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Chloethewhovian

Cutting mats, craft knives etc.

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Im a bit confused about where to find cheap but useable craft knives and cutting mats and after loking at a few expensive ones i realised that if you're under 18 you cant buy crafting knives (for obvious reasons). But if i got my aunt to buy them would i be aloud to use them? If not is there any alternative?

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Yes you can use a craft knife if your aunt buys it, same as you would be able to use a kitchen knife. The law is only to do with buying them.  The main thing is to change the blade quite often so it stays sharp and cuts well, so make sure you can get plenty of spare blades too.  When you change the blade it's a good idea to stick the old one in a cork first so you can throw it away safely.

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Yes, those blades are very sharp, so be very careful....I always keep an old money box and pop them in through the money slot with a label on, then when disposing of them, I wrap piece of carboard around the used blade with several layers of sellotape before putting them in a bin.....you cannot be too careful

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The cheapest cutting mats I've seen are the rubber ones at The Works. My huge one was just £7.99 recently. I find that the craft knives swivel around a lot, so recommend a scalpel knife instead. The blades are fixed and safer to use. Try art shops and stores to find them, but remember to buy spare blades as well. When changing blades, keep well away from you, use something small like tweezer ends and remove old blades by pushing up from below at the base behind, then you should be able to get the tweezer ends below the blade and push up sharply to remove it. If nervous, ask someone else to do it. Make sure you have a metal safety ruler to use with it, or ask for a trimmer or guillotine for Xmas instead. Always watch what you are doing and don't get distracted, so you don't end up cutting yourself as I have. Easier to do than you might think.

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I have used a Swann Morton scalpel for many years, I was taught at Signwriting class!!  Its not really comfortable to do a lot of cutting with as the handle is not ergonomic, but you are sure to get blades for it, not like some craft knives where you have to use specialist blades!!  Mine is a No.3 handle and I use No. 10 blades I have only stabbed myself with it once in over 30 years and that's when I wasn't paying attention!!

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Great tips for disposing of blades. Yes, do keep changing blades, as when they blunt they can slip, I have cut myself quite badly like that. I have a glass mat, it was £10 -15 pounds, had it for about 3 years now and it barely has a scratch on it and it is great if you have limited space and craft on your lap, as your blade can't go through and it doubles as a tray.

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