Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Finally Replacing some Tools

Many, many moons ago, I bought my first rotary cutter.  I don't think I bought any rulers at the time and I have no doubt I was not using it as it was intended.  In fact, I am pretty sure my accuracy was very diminished at first.  

Nowadays, a rotary cutter is an extension of my hand (in fact, both hands equally) because I use it so often.

I recently shared a photo on my Instagram account of my first rotary cutter and (I think) my second one that I was having to retire.  They have been glued, shimmed and taped so many times, they have become pretty unsafe.

Olfa saw my post and let me know they would happily replace them. What?!  I know the new ones have a lifetime warranty but I was astonished that they would honor it for these old friends too.  I had stated that I was having emotional issues just tossing these, they asked if I would send them off to them for their archives.  When I told them I still had the original mat that came as a set, they immediately needed a photo.  It was the very first mat they sold!  It is like 11 x 22 - crazy size huh?!  And it has no markings on it at all.

Now that these tools will be kept as examples of the history of quilting tools, I was happy to send them off.  They have definitely earned that honor!

And in return, Olfa let me choose some new tools.  I really wanted one of the Ruby cutters.  Because of its red color and limited addition, I won't get them mixed up with other people's tools quite as easily.  And because it is not an ergonomic style, I can still cut easily with both hands.  

I also asked for a set of their small scissors.  I have to say, I am in love!  They are small and sharp and now reside at my sewing machine machine to cut threads.

The company also included one of their endurance blades for me.  Just as a gift!

I have always been a fan of Olfa tools and mats but after witnessing this great customer service, I will be a dedicated fan for life!

***This post contains affiliate links.  I appreciate the support!


Pieces of Time said...

Give the 65mm cutter a try. I found out they are the greatest.

Robby said...

What a great way to part ways with old friends. I'm pretty sure I have one of those original style cutters, too. Glad you took the plunge and let them go before you had an accident. Happy cutting!

loulee said...

Wow! That is great customer service.
Enjoy using the new tools.

Sharon said...

How fantastic! And I love that they want your old tools to be "museum pieces"! That is special.

I lost my original rotary cutter. I got it when they first came out, and it was immediate love. Now, after using a number of cutters over the years (all Olfa, of course), I have the "Splash" one, so I know it's mine when I'm sewing with others. What a special treat for you to receive the new tools!

I'd never seen that original mat - that's a crazy size! And you know what? I never use the lines on my mat. I only measure with the ruler.

Missy’s Miracle Stitches said...

What a wonderful story! I’ve been looking for a small, SHARP pair of scissors to trim and cut shapes from felt after I embroider on it. I ordered two different pairs that were same brand as my current one but the tips were dull and did not cut effectively. I’m interested in whether these are sharp to the very tip. Would you kindly share your opinion? Thanks!

Cheryll said...

WoW... that shows what a gOOd company they are...
Good luck with the new ones & to another l o n g cutting life...xox

QuiltGram said...

Interesting. For a few months now I have been telling my husband my rotary cutter doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should. Yes, I change my blade regularly, if anything, maybe too soon. I have had it for eons, can’t remember when I bought it but sure hasn’t been within ? 15-20 years. Hubby said it looks OK (carpenter by trade). If anyone has any ideas how long an Olfa rotary cutter’s life time is I would appreciate it. I’ll keep checking back here to see if anyone has any input. Thanks in advance. Carla B.

Linda said...

What an awesome story - I'm so happy for you! I use only Olfa cutters and have purchased several colors over the 10 years I've been quilting. I'll have to check out the endurance blades. I splurged and bought two pairs of those scissors. One is at my ironing area and the other is next to my sewing machine - they are fantastic!

Catarina C said...

Congrats to the new rotary cutter and the small sciccors, what a wonderful gifts!

Jayne said...

I remember seeing your IG post and had to laugh at how cobbled together your cutters were! You! Who is always making had shoddy cutters! What a super amazing thing for Olfa to do for you. Now, be careful with the new cutter...you may be using it for another decade!

Judy P. said...

I also still use my rotary cutters from 20 or more years ago. I have tried the ergonomic ones, but didn't like them. I did get a quick release straight handled one that I love. I have been forcing myself to use my left hand for several years and find that it does get easier over time.


Glad you had such great response with Olfa co--
I seem to have a problem with their cutters--Have only had this newer one about 3 years--but even with brand new blades in it--it skips patches on very thing I cut with it--so have to recut each piece and even sometimes that doesn't seem to cut all the way through and we are only talking 2-4 layers of fabrics--all cotton-- and I use good pressure when doing it--do you know what I could be doing wrong--it is driving me to not wanting to quilt!!!!
thanks-luv, di

Jenny said...

Oooh, lucky you! How kind of the company to send you these goodies. This is a great brand, and I wouldn't buy anything else.

Emily said...

Wow, what a cool story and great customer service! And how amazing that they want your tools!

Juls said...

My first Olfa mat was one of those 6”x18” I purchased for the princely sum of $3.86 in 1980. It still has remnants of the WalMart price sticker and the Olfa sticker label on it. I jumped at the chance to buy another at a yard sale. That has been soooo handy- I use it for garment sewing, sliding it along under the pattern edge and cutting out all my garments this way. I do the same under a quilt sandwich when trimming after quilting for the binding step. I love my ruby red anniversary model cutter!

sandi s said...

Good for you! Olga is also my favorite quilting company. I only use their mats, cutters and rulers. Hugs,


Just love a company that will back their tools! I love that they reached out to you! Kudos's to the employee that came across your post and forwarded it on or just handled it! Thank you for sharing!

c said...

I strongly recommend the 45mm Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter.
Wish I could add a picture...My safety man hubby got it for me at a safety trade show back in the 90s. I have put many rotary miles on it since. I regularly change blades but have not needed to replace it as it still works perfectly after all these years. I love it because you squeeze the blade to cut and when you let go it automatically retracts so no accidental nicks or blood on your fabric. I am left handed but can use the other hand as well. its also great for the kids and newbies i share my passion for quilting with.

info from their web site:
Features a tungsten steel 45mm rotary blade (RB-45)
Also fits pinking (PIB-45), scallop/peak (SCB-45) and wave (WAB-45) blades for decorative edging
Ergonomic curved handle
Squeeze trigger handle exposes blade and self-retracts for safety
Features a tungsten steel 60mm rotary blade
Dual-action safety lock allows for blade to be locked while in use or locked inside the handle when not in use
I just saw a pretty blue version, oh dear, I think my original needs to retire also. Cindy

c said...

Troubleshooting ideas and tips:
Quiltgram, You may have the set screw too tight or lose. Or make sure if it has a curved washer is in and facing the correct way, Or some blades can go on either side of the handle depending on if you are right or left handed.
Quilting is blissful, you may need to clean or replace your mat if it is no longer smooth. I have went thru many mats over the years. I never cut batting on my best or newest mat. when I replace it I label the old one for batting. If you press too hard when cutting it will damage your mat, I find it takes some practice for some people to get the feel of it without fighting or torking the rotary blade. as a lefthander I always have to adapt when using right hand scissors or other power tools.
Judyp, I always do my cleanup cut removing salvages with my right hand so I don't have too turn the fabric, just switch hands and reposition my ruler for my next cuts.
Sharon, I don;t usually use the lines either, it wears out the mat faster. there is alot of clean smooth cutting surface in between the lines. Cindy

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Hi Ol' friend!
I'm laughing as I read this post...as we don't hesitate to buy fabric...but oh my to replace our rotary cutters...oh my!! LOL!!My aunt bought me my very first rotary cutter and when I finally replaced it...I kept it...as it was just so sentimental to me. But oh a new one....was wonderful!!!

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said...

I, too, have one of those small cutting mats. My cutter long ago bit the dust. I've used both Olfa and Fiskar and loved them both. I bought Fiskar because they had the ergonomic handle first. When it broke, I replaced it with Olfa which had come out with the ergonomic by that time. The biggest problem I have with it is that the lock button gets knocked to the open position when I set it down. But these are extremely good cutters.

MissPat said...

I've had the yellow ergonomic Olfa for more than 20 years and love that the blade retracts automatically. I see that there's a purple splash now. If they make a purple ergonomic one, I'll buy right away.

Barb N said...

Who knew when you began your rotary adventure, that you'd be a part of Olfa history! Great product research for the company, and a win-win for you. Enjoy that red cutter!

Kate said...

How fun! I've never seen the cutting mats without markings, so those have to predate my entry into quilting. Enjoy your new sewing tools.

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