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Orianna2000
11-04-2016, 06:03 PM
This may seem an inane question, but a rotary cutter is supposed to rotate, is it not? Like a pizza cutter?

I bought one recently, it's a special ergonomic kind with a bent handle (this one (https://www.amazon.com/My-Comfort-MCC17083-45mm-Cutter/dp/B004RCJKSK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478267992&sr=8-2&keywords=rotary+cutter+ergonomic)), and I went to cut some fabric last night, only to discover that the blade doesn't actually rotate. This makes it exceedingly difficult to cut anything. Is there a safety mechanism I've overlooked? A screw that's too tight? Is it defective? It's been too long to take it back to the store.

chompers
11-04-2016, 06:20 PM
I've never known a rotary cutter to be used for fabric. I've only ever used it on paper. Is it one made especially for fabric? I would think a rotary cutter wouldn't cut right on fabric.

Orianna2000
11-04-2016, 07:03 PM
Yes, they make them for fabric. Quilters use them almost exclusively for cutting strips of fabric, but they can be used for dressmaking, too.

Maryn
11-04-2016, 08:56 PM
I use a different brand of rotary cutter for fabric (a Fiskar) and yes, the circular blade turns. Why have a circular blade if it cannot rotate?

Forgive any insult, but are you sure you've unlocked it fully? In locked position, the blade doesn't rotate.

Silva
11-04-2016, 09:39 PM
They often have a little lever that locks the wheel (my mom's pulled the blade up and froze it in place to where it couldn't cut anything/one). The one you linked to looks like it has a slide switch right above the blade. (In the main image, it is pushed down, in the images of it with the ruler, it is pulled up.)

Orianna2000
11-04-2016, 10:00 PM
As far as I can tell, the lock only pushes the blade guard down. It doesn't seem to affect the wheel rotation. I'm a total newb at using a rotary cutter, though, so there could be something I'm missing. I'm going to try taking it apart and putting it back together again, to see if that fixes it.

Orianna2000
11-04-2016, 10:16 PM
So I took the thing apart, according to the diagram for changing the blade. When I loosen the back knob all the way, or remove it entirely, the rotary blade moves freely. But when I tighten the back knob, as it's meant to be, the blade won't move at all. It's got to be some kind of defect. Maybe with the blade? Not sure if I should just buy a new blade to see, or get a whole new rotary cutter.

Old Hack
11-05-2016, 01:06 AM
The blade should definitely rotate, so there's something wrong somewhere. If you bought it from a physical shop I'd go back and show them. Have you read the information on the packet to see if there's anything you've not done?

Maryn
11-05-2016, 01:09 AM
Another tip: Often someone has made a Youtube video showing how something works or how they solved a problem with using a product. If this is happening to you, it's happened to previous buyers, too.

Orianna2000
11-05-2016, 01:28 AM
I've looked through the instruction sheet backwards and forwards, but it really doesn't say anything, other than how to change it for left-hand use, and how to adapt it for a pinking blade. The weird thing is, it rotates when I loosen the bolt, but I'm pretty sure it's not safe to use with the bolt loosened.

Thanks, Maryn, but I searched YouTube and found only general instructional guides. No troubleshooting videos.

I'll be returning to the store I bought it from next week, so I might take it along and ask someone at the fabric section if they know what's wrong. But most of them aren't hired for their sewing knowledge, so I won't hold my breath that they'll be able to help. (It's been too long for me to return it, and I don't have the receipt anymore, besides.)

I just found that Amazon sells the same type of rotary cutter in a smaller size. I'm very tempted to order it, because I wanted a smaller sized rotary cutter to begin with, but the store didn't have one.

Old Hack
11-05-2016, 11:11 AM
If you got the TruCut cutter, might it have a guard or something which you have to take into account when you're not using TruCut rulers with it? Because those rulers have a special ridge and groove which the cutter fits into, and without that it might not work properly unless you do something else.

Orianna2000
11-05-2016, 07:26 PM
It came with a special piece that hooks onto the TrueCut rulers, but it's not attached when you buy it. The directions say how to attach it if you want to use it. Since I don't have their rulers, I never attached it. So that shouldn't be the problem.

It just seems very strange that it works when the bolt is loosened. I assume it's not safe to use with it loosened, but that's the only way it'll work.

Orianna2000
11-17-2016, 08:52 PM
Just an update on this. I handed the non-functional rotary cutter to a friend and she tried it . . . and it suddenly started working! No idea how or why, but it's fine now.

It's weird, but this happens to me all the time! Something doesn't work, I show it to my husband, and it works perfectly fine for him. What's up with that?

Maryn
11-17-2016, 11:45 PM
Story of my life. I'll be struggling to open a jar, smacking the back of the kitchen timer to make it start ticking, or trying to get the remote to change channels, and the instant I ask for help, it's suddenly easy for the other person, the issue I had magically gone.

Maryn, full of bad juju, obviously

Layla Nahar
11-17-2016, 11:48 PM
It's weird, but this happens to me all the time! Something doesn't work, I show it to my husband, and it works perfectly fine for him. What's up with that?

pretty sure that's voodoo

Orianna2000
11-18-2016, 03:07 AM
Well, whatever it is, it's sure annoying!

Marissa D
11-18-2016, 03:18 AM
This happens to me too--anything computer-related or mechanical will fight me tooth and nail, but suddenly turn meek and unassuming as soon as my DH walks into the room. He thinks it's hilarious, of course.

dinky_dau
11-22-2016, 09:33 AM
I was going to say that I work with a wide variety of cutting tools and on all sorts of design materials. I have rarely if ever seen one which is supposed to spin as it cuts. Moving parts are not typically wanted in graphic design, engineering models, or any other precise work. Only in the one area I never work in--fabric--would it strike me (now, after reading this thread) as a possible expedient. Pushing past the textile zone into woodworking or metal-crafting, then yes--moving blades or wheeled spinning blades are very common. Usually electric-powered ones, like a Dremel tool. But a hand-operated pizza-cutter style cutting tool certainly does look odd to my eyes.

AW Admin
11-22-2016, 09:38 AM
I was going to say that I work with a wide variety of cutting tools and on all sorts of design materials. I have rarely if ever seen one which is supposed to spin as it cuts. Moving parts are not typically wanted in graphic design, engineering models, or any other precise work. Only in the one area I never work in--fabric--would it strike me (now, after reading this thread) as a possible expedient. Pushing past the textile zone into woodworking or metal-crafting, then yes--moving blades or wheeled spinning blades are very common. Usually electric-powered ones, like a Dremel tool. But a hand-operated pizza-cutter style cutting tool certainly does look odd to my eyes.

They're really really common — and "old" — in fabric arts and culinary realms. Also pre-CAD architecture and design, for both cutting and drawing, as well as measuring.

By "old" I mean they were used in Medieval manuscripts as drawing and as cutting tools for vellum/leather/parchment.

dinky_dau
11-22-2016, 09:49 AM
Aye, I agree that really old drafting equipment (of which I collect in an amateur way) had some movement, but right before the advent of computerized drafting, not so much. That was the coolest era, I think. Pantographs and compasses, lettering sets, electric pounces, sliding rulers. Mulling over this thread, I can totally see spinning tools for culinary and fabric, for sure. But I would say that the last-most recent wave of pre-CAD design tools, very little moving parts in a typical desk setup. Movements were phased out. I remember spending $700 one semester for top of the line gear and everything was fixed-blade. Oh well--interesting to hear from these other fields.