How to measure rotary cutter blades

How to measure rotary cutter blades

Whether you’re new to rotary cutting or you’ve been doing it for a while, you may have some questions about the different sizes of rotary cutters and want to know “How to measure rotary cutter blades“.

Let me start from the beginning. Rotary cutters were created by the founder of OLFA in 1979 as a faster, more efficient way to cut fabric.

This really revolutionized the quilting industry. Any time you’re using a rotary cutter, you should also be using a rotary mat. This will help protect your work surface and prolong the life of your blade.

Today, there are four standard sizes rotary cutters in the industry. 18 millimeters, 28 millimeters, 45 millimeters, and 60 millimeters. The size references the width of the blade.

To find the size of the blade that’s right for your project consider what you’ll be making, the type of material you’ll be cutting, and the types of cuts you’ll be making.

You may find that you have a preference for one size over the other, and in the end, it’s really all about what works for you.

Types of rotary cutter

Other than the brand, the rotary cutter can be differentiated by the sizes of the blade, handle manufacturing, left-handed rotary cutter, and right-handed rotary cutter.

What is the difference between a 28mm, 45mm and 60mm rotary cutter?


The 18 Millimeter Rotary Cutter is the smallest size and is best suited for intricate or detailed cutting.

Think about when you’re cutting applique, curved quilt pieces, templates, trimming seams, or cutting out garment patterns.

18mm rotary cutter


The 28 Millimeter Rotary Cutter is a good fit for working on small-scale projects like miniatures or fitting into tight corners.

It also works well for cutting curves and garment patterns.

18mm rotary cutter


The 45 Millimeter Rotary Cutter is the original and most popular size rotary cutter.

Use this size for all your general cutting, making strips, squaring up your blocks, just about anything.

With this size, you can cut up to eight layers of fabric at one time.

45mm rotary cutter


The 60 millimeter is the largest size rotary cutter available.

Some people like this size for all their general cutting, but I usually set it aside for when I’m working with thick or demanding fabrics, like home decor outdoor fabrics.

Because of the larger blade, this is also a great tool for squaring up your quilt before binding.

It’s able to easily glide through all three layers of your quilt top, the batting and your backing material.

60mm rotary cutter

What size rotary cutter is best for fabric?

For fabric, 45mm size is the most popular one since the position of that cutter is in the middle of all available sizes So that people feel comfortable with it and feel it’s flexible.

Fabrics are generally not that thick and can be cut by 45mm. even this size of the cutter can cut eight layers of fabric, which is more than enough for the people who are working.

Can you cut curves with a rotary cutter?

Though rotary cutter is not made for curve cutting but for flawless line cutting. The smallest size of the rotary cutter can be used for the curve cutting.

Many of the users use 28mm only for curve cutting. If you get comfortable with the rotary cutter, it is also possible to cut any kind of curve in the competition with scissors.

The best tip I can give you for curve cutting, First, draw the line on the fabric. If you draw the line and perfectly run the cutter over the line, you can surely get awesome results. Hold your cutter 60-degree angle when you are cutting on the line as it will help you to see the drawing line more clearly.

How many layers can a rotary cutter cut?

The different size of cutter has different number of fabric cutting ability.

18mm can cut around 3 to 4 layers of fabric.

28mm can cut around 5 layers of fabric.

45mm can cut 8 layers of fabric.

60mm can cut around 10 to 11 layers of fabric.

this is a approximate value of every blade, this can be differ for fabric to fabric.

To conclude, choosing the right size of rotary cutter an essential part of your quilting profession. I hope, this article is helped you to know about the sizes of the rotary cutter and from the total explanation, you can choose the right one for you.

Similar Posts