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Power-Assisted Cutting Tools for Sewing

Time-saving devices that relieve physical stress

Threads Issue #212, Dec. 2020/Jan. 2021
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Of all the tasks you perform when making sewn projects, cutting causes the most physical strain. Over time, this task can aggravate or even cause osteoarthritis of the hands and wrists. Electric cutting tools relieve hand and wrist fatigue and speed up the cutting process. There are three major types of electric cutters available for fabric: shears, rotary cutters, and saws. For the home sewer, shears and rotary cutters are the most practical and easy to use. Electric saws are generally used only for large amounts of fabric in a manufacturing setting.

As with all cutting tools, those used for fabric should be reserved solely for fabric. Though they are capable of cutting through cardboard or plastic packaging, this may dull the blades over time. Electric shears stay sharp a long time if used carefully.

Electric cutters do have disadvantages. They are bulky compared to their traditional counterparts, and some…

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