making fabric flowers and based on your review, it would make life so much easier. Thanks for the informative review!

  59. Irit Shalom July 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    I don’t sew, but I usw this cutter fo paper and for felt. Great tool! I only have this smallest one in my stock

  60. Jaded Raven July 7, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    I don’t have a rotary cutter. I use my handy skills for circles. I would love the Olfa circle cutter for the journals I make from recycled paper.

  61. catnap July 7, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    I’d like to cut things for collage work, both papers and cloth.

  62. Carol July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Olfa cutters are the BEST…why use anything else….I have been sewing for many years…way before rotary cutters…how did I do it? Love to quilt and absolutely you need a rotary cutter…

  63. Shaaron July 7, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    I love to make my own bias tapes out of cute prints but it is so time consuming and this tool would sure speed up the process. The different cutting blades give way to so many other ideas. Would love to have this tool.

  64. rudie2shoes July 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    This looks like it will be really useful for fabric projects. I’d love to try them out. That felt flower came out gorgeous!

  65. Aznewmom July 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Thanks for a chance to win. I have an Olfa cutter now. I have had it forever!! I would love to try the speciality blades. I think they would be fun. Right now, I only have a straight blade. I would use the fun blades on paper &/or to cut fleece. The kids and I love to make fleece scarves for winter holiday gifts. Changing them up with some different edges would be nice.
    Cheers,
    Stacy

  66. rlynnbaker July 8, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    I use my Olfa circle cutter! My husband bought me one this past christmas. I lOVE Olfa!!!

  67. Charo July 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Love rotary cutters, they are so practical, i have never tried an Olfa cutter.
    Will like to do so.
    thank you

  68. kaheels July 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    I think the better question is, what wouldn’t I use it for? I have a rotary cutter that I don’t love, but I already have a mat, so I’d love to upgrade. Plus, those pinking blades look amazing. I hate using pinking shears.

  69. Crystal July 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    How handy and clever is that! I only use my one olfa cutter with its one blade.

  70. Nancy S July 13, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    I use my Olfa cutter and a rotary mat to cut paper and heavier cardstock which is too large or thick for my paper trimmer. I sometimes even use it when the paper does fit in my paper trimmer because I can be more precise w the rotary cutter. And Joann’s Fabrics sometimes has them on sale for great prices!