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Olfa Compass Cutter Tool Review

Hi again everyone!

I’m Anita, from DIY with Manneken. I’m here once again to review a “new” Minerva product. It’s the Ratchet Compass Cutter from Olfa. A precision tool for cutting circles in thinner materials such as paper, film, arts and crafts. Cuts Precise circles from 1cm to 15cm in diameter and comes complete with 10 spare blades.

When I saw it at the Minerva Makers list I thought it would be an interesting product to try. At first I thought it was a compass to cut fabric, which would have been wonderful. (Let me know if a fabric compass does exist).

Once I received the compass I saw it was a paper and film cutter which is really practical for making circular patterns. When I make circular skirt patterns for example, I am never able to cut the circles properly with the scissors. It always looks like the circle is bit by some small fish or a bunny rabbit. With this compass cutter, circles are cut perfectly.

The compass cutter blister includes the following pieces:

The compass

10 Extra blades

A rubber pad to prevent pinholes

It’s designed for right handed and left handed uses. There is an integrated cm ruler, so you can measure the circle radius accurately. The blades is retractable so it remains protected and no one gets hurt.

To experiment with the compass cutter, I decided to make blocks for circular skirts with the different sizes I need.

I first tried the blade on pattern drafting paper. I placed my craft mat on the table to protect it, as the manufacturer recommends.

I placed my paper and calculated the radius of my circle. My waistline measures 61cm, so to find out the diameter of the circumference (which is my waistline), I applied the following formula:


61 = Pi x Diameter

Diameter = 61 / Pi

Diameter = 19.4 cm / Radius = 9.7cm

I used the radius value as I the compass cutter has a 13 centimetre ruler. As you can see in the image, I place the pin at 9.7 centimetre mark and place the rubber pad underneath to prevent pinholes. This rubber pad is a util instrument.

I place the blade downwards, and just turned the compass the same way as you use a pencil compass. Move the compass slowly, and eventually the paper cuts.

It’s really useful for small circles. I could not cut the hem of the pattern, but I found another use. My girls love crafting, and we’re always making different paper crafts, so I decided to prepare circles of different diameters for them made of colour cardboard. I made circles they could use for eyes, bodies, faces, and loads of different cute figures you can imagine.

And that’s my experience with the compass cutter which I found really useful.

Here's a short video showing you how to use the compass cutter. It’s short, but very clear. I hope it comes in handy.

What would you use the compass cutter for?

Thanks for reading,

Anita @ DIY with Manneken

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