Monday, 5 October 2015

Olfa rotary cutter guide - what's the difference between the standard, deluxe and quickblade rotary cutters?

We stock 3 different styles of Olfa rotary cutter, so I thought it would be useful to write a brief guide to the differences between them.
The three styles are shown here on the left, the standard rotary cutter, deluxe rotary cutter and the newest quickblade rotary cutter. All these cutters have a 45mm diameter blade, but we do stock the standard style in 18mm, 28mm and 60mm sizes also.

Standard Olfa Rotary Cutter

The standard style of rotary cutter is the original, ground breaking tool brought out by Olfa. Allowing you to cut several layers of fabric accurately all at once, the rotary cutter is probably the most useful tool you can own (along with a mat and ruler) and this is the entry level model with the most modest price tag!
To use the standard cutter you simply pull the blade cover down with your thumb, this uncovers the whole top half of the blade. The cover is not spring loaded so it is important to get in the habit of pushing it back up when the blade is not in use (a few cut fingers in my case forced better habits!).

The blade can be changed on the standard style cutter by unscrewing the nut on the back and removing it along with the washer, this releases the blade spindle allowing you to replace the blade. The pictures below show the blade mechanism assembled and disassembled.

The deluxe Olfa rotary cutter has the same function as the standard, but with a few extra features. To operate it you squeeze the black part of the ergonomically designed handle and the blade pops out from behind the cover. This is spring loaded, so as soon as you let go of the handle the blade returns behind the cover, although by pressing the red button on the handle you can lock the blade in either the covered or uncovered position, a useful safety feature.

The second picture above shows the cutter held in the left hand - all the Olfa rotary cutters can be used in either hand, you just need to reverse the blade assembly. Similar to the standard cutter, you replace the blade by unscrewing the nut and removing the washer and spindle. You may notice that the pictures show a pinking blade on this cutter - the Olfa pinking blades and wave blades are a handy way to make pinked edges without the sore hands that pinking shears leave me with! The pinking and wave blades can only be used with the deluxe cutters however.

The newest addition to the Olfa rotary cutter family is the Quick Blade style. My personal favourite, this is the cutter I use every day due to its ergonomic handle and the quick blade replacement mechanism. 
To use the cutter you can pull back the blade cover - this is a similar mechanism to the standard cutter, but the cover is in two halves so you can choose to only uncover half the blade, making it safer in use (the first picture below has only one half of the cover pulled back, the second picture has the blade completely uncovered). Again, the cover is not spring loaded, so you must remember to push the cover back up after use!

The Quick Blade cutter lives up to its name when you come to change the blade. There are no fiddly nuts and washers, you just pull back the black clip on the back of the cutter and the blade spindle pops out. You can then just change the blade and clip it back in the same way. Personally I love this as I keep forgetting which way round the nuts and washers go on the other cutters, while this one is pretty idiot proof!

Hopefully this guide has been useful, if you do have any questions please don't hesitate to get in contact with us through the website!

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