After reviewing some of the toughest self-healing cutting mats on the market, we recommend the Alvin professional cutting mat because of its durability.
Recently, I went to grab my cutting mat for a quick sewing project and realized the mat was just about cut in half. I’ve had it for a few years, so it was much overdue, but since I hadn’t purchased one in some time, I figured I’d do my homework and try to find the one that best fit my needs.
After doing an extensive amount of research, I found the cutting mats below seemed to be the best reviewed or highest quality mats available. There are quite a few cheap ones out there, and the selection you’ll find at your local fabric store may be limited, but out of these options you can’t go wrong.
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Choosing the Best Mat for You
There is no “best” cutting mat for everything. There are a handful of great mats that serve different purposes, so it’s up to you to evaluate each mat based on your own needs.
I needed something thick so that I could cut waxed canvas fabric relatively easily, but if you don’t need something that durable, you could go with one of the mats that are a little thinner, but maybe easier to store or transport.
In the end, you’ll want to look at how much you’ll use it, plus the type of work you’ll be doing on it. This will help you determine which mat would work best.
Alvin Professional Cutting Mat
The Alvin Professional Cutting Mat is the all-around winner simply because of the number of satisfied customers that have found everything they need.
It’s durable at 3mm thick, which is twice as thick as some of the more standard 1.5mm mats.
“I also found that the Alvin mat was truly self-healing while my Fiskars mat was filled with gouges.”
It’s reversible, has a non-glare surface and offers easy-to-understand lining and angle guides.
As for the possibility of warping, this has been noted by some customers but does not seem to be too prevalent.
It can be a shipping issue, depending on your location and the time of year, but it can also be easily fixed by placing the mat in warmer temperatures until it lies flat.
Overall, this mat offers a comprehensive amount of features and doesn’t have any glaring negatives, and it’s the cutting mat we ended up going with.
OLFA Double-Sided Rotary Mat
Where the Alvin is thick and extremely durable, the OLFA double-sided is about half as thin, which makes it flexible and easier, in some cases, to store. If you’re leaving it out flat, however, it’ll still be easy to lay flat without any problems of warping.
The OLFA has a great self-healing surface that will last a long time, and even with deep cuts it will still maintain its structure.
Because it’s only 1.5mm, however, it might not be as good for really heavy or thick materials that require deep, hard cutting.
OLFA has an excellent reputation, and most of the critical reviews were based on the fact that it has a strong smell when it arrives.
Because these mats often have vinyl and other materials that are man-made, this smell is sometimes unavoidable and should be considered accordingly.
MMG Self-Healing Mat
The MMG self-healing mat is great for sewing or quilting because of its easy-to-use grid and angle guides. It offers 5″ x 5″ markings for quilters, and other rectangular sizes for other projects.
This mat is not double-sided, unlike the first two, but its single side seems to hold up well over time and lack of durability doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Many customers noted that the customer service that comes with purchasing an MMG cutting mat is excellent, and they appreciate the quick order processing and follow-up customer service that comes with a purchase.
For a quality cutting mat that doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, the MMG is a great value, especially for those who appreciate great customer service.
MyCrafts Self-Healing Mat
For a smaller, thick cutting mat, MyCrafts is your go-to purchase. The only reason we’ve ranked it lower is because the size doesn’t offer as much room as the larger ones, but if you’re consistently working with smaller pieces, then this won’t be an issue.
MyCrafts’ cutting mat has 5 layers and comes in at 3mm, making it one of the thicker mats available. This makes it durable, and it’s also double-sided, so if one side is getting worn, you can flip it around the spread the love.
Like the OLFA mats, there seems to be a rubber odor with this cutting mat, but again, that’s something that doesn’t affect the performance of the mat.
If you’re looking for something compact, durable and easy to use, MyCrafts may be your best bet.
Fiskars Rotary Cutting Mat
Fiskars makes some of the best, simplest crafting tools around, so it’s no surprise that their cutting mat is also solid.
It doesn’t blow us away with any crazy features, but it’s just an all-around good cutting mat that will last.
It’s about medium thickness and durability when compared to the others, and there are a number of angles and square guidelines that can help you line up your projects.
The only real downside of the Fiskars cutting mat is that some customers complain about there being visible marks left by cuts.
This will happen with any cutting mat, but it may be more apparent with the Fiskars, though this depends on the type of materials you’re cutting, as well as the cutting tool and technique being used.
OLFA Rotating Cutting Mat
Sometimes you need a rotating cutting mat to cut clean circular lines or small angles.
The OLFA is a great tool, and comes in two sizes – 12 inch square or 17 inch square.
For smaller projects, the OLFA appears to meet many customers’ needs.
It works well with detailed cuts, and the only downside is that the swivel tends to stick when it’s first being used.
This, however, should clear up after multiple uses. If a rotating mat is something you need for your projects, this two-piece mat will do the trick.
Like the other OLFA mat, this one also has a strong smell that you may need to “air out” before using in tight quarters.
Which Cutting Mat Do You Recommend?
Let us know what your experience has been with cutting mats, whether they’re the ones above or different ones that we can look into.
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