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Author Topic: Fiskars rotary cutter - worth it?  (Read 2192 times)
PeterAit
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« on: May 10, 2013, 10:59:17 AM »
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I just bought a Fiskars cutting mat and now see that they also sell rotary cutters. They don't cost much, but do they really have any advantage over a sharp Exacto knife or box cutter?
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Peter
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 11:07:10 AM »
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I don't know that brand, but good quality rotary cutters can be counted on for precision, and they are self-sharpening.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Misirlou
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 11:31:59 AM »
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They are huge time savers (because it takes so much less time to line up a cut), and not particularly expensive. No-brainier for us.
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 12:44:42 PM »
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I use my Olfa rotary cutter for just about all my cutting needs. In particular, if you cut thin material like interleaving paper it won't tear it like a razor blade can. And you can go years without replacing a blade.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 02:09:15 PM »
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I just bought a Fiskars cutting mat and now see that they also sell rotary cutters. They don't cost much, but do they really have any advantage over a sharp Exacto knife or box cutter?
Are you talking about a hand held rotary cutter or a rotary trimmer with inlaid scale, squaring arm, etc?

Brian A
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philbaum
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 01:23:58 PM »
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If you are talking about the handheld rotary cutter, they are absolutely worth it.  Some have titanium blades and will last a long time. 

I have two, the Olfa brand, well made, has a straight ahead cutter which means one has to twist their wrist and arm to cut on a horizontal surface. The Fiskars, i believe has an angled cutting surface which helps maintain a normal angle to the wrist.

If you're talking about a rotary trimming table setup, I've used a professional model at a print shop and they are marvelous, but very spendy.  For the amount of work i do, a handheld rotary cutter, grippy straight edge and cutting mat like the ones sold in fabric stores work plenty fine  on either photopaper or canvas.

phil
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PeterAit
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 07:27:59 AM »
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I am talking handheld, and it sure sounds worth the cost. Thanks,
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Peter
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bhbf08
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 11:45:32 AM »
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Bumping this thread to ask ...  I Just bought an Olfa self-healing mat.  I'm cutting 7-8 mil glossy paper on it.  I'm just using a normal razor blade on them now with a straight edge. 

My question is, do the rotary cutters work well with a straight edge?   I noticed after my first few cuts I was slicing the mat a little bit with the razor.  I don't want this thing to be sliced up after a few weeks.  Or will these slices "Self heal" as they are supposed to?  I just did the cuts last night and haven't looked at them today to see if they healed.  I'm just trying to decide if it's ok to use what I'm using, or go to a rotary. 
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 01:03:56 PM »
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I use my Olfa rotary with a straight edge all the time. No problem.

Bumping this thread to ask ...  I Just bought an Olfa self-healing mat.  I'm cutting 7-8 mil glossy paper on it.  I'm just using a normal razor blade on them now with a straight edge. 

My question is, do the rotary cutters work well with a straight edge?   I noticed after my first few cuts I was slicing the mat a little bit with the razor.  I don't want this thing to be sliced up after a few weeks.  Or will these slices "Self heal" as they are supposed to?  I just did the cuts last night and haven't looked at them today to see if they healed.  I'm just trying to decide if it's ok to use what I'm using, or go to a rotary. 
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Some Guy
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 01:25:21 PM »
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Bumping this thread to ask ...  I Just bought an Olfa self-healing mat.  I'm cutting 7-8 mil glossy paper on it.  I'm just using a normal razor blade on them now with a straight edge. 

My question is, do the rotary cutters work well with a straight edge?   I noticed after my first few cuts I was slicing the mat a little bit with the razor.  I don't want this thing to be sliced up after a few weeks.  Or will these slices "Self heal" as they are supposed to?  I just did the cuts last night and haven't looked at them today to see if they healed.  I'm just trying to decide if it's ok to use what I'm using, or go to a rotary. 
I got a bunch of Olfa cutting mats and sundry Olfa and Fiskars rolling cutters both.  They make sundry blades that do zig-zags and deckle cuts too.  The blades do seem sharper than a generic razor blade.

Yes, the green mats "self-heal."  More proper, the thin blade cuts affect the topmost green layer, but does not penetrate the harder plastic mid layer.  I've had mine for years and it is pretty marked and cut up, but it still works.  That green layer skin is pretty well bonded to the inner harder white plastic.

As to the straight edge, I prefer the thick clear plastic ones the quilters use.  Maybe 3" wide and 18" long.  I've hit the long metal rulers with the blade and that pretty much nicks it for thin stuff or thin cloth papers and it will skip a thread or two so you need to slice again or get a new blade.  The plastic ruler I use most often is about 1/8" thick and serves as a good guide, plus you can see through it and trim edges to a 1/8" border more accurately than a table roller cutter like a Rotatrim which has since been retired in favor of the mats since I can get a better cut, and straighter too.  I can shove the mats behind a dresser to hide them too.  Quilter's clear rulers are good for aligning prints too.  Really is a handy ruler to have around.

The Olfa blades seem sharper to me than the Fiskar blades, maybe they are thinner?  Even Harbor Freight sells some 45mm dia. roller blades for carpet cutters (2 for 99 cents I think?) that fit some handles, but they are a bit thicker than the prior blades and may bind a bit in the handles made by them.  Fiskar is really super on any of their stuff that breaks and often sends me a newer unit with a blade too.  I had one where the nut would unscrew while rolling and they replaced the entire thing with a newer model.  Replaced some scissors too for free (Handle's lock broke.).  No complaints about their service.

I often angle the roller blade inward maybe 15 degrees so the edge isn't easily seen while I do a cut.  Spray mounting them seems to not show an edge that way with a lot of dark in the image - sort of a reverse mat I guess.

Most of the stuff can be had for 50% off if you watch the online coupons for places like JoAnns Fabrics or Hancock Febrics.  Mats can be expensive in the larger sizes.

SG
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bhbf08
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 02:30:52 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback guys.   I think I'll grab one to try it out.  I guess the only real way to know if it will work for me, or be better for me, is if I try it!  Smiley
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 11:09:48 PM »
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any recommendations for the Olfa cutters?  I see they have a 45mm and a 60mm.  The site says the 60mm is better for multiple layers of fabric, or leather... what about heavy art papers and canvas?

http://www.olfa.com/RotaryCuttersList.aspx?C=2
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hugowolf
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 08:53:25 AM »
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any recommendations for the Olfa cutters?  I see they have a 45mm and a 60mm.  The site says the 60mm is better for multiple layers of fabric, or leather... what about heavy art papers and canvas?

I have the 60 mm one. If you are just cutting paper, then I think the 45 mm one would be best. It is less expensive and the blades are much less expensive.

I use mine to trim off the excess paper when dry mounting to 3/16 gator and foam board. The maximum depth of the 60 mm is 3/8", I haven't tried the 45 mm, but I don't think it would be deep enough for what I do, and I have a 54 inch Rotatrim for paper.

Brian A

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Some Guy
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 12:01:13 PM »
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I have three sizes: 25mm, 45mm, and the 60mm.  Some notcher cutter too.  I grab the 45mm roller the most out of the lot for just papers and canvas.  Smaller ones are good for cutting curves.  I agree with Brian that the 45mm blades are cheaper and more readily found than the 60mm blades too, aside from different cutting shapes (Wavy, scallop, deckle, etc.) that only come in the 45mmm size.

The 60mm is good for thicker stuff like 1/4" thick foam-core boards, etc.  Even with those, if the larger 60mm blade isn't super-sharp, it can depress the foam core on the initial bite or cut and it might not go well, and may end up taking two cuts too which isn't as clean as a one cut if that initial cut doesn't start right and just dents it.  I have to press down much harder on it and the longer (older style) stick-like handle makes me nervous seeing how one's hand could slip down onto the 60mm blade (major ouch!).  The longer ergo-shaped handles may be a better choice than the older-style straight ones going down to the open blade.  You have to hold the blade very perpendicular or you will see the angled cut too.  A large mat cutter may be better for the thicker stuff if you cannot manage the edge angle well with a 60mm blade.

Also, my Fiskars has a blade that retracts automatically when my hand comes out of it which is sort of a nice feature.  The Olfa has a button-press blade lock that keeps it exposed and I have grabbed it when the blade is exposed.  Things are sharp!  Shocked

SG
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AFairley
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 12:12:37 PM »
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Jumping I late here. In my experience, cutting with a blade and straight edge raises a burr on the edge of the paper a bit, which does not happen with a good rotary cutter.  It's because of the difference in the cutting action (dragging wedge through paper when you use the blade)
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phcorrigan
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2014, 02:47:12 PM »
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I have a low-cost plastic Fiskars rotary cutter and it actually works quite well. For me it was well worth the cost. I'm sure I paid less than $30.00 (US) several years ago. Here is the model I have:

http://www2.fiskars.com/Crafting/Products/Paper-Trimmers-and-Blades/Original-Craft-Rotary-Paper-Trimmer-12#.UtGsVfRDuTM
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Patrick Corrigan
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jferrari
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2014, 04:53:18 PM »
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Does anyone know if one of these rotary cutters will cut 1/4" MightyCore?
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No, I don't own one. But I have seen one on TV.
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