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