Good Habits for Quilters - Changing Out Your Rotary Blade

The Libby Quilt Pattern - Kitchen Table Quilting
I know that some of you saw the title of this post and rolled your eyes. If you did that, this post is especially for you. Today we are going to talk about changing our rotary blades.

Good Habits for Quilters- Changing Your Rotary Blade - Kitchen Table Quilting

Changing out your rotary blade is not very glamorous. Replacement blades are not super cheap so it can feel like you are being frugal by hanging on to an old blade long past its prime. Here are just a few advantages of changing out your rotary blade regularly:
  • It's easier on your wrist and much more satisfying to cut with a fresh blade
  • Your fabric will be cut more accurately (which then leads to more accurate piecing which creates a more accurate quilt)
  • Less frustration
  • Ability to cut through multiple layers of fabric at once (I frequently cut through 4-6 layers, if not more!)
  • You don't have to go back and re-cut any missed pieces
I use a 45mm Olfa Quick Change Rotary which helps make changes faster - there is just a little thing on the back that slides down and the old blade pops off. 

How often should you change your blade? This really depends on how much cutting you are doing. For me, I try to remember to change mine out once a month which means I usually cut out 3 quilts on a single blade.



I buy my replacement blades when they are on sale. A while back, I picked up a couple packages of these Japanese Olfa blades on recommendation from someone on Instagram. They were a little cheaper and have been great quality and I have enough to last me for the next year or so.

Good Habits for Quilters - Changing Out Your Rotary Blade

I store my extra rotary blades (and needles, pins, etc.) in this Orla Kiely hanging makeup bag (kind of like this one) that I got from Target a few years ago. In the top section I keep all of my backup rotary blades (I also have a 60mm and a 28mm rotary, though I don't use them very often).

Good Habits for Quilters - Changing Out Your Rotary Blade

In one of the old blade cases, I keep all of my used blades. That way, I don't have to deal with disposing of the sharp blade and I can just throw this whole thing away once it fills up. Plus, if I am going to use my rotary to cut paper (usually for a craft project with my kids), I can go back and use one of these older blades without dulling up a newer one.

Good Habits for Quilters - Changing Out Your Rotary Blade

How often do you change your rotary blade? Do you have any tips for finding good deals on replacement blades?

15 comments

  1. I don't have a set time limit when I change my blades, I know it's time when there are little misses in my cut line. I usually get about 5 quilts from one blade but I'm probably pushing it beyond it's limits! Thanks for the reminder :-)

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    Replies
    1. I think we all have to figure out what works best for us. Sometimes I let mine get way too dull and I always wonder why I waited so long to change the blade - it makes such a big difference!

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  2. I think that the blades in my Splash cutters seem to last a lot longer than in the old style cutters. I bought some ‘ Somulux’ blades from Amazon fir my 28 mm cutter. They seem just fine.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting. I would imagine that there is a difference in how long different brands last but I don't know if anyone has put the time into figuring out which is best!

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  3. I buy a pack of discounted/generic blades on ebay and they're so cheap - I really don't think twice about changing for a new one.

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea. It drives me crazy when I have a newer blade on and accidentally roll it over a pin or something and ding it up. It would be nice to feel less-bad about changing it out.

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  4. I keep a "wipes" container to deposit all bent pins, broken and used needles, and rotary blades. When it is full, I tape it shut ---- write "sharps" on it and dispose of it as advised at our recycling center. It is handy and safe.

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  5. When I get close to needing a new blade, I use one of the coupons from Joann’s
    I try to plan ahead with at least a 50% coupon....sometimes get it at 60% off!

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    Replies
    1. That is fantastic! I try to avoid having to go into Joann's unless I have to, it's a madhouse in there, but that would probably be a good enough reason to brave it ;)

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  6. I save my old blades for cutting canvas, cardboard, burlap etc.
    The moment my blade starts skipping, it's fired.
    I get my blades from Hobby Lobby or JoAnn... where ever I can get a good deal.

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  7. I've been buying Arteza blades on Amazon. They are super cheap and, so far, work very well. $11.99 for a pack of 12. I also use the Olfa Quick Change cutter and it changed my life. I have a fairly bad tremor that makes handling blades difficult (and risky) so now I try to remember to bring cutters and blades to guild meetings or to my LQS to get them changed. I put old blades, bent pins, etc into a small mason jar, but I saw the comment about the wipes container and think that's a good idea that I may start using.

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  8. I think it's silly to change your blade on a schedule. I change mine when needed. The blade pretty much tells you when it's dull, it simply doesn't cut like it should! I buy my blades at Joann's when they are on sale or I can use a coupon.

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  9. JoAnn's coupons seems to be the best deals. Wonder if the new Titanium blades are any good?

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