Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fiskers Rotary Cutter Review

Back when I was an impressionable undergrad, I was taught that professional artists don't use scissors to trim their artwork, but Xacto blades against metal rulers. 

Although I practiced often, I always struggled to pull a straight line.  Even with a brand new blade, my line would wobble and nick into the paper beyond my cutting edge, leaving me to try and recut. 

My attempts to maneuver an Xacto blade through heavy paper always bordered on informerical awful.  Onlookers could easily assume that I was playing up my ineptitude, but they'd be wrong.  I  am just patently awful with an Xacto blade, and while I've never cut myself, my wrist would scream for hours later at the strain and pressure required to score paper.

Recently, I ordered a quilter's rotary cutter, hoping to ease some of my paper trimming frustration.  I went with Fiskers, because it's a brand I recognize, and I ordered it from Overstock.com, because hey, I have some bitcoins.  I ended up using it tonight to trim a commission, and was so excited by how well it cut that I had to share it with you guys.

 This is the rotary cutter with the blade retracted.  The blade can be advanced by pushing the orange knob forward, and retracted again by pushing the side orange button.

 Here's my rotary cutter with the blade extended.

 Using a rotary cutter doesn't negate the need for a nice straight edge, nor the need for a cutting mat, but it does mean I can cut heavy paper with far less pressure.

Really, really easy.  You can't see it, but my other hand isn't holding the camera, but the straight edge (actually, a lie.  I'm not cutting in this shot, just demonstrating how you need to angle the rotary cutter's blade against your straight edge for a clean cut).

Does this mean I'll never need to use an Xacto blade again?  Of course not, this thing is huge.  It does mean I won't have to use an Xacto blade to slice a large sheet of heavy paper though.  It also means I can probably easily trim garage print books to size, a feat my guillotine paper cutter cannot accomplish without hacking up the books. 

Want your own?  You can get it at DickBlick!

Need further convincing?  Check out this video!



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