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Changing Your Rotary Blade without Touching The Blade

Changing your rotary blade is something that needs to be done pretty frequently.  Not only does it make cutting your fabric easier but it helps keep your mat in the best shape possible.  The rotary cutter might also be the most dangerous tool we have in our quilting room.  Even when the blades get too dull to cut fabric well they are still sharp enough to do harm to you.  So let me show you how to change your rotary blade without touching the blade.

Here's a quick and easy way to change your rotary cutter blade—without touching the blade! Plus, learn where to buy quality rotary blades and what to do with them when you're done using them.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Purchasing items from the links costs you nothing more and adds a few pennies to the fabric budget.

Changing Your Rotary Blade without Touching the Blade

Years ago I got a Havel's Ruler and Rotary Cutter combo, it's a ruler that has the rotary cutter attached.  It came with this magnet tool to change the blade.  I did a video back then about the tool, what everyone was most excited about was the magnet tool.   Of course, it wasn't for sale, and I needed to figure out how to solve this problem for all those who wanted one.

Rotary Blades

Before we actually change the blade let's make sure we have a good blade.  I know people talk about buying them in bulk from places like Harbor Freight or off-brand ones from Amazon.  I get it, they are a lot cheaper than the brand-name ones, and I have preached about saving money where you can so you can afford better quality fabric.  This is one place I won't cheap out.

I've bought the cheap blades before.  Sure it saved me some money and added a little bit more to the fabric budget but in the long run, it cost me more because they killed my cutting mat.  Self-healing mats aren't cheap.  One of the reasons for the expense is they have to be shipped flat and that costs a lot.  

So what rotary blades do I use?  Olfa, Fiskar, or Quilter's Select are my go-to brands.  It just depends on where I am and what is on sale which blades I grab.  I will say that we have found some of the Fiskar 60 mm blades don't have the same center hole so you will want to look before just grabbing.  We haven't had that problem with the 45 mm blades.

Where to Buy Good Rotary Blades

If you can buy them at your local quilt shop.  As the internet has grown and I've gotten to know folks from all over I have realized that not everyone has quality shops nearby and with the cost of gas right now ordering online is the best option.  The places linked below are either nationally known online retailers or my trusted partners.  They are also all 45 mm blades since those are the most common. 

Quilter's Select

This is the brand of rotary cutter that we use.  They are a little pricey but they are the best rotary cutter I have used in all my years of quilting.  This brand is only sold at local quilt shops so all my links for these products are to the shop I shop at.  I won't send you to a shop I wouldn't use and I shop there almost weekly. ;). 45 mm cutter is the one that you see me using all the time.  60 mm cutter is what Paul uses and it's great for making long cuts.  

Blades come in single blades and in multi-packs.  Single 45 mm blades are $5.50 and a pack of 5 blades is $22.00.


Fiskars rotary blades are probably the easiest to find.  You can pick them up just about anywhere.  I've listed as many possibilities below so that not only can you get the best deal but if you need to add something to your cart to get free shipping rotary blades aren't a bad way to go.  There are cheaper options on Amazon but I'm pretty leary of buying anything that doesn't show the Fiskars packaging.  

Fat Quarter Shop - 1 blade $7.48
Sewing Machines Plus - 1 blade $9.99
Sew Vac Direct - 1 blade $6.39 or 5 blades $31.03


Olfa is a tad bit harder to find than Fiskars blade but they are still pretty easy to find.  As before rotary blades are a great way to get to that free shipping level that most smaller online retailers have.  

Sew Vac Direct - 1 blade $7.63
Sewing Machines Plus - 1 blade $9.99 or 2 $17.49
Amazon - 2 blades $10.47

Changing Your Rotary Blade

Now that we have good blades, we can change them.  So how did I solve the problem of the original magnetic tool not being available?  I whined to Paul.  No, seriously I whine to him that I had made a video and the part everyone wanted wasn't available.  He brought me this magnetic wand.  He's pretty good at figuring out how to fix problems.

It's that easy!

What To Do with Old Rotary Blades

So what do you do with those old blades?  I put them in an old rotary cutter and use it for my crafting.  Those blades are still sharp enough to cut paper and vinyl.  Once they get dull enough to not use for paper or vinyl crafting they go in an old pill bottle.  When the bottle is full I tape it shut and throw them away.

If you aren't a general crafter you can get a blade saver from Fat Quarter Shop.  It allows you to use your old rotary blades to cut your chain piecing threads safely. 

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Learn how to change your rotary cutter blade without ever having to touch it- keeping your fingers safe in the process! Plus, find out where to buy quality rotary blades and what to do with them once you've changed them.

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