UPDATE: WOW! After reading many of the comments by many of you below, it seems to be very successful! Others mention that sandpaper works better for them. Again, only use this tip if you are planning to discard the blade anyway and you want to experiment to make it last longer. Do not use this tip on blades that are already functioning well.
If you’re a crafter (especially if you sew) a rotary cutter is your friend. It might even be your favorite craft tool. Sometimes these are also referred to as a cutting wheel or hand wheel.
I will say that one of the most frustrating things is when you go to cut a piece of fabric and your blade is dull! You have to cut it about 3 times to make a cut and then it’s not a clean cut — it’s more like a ragged cut with strings.
Let me show you a tip on how to sharpen your rotary blade if you don’t have a rotary blade sharpener.
Keep in mind that this trick isn’t long-term, but if you’re going to throw your blade in the trash anyway it can’t hurt to try right? We all love the feel of a brand new blade that cuts like butter but this tip is a close second for me!
Oh, and please remember to always be careful when cutting anything with a rotary cutter!
- cutting mat
- heavy duty tin foil
- fabric scraps
Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and fold it over a few times. I folded mine until I was cutting through about 6 layers.
Next, start cutting the tin foil many times.
To test it out, I keep some scrap fabric strips on hand and see if I sharpened it well enough.
Repeat the process until the blade is sharp.
This is very simple and really comes in handy when you have a dulled blade, you’re in a pinch, and don’t have any replacement blades on hand!
TIP: Some readers have said they use this same technique when sharpening other cutting tools like old pairs of scissors, paper punches, and Exacto knives, too!
My very favorite rotary blade and mats are by Olfa. Can you believe I’ve had the same Olfa cutter for 20 years!
I use a paper trimmer when it comes to paper crafts, but for fabric, these items are my go-to items (and these are off-limits to my family members similar to my favorite fabric scissors)!
They are a little more expensive than others but you are getting top-quality! I even dressed my daughter up for Halloween a few years ago and her costume was a hit!
Have you tried this tip? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
Be sure to check out these other sewing posts!