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.