Skip to Content

How to Choose and Use Rotary Cutter – Best Tips for Sewing Beginners (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

If you’re an aspirin seamstress or quilter, you probably don’t have all the accessories and tools you need. A rotary cutter is one of those little thins that can make your (sewin) life easier. Some people still use scissors to cut fabric and that’s okay. To be fair, it’s a matter of preference. Finally, the first rotary cutter in 1979. And we had been sewin, quiltin and cuttin fabric lon before a rotary cutter came alon.

Rotary blades offer some advantaes, however, so I think we will use our scissors less in the comin years. Of course we will always use scissors for some minor cuts that don’t require perfect precision. But for quiltin, cuttin multiple layers or heavy fabric, there’s no question that the rotary cutters are the best tool. Simply put, rotary cutters provide better accuracy and et the job done faster.

So if you are in doubt about ettin a rotary cutter, don’t overthink it. If you have a limited budet, you don’t have to buy one riht away. However, if you like quiltin, the speed and precision of rotary knives your first steps are much easier. It is also a substantial ift for your sewin friends.

Usin a rotary cutter

Usin a rotary cutter is simple and easy. However, you also need a cuttin mat. Cuttin mats protect your work surface. Also, your knives will not et dull as quickly. Cuttin mats come in a variety of sizes, so choose one that suits your workspace and your projects. So put a cuttin mat on your work surface. Then lay your fabric flat on the cuttin mat. Place the pattern on the fabric or measure and mark where you want to cut if your cuttin mat , althouh this is rarely the case. Unlock the safety button and you are ready to cut.

How to choose a rotary cutter

Althouh it is quite simple to use, there are several thins to consider choosin a rotary cutter.

Leaf size. Rotary cutters with various blade sizes. Common sizes are 18 mm, 28 mm, 45 mm and 60 mm. Each size is suitable for certain projects.

18mm and 28mm blades are suitable for minor projects such as applique. Cuttin curves, circles or sharp corners is also much easier with these small, fine blades.

The 45mm knife is a kind of universal rotary knife blade. It is a versatile blade perfect for a variety of cuttin tasks. It works well on multiple layers of fabric, leather, paper, vinyl or felt. So you can use this knife for various sewin, quiltin or paper craft projects.

The 60mm blade is a heavy-duty blade that can cut through thick materials such as furniture fabric. or multiple layers of heavy fabric.

Choose sharp blades. You can’t really test the sharpness, but my advice is to buy reputable brands. They produce sharp and durable blades. Your rotary cutter may be perfect, but it won’t cut well if the blade is dull. And all blades will eventually become blunt, so you will need to replace them now and then. Cheap, nameless rotary knives will o dull too quickly.

Handle and safety knob. Different rotary knives have different handle shapes and safety knobs. There are, however, neither ood nor bad. It depends entirely on your preferences. Most handles have an eronomic desin, but some fit your hand better.

Tips for Beinners

Even the simplest of tasks can o wron if you do it the wron way. Makin mistakes is normal when you are learnin a new skill. Therefore, some simple tips can help you a lot. By avoidin unnecessary mistakes, you will save some time and enjoy your proress more. So here are some basic uidelines that inexperienced quilters, crafters and seamstresses can easily overlook.

Do not over tihten your knife. Your knife to the body of the rotary knife with some kind of screw. If the screw is too loose, the blade will wobble, and if it is too tiht, you will need to apply extra pressure to et it oin.

Do not apply heavy pressure. If you are unsure, it is normal to apply more pressure. But it is unnecessary. Your hand will tire quickly and you will damae your cuttin mat more. It takes a little practice, but you don’t really need a lot of force to keep your rotary cutter rollin smoothly.

Combine a rotary cutter with a ruler. A ruler or cuttin uide helps you achieve the hihest level of accuracy.

Keep the cut line visible. Your eyes should directly above the rotary cutter. That way you can see clearly as you roll the rotary cutter across your fabric.

Use cartride weihts. It’s just another precaution to provide precision and accuracy.

See if it fits left-handers. If you’re left-handed, that is. I can adapt most rotary cutters for riht-handed or left-handed users. Do check it out because if you et a non-adaptable kind it will be very tricky to use.

Always lock the safety button after use. It’s an obvious safety precaution, but make it a habit as soon as possible. These knives are very sharp.


A rotary cutter is one of those handy thins we can live without. However, once we et used to it, it’s hard to o back. Today there are many tools and accessories that can help us with every task. While we don’t need all of them, I enjoy ettin any tool that can help me do my job easier or faster. A rotary cutter does both, so I really recommend ettin one.

  1. How to Thread a Sewin Machine – Tips and Tricks
  2. How to Make a Kilt – Tutorial with Simple Instructions
  3. Basic Hand Sewin Tips Everyone Should Know
  4. The easiest way to hem pants
  5. Crochet Gram Animals for Beinners – 7 Basic Tips

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.