Arthritis within the joints, hands, wrists, and arms has become inevitable for people who have been crafting for a long time. But this setback shouldn’t stop you from crafting, quilting, or sewing. You need to find the best way to work with it instead of against it. And for this, you need the best rotary cutter for arthritis.
After all, crafting involves a lot of cutting, and this can be one of the most straining tasks you must face. And it often triggers arthritis in many. So, it pays to get a reliable rotary cutter for smoother and pain-free cuts.
I’ve scoured the internet to highlight the six best rotary cutters for people with arthritis. See which one can keep up with your cuts.
Best Rotary Cutter for Arthritis – Our Top 6!
OUR #1 CHOICE
Are you looking for the best rotary tool for arthritis? Look no further than the OLFA 45mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter. Coming with an ultra-sharp tungsten blade paired with an ergonomic handle, the Olfa 45 mm rotary cutter is everything a person with arthritis needs!
Its RB-45 blade is ultra-sharp and cuts through any fabric like butter. This product can go through six layers of thick cotton without issue. And it can also cut through other materials like paper, vinyl, upholstery, fleece, felt, and tarp.
As a result, you can use the rotary cutter without too much pressure—reducing strain on your hands.
Sharp blade aside, holding this rotary cutter is a joy in itself. After all, it has one of the most comfortable grips available. Using soft rubber handles, it’s no wonder this product has become favored by many! Besides that, it also comes with a squeeze handle lock to protect you from accidents.
Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re left- or right-handed, as this rotary cutter comes with a movable blade side. You can change the blade on opposite sides, whichever is more convenient! Overall, holding and working with the Olfa 45 mm rotary cutter is never a stressful task. After all, so much thought has gone into the product’s design,
But the downside of this rotary cutter is that its blade dulls fast with continuous use. So, you have no choice but to tackle the task of honing the rotary cutter’s blade or changing it now and then. Still, this minor setback doesn’t affect this tool’s performance much.
Overall, the Olfa 45 mm rotary cutter is ideal for those looking for a sharp, reliable, and all-around tool. Besides that, it has one of the best designs exuding comfort and functionality, perfect for those with arthritis. Consider getting the Olfa 45 mm for a more seamless and pain-free cutting experience regardless of your task.
The Martelli 45 mm Rotary Cutter is the perfect all-around tool for those professionals with arthritis.
It has an ergonomic design complete with a grippy handle cushion for better control. As a result, this has become a favorite among people that perform craft cutting as part of their job. With Martelli, you gain a reliable companion complementing your efforts!
Comfort aside, this rotary cutter is also one of the most straightforward tools. You can maneuver through all fabrics, ranging from cotton to leather, without issues! And best of all, it lets you work on several layers at a time. Thanks to its sharp blade, Martelli enables you to cut through 15 fabric layers.
Another excellent feature of this rotary cutter for users with arthritis is its spring-loaded guards. These add to the safety of the product while you’re cutting. It holds tight in the natural gripping position of your hands while ensuring your safety.
But this rotary cutter isn’t the most durable as its casing is brittle plastic. So, if you’re looking for a product that’ll help you cut for a long time, this isn’t the best choice. But with proper care and upkeep, even the Martelli can help you cut for years!
Also, I found it difficult to change the blades due to the rotary cutter’s unusual design. Anyway, this only takes some getting used to, and you should be able to replace its blades like a pro in no time.
If you’re experiencing limited hand movement due to arthritis but still need a rotary cutter for your professional, choose Martelli! It boasts quality, convenience, safety, and great value for money!
The Fiskars Craft Supplies: 45 mm model is a unique rotary cutter that lets you adjust the blade’s handle. It’s the perfect pick for those looking for an all-around rotary cutter to handle intricate and heavy tasks.
One of the main highlights of this rotary cutter is its ergonomic handle. It pivots in 3 to 4 different positions to make the cutting process easy and pain-free. For instance, its classic stick helps you move the rotary cutter from bottom to top in a straight line with ease.
Meanwhile, if you’re working on materials like leather or rubber, its power position feature can help. It adds pressure to help you cut through these things smoothly. As a result, it prevents strain on your hands, wrists, and arms.
Best of all, its ergonomic left/right function eases pressure and stress on your wrists. It reduces the pressure needed to move the rotary cutter. And this position is best for individuals with arthritis or general movement limitations.
Aside from the key highlights, this rotary cutter also comes with a soft handle. This addition helps you work better by minimizing the strain or pressure on your wrist.
The downside to this rotary cutter is that it can be challenging to use and maintain. So, it’ll take some time before you get used to how the product works. But though it may seem challenging at first, you’ll eventually have a grip on using the cutter.
If you’re looking for a rotary cutter that can keep up with your heavy-duty tasks, look no further than Fiskars. The Crafts Comfort Loop 65 mm Rotary Cutter is a heavy-duty tool that can slit leather like butter! When tested for sharpness and strength, this rotary cutter stood out from the rest.
Its 65 mm blade diameter allows for deeper cuts. And this is essential when cutting through materials like leather. Regardless of the leather sheet size, this rotary cutter can handle it without issue. Creating leather goods has never been this easy, especially for those with arthritis.
Sharpness and performance aside, this rotary cutter also guarantees safety. It comes with a slide button switch that lets you turn the cutter’s blade on and off, preventing accidents. And even though it doesn’t have the most comfortable handles, it offers a tighter grip thanks to its loop design.
Moreover, unlike other rotary cutters, this heavy-duty model has a callous build. As a result, you don’t have to worry about breaking the tool, even when cutting through the most rigid materials!
Overall, if heavy-duty tasks are what you face, the Fiskars Crafts Comfort Loop 65 mm Rotary Cutter has you covered. But if you’re looking to perform intricate cutting, I suggest looking at the other listed products.
The Fiskars Crafts 60 mm Rotary Cutter allows passionate crafters or quilters with arthritis to make the perfect cuts even with limited movement!
Although 45 mm rotary cutters are great all-around tools, they aren’t strong enough for heavy-duty tasks. And this is where this 60 mm product comes in. Boasting a broader and sharper blade, the Fiskars Crafts 60 mm lets you ease through the most rigid materials.
Moreover, since it uses a titanium blade, it can go through other materials aside from standard cotton or leather. This model is sharp enough to handle things like foam and polystyrene.
Sharpness and performance aside, this rotary cutter is surprisingly detailed despite being made for heavy-duty purposes. After all, the blade is placed on a container exposing around a quarter of the blade when cutting. As a result, it gets a higher edge over the materials cut.
Also, the product comes with a slide switch for easy turning on and off. With this, you can prevent accidents with a simple button turn.
The downside of this rotary cutter is that its blade wears out fast. After all, aluminum isn’t as rugged as tungsten and other materials. So, expect frequent sharpening, mainly if you craft every day! And you can also look forward to changing blades now and then.
The OLFA 45mm Quick-Change model is the best choice for those looking for their first rotary cutter. It’s a budget variation that is comfortable and smooth enough for arthritic users.
The difference between this model and the other OLFA model listed is that this one has better blade placement. This rotary cutter has its top laid straight across its handle, allowing you to hold it with more control. And this is often safer for arthritic users.
Aside from that, its unique build guarantees sharp and uniform cuts regardless of the fabric used. But it doesn’t end there! This rotary cutter’s handle comes with grooves that prevent fingers from slipping when cutting. So, you don’t have to think about getting injured, even if it’s your first time using a rotary cutter.
Its blade is the same 45 mm blade present in OLFA rotary cutters. It’s durable and sharp enough to go through most fabrics and vinyl. And though not essential for performance, this model’s vibrant design is sure to catch the eye of any user!
If you’re looking for a no-frills and inexpensive rotary cutter for beginners, look no further than the OLFA 45mm Quick-Change Rotary Cutter.
How to Select the Best Rotary Cutter for Arthritis? (Buying Guide)
No matter how good a rotary cutter is, it won’t work the same for all tasks. So, it pays to be a bit more meticulous when finding one, especially if you have arthritis. To help you search for the best rotary cutter for arthritis, consider the following:
✔️ Blade Diameter
Generally, rotary cutters come in four blade diameters—each responsible for different tasks. So, depending on what you’re cutting determines the blade diameter you need. Here is an overview:
18 mm is the thinnest blade diameter available for rotary cutters. It’s best for cutting tiny or curved patterns. So, if you often deal with delicate fabrics, this is your best choice.
28 mm rotary cutters are best for tackling small projects or if you mainly cut 1 to 3 layers of fabrics at a time. This blade diameter is ideal for cutting patterns with tight corners. So, if you often tackle complex designs, go for 28 mm.
45 mm rotary cutters are the most versatile, and many consider this their “day in and day out” choice. After all, it allows you to cut most patterns and layers—no matter how thick! This blade diameter is the best for those new to sewing or crafting, and it should be able to handle any task without issue.
60 mm is the thickest diameter available for handheld rotary cutters—though some may go up to 65 mm. This blade diameter is best for medium- to heavy-duty cutting tasks. So, as you can guess, it can cut through thicker fabrics with ease. Aside from that, it can also go through 12 cotton fabric layers without issues!
Generally, a 60 mm rotary cutter is your best option if you mainly cut several layers in a straight line.
Choosing the correct blade diameter is crucial for those with arthritis. After all, it ensures a smoother cutting experience for your convenience. So, not only will choosing the right size guarantee comfort—but it can also save you a lot of time!
✔️ Blade Material
Quality blade materials can save you a lot of time by letting you cut through several layers of fabric in one go. Aside from that, it saves tons of your energy as you won’t need to wrestle it through the material. So, you can see why it’s crucial for those with arthritis. After all, the blade material guarantees a smoother experience!
The best rotary cutter for arthritis should use tungsten or carbon steel as its base material. You’d often see these in kitchen knives, so you can see why they’re good: they’re sharp and reliable!
Moreover, rotary cutters should have replaceable blades for your convenience. It lets you keep the handle that fits your hand like a glove—perfect for those with arthritis.
Overall, a quality blade material is crucial when finding a rotary tool for arthritis. It ensures a smoother cutting experience, better flexibility, and most importantly, it stays sharp! And all these guarantee a better experience for those with arthritis.
✔️ Blade Handle
Since we’re looking for rotary cutters for people with arthritis, prioritizing blade handles is a must! You’d want to ensure the handle is comfortable to grip and keep your hands strain-free no matter the angle. Generally, you’d like an ergonomically-designed blade handle for max comfort and convenience.
But there are also some blade handles specially designed for individuals with arthritis. For example, some brands allow users to add attachments to the handle to personalize the grip! And some have a design that lets you press from their overhead, making cutting seamless.
✔️ Rotary Cutter Design
Crafting or sewing with arthritis can be tedious, especially for the affected hand. So, it’s best to consider the rotary cutter’s design to put less strain.
Aside from that, I also recommend considering the functionality of the design. For example, if you’re left-handed, I suggest choosing rotary cutter designs catered to you! After all, it can be tricky to use a tool not intended for your dominant hand. Ensure the blade is movable to the opposite end for more comfortable use if unavailable.
If not, you’ll have difficulty using the tool, which might trigger your arthritis.
✔️ Rotary Cutter Blade Accessories
There are accessories to consider when choosing a rotary cutter. And a cutting mat is one of the most crucial things to get if you have arthritis. After all, it protects your tables or floor from damage while keeping your fabric in one place. As a result, it places less strain on your hands, wrists, and arms.
Another accessory that rotary cutters for arthritis are a ruler track. You can lay this conto fabric to help you do your lineups more consistently. And it saves you from applying too much pressure as it only requires you to cut straight.
How to use a Rotary Cutter with Arthritis? Safety Tips to Keep in Mind!
You can use a rotary cutter just as you usually use it without arthritis. But some practical techniques can help you do the task without pain or pressure. Here are some of those:
- Keep your arms straight. Hold the rotary cutter’s handle and keep your wrist, hand, and arm straight. Doing so gives you complete control of the tool and pressure.
- Experiment with different positions. Try gripping at various angles. After all, comfort is subjective and varies per person—for example, some cutters like positioning their finger on the handle’s top to guide them.
- Cut far from yourself. Pushing actions do the most work when cutting with a rotary tool. So, try to cut away from yourself for a more seamless experience. Also, this can keep you safe.
- Stand up when cutting. It’s best to cut while standing up to achieve consistent pressure. This way, you can cut fabrics in one motion!
Additional Tips to Ease Pain When Using A Rotary Cutter
Working with rotary cutters or sewing and crafting, in general, can be painful if you have arthritis. Luckily, there are several proven ways to fight the pain and ensure a smoother, pain-free experience. I’ve listed a few techniques to ease discomfort when using a rotary cutter with arthritis.
These are also applicable to those without arthritis as they help you get a lot of cutting done minus the pain!
✅ Warm Up Beforehand
Warm your wrists, hands, and arms up before grabbing your rotary cutter and start sewing or crafting. If you’re going to do everything by hand, I recommend warming up your hands under running water. Try doing a hot paraffin hand bat for more tedious projects by dipping your hands into some melted wax. It helps relieve pain beforehand and stimulates your muscles for better results!
✅ Find the Right-Sized Rotary Cutter
Before cutting, make sure you’re using the right-sized rotary cutter. It should be able to nestle in your palms with ease, offering excellent grip and control. And this is especially crucial if you’re tackling extensive or complex tasks.
✅ Cut In Sections and Stages
A proven way to ensure max comfort for your hands and wrists when using a rotary cutter with arthritis is cutting in sections and stages. It gives you some rest between the cutting, ensuring your hands perform well and are pain-free. So, instead of rushing the task, cut your pieces in stages, especially if you’re cutting strips or squares for patchwork.
Make sections to cut out first and do them first, take a break, and continue to do other parts of the sewing or crafting process. And once your hands and wrists have had some rest, go back. Although time-consuming, it saves you from excess strain and pain.
This technique might not be as essential if you only make clothes or small homewares. Still, it’s worth remembering in the long run!
✅ Hone the Rotary Cutter Blades
As your rotary cutter blades begin to blunt down and become harder to use, you’ll need to apply more pressure and weight to cut. But this can be straining to the hands, wrists, and arms, which isn’t suitable for those with arthritis. Luckily, sharpening rotary cutter blades is possible.
This way, you can make the most out of your rotary cutter blades. And you won’t need to apply as much force when cutting, taking away pressure and pain from your hands and wrists! As a result, you get to cut out for prolonged periods and make it easier on yourself.
Also, keep the blades clean to make them usable for the following projects. But if they are beyond saving, I recommend changing them entirely. And though this may sound costly and time-consuming, it will have a massive impact on your work. After all, using sharper and newer blades guarantees a more seamless cutting process! They cut more accurately with less force, minimizing grip pain.
I suggest not to throw away old blades to save yourself some cash and demote them to cutting paper and plastic.
✅ Keep Repetitive Motions to a Minimum
When using rotary cutters, keep the cuts in one motion to avoid adding strain to your hands and wrists. I recommend applying more pressure with your cutting to reduce repetitive motions. And you can do this by putting your body weight to work.
Position your cutting surface to allow your body weight to add more momentum to the motion.
✅ Always Check Your Technique
Rotary cutters often come with instruction manuals to help you know the best ways to use them. Moreover, these allow you to adapt to the tool for max comfort.
✅ Take a Lot of Breaks
Take a break if you feel your wrists, hands, or arms beginning to feel weak! It’s best to work in blocks of time when cutting to reduce your strain. You can test different ways to “reset” your hands and wrists while soothing them. These can either involve a warm heat pad or even a paraffin bath!
✅ Support Your Work in the Process
As you continue cutting, try to support your creation along the way. For instance, you can try propping up the fabric so that you’re not working on it and managing its weight simultaneously. Doing so reduces strain on your hands and wrists.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I select the best rotary cutter for arthritis?
A: When selecting rotary cutters for arthritis, consider what you’re cutting. This way, you’ll be able to find the best blade thickness and cut through the different fabrics with ease. As a result, it reduces pressure on your hands. Moreover, find rotary cutters with ergonomic handles for a comfortable grip.
Q: What rotary cutter size is the best?
A: Generally, 45 mm rotary cutters are your best option if you’re looking for one that can tackle any project. Meanwhile, if you’re going to cut tons of fabric, I recommend 60 mm rotary cutters. Finally, if you often make minor cuts or cut curves, go for 18 mm variations.
Q: Are the rotary cutter blades different from each other?
A: The differently-sized rotary cutter blades have their unique purposes. For instance, 60 mm rotary cutter blades cut through thick materials best. Meanwhile, 18 mm rotary cutter blades are best for detailed cuts. Generally, however, 45 mm rotary cutter blades are the best size as they can cut do both—and more!
Q: What’s the safest rotary cutter for arthritis?
A: The safest rotary cutters for arthritis should have ergonomic or padded handles. These put less strain on the hands, making it safer for individuals with the condition. Aside from that, rotary cutters, in general, should have dual-action safety locks. They prevent accidental cuts or scratches!
Q: Is getting rotary cutters worth it if you have arthritis?
A: If you often craft and want a more accessible, safer, and pain-free way of cutting fabric, getting rotary cutters is 100% worth it. After all, they cut faster and are more comfortable to hold than conventional scissors.
To continue crafting, sewing, or any other hobby involving cutting things without pain, invest in the best rotary cutter for arthritis. These should have the right thickness for smooth cutting and ergonomic handles for a comfortable grip. Regardless of what you choose, each of the listed rotary cutters guarantees a seamless and pain-free experience. And they’re all within reasonable prices. So, all that’s left is to choose!