Getting the right cut depends on experience. Your experience will tell you when you are cutting too many layers at one time or if a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter is best for you. The type of material will let you know as well. Not all fabrics can be cut with the same tool.
Choosing the right rotary cutter can help make your sewing project look better and sew easier. Not every piece of fabric needs the 60 mm as it is good for thicker fabrics. The 45 mm is more versatile and may be easier to maneuver.
To learn more about these two cutter sizes, just continue to read our article. It has the information to help you know which one is better for which sewing situation. It is okay to own and use different sizes of rotary cutters as one size doesn't fit all materials or tasks.
The biggest difference will not be found in the obvious. The size is a difference, but it is not the most important aspect that defines these two cutting options. The 60 mm is better for handling straight lines and going through thicker materials like canvas and so on.
The 45mm handles a lot better and can cut curves or smaller areas a lot faster. For some sewers, the 60 mm cuts better than the 45mm but that is a difference that is up to preference, training, and experience.
Then due to the obvious difference, the 60 mm will cut through more layers than the 45 mm will. If that is important to you then that is an important difference. others have successfully cut through 8 layers with their 45 mm rotary cutter.
A final difference will be in the cost category. The 45 mm blades are reportedly a lot cheaper than the 60 mm blades. If the price is an issue you may find using a 45 mm cutter will not be that big of a deal.
Which one you use will depend on the type of sewing projects you are working on. If you do not need to cut a lot of layers or thick fabrics, then the 45 mm is probably the better of the two. It is easier to handle when your patterns call for small-sized pieces or curved lines.
You may also find that the 60 mm may be a bit lighter and easier on your hands as you cut. It has a bigger blade and wider sharp edge that should make getting through those fabrics a lot easier than you expected.
Then you might run into the problem of fabric dips. The 60 mm cutter is known to create them as you move along the fabric line. One sewer found that if she stopped at 12 inches when using the 60 mm then she did not have to worry about the dips.
Basically, which one you will use will depend a lot on the results you get when you use both. There is no harm in owning both as teach cutter has its positive points which make them ideal under specific circumstances.
To be honest, we would recommend that you get both. As we were just saying, both cutters have those strong points that make them ideal to use for different fabrics and project demands.
There is nothing wrong with having both on hand and there is certainly no sewing law that would prohibit you from having both in your sewing supplies. While you may use one more often than the other, there will be times when you need to switch and use the other one.
Also, there are even smaller rotary cutters that may come in handy when the 45 mm just won’t do. Sewers become a lot like their husbands when it comes to tools and equipment. You can only use one screwdriver or wrench at a time but he may own multiple screwdrivers and wrenches.
The same goes for your cutters. You can only use one at a time but it never hurts to have more than one on hand when you need it. Having more than one in your sewing room is like being like the Boy Scouts- always being prepared.
This will depend on the type of fabric you are working with. Also, it will depend on how well the blade was made. An inferior quality blade is not good with any fabric no matter what size it comes in. You will need a top-notch and very sharp blade to cut any fabric correctly.
Then, it is not so much the size that matters but the accuracy of your cut. if the 60 mm provides you with a very accurate cut, then it is the best cutter for fabric. If it is the 45 mm then that is the better rotary cutter to use. If you make bad cuts, you can ruin your sewing project.
Also, you need a cutter that will fit comfortably in your hand as well as work with any ailments like arthritis you may have. Some cutters fit so well that arthritic hands and wrists have no problem using them.
One sewer commented that rotary cutters become very personal. The one that works for one person usually may not work for another. You need to test a few out first to see which one is best for you and maybe pick up a 2nd and 3rd option just in case you need them.
Generally, the above advice would apply here. Some sewers have success with both the 45 and 60 mm rotary cutters and they will stick with the one they like the best. No matter its size or convenience.
However, the rotary cutter you should use on quilts will depend a lot on the thickness of the fabric you are using. The 60 mm is best if you are making a thick quilt using very thick materials.
But if you have lots of little cuts, or doing a fancy design, you may find that the 45 mm will work better in those situations. The 60 mm is not really that good for intricate cuts or designs.
As we said, you should probably have both on hand and ready to use so you do not have to struggle through with the wrong cutter. The key would be in how sharp the blades are. A dull blade will give you nothing but trouble no matter if it is the 45 mm or the 60 mm size.
Having a sharp blade will help you get those accurate cuts you need. Inaccurate cuts can ruin your quilting project and that is the most important part of cutting fabric. The cutter you use has to be able to cut accurately or you are wasting your time.
The consensus is that the 45 mm rotary cutter size is the better of the two. But the sales records tell a different story. Most sewers who work with leather buy the 60 mm and the reason for that choice is that it leaves a cleaner edge after it has cut.
Unfortunately, the 60 mm is not that great for when you need to turn a corner and continue cutting. Small areas are not its forte and you should go to a smaller rotary cutter to get those corners and any intricate trim work done just right.
The 45 mm may do well in short bursts when working on leather but after a while, your hand may get tired and sore as it is not made for thick fabrics, for the most part. While the consensus may say the 45 mm is best, it is better to go with the large rotary cutter to make sure you can cut clean through the fabric without trouble.
You want clean, precise cuts or you have to spend more time cleaning up the rough edges the 45 mm may leave behind.
There are factors you need to consider when looking for a good rotary cutter. it doesn’t matter which size you are looking for as these factors apply to all sizes:
The gold standard is said to be the 45 mm blade. It is the universal cutter that handles just about any fabric you work with and also those intricate details that make your sewing project look so good.
But it is not for every fabric thickness and if you pile up too many layers to cut at one time, you may lose the precision and accuracy you need in a cut. That means you should have several different sized rotary cutters on hand to make sure you can meet every sewing need.
When you need to make small difficult cuts, then it pays to have an 18 or 28 mm rotary cutter within easy reach. Not only will they save you time, but they should also make the cut better than a 45 mm or a 60 mm will.
The 60 mm will handle those tough thick fabrics better than the smaller versions so having one of those on hand will spare you the sore hands, etc., that come with using those smaller blades.
There is some choice when it comes to selecting the type of blade you want on your rotary cutter. There is a magnetic one for both the 45 and 60 mm. It may help you collect pins or needles but the magnetic part shouldn’t hurt your cut.
Since the 45 mm is supposed to be the gold standard for rotary cutters, we will just mention a few of the blade choices you have. There is the standard blade but it can go dull quite fast.
Then there is the endurance blade which lasts about 2 times longer than the standard one. Finally, there is a pinking blade when you need to make cuts that stop fraying from taking place.
As you can see our recommendation is to get more than one rotary cutter. That is because you may need more than one cutter when you are working with different fabric thicknesses and patterns.
Having a few on hand will also save you time when one blade dulls faster than you thought and you do not have any spare blades to exchange it with.