To sharpen or not?

I’m talking about the blade of my rotary cutter. (THIS is the post I meant to publish, so you’re getting 2 in one day :))


They’re expensive! A pack of 5 runs about $50 plus taxes or more, depending upon the retailer. Fortunately, I learned I can print an online coupon for 40% off one, regular priced item at my local Michael’s craft supply store. Right now though, I can’t even afford that.

Being environmentally-friendly and trying very hard not to throw non-biodegradable items (or anything really) in the garbage, I hang on to all my old, dull blades. There has to be a way to sharpen them. Right? People sharpen scissors, kitchen knives and skates. Why not these as well?

And this morning I was finally compelled to Google it 🙂 My current blade is driving me nuts, it’s approaching the likeness of a butter knife. I prefer efficiency when I’m working and when I have to roll my blade back and forth AND back and forth to make a cut. . . . that simply isn’t time well spent. Nor is it enjoyable.

I typed in ‘how to sharpen a rotary blade’ and tried the very first trick (link at bottom of page) I clicked upon. It involves tin foil, something I don’t buy or use anymore (for environmental and health reasons), but actually have because I’ve been saving it for years in the hopes of being able to recycle it one day 🙂

This is my ‘inside’ bag. There’s 10 times more in my shed!



I located 3 flat, folded pieces and used the 2 smaller ones to begin with. I can honestly say I was underwhelmed with the result.

SO, I employed the larger, much more layered piece. It has so many layers I couldn’t cut through them all.


Now, when I go to a particular website, and find a recipe or instructions on how to do something (like sharpen a rotary blade!), I always scroll through the comments. In many cases, I can’t read them all but I can glean the general idea of the success or failure. In this instance, most people said ‘great idea, I’m going to try it’ or ‘it DOES work, on scissors too’.

The author of the article claims it works as well. And I’ve no doubt it probably does. For them.

My verdict is this:

I really can’t say for sure if it’s a useful trick. I don’t notice a massive difference in the cutting ability of my blade or even a decent difference. Maybe it’s slightly better. Maybe it’s a placebo effect and there’s no improvement at all, lol. Perhaps it’s because I mainly cut denim. I don’t know. This was not the OMG, so amazing moment I was hoping for.

I was relieved to find one commenter who said ‘tried the trick, it does not work’. Someone else said it didn’t work for them either. At least I’m not alone. It didn’t hurt to give it a go though and it certainly didn’t make my blade duller. Now I’ll just do some more Googling and see what else is recommended. I have enough blades to experiment with.


4 thoughts on “To sharpen or not?

  1. Multi-talented sounds good to me! I’ve always wanted to learn to knit and I’ve tried doing so from watching videos on youtube but I think need someone right with me, so I can ask questions and whatnot. But I don’t think I need another talent! 🙂


  2. Hi Jodie,
    I am going to my LQS today to buy blades so I thought I would read your post. It is a clever idea with the foil. Maybe you just have to do it for ages. I have heard that you can by blades at your DIY hardware store which are cheaper, but I ended up with one with three blades in one. I have a little green plastic round tool to drop blades in which works well sharpening but not blades that are dammaged. I think there is another fancier sharpener.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m smacking my head! 🙂 Buying a different brand of blades NEVER occurred to me! How can I be smart and dumb at the same time? lol

      I haven’t been looking into sharpeners but do still plan to. Sewing is on hold because I’ve been sidetracked by soap making! And creating a new site for that.

      2 many hobbies perhaps? Nahhhh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t worry that happens all the time to me. But when I found out about it then I thought wow! Yes soap making. My quilting was slowed by learning to knit. But now that season is over for the moment. You can say you are multi-talented or skilled not too crafty!

        Liked by 1 person

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