The fabric designer Heather Bailey started March of the Tools on her blog a couple of years ago. Since I have had a few questions about the handle on my rotary ruler, I thought I’d take a post to talk about this tool and a few others.
I resisted buying this handle. In general, I try not to buy “stuff,” so this isn’t too surprising. Also it is very purple and plastic, which makes it one of my least favorite colors and materials! Plus, it costs around $20 and just wasn’t sure if it would be $20 worth of awesome.
I thought about it for at least a year.
I looked at cheaper options.
Ultimately, I sucked it up and forked over the $20.
I wish I had done it sooner!
This tool makes it so much easier to hold the ruler in place while cutting, to move the ruler between cuts, and to set up cuts very precisely.
I don’t, in general, have a clumsiness problem, but I’d wager that if you were someone who worried about cutting your flesh when cutting your fabric, the gripper would help to avoid those accidents.
Love this tool!
While we’re talking about rotary cutting, I wanted to point you towards my favored rotary cutter: Olfa’s Quick Change Rotary Cutter . Why do I like this one? As the name implies, it is very easy to change the blades. The problem I had with the ergonomic one (see picture below) is that I have a heck of a time changing the blade and then end up with a wobbly blade. The Quick Change is very easy to change and never wobbly.
Also, I am ambidextrous enough to cut with my left hand when the situation calls for it, and the ergonomic cutter is for right-handed cutting only.
The downside of the Quick Change Rotary Cutter is that it doesn’t automatically cover the blade when you set it down…you have to slide the guard up. This is second-nature to me now, so its not a problem. But, if you are accident prone…maybe not the right cutter for you.
I don’t have any strong feelings about rotary cutting mats except that bigger is better and buy them when Joann‘s puts them on 40% or 50% sale. : )
The one that I use currently is a Fiskars mat. I like its pretty colors.
When buying a rotary cutting mat, I avoid any that are putting off a strong odor.
I also avoid any that have a lot of writing on them. I used to have a smaller Olfa mat and I was constant working around a corner that was full of words rather than ruler markings.
For my other March of the Tools posts click on the label below.
What’s your favorite tool?