Friday, April 26, 2024

Famore Rotary Cutter Review on Off the Wall Friday

 Okay, so I don't like change.  I know most people say that, but I really don't like change.  Of course, this

translates into my quilting life as well.  When I find a tool I like, I like it for life.  That would be why I am using the same rulers (Quickline designed by Nancy Crow) as I did 30 years ago.  Not to mention, I have my square rulers (Bias Square from the Patchwork Place) and rotary cutter by Kai.  When they wear out, I just check on ebay for replacements.  

That all said, I still keep my eye out for what's new in notions. That became a goal of mine on my recent trip to the Sewing & Quilting Expo in Cleveland.  There were a lot of notions there ... I mean lots and lots. But even with all there was there, I didn't really see anything that made me say Oh....My....Gosh!  Well, until there was.

I was sitting in a talk by Kathy Ruddy (who is a trip by the way) and she mentioned that she had a rotary cutter in her booth that worked with a ball bearing system. Oh, that caught my attention.  In my experience, ball bearings make everything run smoother.  Over at her booth, I got to try it out for myself.  That's when I said - OMGosh!

It's the Famore (Fa-mor-ay) Rotary Cutter sold by Famore Cutlery and it costs me about $24.  Price wise you can get an Olfa for about $15 and a Kai for about $20 (which is what I used for the last 30 years).

My old Kai

Things I like  ....

  • It has the same type of handle as my Kai - so it pretty much feels the same
  • Changing the blade is super easy because it has a big twist knob which easy twists on and off.  My Kai also has a twist nut change system but it's much smaller and it can be finicky.  Olfas use a washer system which is just one more piece to worry about when you are changing the blade.
  • The Ball Bearing system is just amazing.  I never would have believed how much smoother and easier the rotary cutter slides through my fabric. Less friction means less pressure on your wrist and hand.   You need to try it out for yourself to have your own OMGosh moment I swear!

Things I don't much like  ...
  • It has a push button safety shield mechanism (much like an Olfa's).  I'm used to my Kai pressure safety mechanism.  The push button is much easier though than ones I've used on Olfa's.
  • The color ....I know there are a lot of quilters that are into the whole pastel palette but that  pink thing is not my vibe.   I did see other versions with light blue and yellow but I would rather just have some dark color.
Let's talk blades...

Although the cutter will fit any universal 45 mm blades, Famore has two branded blades made especially by them.  One is the Professional Tungsten Carbide Rotary Blade for  - wait for it - $22 each and the SKS-7 Japanese Steel 2 Pack Replacement Blades which is tungsten steel and are $12 for two ($6 each).

They do have a sharpening service where with a 3 blade minimum they will sharpen blades for Famoré 45mm 400SK:.....$2/ea, Other brands 45/60mm:...$4/ea, Famoré 45mm 400TC:.....$5/ea.  (which includes the shipping back).

With that in mind, I did a quick price check (since I don't tend to go through a ton of blades anymore).  A 10 pack of Olfa blades is $33 on Amazon which to me is a great deal.  I never have had any problem with my Olfa blades so I don't think I'll change.  The whole idea of returning rotary blades back and paying $4 each to have them sharpened doesn't really make sense to me.  (They do however have a nice scissors sharpening service which depending on where you live might come in handy!)

Sooooooooo I will be adding the Famore Rotary Cutter to the list of "Notions that Changed my Quilt Life".  Now if they could make it in dark blue or green, I would be in heaven.

What Rotary Cutter are You Using Now and Why?

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Jenny K. Lyon said...

You had me at "ball bearing". I MUST try this. Famore is such a good brand/name. THank you for the tip!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

We just started selling these at the quilt shop I work at. I'd love to try one out, but I'd have to buy one to do that and they're always sold out! I was disappointed to see they don't make a 60 mm size. We have one of those Kai rotary cutters at the shop but we all avoid it like the plague, except the owner who prefers it. I don't like having to push down to use it.

Chantal said...

Thank you for the notion review. I will look into this Famoré now. I've used Olfa all my quilting life because that's what was available back then and I'm used to it now. Like you, I don't like to change for a newer item without knowing if it is worth its price. Again, thanks. I appreciate. ;^)

The Idaho Beauty said...

I've always used Fiskar rotary cutters. I have them in several sizes and like the curved shape of the handle. Ergonomically, it fits me well. I've had the chance to try other cutters like the Olfa and they just don't work for me. I too really hate change and have no desire to try a different cutter, especially one with a straight handle. But it was interesting to read your review of this one.

Margaret said...

I'm still using the same Olfa rotary cutter I bought when Olfa was the only game in town -- that would be...about 30 years ago. It's yellow. I don't follow colour trends in my clothing or my home decor, so why bother with my tools? (I don't buy irons or sewing machines for their trendy designer colours or patterns either!)

I buy blades from my LQS -- a multi-pack of some sort, less expensive than the Olfa or other blades and just as decent (in my experience). I have the "regular" sized cutter and a mini, which I use far less often these days. I have a little blade sharpener (for the larger blades) that I bought some years ago. It's okay, but it's usually simpler to put in a new blade than to dig out the sharpener and sharpen an older one. While some change is good, I find that nowadays, newer items are cheaper (or not) and less well made than the originals. I figure, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Celine Combet said...

Never heard of this brand but I'll definitely check it out.