A Rotary Circle Cutter from Lee Valley

A Rotary Circle Cutter from Lee Valley

If you’ve ever tried to cut a perfect circle in wood veneer, you know how well that goes when you change direction across the grain. Cutting a circle by drawing it with a compass or tracing a round object and following the line with a knife is not only inconvenient, it risks tearing or breaking the material if the knife snags.

A newly added compass-like tool in the Lee Valley catalog is called the Rotary Circle Cutter (item 27K0773, listed at $24.50), and it uses a wheel-shaped knife that rolls as it cuts. That directs all the force downwards to make perfect circles – even in flimsy or delicate materials.

It can be adjusted to produce circles anywhere from 3cm to 22cm (roughly 1-3/16″ to 8-5/8″) in diameter.

For a center, the tool uses a high-friction disc that holds it securely in place without marring the material of the circle.

An included holder attaches to the cutter’s rails to store spare blades (which are available separately), and the holder also serves as a wrench for changing blades.

Originally created for use with fabric, the cutter works equally well on paper, leather, wood veneer and other thin materials.