Earlier, I shared my review of the Fiskars Rotary Cutter and Ruler Combo. One thing I wasn’t able to chat about in my review was the no-touch blade system, since I didn’t have a blade replacement cartridge to try. The awesome folks at Fiskars sent me a blade replacement cartridge, and I’m super excited to share my findings with you!
Before we go on, I should tell you that I have a history with rotary cutters. When I was 12, I made my first quilt, and have the scar to prove it – I cut into my index finger, and needed 2 stitches. Earlier this year, a friend came over for a day of quilting at my house. she was complaining about the dull blade on her rotary cutter, but instead of replacing it, she pushed harder. This added force gave her less control, and as a result, she cut off the tip of her finger (sorry – that is super gross, but true! And she was able to go to urgent care where they re-attached it). Rotary cutters are tools, not toys. They should be used with care, and properly maintained. Which includes replacing dull blades. Okay, off my soapbox and back to the review…
Here is what Fiskars says about their rotary blade replacement system:
- Ideal for easy, safe, no-touch blade change with the Fiskars Rotary Cutter and Ruler Combo or the Fiskars Titanium Soft grip Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter
- Includes five new, razor-sharp 45 mm rotary blades
- Magnetic system removes dull blades and inserts fresh blades without forcing you to touch the sharp edges
- Holds up to six used blades and offers safe, easy disposal of used blades when it is full
The replacement cartridges come in a 5-pack that is ensconced in a white plastic housing. This white plastic housing is the no-touch system. I started by removing the rotary carriage from the Rotary Cutter Ruler Combo.
The carriage holds the blade so that almost all the edges are still covered. I pushed the blade down into the open side of the blade replacement cartridge. The blade snapped into place. I then exposed the new blade (only the side was exposed, no sharp edges), popped the new blade on, and screwed the carriage back in place. This was the easiest and safest blade change I have ever done. Even better, the old blade is completely covered in the housing of the cartridge. It is in a seperate compartment, so it won’t be confused with the fresh blades, and after all the fresh blades are gone, I can throw this cartridge away without worrying that I might cut myself while trying to push down the contents of an overflowing trash can.
Since it was so easy to replace the blade in the Rotary Cutter and Ruler Combo, I thought I’d try replacing the blade in my regular Fiskars rotary cutter. I should add that this is my favorite rotary cutter. I’ve tried the rest- this is the best. It is the most comfortable. It is easy for me to lock and unlock the blade, but hard for my kids to unlock (I have a 5 year old and 2 year old, and while I am good about putting my rotary cutter up when not in use, nobody is perfect). It is comfortable. It stands up to my abuse. It is easy to clean. And did I mention that it is comfortable? I have two (a blue handle and a white handle), and have worn a groove into the blue handled pair from years and years of cutting quilts.
So, I pulled out my rotary cutter, and went to replace the blade.
To be clear: I was not using the product as it was intended. The replacement blade cartridge was not designed for use with this rotary cutter. While I was able to replace the blade – I wouldn’t recommend it. Putting the new blade on was safer than my old method, but pushing the old, exposed blade into the discard chamber on the cartridge was a little scary. I don’t have a ton of strength in my hands, and felt like I had to push pretty hard to get the blade in there. There was a risk of me cutting myself. This is not what the product was designed for, and I was probably stretching the “dummy” part of the “Craft Test Dummies” name a bit. But… I really love how the discarded blade, once popped into place, is now safe.
I really want to applaud Fiskars for coming up with a no-touch way to replace a rotary blade. When used as instructed, on the proper rotary cutter, I felt 100% safe. This is an awesome example of technology making our lives better… and safer.
A standard 5 pack of rotary blades costs $28.09, the no-touch set is a little more expensive at $29.99, and the no-touch titanium blades are $34.99… but my ER copay is $100, so in my mind any of these prices are still a win. (dated on 9/8/14 to reflect correct MSRP).
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