How to Use Olfa Circle Cutter

Do you remember the small metal compass you used to draw circles within the school? You could set it whichever size, twist them around, and you’ll have perfect circles.

Olfa circle cutters are similar; only instead of a pencil, it has a blade attached. Hence, cutting perfect circles has been so easy and fast with accurate results.

The circle cutter works like a set of dividers and is ideal for quilting, sewing, and patchwork. It has a ratchet function that allows it to move flexibly around your circle.

It also comes with an 18mm blade that will enable you to cut straight away.

Besides, the tool can cut different layers of various materials, including paper, fabric, film, vinyl, leather, among others.

If you’re tired of struggling to cut out perfect circles, then you need this tool.

How to Use Olfa Circle Cutter: Step-by-Step Guide

Olfa circle cutter is ideal for cutting perfect circles on paper or marking mat board, cardboard, and thin plywood. It also makes half-moon wind vents in the center of materials.

In addition, the circle cutter will create shapes for drunkards and other funny and tricky patterns.

If you don’t know how to use the tool, here’s the Olfa circle cutter instruction to get perfect circles:

What you’ll need:

  • The Olfa circle cutter
  • A cutting mat
  • The material which you want to cut circles from

Step 1: Place the Fabric on a Table

Place the material on a flat surface (preferably on a table). The Olfa cutter has a sharp needle-like point known as the pivot spike.

You’ll need the cutting mat for the spike to stick into as it stabilizes the fabric for cutting.

Step 2: Set the Radius Size of the Circle you Require

The circle cutter can make circles between 1 1/2inches and 8 3/4 inches (3.81cm and 22.23cm) in diameter. The adjustment knob connected to the pivot spike moves freely across the ruler.

That allows you to bring it closer or further from the blade. The spike also marks the center of the circle you’ll be making.

When you get the desired measurement, tighten the screw on the knob to secure it for rotation.

You need to do simple math to determine where to set the circle cutter pivot spike. If you want a 4-inch, you should set the left side of the pivot spike at 2-inch.

If you need an 8-inch circle, ensure you place the left side of the pivot spike at 4-inch.

Also, note that the ruler isn’t marked in numbers. But every inch mark is a long line, and the marks are in 1/8-inch increments.

Step 3: Position the Cutter in your Hand

Hand positioning is vital when using the circle cutter for paper. That’s especially crucial when you’re doing lots of cutting at once or if you suffer from an illness like arthritis.

When positioning the circle cutter in your hand, you should line it with your index finger. Then, wrap your thumb and the three fingers around the handle firmly.

The index finger should rest on the ridges at the head of the tool. The end of the circle cutter will rest almost in the middle of your palm.

That gives you a secure grip allowing you to guide the cutter easily.

Besides, the proper positioning ensures your wrist remains straight and comfortable. It also lowers wrist fatigue as you try cutting those tricky circles.

Step 4: Remove the Protective Sleeve

Olfa Circle cutter comes with a built-in cover for the blade for additional safety. It also has a plastic cover for the center spike used when you aren’t using the circle cutter.

Besides, the blade is easily adjustable. Thus, you can set the cutter at the correct depth based on the thickness of the material.

To expose the blade for cutting, you should push down and pull back the plastic guard.

The blade is exceptionally sharp, and you must never leave it exposed. Hence, after each cut, push down and forward the blade guard.

Note that if you’re using the Olfa deluxe handle rotary cutter, it has a red button as the locking mechanism.

You should push the button and squeeze the handle to expose the cutter blade.

Step 6: Cut your Circle

Once you grasp the handle, move the cutter in a stirring-the-soup clockwise motion. This prevents you from turning your wrist in any uncomfortable formations.

Besides, note that you can operate the Olfa circle cutter using either your right or left hand.

The key to cutting perfect circles is to ensure the pressure on the cutter is even while rotating.

Keep your motion fluid, and avoid stops and starts as they can sometimes result in some jagged edges.

The material might also bubble up and shift towards you as you cut, but the perfect circle will still emerge.

The beauty of using Olfa circle cutter is that it creates clean lines. It also goes through multiple layers of the material, and you don’t have to lift the material.

But, if you notice fiber or lint gathering on the blade, use a tissue or dry cloth to wipe them away. However, only engage the blade guard when you aren’t cutting.

Step 7: Keep the Olfa Circle Cutter Safe

Once you’re done, store the cutter in a storage container. That will make it easy to find when you want to use it again.

Also, if you have children in the house, you should place the container on a high shelf out of reach.

Also, Read Our Related Guide on: How to Use a Fiskars Circle Cutter


One of the most challenging things when sewing is creating circles on fabric. Cutting them out with scissors can prove impossible. Therefore, the Olfa circle cutter can be deemed a game-changer.

For instance, it’s ideal for scribing circles for the installation of recessed lighting. Besides, it can adjust easily to accommodate your requirements.

So, get ready to easily cut clean, perfect circles in just one simple step with the innovative Olfa Circle cutter. But like everything else, practice makes perfect.

So, you should use the Olfa Circle cutter a couple of times to get into a rhythm before cutting good fabric.

But you should know that with each cut, it becomes super easy and fun to use!