Which polymer clay should I choose? It’s a common question! Whether you’re creating miniatures, larger pieces, slicing canes or buying tools for children. Having the right blade makes a significant difference to the success and finesse of your polymer clay projects! Read on as we explore the considerations, when choosing blades for working with polymer clay.

For instance, carbon steel holds an edge for longer and holds a reputation as being a much sharper blade. They can tarnish and even rust if left wet, but that doesn’t alter their ability to cut. Stainless steel blades are sharp, although not as sharp as carbon steel, but they will not rust or tarnish over time.

When it comes to choosing a blade for working with polymer and other clay’s, there are many to choose from. They have different features and most polymer clay artists have several (or more) in their collection. Just any blade won’t do! Let’s explore the choices for which polymer clay blade to buy!

1. Craft Knives:

These craft knives have metal handles with replaceable blades, that are held in place with a collet. They offer a sharp defined point, which makes them ideal for precision cutting. Everyone needs one of these in their tool set!

Image of Craft Knife & Replacement Blades & cover

Craft knives are sometimes mistakenly called Xacto knives. Xacto is a brand not a style of knife.

Use them to:

  • cut around card and plastic templates
  • cut shapes from polymer clay.
  • cut shapes freehand for slabs.
  • pick up tiny raw clay clay components for making floral sculptures on jewellery, mugs, trinket dishes etc.
  • hold a small drill bit for hand drilling holes.

2. Razor Blades:

Razor Blades are popular with polymer clay artisans and other hobbyists for their extreme sharpness and their ability to cut very thin precise slices.

Single_Edge_Carbon_Steel_Razor_Blades
  • Some use them for cutting super thin cane slices.
  • Carbon Steel: Durable for tougher and harder material.
  • Single edge with a rolled top makes them safer to hold.
  • Come with a cardboard protective sleeve.
  • Caution: These blades are extremely sharp. Handle with extreme care.

3. Blade Sets Designed for Polymer Clay:

a) The Cernit and Sculpey Sets contain 3 types of blades in each:

  • a flexible blade
  • a rigid blade,
  • a wavy (ripple) blade, and
  • a safety cover or handles.

The Sculpey set has removable plastic handles on the top of the blades. The Cernit set has a protective rubber strip to put on the edge of the blade.

Lucy Clay Blade Set_1

b) Lucy Clay Tools Rigid & Flexible Blade Set

This is a 2 piece set:

  • The larger blade is the same one used in the well known, popular, LC Tools Slicer. I use it as a hand held blade. It is my favourite blade for cutting longer uniform width strips of polymer clay. Use it for cutting stripes and the bargello technique.
  • The smaller blade has medium flexibility. Use for cutting straight lines, arcs or curves.
  • Manufactured from stainless steel.
  • Available for purchase as a set or individually.

4. Which Polymer Clay Blade Does What?

Rigid Blades

Use rigid blades for cutting slices from a block of clay, cutting straight lines, and lifting clay from the work surface. You need rigid blades for cutting strips for stripes, and the bargello technique.

Cernit Slicers Set - 2 Rigid Blades

Cernit Slicers Set (2 rigid blades) with Protective Strip

  • Contains 2 blades and a protective rubber handle. (Handy if you clay with a friend or just to have a spare).
  • Use the protective rubber strip to prevent the blade being picked up from the wrong side.
  • Fit the protective rubber strip to the sharp edge for storage.S
  • Stainless steel, means they will not rust or discolour.
  • Tip: An old / blunt blade is ideal to scrape over hard work surfaces and tiles to clean them of hard clay, glue and resin.

Flexible Blades

Use flexible blades to cut curves and arcs. Bend the blade into a curve, cut the shape and it will spring back to straight. Use scientific blades for cutting super thin slices of precious canes and for mokume gane, mica shift, and hidden magic techniques.

a) Tissue Slicing Blades

  • The term “Tissue Blade” is commonly used to describe blades used with polymer clay.
  • The tissue blades on our website are the real deal! They are surgical-grade, featuring high flexibility, and extreme sharpness.
  • Use them for mokume gane and for taking thin slices, where precision is key. Micro thin slices are possible with these blades. Making a cane is time consuming. Getting the most out of it is priority.
  • Note: Use tissue blades with caution.
  • The Japanese Carbon Steel, 157mm long, is our premier tissue blade. It is Sharper and holds an edge longer. It is more flexible which gives a nice curve for surface slicing techniques.

b) Other Flexible Blades

These flexible blades are cost effective and a suitable choice to begin your polymer clay journey. Use for general purpose slicing of blocks of clay, for cutting shapes and to pick up clay from your work surface.

The Lucy Clay Tools Blade and the Cernit Flexible Blades which has 2 in the pack. The LC Tools Blade is firmer than the Cernit Blades which are very flexible.

4. Blades for Children

Description and image of both ends of Makin's Clay Tool Set 3 Pce.2

This Makins set contains a blunt knife making it safe for use by children under adult supervision. Use this blade to cut and slice polymer and air dry clay’s. Pick up clay from the work surface by sliding the blade underneath the clay. A good choice, for children, sculptors, those who work with fondant, or even for beginners on a budget. Use the 3 double ended tools for cutting, texturing and fine detailing.

Tips:

Keep blades clean and they will glide through the clay much easier. Wipe often with Isopropyl Alcohol on a piece of cloth or paper towel. Take care not to cut your fingers, by using a thick wad of cloth or paper towel!

If carbon steel blades tarnish or rust, clean them up by rubbing with steel wool – VERY CAREFULLY!

We hope this information will help you choose which polymer clay blade best suits your needs and preferences.

If you would like further information, find us via Chat on our website, through our social media, email: info@2wardspolymerclay.com.au or telephone: 0429 184 555.

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