Something that is very common in those who sew for an extended period of time is the aches and pains in your arms, hands and wrists. Arthritis within your joints such as wrists, hands and arms is popular in those who have been sewing or crafting for a number of years.
This is nothing new and something that has been around for a fair number of years now, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop or give up the passion you love so much. You simply need to find a way to work with it instead of against it.
Some of the best rotary cutters on the market are just as hands on but are designed to relieve the pressure from your hands and wrists. Creating a better a experience should enable you to carry on doing what you love but with less pain.
Things To Do To Help Your Arthritis When Using A Rotary Cutter
Though I don’t have arthritis in my hands, there may be a time when it happens to me (thanks to sewing and my parents). With that in mind there are a few things you can do to care for your hands, wrists and arms along with still getting plenty of cutting done.
Depending on what you are looking to make, how much cutting you need to do for your project and the level of intensity your arthritis falls into will depend on what you can do or achieve.
Cut In Stages
A great way to help give your wrists and hands plenty of rest and make sure they perform well when you want to use them for cutting is to give them plenty of rest.
Think about cutting your pieces in stages, this is more important if you are cutting strips and squares for patchwork projects. If you are making clothing or small homewares this might not be as important but it is still good to remember.
Create bundles or sections to cut out first and do those first, take a break or do another part of the sewing process and then go back after your hands and wrists have had a break.
Take Plenty Of Breaks
If you know the signs of your hands and wrists starting to waver and feel weak then you can work in those blocks of time on your cutting.
Look at finding ways to reset your hands and soothe them while you are not cutting out. This can be a warm heat pad, soaking in warm water or just simply having a sit down and enjoying a cup of tea!
Use Sharp Blades
As you use your blades they will start to blunt down and get harder to cut with, this will mean you need to use more force and weight on the rotary cutter to create the cut.
To stop this from happening change your blades frequently, while this may sound expensive or time consuming it can also have a large impact on your work. Using a sharper blade should make the cutting process simpler, easier and quicker.
You won’t require as much pressure when cutting which takes the pressure and pain from your hands and wrists which should allow you to cut out for longer and make it a much easier process.
4 Best Rotary Cutters For Arthritis
Though not each of these products are rotaty cutters they are all items which can help you relieve the pressure from your hands and wrist and make your cutting experience easier and better.
These can also help with your straight lines in patchwork along with the ergonomics
1. Martelli Ergo Rotary Cutter
This rotary cutter comes in both right-handed and left-handed so it is perfect for a wide audience.
The Martelli Ergo Rotary Cutter is designed to resolve the issue of fatigue and pain from your hand and arm when cutting.
The rotary cutter was made with the help from orthopedic surgeons to create a comfortable grip and easy to use product.
The blades are made from the highest quality meaning they last 3-5 times longer than other rotary cutter blades on the market. The rotary cutter also has a blade safe guard which is easy to flip down to stop any accidents happening.
2. Fiskars Rotary Ruller & Cutter Combo
This device reminds me of a guillitine for cutting card and paper, it generally is a fabric verion which is great for cutting strips and squares.
This product is fantastic for those looking to take the pressure of your hands and distribute the force across the product to hit the ruler and cutter in one.
Though the product is great, useful and helps relieve the pressure and movements from your hand and wrist it does come with some limited qualities. One of which is that you are limited to what you can cut.
For example, this cutting machine is perfect for those who are doing patchwork and smaller project such as applique but those looking to cut out clothes or patterns will struggle as it will only cut straight edges and in one direction.
3. Creative Grids Stripology Ruler
If you primarily work on patchwork and quilting you might just be interested in this product. Though it isn’t changing the rotaty cutter itself it is changing the way you cut.
The Creative Grids Stripology ruler has gaps/tracks in which you place your rotary cutter in and it gives you the track to follow to create a nice straight line.
You simply place your rotary cutter in the track and cut, this takes the pressure of your other hand holding a ruler in place and keeping the pressure on the ruler to not move. This ruler sits in place with minimal weight needed (though you can use weights around the edges for reassurance).
This can be used to create strips, squares or rectangles ready to create any beautiful patchwork quilt. The ruler is similar to a large cutting mat with slits in at regular intervals to create the strips for patchwork.
4. Olfa Ergonomic Cutter
The Olfa Ergonomic cutter is both comfortable and easy to use, it is also highly recommended by those in the industry and people at home just like you.
The handle is curved to fit in the palm of your hand much more comfortably and allows your hand and wrist to sit at a more comfortable position for cutting.
The small amount of pressure required is easy as it pushes down on the handle and to the blade. This takes the pressure away from your hand and wrist and gives you an overall better experience and comfort.
I hope you find this helpful and manage to find something that both enables you to keep doing what you love, makes it easier and provides a way to have less strain on your hands and wrists.
If you have any useful tools for those with arthritis or who struggle with joints let me know in the comments below.