Last update on 2021-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Tracking down a quality cutting mat (especially a quality self-healing cutting mat) is always going to be a little more challenging than most people expect.
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with there being too few quality self healing cutting mat options available on the market today. If anything there are more to pick and choose from than ever before.
Instead it has a lot to do with the fact that there are so many different kinds of cutting mat available that’s zeroing in on just one is inevitably going to be a little challenging.
That’s why we built this guide, though.
Armed with the inside information below, you’ll have no trouble whatsoever finding the perfect cutting mats for your needs – no matter what those needs might be.
Looking to do a little bit of crafting?
Want to use your new cutting mat surface in the garage?
Interested in bringing your cutting mat into the kitchen, even?
We have you covered!
By the time you finish up this detailed guide you’ll know exactly what to look for in the best self healing cutting surfaces on the market today.
Though there are plenty of self healing options available right now (many of them advertised that being able to stand up to powerful rotary cutter tools), only a handful of cutting mat choices rise above the rest of the pack.
Below we breakdown our absolute favorite mat choices, the kinds of mats you’re going to want to zero in on going forward.
Easily one of the top contenders, especially as far as self healing rotary mat options go, this heavy duty workable area measures in at 22″ x 34″ and makes trimming things up really easy.
A lot of that usability comes down to the grid lines printed directly onto the healing rotary cutting mat itself. Though this mat isn’t double-sided (that would’ve been a nice bonus), it does provide a lot of protection to services and blades thanks to its five layer construction.
1/8 inch of PVC material in the middle of this rotary cutting mat guarantees a lot of extra self-healing capabilities that other options (like those from US Art Supply, for example) may not offer.
Another great cutting mat for protecting your work area, the soft PVC in this self healing rotary cutting solution does a great job at standing up to pretty much anything you throw at it.
Available in more than six different sizes (with the most popular coming in at 24″ x 36″), the grid lines on this choice are very clearly marked and easy to see on the high resolution background.
With some of the best construction materials used (five individual layers of PVC throughout) this double sided option is certainly one of the top self healing mats money can buy.
Trying to find a mat double-sided option that is durable enough to withstand rotary blade tools (while preserving its self healing finish and remaining non-slip) can be a challenge – but it isn’t with this choice.
A legendary name brand (at least as far as self healing cutting mat options and craft materials in general are concerned), your money is definitely going to be well spent on this top double sided option.
Found in pretty much every US art supply cabinet in American middle schools, high schools, and colleges, this has to be considered one of the very best self healing rotary cutting solutions money can buy.
Not only does it include the actual cutting mat itself, but it throws in a 45 mm rotary cutting tool that does a great job at keeping cuts clean, consistent, and even.
The extra-large surface area (measuring in at 24″ x 36″) gives you plenty of sewing room to work with, and the double sided rotary tool isn’t going to damage the self healing finish for months and months.
Best of all, your blades are going to stay well-maintained as well when you are using this easy to read rotary mat.
Color options are a little bit limited when it comes to this Fiskars self healing setup, but that’s no big deal. The high contrast gridlines make it easy to use and very accurate.
For sure one of the best double sided rotary tool mat options you can buy, this particular choice offers great self-healing capabilities thanks to the five ply construction. The smooth surface rebuilds and restores itself without a lot of extra effort.
On top of that, it remains non slip in a way that few other smooth mats can.
The angle guides are really easy to read, making this one of the most useful products in this space.
You’ll get a long time of usage out of this particular option, and should get plenty of design inspiration every time you turn to it on your work space or crafting area.
If you need a cutting surface that is customizable to the project at hand, these are the kinds of qualifying purchases you’ll want to zero in on.
One of the best cutting mat choices money can buy, this self healing cutting mat is strong, robust, and comes in a couple of different “flavors”.
Three different options – thin, medium, and thick – let you pick and choose the right workable area for any cutting that you need to tackle.
It would be nice if these 12″ x 12″ options come in 24 x 36 size configurations, but honestly it’s not that hard to slap two of them together and double your workspace quite easily.
Like we mentioned earlier, you definitely will not want or options when it comes time to find a cutting board.
If anything, you are going to be buried under so many choices that just sifting through your options for a self healing mat is going to be a tall task.
To better help you navigate the options out there today, and to help you guarantee you get the right healing rotary cutting mat on the market, you’ll want to focus on these key features above all else.
To kick things off, it’s important that you understand exactly how you hope to use this kind of service in the future.
If you are going to be using this kind of material on a regular and consistent basis and want to protect your knife or cutting tool as much as you can, then you need to get your hands on “soft surface” mats – sometimes called self healing options.
These mats are usually made of materials that can reseal tiny surface cuts made by your knife, your scalpel, and even some rotary tools.
These are also the kinds of mats that are especially popular with crafters, designers, sewing specialists, sign makers, hobbyists, and DIYers in general.
Hard surface mats are also available if you need something a little more durable, something that’s going to show some surface damage with each slice but something that’s really going to protect the surface underneath your mat more than anything else.
If you’re working on a surface that you don’t want to slice and dice (even inadvertently) it might not be a bad idea to go with hard, nonhealing cutting mats.
Another thing you’ll want to consider is the overall size of the self healing cutting mats you are purchasing before you pull the trigger on this investment.
If you are going to be using your cutting mats to protect giant sized work surfaces from even the most accidental and inadvertent cuts, you’re going to want to get your hands on a giant self-healing rotary mat.
On the flip side of things, if you are doing smaller scale projects and only need to protect smaller areas of your work surface you can probably get away with a couple of the top cutting mats from a company like US Art Supply (for example) that are relatively small and compact.
Just think about how you hope to use these tools before you purchase them and you’ll be good to go.
If you are going to be slicing projects or crafts on your self healing cutting mat with razor knives and the like (something like an X-Acto knife, for example), then the odds are pretty good you don’t need the thickest cutting mats money can buy.
At the same time, if you are going to be using a rotary tool more often than not (rotary cutters or rotary blades) – something with a bit of power behind it – you’ll probably want thicker, and maybe even double-sided – self healing solutions or double sided mat.
Just know that the thicker you go (anything beyond 3mm thickness, really) is going to get to be a little chunky, a little unwieldy, and a little less portable than the thinner options.
Still, if you need a lot of “meat” to protect both your cutting tools on something like a knife blade or a sharp blade while at the same time protecting your underlying surface you might need to bump up to layers that are thicker than 3mm every now and again.
Every single cutting mat is eventually going to fail, eventually will no longer “self heal”, and will need to be replaced with a newer model.
That’s just the nature of the beast when you are slicing and dicing into this kind of equipment.
Of course, some self healing mat options are going to do a better job at lasting longer than others.
This usually comes down to the type of construction materials used, the type of material being cut, the sharpness of the straight blade or rotary tool you are using, and the amount of pressure you are applying – all at the same time.
As always, it’s a good idea to try and get self healing mats that are as durable as humanly possible.
This is the kind of work surface that you’ll want to be replacing once every couple of months (with high usage) and no more frequently than that.
Thickness does matter at least a little bit in this department, too.
Generally the thicker the cutting surface you are working with, the longer the self healing cutting mats are going to last!
The texture of the cutting mats you choose to purchase probably isn’t going to pop into your mind at first, but it is hugely important – especially if you want to get your hands on something worth owning.
The best cutting mats are always going to have at least a little bit of a pebble texture to them.
Cutting mats that are too smooth (smooth like glass, for example) are going to create a work surface that is just too slick to use with a lot of different materials. It actually creates an unsafe surface for you use rotary blades, rotary cutters, or just a regular old razor knife, craft knife or X-Acto knife.
Too much texture, though, and you have the opposite problem that you have with a smooth surface.
You end up having a lot of grab, a lot of friction, and a lot of pull when you are cutting material you are working with.
You don’t want your double-sided mat to be causing you more headache or hassle than necessary, after all!
All of the rotating cutting mat options include some sort of guideline or template scale printed right on to the top surface, making the work area whole lot more useful without any extra instruments or implements added into the mix.
Not all cutting mats are going to include this kind of upgrade, though – which is why you need to make sure that your new healing rotary cutting mat has some guidelines for sure.
Self healing technology on its own is all well and good, but when you can pair it to gridlines, guidelines, or templates that makes sense for the kinds of projects you’re working with (basically smart grid markings) you are really off to the races!
Quality self healing mat choices will always include these as standard fare.
Top cutting mat options should be easy to clean, easy to maintain, and generally pretty quick with their self healing capabilities.
Some materials are easier to clean and maintain than others (some only require a little bit of soap and water, those are the best), but all of them are going to require a little bit of attention every now and again.
Look to take advantage of a self healing mat that doesn’t have to be babied all the time, though.
This is, after all, something that should be able to be beat up a little bit – something you can flip from one side to the other to get more use and utility out of it without having to spend a lot of time cleaning it up or restoring its cutting surface.
Finally, it’s not a bad idea to think about where you are going to store your quilting cutting mat when you aren’t using it – and how well it’s going to fold up or rollaway when you want to tuck it out of sight.
A lot of people like to keep their cutting mats near their rotary cutter tools, their X-Acto knives, and other supplies they use to cut and hack away at their projects with. And that’s not a bad idea!
You’ll just want to be sure that the cutting mat you pick is able to be stowed away without much trouble, either rolled up or carefully stuck to the side of a cabinet so that it stays out of the way.
While a lot of products promise to offer the best self healing construction capabilities (especially with large mat configurations), the absolute “king of the ring” when it comes to this kind of surface has to be the Dahle Vantage 10673 self healing cutting mat.
Featuring the kind of long lasting durability that can withstand a lot of cutting, this is very easy to use, with plenty of bias lines and other guides to make this one of the best choices money can buy.
Not a double sided option, it’s self healing capabilities right up there with the best of the best – and it’s durable enough to stand up to a rotary cutter, cutting blade, rotary blades, and X-Acto knives with no trouble.
If you've been wondering what the best self healing cutting mats are made out of, you definitely aren't alone.
The material used in the best self healing cutting mat options looks like magic when you see it in action - healing the "scars" produced on those come protective materials just the same way that your body works to self heal your own wounds.
Interestingly enough, the way that self healing cutting mats work is similar to the way that our skin heals our own wounds - and that multiple layers work together to close things up and restore the working surface back to better than brand-new condition.
These (often double-sided) tools are made of sandwiched plastics and synthetic materials, usually with vinyl layers at the top and bottom. When the cutting instrument is removed the layers collapse on each other, making it look like the scar closes up on its own.
There are some real monster sized self healing cutting mat options available today, but (traditionally) the biggest options are going to measuring at between 6' x 12' - and are usually 3 mm thick or considerably thicker.
Custom cutting mats can also be purchased (in pretty much any size and any thickness), with almost all of them featuring top-notch self healing capabilities.
While Sullivan's does make some cutting mats that are self healing feature, many of their cutting mats do not have self healing capabilities.
You'll want to double check whether or not the option you've picked has the ability to heal up its cuts before you move forward.
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