November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Tungsten carbide rotary blade
Display Avatars Sort By:
Huzefa Siamwala
Tungsten carbide rotary blade on 03/12/2012 11:46:51 MDT Print View

Does anyone have experience with tungsten carbide blade? Eg. Olfa heavy duty. I am curious if this can be used on glass without dulling quickly. Tungsten carbide is supposed to be harder then glass. The main issue is that I need 5'x 8' cutting table and I am unable to source a cutting mat of this size locally in India. I have 2 option: use a glass table and a blade harder then glass or buy few green cutting boards and join them together.

Kevin Robin

Locale: Northern California
Olfa heavy duty cutter on 03/12/2012 12:22:39 MDT Print View

I have some experience with a 45mm OLFA rotary cutter. They work great, and are ridiculously sharp. Not sure if it would hold up on glass, but they have replacement blades available if it doesn't work out for you. For patterns, I trace them on the fabric before cutting and use a small 18" x 24" cutting mat. I just cut it in smaller sections; I slide the board around under the stationary fabric while I make my cut. Seems to work pretty well, a larger board would be nice, but not required IMHO.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Tungsten carbide rotary blade on 03/12/2012 12:26:10 MDT Print View

The olfa looks pretty much just like an oversized glass cutter. Glass cutters are generally made of tungsten carbide, only with tiny wheels.

Using the olfa on the glass will dull the cutter much faster than a silicone/plastic mat. You also have the issue where everytime you run the cutter you will be scoring the glass surface which will make it incredibly sensitive to breaking (this is the exact method used to cut glass). This will be true of any blade harder than glass. I would just stitch together the green boards.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Glass table on 03/12/2012 12:28:54 MDT Print View

A tungsten carbide tool will survive contact with a glass table, but the glass will be scored. There are small cutting tools used for scoring glass, and they don't have a blade. They just have a tiny, very hard wheel. Rolling the wheel along the surface of the glass causes a tiny series of fractures in the surface, and the glass can then be broken along this line of weakness. The photo below is an example of one of these.


So, your glass table will develop many, tiny gouges from fracturing under your tungsten carbide tool. It may not break if it is supported from below, but it will be covered with tiny serrations.

If you plan to cut fabric, plastic film, or cuben, I would recommend a hot-knife (or just a soldering iron with a cutting tip). The copper or soft steel tip won't harm the glass, and the contact area of the sharp tip is too small to heat the glass. A soldering iron with a cutting tip is the only tool I ever use for cutting fabrics or cuben. It works beautifully (clean, accurate, fast) and I laugh at myself for using scissors and blades in the past.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Tungsten carbide rotary blade on 03/12/2012 15:20:01 MDT Print View

Glass tables are not a good idea. Either you will score the glass and it will break, or it will wreck the cutter.

A few green cutting boards sound good. A hot knife on plywood sounds even better. I use a hot knife a lot of the time.


Huzefa Siamwala
Re: Re: Tungsten carbide rotary blade on 03/13/2012 11:36:15 MDT Print View

Lots of good advice. Thanks

I have ordered 60mm olfa for cutting apex. I will get a 24x36 green mat and see how Kevin's idea works. Otherwise I will buy more mats and join them.

I will try hot knife for cutting nylon. If I can get 2 layers to cut and stick together temporarily, I can run them through sewing machine without wasting time pinning it. That would be really nice.

Any recommendations for cutting knife? I have read that fitting xacto knife top onto a soldering iron can work. Anyone tried that? I have xacto knife but I am out of blades. So can't test this. Will order more blades soon.

Alasdair Fowler
(MessiahKhan) - F

Locale: Newcastle, UK
Tungsten carbide rotary blade on 03/13/2012 12:55:05 MDT Print View

As for the cutting mats, you can get big ones that cover the size of your table;


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Tungsten carbide rotary blade on 03/13/2012 15:10:54 MDT Print View

> Any recommendations for cutting knife? I have read that fitting xacto knife top onto
> a soldering iron can work
In my experience, you do not need a sharp edge for a hot knife. You need something which is going to conduct heat well from the heater to the fabric. You would be better off using some thin copper sheet in fact - or a hammered copper coin with a 'sharp' edge.