5 Common Issues With Rotary Cutters


Quilting Contessa covers the 5 most common issues with rotary cutters and how to resolve them for perfect cuts every time!

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5 Common Issues With Rotary Cutters

Have you ever been cutting out a new quilt and encountered problems with your rotary cutter like skipped threads, shredded edges, and wonky cuts? Here are five potential solutions!

5 Common Issues With Rotary Cutters


1. Old Rotary Cutter Blade

How long has it been since you treated yourself to a new rotary cutter blade? If you have cut miles of fabric since it was last changed, it may be time for a nice sharp new blade. Remember, your cutting mat will thank you because it will last longer!

Nicked Old Blade


2. Nicked Rotary Cutter Blade?

Have you accidentally cut your metal or plastic template with your rotary cutter, or just run in to them really hard? Just a time or two of that rotary cutter blade coming in contact with surfaces other than your fabric and mat can cause a tiny nick in the blade which will lead to threads not being cut as you roll past that nick. Ultimately this can also cause mat damage, so change that blade and save time and aggravation.


3. New Rotary Cutter Blade Installed and New Problems?

More than one of your quilting friends has experienced this issue! Check carefully to see that you only installed one new blade – they come packaged in multiples sometimes and stick together so closely that you do not even notice that you have installed two blades until you get a shredded edge when you make that first cut.


4. Inaccurate Cuts After Changing Your Rotary Blade

Now your cuts are not accurate despite having changed the blade! Check to make sure that you have installed the blade on the proper side of the rotary cutter handle and with the correct side of the blade pointing outward (contains wording). There is a position that can be used for lefties as well as right-handed cutters.

Right side of New Rotary Blade


5. Problems Persist With A Thread Here and There Not Being Cut

Try turning your rotary cutter mat ¼ turn. Does this solve the problem? If so, your issue lies with your mat and not your rotary cutter. Dull blades and use have probably led to a mat with fibers caught in the grooves. Follow the manufacturers directions to wash the mat and let it dry flat so that it can “heal itself”.

Happy cutting!

Dirty Mat


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Cutting Mat
Surface used for cutting with a rotary cutter. The mat protects your tabletop and can serve as a measuring tool when you use the gridlines on the mat to line up your fabric. Many mats are self-healing which means that the blade of the rotary cutter will not create permanent grooves in the mat.
Rotary Cutter
A very sharp tool that looks like a pizza wheel which is capable of cutting through multiple layers of fabric.
Pattern pieces made out of paper, cardboard, plastic or metal, giving you something to draw around so that you can accurately replicate any shape.
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