This is a Rotary Cutter. It's basically a razor blade wheel so you will want to be thoughtful and careful when handling it. The rotary cutters we sell all have a safety lock, it's the little red button. In the above picture the button is pushed to the left so the safety lock is engaged. While it's locked it will not allow you to squeeze the black lever on the bottom which pushes out the blade. To ensure safe handling always engage the safety immediately after cutting.
I'm right handed so these pictures and instructions are for righties. If you're left handed be sure to set up your rotary cutter for left handed cutting and reverse left and right in all these directions.
Here is the cutter and my hand in cutting position. The safety is off and I am squeezing the black lever, which pushes out the blade. My hand and wrist make a nice straight line and my index finger is pressing against the non-slip section on the top. Some people prefer to keep their index finger on the right side of the cutter or against the black lever, but whichever way you prefer it's important to keep your wrist straight. This will help prevent a repetitive motion injury.
When you are ready to make your cuts there are a few important things to remember:
- Always cut away from yourself!
- Apply constant, even pressure when cutting. (When first learning to use the rotary cutter people are often afraid of the blade and so they don't push hard enough or sometimes they push too hard, which can be dangerous. You don't have to push super hard but you do have to apply pressure. Don't worry if you need to try it a few times to get it right.)
- Make sure to place your blade against the edge of your ruler before you start cutting. If the blade is to far away your cut will be wobbly and if you start with your blade on your ruler you could seriously cut your ruler hand.
- Never, ever, ever, let one of your fingers hang off of the edge of the ruler as you are cutting.
- In order to keep your cuts straight push the ruler down firmly with the whole length of your left hand. Inch your hand like an inchworm up the ruler as you cut to keep it in place, as shown in the pictures above.
- Keep the rotary cutter away from and out of the reach of children at all times.
- Change your blade as soon as it shows signs of becoming dull.