Sewing Scissors Vs. Rotary Cutter

Do You Use a Rotary Cutter or Just Sewing Scissors?

I was super excited when I bought my first rotary cutter and mat. I had lots of plans to cut out patterns at lightning speed and complete sewing projects faster than ever. Then, I got frustrated and switched back to my good ol’ sewing scissors.

The reason?

My self-healing mat was too small to cut out large projects without shifting it every few seconds. It was super annoying and cutting was taking me way more time than it should.

A Rotary Cutter Can Add Speed (If you use it right)

I don’t think a rotary cutter is worth the money unless you also buy a super large cutting mat. You need a large cutting mat so you can cut out an entire sewing project without shifting the mat around.

I’ve invested in a larger cutting mat and now enjoy my rotary cutter for its intended purpose. It really does make sewing faster. Plus, a rotary cutter makes more accurate cuts than sewing scissors.

In addition to a large cutting mat, you’ll need a clear ruler and pattern weights to get the most out of your rotary cutter. Self-healing mats are expensive, but they last a really long time if you take care of them.

How to Use a Rotary Cutter

It’s really not hard to use a rotary cutter. It’s just like cutting a pizza — you glide the blade where you want it to cut. The following are some detailed steps in case you still need more confidence to give it a try.

  • Place your fabric on the cutting mat and use weights to hold the pattern pieces in place. That’s right, you don’t have to use pins, which is why you can get your pattern cut out faster with a rotary cutter.
  • Place your rotary cutter about one inch away from the start of the pattern to encourage a smooth cut from the start. Then, start slowly and apply a decent amount of pressure until you get the hang of it. Rotary cutters are sharp and you don’t want to make a mistake, so work up your speed.
  • Glide the rotary cutter around your pattern pieces, using a ruler when necessary, and mark notches, darts, etc. as you go with a fabric marking pen. You might need to finish up with your sewing scissors to catch any small areas you missed with your rotary cutter.
  • Start sewing!

The Rotary Cutter Is My New Friend

In addition to speed, there are lots of other reasons to switch to a rotary cutter. For instance, your hand doesn’t get as tired because you don’t use the same repetitive motion and force required from sewing scissors. You can also cut out multiple layers of fabric at the same time.

Which Do You Prefer? Sewing Scissors or Rotary Cutter?

What do you think? Do you use a rotary cutter? Do you like it better than your sewing scissors? Leave a comment below.