Quilting Rotary Cutters: A Complete Guide

Quilting rotary cutters--every quilter's best friend. Nothing slices like these tools especially when there is a fresh blade. 

But not all rotary cutters are created equal; there are a variety of handles, blades, and sizes to choose from, handle and style can be a personal preference. 

45mm Quilting Rotary Cutters

When it comes to quilting rotary cutters, the 45mm is the gold standard. It is the perfect size to make all of your basic quilting cuts and is comfortable to hold. Even the 45mm quilting rotary cutter has different styles and options, though. In the photo below, you'll see two popular versions of the 45mm rotary cutter. On the left is a standard straight handle and on the right is an ergonomic handle.

With a sharp blade, these rotary cutters can cut up to 6-8 layers of cotton fabric at once. 

45mm blades come in a few options

  • standard 45mm blade
  • endurance blades, meant to last twice as long as the standard blades
  • pinking blades, meant to prevent too much fraying on finished exposed seams

18mm and 28mm Quilting Rotary Cutters

  • The 18mm is the perfect tool for those small cuts that accompany small projects, such as English paper piecing and hexies. Any small hand stitching project is perfectly paired with this cutter. 
  • The 28mm is also geared toward small projects. This size is perfect for cutting fabric template shapes for curved piecing.   
  • In the event a smaller blade seems too much, serrated trimmers are a great alternative as they keep fabric in place while cutting.

60mm Quilting Rotary Cutters

The 60mm features a larger blade that cuts through thicker materials and more layers than its smaller counterparts.

  • this is the size blade we use in the shop when cutting fabric, as this size is much larger than the 45mm it can take some time to get used to the size difference.