|Product Review: ERGO 2000 Ergonomic Rotary
By Lynn Holland
Reviewing a rotary cutter is not the easiest assignment. I mean, after you have ascertained that it does indeed, cut, what is there to say? Since I am not the most self-aware person when it comes to motor activity, I knew talking about the ERGO 2000 was going to be tough.
The task was made more difficult by my moody white kitty, Cybill, deciding that after spending six months sulking in the closet for twelve hours a day she would at this very moment move her sulking to atop my QuiltCut. Taking huge umbrage when I suggested that she move her weighty, shedding self elsewhere for a brief period, she began to purr and mew in a mighty guilt-laying campaign. Apologizing profusely, I tossed her in the next room and closed the door. Cats and cutters do not mix.
Since Iíve been using rotary cutters for a good twenty years, I did not look for instructions. However, this is not your motherís rotary cutter, and I was quickly humbled and referred to the back of the package for guidance. This is how it works: With three fingers, you hold what looks like a very small bicycle handlebar, then put your index finger over the curved part which houses the blade. (The standard ERGO 2000 has a 45 mm blade, and they have recently begun producing a 60 mm version, which is even easier on the hands.) As you roll the blade across the fabric, the blade guard automatically opens. You continue across the fabric with what feels like part rolling pin operation, part traditional rotary cutter. The difference is that it takes a lot less force.
As many of you know, I have very little strength in my hands. This is exacerbated by the fact that I spent fifteen years filling out forms for hours at a time at work, so I experience pain and fatigue pretty quickly. What I noticed when comparing the ďfeelĒ of the traditional cutter with the ERGO 2000, was that there was far less stress on my hand, wrist, and shoulder. I was able to cut through eight layers of fabric very easily, and even managed to slice through the 15 layers touted on the package. Though I doubt that I would usually do that in most of my sewing, it was fun to see if the claim was true.
The blade cover is repositioned by flipping the red lever down. This is made very simple through the use of a tiny spring.
While in Houston, I caught the end of a demo of the ERGO 2000. Some mention was made that rotary blades will last longer with this type of cutter, because they require less force and pressure to cut. Speaking of blades, the cutter itself shows which way to unscrew the blade in case you forget, plus the packaging has a diagram so that youíll know how to put it back together properly too. This may not be an issue to you, but not all of us have a natural ability to figure these things out. In case youíre wondering, the ERGO 2000 comes in models for right- and left- handed persons.
The one down-side of this cutter is that it does reveal the blade when you start to cut. I liked this feature, since it put less stress on my hands. Since my children are all grown and cats canít pick up rotary cutters, I donít have to worry about people playing with my stuff. However, if you have small children, it would be very important to keep this put away as you would any sharp object.
The manufacturer sold thousands of these wonderful tools at this year's International Quilt Festival, and we liked it so much we now carry it in our store.
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