Cutting fabric can be time consuming and hard on your hands and back. The right rotary cutter can make all the difference. The right rotary cutter is mostly about personal preference, so this post isn’t about choosing the best rotary cutter so much as the right rotary cutter for you.
Fiskars recently sent me the Adjustable Three-Position Rotary Cutter to try. To see which one I like, thought I would do a comparison with the different Fiskars rotary cutters I already own. That includes the Classic Stick Rotary Cutter and the Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter.
Once you have found the perfect rotary cutter, check out my Scissor Charm Tutorial so you’ll always know which one’s yours.
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Stick rotary cutters have a straight handle and generally have a button to extend and retract the blade. These are also generally right and left-handed friendly.
This is all true of the Fiskars version as well. I received the Fiskars version of the stick rotary cutter when I started sewing, it came with a cutting mat and a ruler. You can also buy them without the added accessories.
Classic Stick Rotary Cutter features:
- Steel blade.
- The handle is symmetrical so it is both right and left-hander friendly.
- Comes in 28mm, 45mm, or 60mm versions.
- One button to extend or retract the blade.
- To replace the blade, unscrew the metal nut on the back of the rotary cutter and remove the screw and the blade. Carefully insert the new blade onto the screw then replace the screw on the rotary cutter and thread the metal nut back on. The flat part of the screw should face the handle.
The comfort loop rotary cutter is an adapted version of the stick rotary cutter. This rotary cutter has a handle that fits the shape of your hand with a loop that makes it easier to hold. I really like the feel of this rotary cutter in my hand. The handle on this one is also thicker than the stick rotary cutter which may make a difference if you have really small hands.
Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter features:
- Steel blade.
- The blade attaches to either side of the handle so it is both right and left-hander friendly.
- Comes in 45mm or a 65mm version that is slightly different.
- The button to extend the blade is on the top of this rotary cutter. The little button on the side of the rotary cutter retracts the blade. These buttons are intuitive and easy to use though you can accidentally hit the retract button when you aren’t paying attention.
- To replace the blade, unscrew the plastic nut on the back of the rotary cutter and remove the screw and the blade. Carefully insert the new blade onto the screw then replace the screw on the rotary cutter and thread the metal nut back on. The flat part of the screw should face the molded arc symbol above the blade.
Adjustable Three-Position Rotary Cutter
The adjustable three position rotary cutter can be flipped into different positions. In the straight position it looks and works like a long stick rotary cutter.
It can also be flipped to put the blade under the handle to give you more power. I have tested this and it actually does help you cut through thicker fabric. It leverages your pressure better than the stick version.
The third position is for ergonomics or getting a better angle to see the fabric. The ergonomic version looks weird and I didn’t think I would like it until I actually tried cutting fabric with it. It felt much more natural once you started cutting fabric.
Adjustable Three-Position Rotary Cutter features:
- Steel blade.
- The blade attached to either side of the handle so it is both right and left-hander friendly.
- Comes with a 45mm blade.
- Reveal the blade by moving the plastic shield that keeps the blade safe out of the way. Move the orange handle back down when you’re done with the blade. The depth of the blade can be changed by changing how far you move the shield.
- To replace the blade, unscrew the plastic nut on the back of the rotary cutter and remove the screw and the blade. The little handle on the screw can be lifted up to help you unscrew the nut. Carefully insert the new blade onto the screw then replace the screw on the rotary cutter and thread the metal nut back on. The flat part of the screw should face the bend in the handle.
- The handle can be used in 3 different positions.
- Classic- Cuts like a stick rotary cutter.
- Power-Gives you more power to cut through thicker fabric.
- Ergonomic-Relieves pressure from your wrists, this also changes your view of the fabric.
All three of these rotary cutters have things about them that make them better than the others. It all depends on your preference. I recommend holding a few of them if you have access to them. The adjustable three position rotary cutter comes in packaging that allows this though the others do not.
I have the beginnings of carpal tunnel so I was hopeful for the ergonomic design on the adjustable rotary cutter. I was not disappointed. It really does make a difference, the handle is much more natural to hold.
What do you look for in a rotary cutter and which is your favorite?