Best Self-Healing Cutting Mats In 2021

Best Self-Healing Cutting Mats In 2021- Reviews and Buying Guide

Feeling crafty? Do you dare explore your imagination? Think you can outsmart those 5-minute craft channels on YouTube? If your hobby involves a lot of precision-based cutting, how about you consider a self-healing rotary cutting mat. Not sure how to go about them? Here’s our buyer guide to find out one of the best self-healing cutting mats just for you!

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What Are Cutting Mats?

As the name suggests, cutting mats are mats made for support and protection when using a utility or rotary knife for your crafting needs.

Be it sewing, papercraft, quilting, printing, sign-making, or anything for that matter.

These mats are composed of numerous fragments of their respective materials pressed together to form a solid surface, in a manner such, that when a blade makes contact it runs through their inner spaces rather than tearing them apart as a whole.

Once the blade makes its way through, the tiny pieces retrace their original position afterward and regain their formal posture. In short, they close up. This gives off the impression of their popular ‘self-healing’ capability.

As a result, these mats prove to be much more formidable to your hobbies and can take on those knife blades without leaving behind any cut marks, unlike your ordinary kitchen counters or dining tables.

Pretty much any solid surface worktops for that matter.

In a Hurry!
If you don’t have much time using the links below to find the Best Self-Healing Cutting Mat on Amazon. You can be assured we only choose the best products…

Best Self-Healing Cutting Mats (Value For Money) – DAFA Professional Cutting Mat

The Best Self-Healing Cutting Mats- (Best Rated) – ARTEZA Self-Healing Rotary Cutting Mat

Best Entry Mats for Hardwood Floors (Best Overall) – Dahle Vantage Self-Healing Cutting Mats

Our 5 Best Picks of Self-Healing Cutting Mats

Dahle – 10671-12580 Vantage 10671 Self-Healing Cutting Mat, 12″x 18″, 1/2″ Grid, 5 Layers for Max Healing, Perfect for Crafts & Sewing, Black

Pros:

  • 8 Rating on Amazon – All-Rounder
  • 5 Layers – High Durability
  • Double-Sided – High Versatility
  • 3 mm thickness- Surface Protection
  • Affordable Price Tag- Features Justify Cost.

Cons:

  • Slippery texture
  • Missing 1/8 and 1/16 markers for precision.
  • Hard to flatten if warped.
  • Lack of hanging hole
  • Leaves grooves
  • Fabric sticks to grooves
  • Does not self-heal easily

ARTEZA Self-Healing Rotary Cutting Mat, 12″x18″ with Grid & Non-Slip Surface for Fabric, Paper, Vinyl, Plastic, Eco Friendly, Durable & Flexible, Great for Crafts, Quilting, Sewing, Scrapbooking

Pros:

  • 3 Layers- Good Durability
  • Anti-Glare- Less Eye Strain
  • Flexible- Doesn’t Warp Easily
  • Non-Slip- Fewer Chances of Accidents
  • Eco-Friendly Material- Non-Toxic
  • (75° 60° 45° 30° 15°) Angles printed.

Cons:

  • Grid borders the edge too closely
  • Lack of markings extending outside of the grid.
  • Poor quality ink with slightly blurred printing
  • Lines are thick (about 1/32″ wide) with wavy edges
  • Inch marking divided into 10 instead of typical 16.
  • Strong chemical smell

DAFA Professional 12″ x 9″ Self-Healing, Double-Sided Cutting Mat, Rotary Blade Compatible, (36×24), (24×18), (18×12), (12×9) Sizes, for Sewing, Quilting, Arts & Crafts

Pros:

  • Professional Grade- High Quality
  • 3 Layers- Good Durability
  • Anti- Glare- Low Eye Strain
  • Shipped Flatly – Low Chances of Warping
  • Great Price Tag- Very Affordable

Cons:

  • Does not have a 1” border around the edge
  • Lingering rubber smell
  • Grooves can occur if used with excessive pressure

Fiskars Crafts 952301010 Rotary Sewing Cutting Set (3 Piece),

Color-Grey

Pros:

  • Easy-To-Read Measuring Grid- Precise Cuts
  • Bias Lines – Easy Shape and Angle Cutting
  • Self-Healing- Less Likely to Gouge
  • Double-Sided- Greater Versatility
  • 45mm Blade Rotary Cutter Included
  • Safety Guard on Rotary Blades prevents accidents
  • 5-inch x 24-inch clear Acrylic Ruler Included

Cons:

  • Poor quality cutter blade
  • Uncomfortable rotary cutter handle
  • Cutting mat grid on the lighter side is printed crooked

Xinart Standard Grip Cutting Mat for Cricut Maker/Explore Air 2/Air/One (12×12 Inch, 3 Mats) Standard Adhesive Sticky Green Quilting Cricket Cutting Mats Replacement Accessories for Cricut

Pros:

  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Durable PVC- Can Withstand Pressure
  • Non-Smelling Adhesive- Keeps Fabric in Place
  • Easily Peel Off Designs Without Any Tear
  • Amazing Price for Set of Three
  • Great Packaging

Cons:

  • Might feel thin for some users
  • May leave behind a sticky residue
  • Lose their adhesion depending upon the intensity of use

HONEYSEW Circle Rotary Cutting Mat Diameter 20 cm (8″) Self-Healing for Any Table Protection Board Quilt Fabric Doing Crafts Sewing Quilting Projects Rotating Cutter Pad (Pink Colour)

Pros:

  • 30, 45, and 60-Degree Bias Lines- Triangle and Star Shape Cutting
  • Easy Rotation- Make Precise Cuts from Any Given Angle
  • Non-Slip Base- Prevents the Rotating Cutting Mat from Slipping
  • Small, Portable, and Robust- Take It Anywhere You Want with Convenience

Cons:

  • Gray-colored markings are hard to see against the pink colored base
  • Average quality material

3 Alternative Self-Healing Mats for Crafting

Don’t find these cutting mats to your liking? How about trying some of our hand-picked alternatives instead!

Specifications

  • Size: 24x 36 Inches 
  • Weight: 2.6 Pounds
  • Color: Gray
  • Double-Sided Mat

Fiskar 12-83727097J is an extra-large self-healing rotary cutting mat. It has 30, 45, and 60-degree angle lines drawn to cut triangles easily. Measuring grids and clearly visible markings make the cutting of fabrics more accurate.

A product of reputed Fiskar group which offers a full lifetime warranty on the product. This mat is ideal for fabric strips, and fabric squares cutting. Large enough to hold all full widths of fabric for cutting.

Specifications

  • Size: 12x 9 Inches 
  • Weight: 0.62 Pounds
  • Color: Green
  • Double-Sided Mat

A4 paper size mat with 3mm thickness for all types of craft and sewing jobs. Clearly visible lines and measuring guides makes cutting easier and more accurate.

It has 45 and 60-degree bias lines for triangle cutting. This mat is made from 5 layer PVC material. It comes with 4 other size options like 36×24 inches, 24×18 inches, 18×12 inches, and 18×18 inches. It’s a durable mat that comes with a lifetime warranty.

Specifications

  • Size: 36x 24 Inches 
  • Weight: 3.8 Pounds
  • Color: Purple
  • Double-Sided Mat

It’s a 2mm thick large size mat with double-sided measuring grids. These square inch grids are distinct and it also has 30, 45 and 60-degree bias line for cutting. This mat is suitable for quilting, crafting, and hobby projects. All KC Global mats are certified to be safe for children and are eco-friendly.

Buying Guide- Self-Healing Cutting Mats

How Do I Set Up A Budget For Cutting Mats?

Buying Guide-Self-Healing Cutting MatsBefore you set out to buy a cutting mat, you’ll have to make a budget for yourself. And for that, you’ll have to take a look at what exactly is it that you’re buying your cutting mat for, to begin with? Are you looking for high quality? More features? Convenient costs?

What really is it that’s driving you to buy a self-healing cutting mat and will it suit your crafting needs to begin with?

Whatever it is, always remember that a bigger investment is more likely to land you a better product as long as you know what you’re looking for.

At the same time, however, a mat with extra features that you won’t end up using can be a waste of money too.

You could narrow down your costs based on:

  • Type
  • Size
  • Thickness
  • Texture

What Are the Different Types of Cutting Mats?

1. Types of Mats –

Cutting mats are mostly categorized into two different sub-types.

  • Hard Surface Mats:

The first type being hard-surface rotary cutting mats. These mats are relatively much stiffer than the softer surface variants out in the market. Owing to the nature of their harder PVC material, your knife blade is bound to slide over the mat surface without grooving them.

  • Soft Surface Mats:

The second type comprises soft surface mats. These mats are relatively thinner and flexible, sporting a fine layer of multi-colored vinyl on top. Your knife blades are more likely to create small scratches upon the surface that quickly reclose; hence awarding them the description “self-healing.”

2. Size

It does matter a lot. Ideally, you should choose the mat that best fits your available storage area. If you plan on making use of a rotary cutter, you might want to consider a full-size cutting table mat.

  • Small (5″ x 5″, 6″ x 8″, 12″ x 12″ and 12″ x 18″)

This range of small-sized cutting mats is ideal for beginners willing to transition into quilting, papercraft, or any other crafting hobbies for that matter. Works best for small cuts and small pieces. The small size makes them all the more portable, easy to store, and ideal for on-the-go beginners taking crafting classes, attending retreats, or working in guilds. You might however need to constantly rotate the cutting mat from time to time when making cuts from different angles.

  • Medium (12″ x 24″, 18″ x 24″ and 24″ x 36″)

Fits on most kitchen and sewing tables; perfect for portable use in your sewing or quilting studio. If you’re interested in quilting, a 24-inch fabric cutting mat would come in handy for precise cutting of strips in a single fold without having to constantly readjust your position. This is the ideal choice for regulars that are willing to invest hours of work into their hobby.

  • Large (24″ x 70″, 35″ x 70″ or 40″ x 70″)

Sounds like you have a dedicated workplace for your crafting endeavors! These are termed continuous grid rotary mats and work swell if you want to cover a tabletop with a protective cutting mat, depending on the size of your work surface. These cutting mats have screw-on mat clips that help keep hold multi-piece mats securely together as well. However, beware of storing them in places other than their designated worktops since it’s hard finding sufficient space and not end up warping them in the first place.

3. Thickness-

Self-healing cutting mats vary in terms of thickness too. We’d want you to get the ones best suited to your needs. Most cutting mats come in two types of thicknesses: 2 millimeters and 3 millimeters.

  • Hobby Grade:

These cutting mats are usually 2 mm thick, have a relatively plastic texture often turning out too smooth or rough. They’re most commonly called “hobby craft mats” and aren’t really the ideal choice for straight knife use. The thinner cores in these self-healing cutting mats are what makes them much more prone to grooving. One key indicator of a low-quality cutting mat is separated laminations.

  • Professional Grade:

These self-healing rotary cutting mats usually comprise 3 mm thick variants made up of 3 individual plies. These are much more durable, less susceptible to grooving/gouging and generally have longer lifespans.

4. Texture and Glare

Another crucial aspect that’ll either improve or worsen your experience. Excessively smooth textured cutting mats can lead to accidental and even fatal slips. What’s more, is that these mats can turn out to be a bit too shiny and reflect a lot of light on exposure. Then again, a harder texture is detrimental to the consistency of your blade’s cuts as well.

When choosing a cutting mat, it’s best that you take on the middle path. The mat should ideally make use of a moderate texture, medium tooth ruggedness with a non-glare surface that doesn’t cause unneeded reflection

How Long Do Cutting Mats Last?

As impervious as they might appear with their self-healing abilities, cutting mats can withstand a lot of work, but to a certain extent that is. Self-healing doesn’t necessarily mean self-regenerating. What we’re dealing with is a protective sheet of PVC that is bound to get worn out with the passage of time. Just like anything else, how long they last would pretty much rely on how they’re used, to begin with. So, for starters, let’s take a look at the factors that might either extend or impair your self-healing rotary cutting mat’s life.

  • Type of material to be cut
  • Type of knife used in cutting
  • The sharpness of the knife blade
  • Pressure applied on the knife by user
  • Amount of material being cut
  • Quality of cutting mat

How Do You Care for A Rotary Cutting Mat?

Care for A Rotary Cutting MatIt goes without saying that the specific life of a cutting mat varies from user to user. How often they make use of the mat is another essential factor that can’t be left out of the equation. Again, there are a handful of tips to use as guidelines and best practices for getting the best bang for your buck:

  • Make sure not to use dull knives. Always sharpen knife blades for ease of use. Oftentimes, you’ll come across cutting mat kits offered as packages with all of the necessary equipment to go along with them. A standard rotary knife is included as well keeping in mind both your crafting needs alongside what works best with the cutting mat itself.
  • Avoid repetitive cuts on a localized area on the mat so as to prevent permanent gouging. Always use different sides or areas of the cutting mat otherwise.
  • Do not attempt to cut through multiple layers of hard-to-cut material all at once. Not only can it turn out to be frustrating for you, but this can also prove dangerous for your cutting practices. An accidental slip of hand while exerting extra pressure could lead to harmful, sometimes even fatal injuries. Safety first.
  • Use gloves if possible and having a first aid kit nearby can be super helpful in case things take an unsuspecting turn (hopefully they won’t!).
  • It is highly recommended that you make use of rotary and carving knives at a 90-degree angle so as to avoid cutting the material itself. Otherwise, you’d be left with a long-lasting visible grove on the surface of your cutting mat.

How Do You Store A Large Cutting Mat?

The best practice for storing cutting mats is to keep them flat and unrolled. While rolling might help save on space when your attic feels crammed or when you’re on the move, it could be detrimental to your self-healing rotary cutting mat’s life-cycle.

If possible, it’s best that you find one with a hanging hole for your personal convenience.

Two other things that you must be careful of are heat and cold. Since most cutting mats are composed of PVC material, they are much more sensitive to temperature.

This means neither exposing them to direct sunlight nor leaving them back in your suffocatingly hot car standing idly in an open parking lot. Again, if you store them in a cold room, you might run the risk of making them crackle with brittleness.

All of these factors, independently as well as collectively, can lead to warping; your cutting mat might end up getting twisted or contorted out of shape.

How Do You Maintain A Self-Healing Cutting Mat?

How to Maintain A Self-Healing Cutting MatMaintenance is incomplete without cleaning. You want to make the best use of your cutting mat, right? Cleaning tops the list and there’s no way around it. It’ll only help in prolonging their life and any other possessions for that matter.

Cleaning your self-healing rotary cutting mats is pretty simple.

You could start off with your daily household spray cleaner.

In case you want to try something original instead, you can easily make use of some mild detergent/soap mixed in a bucket of cool water. The soapy-alkaline solution with the aid of a toothbrush will remove any unwanted dust, dirt, and grime from the surface without actually reacting to it. This helps maintain the overall surface texture, quality, printings, and color which would otherwise be compromised in using acidic detergents.

A soft sponge and a lint roller could come in really handy for removing all of that extra surface lint and crumbs. If not, you could make use of a soft toothbrush. Do so for around 10-15 minutes. Last, but not least, a microfibre cloth can help wipe off residue fibers on your cutting mats, making sure they’re squeaky clean by the end of your cleaning sessions.

If you’re able to pull this off, consider it a job well done! Remember: consistency is key. Making sure your self-healing rotary cutting mat is cleaned on a regular schedule is what’ll help keep it useful for the years to come.

Can I Iron on My Cutting Mat?

Yes, you can. But let’s take a step back and ask, “why?”

Sometimes things do get out of hand. Sometimes we just don’t care as much as we should. And that’s not entirely your fault. Perhaps you wrapped up your mat in a hurry. Maybe you left it in the car trunk for too long. Or perhaps your room wasn’t as well heated and caused your cutting mat to crackle.

Chances are your self-healing rotary cutting mat might have warped out of shape in some way or the other. It doesn’t matter too much. What matters is how you get it back to its former shape.

Now, here’s where it gets sort of complicated. Your cutting mat manufacturer might have advised or warned you that once your mat gets contorted, it’s done for; that there’s no way you can get it back completely. And while that is partially true, many cutting mat users have found out that you can play fire with fire. In other words:  you can warp back your cutting mat to its former, flatter self.

Interesting right? Here’s how:

Pre heat an iron to medium heat. Have a press cloth placed over the cutting mat, and run the iron all over the curled-up area.

The heat will seep into the mat, eventually raising its temperature, making it more malleable.  Ideally, you should have it placed over a flat solid surface to begin with and another weighted layer on top, pressing it down to flatten it out.

An ironing board with a cutting mat over it, further pressed down by a pile of books can be a convenient way of getting it all uncurled.

However, you could do this in several other ways as well.

Some of the best ways to Iron the mat:

  • Place the cutting mat on a hot driveway or patio and have it pressed down by plywood. This can help flatten it out amazingly.
  • Put it in the back of a car trunk, weigh it down with a pile of magazines and it’ll come out looking straight.
  • Place it over a card table over a heat register; stack a bunch of books and it’ll look brand new!
  • Try it out on your car’s hood, leave it under the sunlight for a few hours and wonder at the power of sunshine to restore it to its former glory.

Although these are some of the best alternatives out there to buying a new cutting mat, we do not completely endorse them. The chances for further damage and warping still exist. In case you leave them under hotter conditions than intended, these mats might instead warp way beyond the norm.

The possibilities for irregularities occurring on the mats are always present and you may be left with a mat that isn’t exactly up to the mark.

How Do You Refresh A Cutting Mat?

Just as you’d moisturize your skin in case it gets too dry, so is the case with cutting mats. They need their fair share of moisture. Especially in case, your cutting mat has started to smell.

So, what you could do is run them under some cool water in a bathtub, add ¼ cup of vinegar per gallon filled, and use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the surface. Afterward, dry with a towel and leave it in the open air. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get rid of any smell and have your cutting mat regain its new look.

Another clever way of removing leftover lint from fabric is to make use of a rubber/eraser. Yes! A simple rubber or eraser can be turned sideways, pressed flatly against the cutting mat, and rubbed in the said manner all over the surface.

In turn, you can have all of that lint rubbed off as shavings and then wiped off of the entire mat. And the best thing about it is that it only takes a few minutes out of your daily schedule to do so! Easy and efficient? You can say that for sure.

When Should I Replace My Cutting Mat?

When it all boils down to replacing your current self-healing cutting mats, you should have a few things in mind before discarding them. Different cutting mats have different lifespans that depend mostly on how much you use them, how lately have you been changing to newer blades, whether you’ve been cleaning them, taking care of them, the different sorts of fabric you cut, and whether or not you’ve been using it for things beyond the scope of a rotary cutter.

Again, the main issue is warping. In order to make sure that your cutting mat doesn’t become a victim to it, here’s a reminder checklist just to refresh your memory for what you should be actively avoiding:

  • Prevent rolling your cutting mat for a prolonged period of time.
  • Do not make the cutting mat stand on its edge.
  • Do not apply any sort of excessive heat be it sunlight, placing it in a closed car, or near a radiator.
  • Don’t put hot food, drinks, or laptops on your self-healing cutting mats.

There is however one crucial pre-cursor to replacement.

Look, in case a specific section of your mat is curled, has too many grooves, or just about anything wrong with it, what you could do instead is cut that section out of your self-healing cutting mat and keep the remainder. Again, this can only work if the affected area is sparse and isn’t spread out irregularly.

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