Saturday, January 8, 2011

Central Forge Carpet Cutter Blades (possible replacement to regular rotary blades)

I know that all quilters who use rotary cutters probably think like I do (at least I think so).  That when it comes to rotary cutters, they are the most expensive tool of the trade (other than fabric and a sewing machine of course).  Since I have been quilting the cost of the blades have ranged from $25.00 to $36.00 for a refill pack of 5 blades for the OLFA brand cutter.  The other brands are around the same cost (except for the Gingham which was considerably more around $11.00 for one blade).

Well through one of my online quilt groups, someone alerted us to the use of the "Central Forge Carpet Cutter Blades" sold at Harbor Freight Tools.  They told us these blades were meant for cutting carpet (but as we quilters know, just because it is meant for something else, it can't be adapted to be used for quilting at a considerable cheaper cost).  Someone discovered that the blades fits the 45mm OLFA, Fiskars, and Dritz rotary cutters.  They mentioned that even if you have a notch in your rotary cutter the hole in these blades will fit your cutter.  The amazing thing is that if these truly do work the cost is astronomically cheaper that the name brand blades because these blades cost $1.99 for 2 (that is $1.00 per blade, not include shipping).  I know that sometimes if something is cheaper it may not be as good, but since you have to change your blade out so often, why not give something cheaper a try.

In my research I found out that I have 2 Harbor Freight Tools in my city and I have called one and they had a large number in stock.  I will be picking up quite a few and testing one out and making sure that I like them (before the return date expires).  For those of you who do not have a location in your area, they are on the web and you can have them shipped to you.  If you do have one in your area, when you call to find out if the have any (which I highly suggest, since more and more quilters are discovering them) they will most likely ask you for the SKU number (mine did when I called) and that is "Central Forge 97642".  I hope you give them a try, you never know until you try it out.  However, you know if they get hip to the quilting game, the cost will rise considerably.

After I working with them more, I'll let  you know what I think (from a beginner quilters prospective).

Here is a side by side photo of the carpet blades (right) and an OLFA bade (left).  So far the only difference is that the OLFA blade has a notch in the center.  The blades fits my OLFA cutter and they cut the same (at least to me).

The blades edges are sharp on both sides like the OLFA, so I don't think I will have a problem in using both sides of the blades.

Photo below is the carpet blade installed in my OLFA rotary cutter (front & back photo).  The blade looks and feels the same as the OLFA.

I hope this information helps you in deciding whether to test out the carpet blades.  I did not find the carpet rotary cutter itself to see what the difference was between mine and theirs (will continue to look).  Enjoy.


  1. adapting the carpet cutter to cutting for quilts might not work, lol
    It seems to have a whole different way of working.

  2. Thanks Diana, your right the cutter surely won't work. Oh well at least the blades work so far and are considerbly cheaper.

  3. CHECK with them when you purchase. We bought something else and when we took it back the very next day because it would not do the job it was advertised to do, we were told we could only get store credit, no refund. In our case we will use the credit but not everyone shops H.F. on a regular basis. So ASK before you buy. I have a package of two blades to try but haven't used them yet.

  4. I bought some of these blades a while ago. I was disappointed because the first one got dull so quickly. However, I think that was just a bad blade, because the second one seems to be doing ok. Can't complain about that price!

  5. We have the store in our town, so I think I'll try it. For that price, you can't go wrong!

  6. I just picked some up and the blades kept grabbing the fabric and not cutting it all the way through. No matter the pressure I used, I would still have spots that didn't cut. I then looked at the blades compared to my 45mm Olfa and there was a huge difference in the edge of the blade. The HF ones were knicked and even dull looking. I thought - okay must be a bad pack. I opened another and the same issue arose immediately. The four packs I bought are all from the same lot and I'm pretty dissapointed. I am going to try to return them. I was so hoping to find a cheaper alternative to the pricey Olfa blades. I just can't sacrifice the fabric when it won't cut properly though. Has anyone run into this issue? Should I try to find another lot number?

    1. So sorry to hear that you had problems with them. I have not had problems so far. If you would like and no pressure I could send you one my packs and see if you have the same problem (I can't say you won't as I have not opened the others). I truly don't mind. I also tried to buy more last month and the closest store to me no longer sells them in the store, but it can be ordered online.

    2. Tried to send you an e-mail, but got kicked back.

  7. I've ordered a heavy duty blade sharpener. I will try it out on the carpet cutter blades first then try cutting. It is supposed to work



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