When do you change your rotary blade? I have extra blades and I still wait til I’m having to saw through fabric before changing the blade. Then when I do change it, I can’t believe I waited so long. There’s nothing like cutting with a new blade!
The blade I was using was so bad that I was having to cut every line twice. I have no idea why I didn’t just stop and change the blade. Finally I ran over a pin. I wondered what was that and cut over it again so that was the end of that blade.
All the pieces for the alternating block on the March Color Palette Challenge were cut . . with a nice, sharp, fresh blade. And, once again, I promised myself I will change my blade more often, but I know I won’t.
I’m always waiting too long to change the blade! I usually give myself a neckache because I have been pushing too hard…. and I always have several new ones on hand….I even have a blade sharpener….but I always torture myself!! Go figure!
guilty as charged!!! Why would you change the blade as long as you can cut with two passes. It’s the tiny little bits that don’t cut gets me to change the blade.
Can’t wait to see the alternate block.
Helen B. Ellen says
I do the same thing. I think it’s one of my frugal tendencies. I change it when I FINALLY get tired of having to go back and cut those few threads that hold my pieces together after I think I have them cut!
I did however, buy myself a new rotary cutter that’s more ergonomically kind to my arthritic hands. It’s the Olfa that you just squeeze when you are ready to cut. No more pushing the “engager thingie”. (Don’t you just love my technical terms!?)
I never bought a blade sharpener. One of the women I used to work with had one and she said it wasn’t really worth it.
Hi Judy I usually wait until the fabric stays connected every now and again. You know like when you are trying to slice and when you pull it away you have a bunch of little spots that did not get all the fabric…. I say” oh I need to change this blade” about a dozen times and then I change it.
Susan Calitz says
I too wait until it feels like I am cutting a few layers when its only one,
And then I love the new blade and berate myself for waiting so long to change it out!!
Count me guilty too!! Always say, not gonna for that again…..but low and behold….I do….
Oh well….it makes it really nice when I do change it!!
From very very soggy East Texas 🙂
Well, I tend to wait until I am sawing…then I am so thrilled with a new blade! I just bought a new mat too, and wow! I can sail through cutting now!!
Diana W. says
Obviously you aren’t alone in this phenomenon….we all do it! Including the chastising about not waiting so long the next time.
Judy D in WA says
I REALLY want to say I change my blades in a timely manner but that would be a big fat lie! 🙂 Then when I do change it, I wonder why I wait. It’s nice to see I am in such great company.
Yes! I too am guilty! And I have extra’s too. Back in December I said I was going to change them the first of the month. Need it or not. Okay, so I’ve changed it twice in three months. That’s in improvement for me! I do have more than one rotary cutter, even of the same sizes, but I tend to keep one on the cutting table and one by the sewing table with the cutting table one getting the most use.
Linda in NE says
I do the same thing all the time, then marvel at how well the new blade cuts.
Clearly I’m in good company with waiting until I’m ‘sawing’ the fabric; Judy-I love that term, lol. I find that even though I may put in a new blade, early on, I manage to nick it on the edge of the ruler and that’s that, I get the missed threads. And they are SO very expensive, even when they’re on sale or you use a coupon at one of those chain stores. I even managed to nick a pack of 5 before getting them out of the package as I was trying to pry one out with my fingernails which didn’t work, then tried a sharp knife…who knew it was easier to take them all out and slide one away from the others – the oily coating they use to prevent rust(?) corrosion(?) adheres like glue if you try prying them apart. Lesson learned!
Diana in TX says
I think most of us are guilty of this. I know I sure am and yes, always have extra blades. It’s just something about stopping in the middle of a project abd changing the dang blade! A little like changing the needle in the sewing machine, although I am a little better about that!
Do you know that you can buy blades at Harbor Freight (called carpet blades) that fit the 45mm cutter. They are 2 blades for 1.99. You can order on line if there is not one near you. Makes it easier to convince me to change often as they are so inexpensive.
Helen B. Ellen says
I’m going to check into that ~right~ now!
Natalie L says
WHA????? there’s one right by my house! in going first thing in the morning!!!
Becky G says
What wonderful news! How are they on our self healing mats? Those buggers cost a lot… I’m hoping that you’ve used them long enough to feel assured they do not shorten their life. You deserve a prize for this grand tip!
Helen Koenigl says
I am sooooooooo glad to hear I’m not the only one to do this! One would think that I’d be happy to change that blade – but noo…………
You mean that you are suppose to change the blade? I FINALLY changed mine the other day and thought huh, I guess it was dull! Same thing with the needle on the machine. I don’t change it often enough.
I date mine when I change it. Reminds me how long it lasts.
I use the 60mm size. I send my old blades to LP Sharp for replacement.
Interesting history there– rug cutters came after fabric cutters!
Pam in SC
Pam, I like your suggestion of dating the blades. I am going to do that!–Marla
Becky G says
Man o man! Great tip too. Thanks!
Richard Healey says
I change the blade when it wont cut well since I started quilting only had to do it once and that was just after I started was using a cutting blade that wife used for other non quilting stuff and it was nicked up bad.
I finally changed my blade last week, too. It was the first time in two years. You’re right. What a difference! I was amazed at the lumps of lint that had collected around and underneath it.
Seems like many of us belong to the “Why Change Your Blade Just Because You Are Having Trouble Cutting Your Fabric” club!!! I seem to wait until I have made several sloppy cuts before I change mine.
I’m guilty of this too! But my reason is that it’s just such a hassle to change the blade – they’re oily, they stick together, they can cut your fingers…
Debbie R. says
I have tried labeling my cutter so I know how long it has been but manage to lose that ….. I am sort of bad about hand needles too….
And I have found that I am amazed at how sharp a new blade is…and that can be dangerous…like using a new razor to shave your legs…easy to get a couple of nicks before you realize…Ahhhh…this is a new SHARP razor!
Claudia Wade says
I have had this same conversation with several quilters recently including the owner of my local quilt shop. Why do we all wait so long to change the blade? It is not because the blades are expensive because we all spend tons of money on fabrics, special threads, machines, classes, etc. Eight or 9 dollars for a new 60mm blade is nothing! And it is not laziness because we all accomplish a lot. It is a mystery!
Becky R says
What timing. I was cutting today and thought it’s time. So found another blade in my drawer and cutting was much better! I wasn’t having to cut twice but it wasn’t cutting all the way through at times so figured I wasted enough time.
I wait forever to change my blade, too. I also work in a quilt shop, and we cut all our fabric with a rotary cutter. Do we change the blade when it starts to get bad? No. we continue to cut with the old one, and we aren’t the one paying for the blades. I think this is a female thing, most men don’t put up long with something that is not working well.
Well I am guilty as well. But get this…..a few months back I had changed my blade and noticed it wasn’t cutting very well. I moaned and complained to anyone who was in the vicinity around me that “that’s too much money on a new blade that is this dull.” My DH took a look at it and lo and behold, I had put two (TWO!) blades in my rotary cutter! Amazing how sharp it became when he took one of them off! LOL!
Cindy B says
A professional knife sharpener told me to always sharpen a sharp blade and you will never have a dull blade. If you wait until the blade is dull then you lost. I bought the Grace Blade Sharpener and use it after ever few cuts. It’s easy, just swipe the blade through it. So far my blade has stayed sharp for over a year now. I don’t use it everyday though. Of course if I get a nick it’s a goner.
I set myself an appt in my cellphone calendar to change the blade on the 1st of every month (whether it needs it or not). I recycle the old blade to cut coupons and other paper projects with.
Once a month? I sew and cut a whole lot and unless I run over a pin, I probably don’t change mine once every 12 or 18 months!
Linda S says
I do it too, and I sharpen blades! How’s that for strange. If they’re badly damaged, from running into a pin or the edge of a ruler, I can’t always get the dings out, but I just save my dull ones and re-sharpen them. So, with a basically never-ending supply of blades, don’t you think I should get with the program? LOL
vickie van dyken says
I was at the LQS the other day and a lady said she didn’t know how to change the blade????? So I showed her…..one screw, just one screw, don;t quite know how that was so hard???? LOL I to am guilty of sawing for a loooong time before changing the blade. I was REALLY happy to see the Harbor Freight info. Hubby goes there all the time and I didn’t know. I am checking that out today….but I am NOT gonna say that I will change the blade more often, because well….It’s one of those unexplained weird things, no reason, it just is????? HAHAHAHA
i usually change my blade about every 25 yards using a 90mm blade, which would probably be about every 15-20 yards for a 75 mm blade.
if you link your blade-changing to your stash report it makes it that much easier to remember how soon your next blade change is comming.
June Piper-Brandon says
I replace my blades when they start not cutting through the fabric. But, then I sharpen the blade and set it aside and reuse it next time. I’ve more than paid for my time and the cost of the sharpening tool – it was the second best investment I ever made (the rotary cutter being the best).
Brandy M. says
I’m SO glad you’re admitting to this because I also hate replacing my blade and let it go way too long! However, I do the same thing with my needle…. Bad girl, bad bad girl!!!
I do the same thing, and want to kick myself for waiting so long to change the blade. Why is that I wonder?
I’m as guilty as everyone else and wait too long. It’s easy to forget how nice a new blade cuts fabric. I changed mine last month and it was like buttah. I found a great deal on a 10 blade pack from Overstock.com. Hopefully knowing that I have so many blades, it will be easier to change it out frequently.