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Vendor Spotlight: Westcott Tools – Cutting Mat & Hobby Knife

Reported by Kelleigh Ratzlaff

I am a big-time papercrafter, and my #1 go-to tool is my hobby knife. I use and abuse my hobby knives until they are embarrassingly dull and ineffective. Imagine my excitement when a package from Westcott Products arrived containing a brand-spanking new hobby knife, replacement blades and self-healing cutting mat!

First impression: That is the cutest stinkin’ hobby knife I have ever seen. Ooooh! And, look! A cushioned grip!! I could cut for hours and hours!

So, of course, I had to try it out. Oops! This sucker is much sharper than I expected. Maybe it is because all of my previous hobby knives were so incredibly dull. It took a while for me to get the hang of how hard to press down while cutting paper on the self-healing cutting mat. I broke my first blade within seconds.

No worries! I have replacements.

With a little bit of practice with my new hobby knife and cutting mat, I was soon a cutting fool.

Why do I like hobby knives so much?

  • With a steady hand, they are very precise.
  • I can cut around curves and in tight spots.
  • One tool does it all. No need to switch over to scissors or a paper trimmer.

And, how did the Westcott Hobby Knife and Transparent 12×12 Cutting Mat measure up?


As I mentioned, once I got used to the ultra-sharp blade and figured out how much pressure to apply, I was in heaven. My new hobby knife cuts through paper “like buttah.”

It made assembling this cute Canister Box a breeze!


Pros:

  • The hobby knife has a super sharp blade.
  • Replacement blades!
  • Cushioned grip – probably my favorite feature.
  • Nice safety cap with a pen-like feel.
  • The self-healing cutting mat performs exactly as expected.
  • The cutting mat has a great hole for hanging storage.

Cons:

  • The hobby knife has a super sharp blade! It took some getting used to.
  • The blade seems a bit thin. I was surprised at how quickly it broke. However, it is SUPER precise, so I’m not really going to complain about this!



GIVEAWAY!
Westcott is giving away a prize pack filled with $150 in products to two lucky readers.

To Enter
Leave a comment on this post or any Vendor Spotlight: Wescott and answer one or all of these questions…


Are you a hobby knife user? What do you look for when you purchase a new knife?

You have until Sunday, May 16th 6pm CST to enter. One entry per person, please.

Disclosure

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

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81 Responses to Vendor Spotlight: Westcott Tools – Cutting Mat & Hobby Knife

  1. Avatar
    Lesley May 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    You’ve made me remember just how nice it is to cut with a brand new sharp blade! I have to have a craft knife that feels “nice” – you know, that perfect combination of weight and comfort.

    Thanks for the chance to win. The reviews have been great so far…

  2. Avatar
    Samantha T. May 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I usually look for a nice sharp blade. I love that this has a cushioned grip. I’m going to have to try it out. Seems like this company puts a lot of thought into their products.

  3. Avatar
    Sian May 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Great review. I’ve stopped using a knife ’cause I could never find one sharp enough. If I could get my hands on one of these (off to look on the www), I might have to change back.

  4. Avatar
    Patchi May 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    I have a We R Memory Keepers knife, that came with the magnetic mat. It’s not very comfortable to hold, so I’ll look for this one. Thanks for the review!

  5. Avatar
    Jan Castle May 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    The thing I look for most is ease of use…some are difficult to hold onto! I mostly use scissors because of this.
    Jan Castle

  6. Avatar
    tampatha May 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I don’t have a craft hobby knife or cutting mat. I’d love to have this one!
    –Tammy

  7. Avatar
    Maureen May 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    What I would give for a decent, sharp cutting utensil!!!

  8. Avatar
    Savannah O'Gwynn May 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Oh man–cutting with a sharp blade is so nice–I have to have a craft knife that is easy to use, hold, with blade replacements that are easy to find (some knives I bought, I couldn’t replace the blade!), and has a cover for the knife or is retractable!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. Avatar
    Elaine A May 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    This sounds like a really good set of tools. Because I have not been happy with my trimmer, I use a hobby knife, ruler and cutting mat for cutting out precise things.

    Elaine Allen

  10. Avatar
    StampinCathy May 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Great review. I use a hobby knife for cutting. I love the cushion grip and how sharp the blade is. The cutting mat sounds like it is easy to use the knife too. Thanks so much for a chance. I would really like to try some Westcott products.

  11. Avatar
    irasema May 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    I need a new one! And a cushion grip is a must for my next one!

  12. Avatar
    Mary May 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    I love craft knives and think a cushie grip would be awesome! Also, it has to have a nice weight to it.

  13. Avatar
    Lindsey May 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Ooooh, I’m just imagining working with a craft knife with a cushioned grip. *sigh* A little different from my current go-to X-Acto knife! 😛

  14. Avatar
    Donna May 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    I’ve always used X-Acto knives. I’ve never tried anything else. Now I’m interested. 🙂

  15. Avatar
    TN Granny May 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    I use the Fiskar trimmer and I do love it when the blade is sharp but it goes dull real quick and I buy new blades every other week. I’m always looking for a new cutter that doesn’t use blades like this.
    Stampin Hugs,
    Jeanine
    http://www.blstamper.blogspot.com
    $200 Blog Candy

  16. Avatar
    Erica Hettwer May 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    I love my craft knife. I have the Fiskars fingertip one and it’s great. I’d love to try Wescott’s though. 🙂

  17. Avatar
    lisa g. May 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    I use a run of the mill Fiskar’s knife…nothing special. I’d love to try this one out!!!

  18. Avatar
    Sandra May 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    something comfy in my hand!
    Thanks for the review.
    Sandra

  19. Avatar
    Artful Hands May 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Yes, I lOVE using a hobby knife for cuts. It allows me control. I look for a comfy grip in a knife, must be easy to hold and steady in the hand for a clean and safe cut.

  20. Avatar
    Fourth Class Artwork May 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I can’t tell you how often I use my xacto. I have the one that’s all black, and I go through blades like a mad woman. Hope I get a chance to try this out!

  21. Avatar
    Fourth Class Artwork May 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Avatar
    Ellie A. May 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I love me a hobby knife because I always seem to be using templates that I have to cut out by hand so I am always looking for a knife that will make cutting those tight edges as easy and safe as possible. Lets just say I am a few “war” marks from using them! lol

  23. Avatar
    Donna VW May 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    I like the cushion grip – does it swivel?

  24. Avatar
    Tricia May 14, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    I am not a hobby knife user, but this knife looks incredible!

  25. Avatar
    Chris C May 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I must say I am more of a scissor user than a blade, but there are times when a blade is the best tool.

  26. Avatar
    debhorst May 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    your right up was most helpful…I am not a big fan of a hobby knife but maybe that is because I have not found the right one??!!??

  27. Avatar
    nullgraph May 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Hmm… I’m new to all of these. Self-healing mat? You mean a little elf comes out and heal the mat while I’m not there?

  28. Avatar
    Deb W May 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I use my hobby knife all the time. It would have to be my most versitile tool. I prefer knives that have replacement blades (even though I never seem to change them regularly enough LOL) My friends have tried to convert me to scissors but I am defineately a knife girl. Even using it with my scoring templates!

  29. Avatar
    kkaisu May 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    I use my trusty exacto regularly – I change my blade frequently though, to irritating when it stops cutting like butter. Thanks for the chance to win.

  30. Avatar
    Linda Raithel May 14, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    I use my old Xacto knife constantly. I can get much better cuts than using scissors. I look for a blade that doesn’t come loose where you tighten it when putting in a blade; a sharp, thin, very pointed blade for small precision cuts; blades that are readily available and not unreasonably expensive; and comfort (I tend to hold it tightly),

  31. Avatar
    Allie May 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    I look for a comfortable grip that is easy to cut small details. The cushioned grip is really appealing to me!

  32. Avatar
    Lacey May 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    Thank you for this review!! I have the hardest time finding a craft knife i like. I go throw them quickly because they are just not sharp enough. I use my craft knife on EVERY project… i love them (when they work!). I should definitely try this out. Can you use it with any self healing mat?

  33. Avatar
    sucor May 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    I look for a craft knife that feels “right”. It needs to be sharp and comfortable to use, whether I’m doing intricate details, curves or straight cuts. Availability of replacement blades is often an issue. I would also like to find a good swivel blade craft knife; I really did not like the one I tried! I have tried a few different knives and use them for different needs because I have yet to find the craft knife that meets all my criteria.

    Thanks for the review and a chance to win.

  34. Avatar
    Rebecca Ednie May 15, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    I don’t use a hobby knife a lot but I need one to be very sharp! I wish I had this knife, I just hope refills are easy to find!

  35. Avatar
    Tamara May 15, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    I don’t use a hobby blade very often, but that might be because the ones I am likely to buy come from the dollar store so are probably not the best quality.

  36. Avatar
    Smita May 15, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    I look for a craft knife that has a sharp blade and cuts right without me having to put too much pressure on it!

    Thanks for the chance to win…

    Smita

  37. Avatar
    Shannon - Desert Designs May 15, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    I have my SU knife from my Demo days years ago. Sharp blades are a must as well as a protective cap when not in use. I wish mine had a cushioned grip – honestly I don’t use it nearly as often as I should – I don’t like having blisters on my fingers.

  38. Avatar
    iring May 15, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    I rarely use a hobby knife. But this one looks really nice. I wish mine had a cover. I have to be careful reaching in the drawer for it!

  39. Avatar
    Anne May 15, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    I like to use hobby knives and I look for a fine point and very sharp blade that’s not too thin.

  40. Avatar
    Becky May 15, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    This is something I would love, and it is so cute, you know this was created for a women :). I use craft knifes/blades not at all as pretty or sharp as this one. Even if I do not win this and must get this one :). thanks

  41. Avatar
    pennyd May 15, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    I love to use hobby knives when I am “fussy cutting” – they are much easier than scissors sometimes. I always look for a sharp blade that’s easily changed and a secure cover!

  42. Avatar
    Sharon May 15, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    I do use hobby knives often, and mostly look for one that’s easy to handle and comfortable in my hand, which gives me better control.

  43. Avatar
    rush8888 May 15, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    i use an x-acto knife and replacement blades frequently. cutting paper is a breeze, with a sharp blade, of course. i don’t know if this is a problem, but i should mention that this knife generally should not be held like a pencil but with an overhand grip. i have never pressed so hard that i broke the blade. make sure the blade in inserted all the way. i have contemplated the cushioning of the blade holder and find that it is not necessary for me. for one thing, the knife is not used long enough at one time to cause hand fatigue, and second, if the knife is held correctly and the blade is inserted correctly, there is no problem with using the knife. before i got my guillotine paper cutter, i used my knife for cutting all of my paper. i love my cutter, but i use my knife and straight-edge for small cuts.

  44. Avatar
    lenainwonderland May 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    What i look for in a craft knife is a sharp precise blade. A cushy grip is a bonus, but has not been a priority for me so far. But I’d love to see both of these elements combined and try the Westcott knife.

  45. Avatar
    Charlotte May 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I didn’t think anyone made a knife with a really sharp blade. I finally started buying cheap knock-offs and change the blade with each project. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

  46. Avatar
    karenz May 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I was born with a craft knife in my hand(how dangerous)… a long time ago before the age of digital press, I grew up in a print shop, that was when stripping had nothing to do with scantily clad girls and was all about the insertion of test blocks. there are so many different knives and the cool thing is that none are right or wrong they are just different. and I believe everyone should have at least one of each!

  47. Avatar
    mypaperpleasure May 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    As I saw your introducing the Westcott tools, I know that I have to have one, I use cutters very very often, because I am a sunday school teacher, I host a craft project for the children ministry, where there are around 40 children, I prepare the materials for easy going in only a half-hour session.The set of the scissors and this hobby knife will definitely help my work. Thanks for the chance to win, or else, I have to look for the shore which has stock this product.

  48. Avatar
    sunghee May 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    wow kel! Great review! I do think the knife is the most important tool for paper crafting and I go through a blade a week. I just can’t stand the dull blades and can’t wait to try the westcott hobby knife. I have x-acto, but it is not that comfortable to hold. I bought martha stewart for it’s look. And it has comfortable grip, but the tip is bent and dulls pretty quickly.

  49. Avatar
    Teresa Jenkins May 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    I am a hobby knife user, I don’t have this one but let me tell you that comfort grip is mighty enticing! Sharp, easy to change out blades is a plus.

    Thanks for a chance to win!

  50. Avatar
    Sarah May 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    I look for a blade that swivels well on the tip and moves through curvy lines well!

    Thanks for the chance!

  51. Avatar
    Elena May 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Thanks for this review. I have been looking for a knife that has replacement blades…I didn’t know mine DIDN’T. My hubby and I did everything but take it totally apart trying to figure out how to replace blades. Anyway, I use a craft knife a LOT…not only for cutting but for putting on embellishments. It is my “go to” tool that sits right on my work table.
    Thanks for the chance to win…I hope I do…I would love to try it.

  52. Avatar
    shi82 May 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    thank you for all your reviews. I use a knife all the time trying to get one thats sharp and cumfy is very hard

  53. Avatar
    Rho W May 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    The thing I look for with any new hobby knife is whether the replacement blades are easy to get.

  54. Avatar
    Mary May 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    I need comfort and sharpness when I’m using my craft knife. I want the surface of my cutting mat to be smooth and not to put drag on my blade. I’ve not tried the Westcott tools, but I have been reading your posts and am ready to give some of the tools a try. I’m a strong supporter of hobby knives. I think this might be my first purchase. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Avatar
    klasickewpie May 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    I love to use my craft knife for fine detailed cutting, and find I use my mini knife alot. The Westcott Hobby Knife with cushion handle sounds wonderful, and love the sharpness of the blade you reviewed. Thanks!

  56. Avatar
    dragonlaidi May 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I’m always looking for pens, pencils attachment, crafts knifes, ect, with the right cushioning. As a kid I got my hand slammed in a door and it still hurts to write. With out sharp blades you might as well throw away the knife. This knife looks great.

  57. Avatar
    Lizzie May 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    I am a huge hobby knife user, especially when doing very intricate mixed media pieces for school, or just some interesting paper cutting for crafts around the house. I look for a clean sharp cut, something cushioned (because using those metal handled ones are deadly on the wrist!)and if it just HAPPENS to look cute, then I’m game 🙂

    thanks for the opportunity to win!

  58. Avatar
    Mariah Oliveira May 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    I love my hobby knife. Its great for the small details.

  59. Avatar
    Bill O May 15, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Thanks fort he chance to win, the craft knife is my favorite tool.

  60. Avatar
    Alisschool May 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    The comfort handle sounds great and is definally worth looking for.
    I also like that the mat has lines for measuring.

  61. Avatar
    Khunter47 May 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I love and collect craft knives. There is just something about them. I like to look for comfort as well as accuracy in a craft knife. Would love to win this packaged. TFS.

    Khunter47

  62. Avatar
    Kim R. May 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I am with you – I love my hobby knife – The comfort grip sounds like a great idea.

  63. Avatar
    SherylH May 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I have used a craft knife since starting cardmaking. My current favorite is made by Westcott with the titanium blade. I love the comfortable grip and that the blade stays sharp a long time.

  64. Avatar
    Scrappy Rat May 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    My craft knife is an important part of my tool kit, which is why I don’t have *a* craft knife, but a bajillion of them! I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite, but I like the Fiskars fingertip one, just for it’s general oddity and ease of use. I could be swayed by a certain giveaway, though. 😉

  65. Avatar
    Shannon May 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    I use craft knives for several applications. Some areas that I use them for are: paper crafting, at my sewing station, in my art supply, and when working in ceramics and art clay. I go through a lot of blades. I look for easy blade removal, a tight holder for the blade, I prefer different sizes of blades for different uses. I use long thin blades for most of my projects. A cushion would be nice as I use them for long periods of time.

  66. Avatar
    Bluemoon May 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Yes, I am a hobby knife user and hater, so I loved reading about this knife! I hand cut my cardstock for iris folded cards, and I have a terrible time doing anything with curves. I avoid them.
    Oh how I’d love one of these! I hope I see this name in the stores.

  67. Avatar
    Pam May 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    I have’t used a hobby knife in awhile without grumbling under my breath. They drive me crazy! They’re hard to cut with, they’re not comfortable in my hand, and never seem sharp enough. This knife sounds like what I’ve been looking for, I need a good, sharp blade with an easy to grip handle. I just hope it doesn’t cost too much, because I want to buy one! Cost is important to me too. Especially the cost of the replacement blades, and how easy they would be to find to buy more.

    PLUS! It’s really cute! I’m tired of my ugly silver one! :o)

  68. Avatar
    DebbieB May 15, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    I LOVE my hobby knives….I started using them many years ago and have found them to be my “go to” craft tool for everything. I like a knife with a comfortable grip (fibromyalgia)and nice sharp knives.

  69. Avatar
    The Prickly Pinecone May 15, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    The handle is a big thing for me. Has to be big enough to get a good grip and of course a sharp blade!

    thepricklypinecone(at)hotmail.com

  70. Avatar
    Bec May 16, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    I certainly use a craft knife for all my little ‘fussy’ cutting of flowers and images in my scrap booking.
    I’ve never bought another one, but when I do, I definitely will be looking for one that is comfortable and doesn’t need so much pressure.

  71. Avatar
    Isabel Z May 16, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    Yes, I am a hobby knife user and couldn’t do without it. I look for a sharp edge that lasts for a considerably long time as well as a cushioned grip. Thank you for your review. This brands soundsl like it will be easier to hold than my current one. I will check it out.

  72. Avatar
    Lysa May 16, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    I use my knife all the time when cutting vinyl and paper too. The are really handy when I get a bad cut on my plotter and need to finish the cut where the machine missed or didn’t go through the media. I would love to win this Westcott prize! Their products look great.
    Lysa

  73. Avatar
    Firenze May 16, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    I only started using a craft knife in the last year as I couldn’t find anyting versatile enough. I enjoy using the Fiskars Fingertip craft knife as I can use it left or right handed – and a crisp clean cut is very important.
    Helen – Firenze cards

  74. Avatar
    billiejo May 16, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    I use a lot of craft knives; various tips for various projects. My daily use knife is the Fiskars finger tip knife. I love the sturdiness and control. I’d like to try the comfort grip, it sounds promising. Thanks

  75. Avatar
    scrapfuzz May 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    I was really excited when CC shared their scissors with us but I’m ecstatic about this knife and large mat! I ADORE my hobby knife but would love to find one that let’s me cut with more precision. One of my favorite things is to cut script fonts out of cardstock for scrapbooking and card making (yeah…I still do things the ‘old-fashioned’ way) and a sharp knife is essential for this. I will be RUNNING out to find this knife right away!

  76. Avatar
    Maria Matter May 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    I use a old X acto knife!
    great review, I enjoy seeing what’s out there, and what I’ve been missing! lol
    Blessings!

  77. Avatar
    Cristina May 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    I use craft knifes only when absolutely necessary (cut inside parts) because I’m not happy with the one I have, so I use scissors whenever I can… When I purchase a new knife I look for availability of replacement blades and ease of making curve cuts.

  78. Avatar
    KK May 17, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    I currently have a Fiskars cutting tool but have never been able to get the hang of it but I’d love to try this one. I own numerous pairs of scissors by Wescott and love them all so I’m certain I would love the craft knife too!

  79. Avatar
    Btrflywmn May 17, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    I haven’t use this brand before, I look for affordable easy to use items. Love all your reviews on products.

  80. Avatar
    Noreen May 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I have used a craft knife in the past but had a problem with the blade getting rusty. Now I find that wiping the blade with mineral oil or baby oil helps keep the rust away and the blade sharper. It works for scissors, too.

  81. Avatar
    ScrappinCntryGrl May 18, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    I use my hobby knife alot, but I dont like what I have, but make it work….until I can find someone to give it and then buy a new one…I want comfort in the hand and ease when I cut. Thanks for sharing this product review.