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Martha Stewart Crafts Large Circle Cutter

Reported by Julie Tiu

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

If a small circle cutter is good, then a larger circle cutter must be better, right? Actually, it’s helpful once you get the hang of it. The Martha Stewart Crafts Large Circle Cutter by EK Success was released Summer 2010 to supplement the Small Circle Cutter. Where the small cutter gives you circles from 1″ to 5-7/8″ in diameter, the large cutter will make circles with diameters between 4″ to 12″.

It comes with three interchangeable blades that store under the handle when not in use. The clear plastic cover serves as blade protection as well as a finger grip.

The cutter itself is approximately 4″ x 9″, and has a good non-slip grip on the handle (pivot point) and shuttle (cutting mechanism on the arm). It also sports a non-skid bottom and mini-bristles on the sweeping arm.

Actually, this is the second circle cutter I bought. The first one had broken gradation “teeth” as you can see below. Not a problem; I returned it, but you can be sure I checked every package with a discerning eye before I made that second purchase.

The gradations at 1/8″ increments make very accurately-sized circles. And with extremely sharp blades, your circles should come out easily with precision. A word of caution, I did cut myself when changing out blades. There are warnings in the instructions, and I was careful, but accidents happen.

The blade is easily inserted.

When storing, blade stays in the “docked” position.
In practice

Using the tool took some getting used to in a couple of ways. The shuttle (moving and cutting mechanism) was slightly counter-intuitive because I wanted to push down to adjust its location. To adjust, you pull up on the knob; push down to cut. The other difficulty was finding the right amount of pressure to use on the shuttle. I had a few glitches of scraping or just not cutting all the way through, especially when trying to complete the circle.

Cutting an almost 12″ circle
Close up of cut reveals a slight imperfection
A few scratchy edges
4″ circles from one 12×12 sheet
Instant coasters, perhaps.
Cutting foam was not successful

This was a study in cutting a half circle. It worked well with the markings on the handle, just like a protractor, but without the written measurements. However, this was also the last thing I cut with the circle cutter. Unfortunately, the blade insert broke.

It may be difficult to see the underside of the cutter where there is a part of the blade casing embedded in the slot. The blade is off to the right.

In my hand is an intact blade; the broken one is below. See how the plastic tab is broken? This was very disappointing to say the least. I tried to use small pliers and tweezers to remove the broken tab, but it’s really rooted in there. Another trip to the store is in order.

Projects

The half-circle cut (4″ diameter) was meant for an envelope flap.

With a few eyelets, these circles became cards. They would be perfect for mini-books, too.

No need to waste… the negative of those cuts would make a great layout for scrapbooking or wall art.

My personal favorite: a perpetual calendar
(Papers by K&Company Seasonal Pad, We R Memory Keepers, Martha Stewart Crafts; Eyelets by We R Memory Keepers)

Also check out the many project ideas at the Martha Stewart website.

Pros:

  • Nice storage for blades
  • Blade replacement is easy
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Does cut well on self-healing mat
  • Accurate measurements

Cons:

  • Takes some getting used to
  • Cuts can be rough
  • Extremely sharp blades can be hazardous

MSRP is $24.99 at Michael’s

Do you own one or both of Martha Stewart Crafts Circle Cutters? How is it working for you? Self-healing or glass cutting mat, and why? Let us know in the comments!

Vendor Spotlight & Giveaway: Martha Stewart Circle Cutter

Reported by Rachel Johnson

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I often need to cut circles for use in my crafts. Previous to owning the Martha Stewart Crafts Circle Cutter, I used my two circle paper punches. For more specific sizes I resorted to tracing cups or other circular objects and then cutting the circles by hand. Needless to say, I was excited to try a more efficient method.

The Circle Cutter consists of a rotating measurement circle and a double-sided blade with a large, comfortable handle. I decided to test out my new tool by making cupcake toppers by layering various sizes and colors of paper circles. I gathered my materials (including my Martha Stewart Crafts Glue and Martha Stewart Crafts Cupcake Stickers) and got to work practicing my circle cutting.

The Circle Cutter comes with three blades, so that you can switch them out when they get dull. It is easy to insert the small blades into the handle using the wide plastic covers that are attached to each blade. The two-sided blades are extremely sharp, so you must be careful (obviously, this may not be the best tool for children to use).

You need a large cutting surface to work on. I used a large cutting board, but a craft mat would probably work best. Do not cut directly on your kitchen table or desk. The blade easily cuts through even thicker paper and will scratch any surface it comes into contact with.

To begin cutting, place your paper on your work surface. I found it was easiest to cut from large pieces of paper, but if your paper is small, secure it with some tape or other adhesive. Then, place the measurement circle on top of the paper. You must hold down the outer ring of the measurement circle securely. Insert your blade into the hole that corresponds with the size of circle you would like to cut. You can cut circles from 1 inch to 5-1/2 inches, in 1/16 inch increments. I got the best results when the outer ring of the measurement circle was covering a good amount of the paper and also some of the cutting board. The trick is to hold the outer circle very securely, but to not press too hard with the blade. It takes a bit of practice to start cutting circles with perfect edges.

After some practice, I began to get some lovely circles. I just kept cutting lots and lots of circles of varying sizes so that I would have plenty to mix and match to create my cupcake toppers. Some of my first circles didn’t turn out so well and had to be trashed. Sometimes the paper shifted or the blade got caught up and I couldn’t budge it, but with practice it got easier and easier. I found that thicker paper was actually easier to cut because it didn’t get caught up in the rotation of the tool as easily as thinner papers did.

Overall, the Circle Cutter was not quite as easy to use as I was hoping, but it allows for increased versatility when compared to my previous circle cutting methods and it was quite fast once I got the hang of it. I was able to cut more than enough circles for a dozen large cupcake toppers in a short amount of time.

To finish the cupcake toppers, I glued layers of circles together in interesting color combos and then added a decorative element to the center of each. I cut a corresponding circle from patterned paper for the back of each topper, and glued them to the back of each while simultaneously gluing a toothpick in between the layers.

The end results are cute decorations for the mini cupcakes I purchased for my mom’s birthday. Fun! The Circle Cutter saved me a ton of time on this quick project and I know I will use it often in the future.

Pros:

  • Allows you to cut a wide variety of circle sizes — from 1 inch to 5-1/2 inches, in 1/16 inch increments.
  • Includes three double-sided blades.
  • Works on even very thick paper.

Cons:

  • Sharp blades may not be safe for young users.
  • Takes some practice to produce circles with perfect edges.
  • You need a large cutting surface to work on.

The Martha Stewart Crafts Circle Cutter is available online for $17.99 from the EK Success Brands website.

Have you used the Martha Stewart Crafts Circle Cutter? What did you think? Have you used other circle cutting methods or tools? What are your favorites?

**Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering!**

Circle Cutters – A Comparison

Reported by Sara McKenzie

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

If you are going to cut a circle, you want to make sure that it is a perfect circle. Even if you trace a perfect circle, it is challenging to then cut exactly on the lines, all the way around. So for circle cutting, the best way to go is to purchase on of the tools on the market to help you cut that elusive, perfect shape.

I have over the years purchased four different circle cutters, and will share my view of them here. They are:

For all tools except the Coluzzle, you’ll also want to invest in a glass cutting mat. The self-repairing cutting mats will work okay, but you can sometimes end up with skips.

For this review, we’ll start with the simplest tool, and work our way up.

Coluzzle

The Coluzzle is one of the original circle cutting tools; it’s been around for many, many years. The Coluzzle system requires three items: the plastic cutting template, the “Guarded Swivel Knife,” and the “Easy Glide Cutting Mat.” They are all shown below. The resulting circles range in size from 7/8″ to 4-3/8″; the cutting channels are in fixed, 1/4″ increments.

The template has laser-cut channels, into which fits the cutting tip of the swivel knife. The paper or card stock to be cut is placed on the special cutting mat (it’s a foam-like material, spongy to the touch), and the template placed on top of the paper. You guide the swivel knife through the channel that represents the size circle you want to make. The swivel is a very nice feature on the knife: you don’t have to contort you wrist and forearm to make it all the way around. Be sure to keep the knife perpendicular to the template, or else it will cut into the plastic and get stuck.

Because it is a one-piece template, however, there are two places in each cutting channel that are not cut, in order to hold the template in one piece (see below). As a consequence, after you have used the swivel knife, you still have to use some paper snips to release the finished circle from the sheet of paper.

A close-up view of the coluzzle template.

This little piece must be snipped to release the circle.

Coluzzle also now has many, many templates for all kinds of shapes and images. They range in price from $7.49 for the circle template shown here to $19.99 for full alphabets and other more complex shapes.

Coluzzle Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Light weight and portable
  • Transparent plastic makes placement easy
  • Templates available for all kinds of other shapes
  • Nested templates allow for precisely sized mats to layer.
  • Can be used on scraps of paper.

Coluzzle Cons:

  • You have to keep track of 3 different things: the template, the swivel knife, and the special cutting mat.
  • An extra snip with scissors or a hobby knife is required to release the circle.
  • The size of your circles is limited to the sizes in the template.

Fiskars Circle Cutter

This is a compact circle cutter, with a clear base that makes it easy to align and place your circle where you want it. It will cut circles from 1″ to 8″, and any size in-between as it has no pre-set increments. It comes with two blades, and refill blades are available.

The cutter is placed in the center of your desired circle. The size is obtained by adjusting the arm (with sizes listed in both inches and centimeters) and locking it in place with the finger wheel. You push down on the orange knob at the top, which presses a rubber foot onto the paper, and holds it in place while you turn the arm to cut the circle.

Circle cutting with the Fiskars tool.

It has a $21 MSRP, but I’ve seen it as low as $11.99, so shop around.

Fiskars Pros:

  • Light-weight and portable
  • You can store the cutting blade in the tool, protected, for travel.
  • By design, it holds your paper in place while you cut.
  • You can make any size circle between 1″ and 8″.
  • Works well on scraps of paper, since it holds the paper in place at the center of the circle that is being cut.

Fiskars Cons:

  • You have to simultaneously apply pressure to the center, and over the blade, all the way around the circle to make sure it cuts all the way through, all the way around. I’ve been frustrated by this more than once.
  • You cannot see the center of your circle, so if you want to cut around a specific image, you’ll have to do a little measuring, and perhaps make light pencil marks to make sure your desired image is centered in your final circle.
  • Setting the size is not a precise exercise – it may be a little challenging to get exactly the size that you want.

Curvy Cutter

This is a much more elaborate tool that consists of 5 pieces: two cutting rings, two positioning guides (to determine size), and the cutter itself. The cutter is purchased separately from the template. The cutter ranges in price from $7 to $15, and the circle template from $12.95 to $17.99, so it pays to shop around. They are both readily available at many sites on the internet. There is also an oval cutter, and a rounded square. And of course replacement blades are available. The circles range from 2-1/4″ to 7-1/2″.

Curvy Cutter cutting rings, positioning guides and cutting tool.

The cutting tool sits in a track on the template; you choose which track based on the size of the circle that you want to cut. The positioning guide allows you to choose your circle size. Once the cutter is in place, you simple swivel it around the template, in the track, to cut your circle.

It sounds a bit complicated? Yes. That’s probably why EK Success has a PDF file on their website (or used to – the link is now gone) to show you how to use the Curvy Cutter.

Circle cutting with the Curvy Cutter.

Curvy Cutter Pros:

  • Cuts large circles (up to 7-1/2″).
  • Other shapes (oval and rounded square) make it somewhat more economical, because the cutting tool works with all of them.
  • Open design makes it easy to center your circle.

Curvy Cutter Cons:

  • You should cut your circle from a large piece of paper, because the gripper feet are outside of the cutting radius. If you try to cut a circle from a scrap, the paper moves around with the blade. Of course you can use temporary adhesive to hold the paper to the glass mat.
  • Storage is a problem. I’ve not figured out a good way to store it, other than to keep it in the packaging that it came in. And that’s not simple: it is about 14″ square!!
  • It is not straightforward to locate the right track for the cutter, and it can be awkward to keep the cutter in the track.
  • Cuts only in pre-defined increments.
  • You have to keep track of lots of pieces!

Circle Scissor Plus

Interestingly, this is also made by EK Success, which makes me wonder if it is intended to replace the Curvy Cutter. This cutter consists of two pieces, the base and the cutting handle. There is also a drawing handle which can hold a pen or pencil for drawing circles, if desired. (It adjusts to hold pencils of various sizes, too). You dial in any size circle that you wish to cut, from 1″ to 6″. EK Success has provided an instruction sheet for this product, as well (or they used to).

The base unit sits on top of the paper you intend to cut, and you dial in your desired circle size. The cutting handle swivels as you turn it around the base unit, making it easy and comfortable to operate.

Circle Cutting with the Circle Scissor Plus.
Cutting handle for Circle Scissor Plus.
Circle drawing handle, with pencil (pencil not included).

Prices on the internet range from $23.95 to $29.95.

Circle Scissor Plus Pros:

  • Cuts relatively large circles, up to 6″.
  • Cuts any size circle desired; there are no fixed increments.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Draws perfect circles, in addition to cutting them.
  • Open design allows you to center your circle easily.

Circle Scissor Plus Cons:

  • You should cut your circle from a large piece of paper, because the gripper feet are outside of the cutting radius. If you try to cut a circle from a scrap, the paper moves around with the blade. Of course you can use temporary adhesive to hold the paper to the glass mat, if desired.
  • You have to keep track of two/three pieces: the base, the cutter handle, and the drawing handle.
  • Compared to other tools, it is relatively expensive.

What is my overall recommendation, you may ask? I would have to say the Fiskars Circle Cutter. It cuts up to 8″ circles, you can make any size that you like (i.e. there are not fixed choices), and by its very design, it holds the paper in place while you cut. Finally, it is also lightweight and pretty compact, making it easy to carry with you to crops or classes.

There you have it. Have you used any or all of these? Or do you have other circle cutting tools to share? Let us all know!