Rotary Cutting

This is a very regular job as blades wear out, or develop nicks, very quickly. The photos below are of an Olfa cutter but all cutters follow much the same principle. You can now buy cutters that have a 'quick release' for the blade which makes changing it a little easier - it is also a little too easy on some of them to release the blade instead of the guard. Take care!

To change the blade examine your cutter carefully - read any instructions that may have come with it or with the spare blades. Take it apart step by step noting how everything fitted together. This is especially important for those cutters that have a shaped washer - it needs to go back the way it came off.

cutterThis is the cutter from the front.

Note that the guard is over the blade - you should always have the blade guarded unless you are actually cutting.

Some cutters have the blade release nut on the front of the cutter.

 

cutter backThis is the back of our cutter.

Note the release nut on the back of the blade.

 

 

photocremovenut

Remove the release nut - noting which way up it goes - and place it next to the cutter.

 

 

 

remove washerNext remove the washer.

This one is slightly curved. Make a note of which way up it is before you remove it.

Place it next to the nut.

 

remove handleNow you can remove the cutter handle.

Again, look at it and remember which way up it goes.

Place it next to the washer.

 

remove guardThe next item to remove is the guard.

Take care - lift it by its tab so your fingers aren't going to catch the blade. It may be too blunt to cut your fabric but it is still quite capable of giving you a nasty cut.

Make a note of which way up it goes and place it by the handle. You could take this opportunity to wipe the dirt off it too.

 

replace bladeFinally, the blade. If you must touch it then do so very gently by its top and bottom - not the edge.

Lift it up off the table by the screw, grasp it gently (but firmly) and lift it off the screw. Put it in a container.

Have the replacement blade to hand. Carefully place it over the screw.

 

cutter reassembledPut the cutter back together again by reversing the steps to take it apart.

Remember to note which way up everything has to go.

 

 

Find some fabric that you don't like, or that is too small to be of any use. Run the cutter, with its new blade, across this a couple of times to remove any excess oil and to check that you have tightened the nut correctly - too tight and the blade won't roll easily; too loose and it will wobble.

You may find it useful to take step-by-step photos yourself the first time you change the blade - they will act as a reminder for next time.