As can be seen in this video, a CNC machine uses a cutting wheel in order to cut through fabric. That tool resembles a pizza cutter.

So can a pizza cutter cut through fabric? If so, what kind of fabrics is it able to cut?

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    A pizza cutter is just a knife with a circular edge. This question is basically asking "can a knife cut through fabric?" The answer, of course, depends on the knife. May 26, 2021 at 18:47
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    @NuclearHoagie I'm not sure it's quite the same. A pizza cutter or rotary cutter is a knife that cuts purely with pressure, while a typical craft knife cuts by dragging through the material. That's why rotary cutters are good (and scissors)
    – Chris H
    May 27, 2021 at 8:48
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    If you make your pizza cutter very sharp (flatten & sharpen it), sure, it will cut through a lot of things. But out-of-the-box, no, it won't.
    – Mast
    May 27, 2021 at 10:55
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    @Mast but you'd need to sharpen it by spinning it against a stone, mounted securely. Otherwise you'd make it out of round. That means getting it into pieces
    – Chris H
    May 27, 2021 at 14:18

4 Answers 4



There's a reason people keep separate fabric scissors from their regular scissors--cutting through fabric requires a very sharp blade, which you're unlikely to find on the average pizza cutter (designed to cut through soft cooked materials).

What you're seeing is a rotary cutter, a circular blade on a handle that's sharp enough to cut through fabric. Unlike a typical pizza cutter, rotary cutters come with blade guards and retractable blades to protect the user from cutting themselves. They're frequently used by quilters, who need to cut many pieces with straight lines, often using heavy plastic templates. In the images shown on the blog Quilter's Review's review of several cutters, you can see the safety features on the handheld rotary cutters. The CNC machine is using a similar blade, but as it's not being handled by a human directly, the need for the additional safety features is reduced.

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    This is correct. Even a brand new pizza cutter isn't as sharp as a rotary cutter from a craft shop, and pizza cutters aren't generally designed to be sharpened. If you could find one with a bolted axle instead of a rivet you might be able to spin it and sharpen it but it would be a lot of hassle.
    – Chris H
    May 27, 2021 at 6:15
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    Rotary cutters are also used to cut leather. And naturally if something is sharp enough to effortlessly cut leather, it will also cut skin with equal ease.
    – Mołot
    May 28, 2021 at 12:29
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    @Mołot I wasn't aware of leather rotary cutters. That's terrifying. I'm already scared enough of my leather shears. Thanks for the added information!
    – Allison C
    May 28, 2021 at 13:21

Yes, if it is sufficiently sharpened. But... no restaurant would ever do that. I've worked in multiple restaurants including Pizza Hut (wow, that was 30 years ago).

Most places used a rotary pizza cutter, except Pizza Hut had long curved blade at the cut station for normal pizzas. We called it the bat'leth*.

Every utensil was made of high quality stainless steel that could have been sharpened to the point that you could shave with it, but there was no need. A moderately sharp edge is enough to cut cooked pizza dough with that satisfying crunch. Anything more would just be asking for a ride in an ambulance and a stack of demolished cutting boards.

*Once you got the rhythm down, rocking that blade across a large pizza 6 times to get 12 slices felt like Klingon battle training. Granted I was also a teenaged Star Trek nerd.

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    Now I'm interested to know why your Pizza Hut used knives rather than pizza cutters; rough part of town?
    – Caius Jard
    May 27, 2021 at 20:15
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    @CaiusJard I've seen that in UK Pizza Huts too, a sort of giant mezzaluna. They seem very quick with practice, and less likely to push toppings around on a generously-topped pizza than a wheel
    – Chris H
    May 28, 2021 at 8:20
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    @CaiusJard I don't know how universal those cutters are at Pizza Huts, but I've seen them at every one where I looked. Chris H is correct that they are fast and don't push ingredients around. Google Pizza Rocker for an idea what they look like.
    – Naptha
    May 29, 2021 at 0:21

Just for fun, I tried it, with a well-used pizza cutter and scrap materials on a cutting mat. Though the pizza cutter is old, it still does its intended job of cutting pizza very well.

It wouldn't go through thin cotton (probably an old pillowcase, that I use for checking the sewing machine is running properly). It wouldn't go through light ripstop polyester, and it wouldn't go through flat elastic.

I pressed rather hard, as well. It would be better for producing crease lines than actually cutting (though there's probably some damage to the fabric)


It depends on the quality of the knife.
As mentioned in a comment, a pizza knife is a circular knife (also called a 'roller blade'). Like any knife it can be high or low quality, sharp or relatively blunt, strong or weak, which will be decisive for the fabrics you are able to cut with it.

If you have a specific kind of fabric in mind, my suggestion would be to simply try it out, but, as Allison C points out, it's better to get a rotary cutter.

The advantage you might notice is that a rolling blade allows for easier maneuvering, and can be especially useful - if sharp and sturdy enough - to cut out drawn patterns.

As suggested by Elmy below, be sure to use a proper support for cutting. A self-healing cutting mat is a very good option for this.

  • 1
    Why the downvote?
    – Isaac750
    May 26, 2021 at 23:14
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    It may be a good idea to add that you need the right surface to cut the fabric on. Cutting with a rotary cutter on a wooden table would ruin both the blade and the table in one go. The same goes for a pizza cutter: cutting a pizza on a metal tray or porcelain plate ruins the sharp edge of every cutter to the point where it's inlikey to cut fabric. You need a typical self-healing cutting mat to use a rotary cutter or a surface with similar properties (maybe leather would work, but that seems like a waste).
    – Elmy
    May 27, 2021 at 4:58
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    @Elmy Good additions, but that's applicable to any kind of knife, and not specific for this case. I will add it, though. Thank you!
    – Joachim
    May 27, 2021 at 8:12
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    "Rotary tool" isn't the same as "rotary cutter". A rotary tool is a power tool. It definitely will go through fabric, but probably not as cleanly as you might want (and don't forget your safety goggles). May 27, 2021 at 16:17
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    The downvote is because a pizza cutter is not sharp enough to cut fabric and to try it is spoiling good fabric. Sharpening a pizza cutter to fabric cutting sharpness is getting other problems, like protection of fingers (that is if the blade can be sharpened enough.)
    – Willeke
    May 30, 2021 at 16:34

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