Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Olfa Compass Cutter

I've been waiting for this new tool to arrive so I can get on with my Nimrod turret conversion. It's a very neat little circle cutter, a sort of drawing compass with a blade instead of a pencil.

Above: Here you can see a couple of nice circles I cut in 1mm thick plasticard, just right for my Nimrod turret build. It took a little time to make it through the sheet and I wouldn't recommend
trying anything very much thicker.

It's by a Japanese company called Olfa and I think it's intended for cutting card and fabric but mine easily handled thin plasticard and even slowly sliced through a mil thick plastic sheet with some encouragement! As you can see from the accompanying photo it very accurately cut out a ring of 1 mil plastic for the base of my scratch built tank turret.

The tool itself is very good quality, for saying that most of it is plastic, but the crucial tightening nobs are brass and the blade and compass point are steel of course. The blade is a small craft blade and is replaceable, and the minimum diameter for circles seems to be around 1cm while the maximum size is 15cm.

One very nice feature is that the safety cover for the blade and compass point doubles as the storage box for the 5 spare blades and a nifty plastic 'shoe' for the compass so you don't jab a point in something you don't want to have a little hole in it. The shoe has a non-slip surface so if you're careful you should be able to cut a circle without slipping out of position.

Well, it does exactly what it's meant to and although it's a bit of a niche item it is indispensable if you happen to want nice neat plastic discs. (Which I did!)

I got mine from Amazon Marketplace for £7.99 (postage free) and I think it's well worth the cost. It's an invaluable addition to your tool box, I just have to work out where I buy spare blades.

Above: The neat little safety cover which doubles as a blade storage box. The black disc is the compass point shoe, this stops you getting little holes in your material.

1 comment:

  1. I was able to reduce the minimum workable size of cut for this tool by carefully filing off part of the black compass-point mounting/holder.

    My cutter was purchased a few years ago, and looking at the picture you post, it seems like Olfa has basically done this already with the current model.