March 30, 2021

Sewing Cutting Mats

Have you been struggling to find a cutting mat for your sewing projects? Or are you curious about cutting mats because you've never used one before? Either way, picking the right one is important.

Cutting mats have guidelines that help you measure and straighten your lines as you cut. They're vital to any project requiring precision and straight edges. But some cutting mats are better than others. Certain models become damaged when nicked with sharp blades, which leads to a breakdown over time.

We've looked at the top models on the market. These are our recommendations for the best sewing cutting mat.

Best Sewing Cutting Mats

#1. Fiskars Crafts Rotary Sewing Cutting Set

Fiskars Crafts Rotary Sewing Cutting Set

This product is our top choice because it comes with a three-piece set that includes everything you need. The rotary set comes with a cutting blade, cutting mat, and measurement ruler. All of these tools are vital when measuring and cutting your fabric and thread.

The rotary cutter uses a classic stick shape to cut cleanly through your paper. The rolling blade is 45 millimeters in length and can cut through multiple layers of fabric. At the same time, it keeps the fabric flat, which improves overall accuracy and prevents accidental crooked edges.

The cutting mat itself is extra large, built for big fabric projects. It has dimensions of 18 by 24 inches and should be able to handle the majority of your cuts. The measuring grid can be easily read, and the double-sided surface self-heals for long lasting effect.

The ruler is as long as the mat, with a length of 24 inches. But it's only 6.5 inches in length. That makes it more maneuverable, so you can hold it up to other surfaces to take measurements. The acrylic construction has a highlighted seam that makes it easy to see where you're cutting. A simple grid lets you cut shapes with ease.

When it isn't being used, the mat should be stored away from sunshine, hot temperatures, and cold temperatures. It can be cleaned by using mild soap and warm water. There's no need for more complicated cleaning agents.

Every purchase comes with a lifetime warranty. If any of the tools in the kit break down, you can get them repaired or replaced. That makes this a worry-free purchase that's a great choice for first time cutting board owners.

Pros
  • The large, self-healing cutting mat has a precise grid and protects your tables and counters.
  • The portable ruler has a highlighted edge and additional lines to make cutting shapes easy.
  • The blade is sharp and thick enough to slice through multiple layers of paper and fabric at once.
Cons
  • If you already have a cutting blade and ruler, you might not want to invest in a full kit.

#2. Fiskars Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat

Fiskars Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat

If you're looking for a standalone mat instead of a full kit, this option from Fiskars is your best bet. It has many of the same convenience features as the previous mat, but it's also larger. With dimensions of 24 by 36 inches, you can make a single straight cut of up to three feet without damaging your table.

This makes the mat perfect for people who do more in-depth sewing projects like cutting out curtains, tailoring clothes, and creating other home decor. There are also diagonal lines at 60, 45, and 30 degree angles. That makes it easy to create stars, triangles, and other funky geometric shapes.

The self-healing surface will last longer than typical plastic. It doesn't wear down when gouged by sharp objects. In fact, the manufacturer is so confident in the construction that there is a lifetime warranty on the mat. Should it break down or become damaged, you can get a replacement. Customer service representatives are also available to handle any questions or concerns.

The mat is double-sided. Each side is equally durable and printed with an easily-read grid that shows every square inch. One side is green with pale gridlines, while the other is pale with green gridlines. You can use whichever side works best for your vision, or you can alternate between the two.

One of the advantages of the large size is that you can cut fabric directly from the bolt. When you're making clothes, tablecloths, drapes, or other large pieces, this is a lifesaver. You don't have to worry about trimming ragged edges when you cut your pieces off.

Pros
  • The large size is great for big projects, since you can cut fabric directly from the bolt.
  • Both sides are printed with grids and angled guidelines, so you can cut straight lines and geometric shapes.
  • The self-healing surface lasts so long that the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on the product.
Cons
  • If you only do small sewing and embroidery projects, you might find the larger size too unwieldy.

#3. Dahle Vantage 10672 Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Dahle Vantage 10672 Self-Healing Cutting Mat

This mat is another great choice for people who sew. It is built with five layers of self-healing material, with a total thickness of 1/2 an inch. In addition, the 18 x 24 inch size is large enough to handle most projects without being as unwieldy as the previous option.

If you aren't cutting fabric directly from the bolt, 24 inches is likely long enough for most of your jobs. This mat is printed with a bold grid and angled lines that allow you to cut perfect shapes. You can also purchase it in black, blue, or clear coloring.

The five layers of PVC construction help protect your work surface from even the strongest cuts. In addition, the mat protects the edges of your blades to prevent them from dulling against hard surfaces.

The guides come with both inch and metric notations. Whether you're cutting by the foot or the centimeter, you can easily match up your needs. By using the angle guides, you can create complex shapes that are still uniform in their construction.

A self-healing mat will spring back into shape after being cut. The surface will not retain the cut, which means that it can be used many times without losing its smoothness. Hard plastic mats are damaged by sharp objects, so they lose their smoothness and fail to protect your blades.

The mat is double-sided, but only one side is printed with guidelines. The other side can be used for freehanded work that doesn't require measurements.

PVC construction materials are matte instead of glossy, so you don't have to struggle with glare from the lights. This mat has a thick inner core that provides stability, while the thinner outer layers have durable self-healing properties. The material is also odorless, unlike many other cutting mat materials on the market.

Pros
  • The screening guide shows metric and imperial measurements to the centimeter and half inch, along with precise angle guidelines.
  • The five-layer PVC construction includes a stabilizing inner core with a self-healing outer layer.
  • The 18 x 24 inch size can handle most project cuts without being too large for comfort.
Cons
  • The guidelines are only printed on one side, so the opposing side can only be used for non-measured freehand work.

#4. Dafa Professional 24 x 36 Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Dafa Professional 24 x 36 Self-Healing Cutting Mat

This large cutting mat is compatible with a rotary blade. It is the largest mat offered by Dafa, with dimensions big enough to cut cloth from the bolt. The mat is designed for use in quilting, sewing, and general crafting.

The professional construction is built for industry leaders who need to protect their surfaces. One side has metric measurements and guidelines, while the other has imperial measurements and guidelines. Both sides are printed with angles to allow for easier shape cutting.

Since the mat has self-healing material on both sides, it is significantly more flexible than a one-sided mat. It will last at least twice as long as an average one-sided mat.

In addition to being used to cut cloth and paper, this mat can be used to protect your desk when you set your computer down. It can also serve the same purpose as a coaster, protecting your tables and counters from scratches and spills.

The three-millimeter construction has three layers. You can use straight blades, rotary cutters, and other heavy-duty cutting materials. The inner layer is made from tough and stabilizing material that prevents the sharp edge from piercing the surface. Each side is coated with a self-healing layer that bounces back after being cut.

The non-slip finish makes the mat very easy to work with while preventing potential mistakes. In addition, the matte surface doesn't shine or reflect light, so it's easy to read the guidelines. The product ships in a flat container and remains flat instead of being rolled up for storage.

Mats from this manufacturer are built to resist warping and curling. This allows them to stay smooth, so you keep getting an accurate cut with every use. It also makes them much easier to position on your table.

Pros
  • The double-sided construction has imperial measurements on one side and metric on the other, which makes it very easy to use.
  • The non-slip material has a thick protective core and a self-healing outer shell.
  • The size is large enough to take on projects like cutting curtains, tablecloths, and making your own dresses.
Cons
  • The mat isn't as thick as the Fiskars, and it only uses three layers of material instead of five.

#5. Us Art Supply 12 x 18 Inch PVC Cutting Mat

Us Art Supply 12 x 18 Inch PVC Cutting Mat

This cutting mat has everything you could want in a protective surface. It is also smaller than any of the other options so far. If you're looking for a small surface that can handle small cuts of up to 18 inches, this is a great place to look. The small size makes the mat more compact, portable, and convenient.

You can purchase the mat in one of two color combinations: green with white markings, or white with blue markings. The right one for you just depends on which grid you can see more easily. Some people prefer light guidelines against a dark background, while others prefer the opposite.

The mat is constructed using five layers of self-healing PVC material. The grid shows you every 1/2 inch, while the outer edges have 1/8 inch marks for additional accuracy. The green and black mat is reversible, and both sides are printed with grid markings.

In addition to the grid, there are diagonal lines at different angles that can be used for cutting shapes. Just line the edge of the fabric up with a horizontal line, then cut along the guided angle of your choice. You can do this to make uniform cuts and perfect geometric cutouts.

The reverse of the green mat is black with white markings. It is printed with the same grid. Some people also use the grid to create complex cutouts by using the squares to measure their proportions.

The five layers of construction are stable, durable, and protective. Your blade will not be able to pierce the table or counter underneath. When it sinks into the PVC, the blade also won't dull the same way it would against a table. Both sides are non-slip, so you won't run into accidents as you cut.

The 12 x 18 inch mat is one of the smaller ones in this series. The manufacturer creates the same mat in seven different sizes. The smallest is 9 x 12 inches, while the largest is 40 x 60 inches.

Pros
  • The high-contrast grid is easy to read on both sides, with half-inch grid markings and eighth-inch precision guides.
  • The five layers of construction include a stable core, self-healing outside, and protective inner layers.
  • The 12 x 18 inch size is small, compact, and portable, so it's good for people who aren't making massive fabric cuts.
Cons
  • The mat isn't printed with any metric units of measurement, so if you're trying to measure in centimeters, you're out of luck.

#6. Zerro Self Healing Cutting Rotary Mat

Zerro Self Healing Cutting Rotary Mat

This is one of the smallest options on the list with dimensions of just 9 by 12 inches. It is also the smallest size in this series by the manufacturer. A small mat like this is excellent for people who need something portable for smaller, more precise projects. But it won't be ideal for people who make larger fabric cuts.

The small size makes this mat highly affordable. You can use it for your sewing, embroidery, scrapbooking, and other crafting. If you're shopping on a budget, and you don't often make large DIY projects, this might be the best choice for you.

The design is double-sided, and each side is printed with a grid for maximum accuracy. Each block on the grid is a square half-inch. The edges of the mat also have eighth-inch markings that allow for even more precision when needed.

In addition to the grid, there are guidelines for 45 and 60 degree angles. You can use these to create geometric shapes like triangles and stars. The mat does lack a 15 or 30 degree angle, though, so it's not the best if you want to work with complex angles.

The self-healing components help to protect your tabletop every time you use the mat. The model is compatible with rotary blades. After each cut, the mat reseals and becomes smooth again.

In fact, the mat is so good at self healing that the manufacturer has given the product a lifetime warranty. The warranty is unconditional and covers 100 percent of potential damage or wear. If your mat breaks down or becomes worn over time, you can get a replacement free of charge.

The manufacturer also takes pride in their customer service. Customer service representatives will respond to any inquiries on the same day they are sent. Make sure that you keep the mat flat for storage and don't bend or roll it.

Pros
  • The self-healing material is printed with a precise half-inch grid on both sides.
  • The small size is compact and portable, so it's great for people who do small sewing and scrapbooking projects.
  • The manufacturer has included an unconditional lifetime warranty, so you can get a replacement if there is any damage.
Cons
  • The mat doesn't have a grid for the metric system, so you can't measure in centimeters.
  • There are limited angles for cutting, so you can't create complicated shapes with unusual angles.

#7. Worklion Rotary Cutting Mat Set

Worklion Rotary Cutting Mat Set

This is another cutting mat set that's a great choice if you need a blade and a ruler as well as a mat. It is also significantly more affordable than the Fiskars, which makes it the best set for people shopping on a budget. At the same time, the items perform well enough to protect your equipment.

We recommend the set with the 18 x 24 inch cutting mat. However, you can also purchase sets with mats that have dimensions of 12 x 18 inches and 9 x 12 inches. If you have certain spatial considerations, or you want a smaller mat for the increased portability, one of these might suit you well.

The rotary cutting blade allows you to carve straight lines with expert precision. It has a 45 millimeter rolling blade that can cleanly cut through multiple layers of fabric at once. The design includes a double safety button, so the blade can't be used unless the wielder intends it.

Another important note is that the blade works for both left-handed and right-handed people. Some blades have handles that aren't suited to a left-handed grip, but this design is extremely versatile.

The three included blades are all crafted from tool steel. They have been hardened, which means that they are at least three times sharper than typical tool steel. They also won't wear down as easily, especially if you use the cutting mat for protection.

The cutting mat itself is printed with a measuring grid on both sides, which includes both metric and imperial measurements. It has no-slip features that allow for extra stability. Meanwhile, the ruler is designed with precision gridlines and angle guides. You can use it to cut strips and angled shapes.

The mat is built with five-layer PVC material. Like the other five-layered mats, it has durable outer layers, protective inner layers, and a thick stabilizing core.

Pros
  • The kit includes a rotary handle, three rotary blades, a self-healing cutting mat, and a ruler.
  • The mat has both imperial and metric gridlines, while the ruler has angle guides to help you cut shapes.
  • The five layers of construction on the mat protect your surface and your blade from dulling.
Cons
  • The ruler doesn't have highlighted edges, so you don't have an immediate guide for where to cut when creating fabric strips.

#8. Olfa 24 x 36 Inch Self-Healing Rotary Mat

Olfa 24 x 36 Inch Self-Healing Rotary Mat

This is another large rotary mat option that works well for people who need to cut fabric off the bolt. It is a little more expensive than the other mats of this size, but it also has increased angle guidelines and geometric markings. If you need to make complicated fabric cuts or create specific geometric shapes, this might be a good call.

The mat is 1.5 millimeters thick, making it thinner than many others on the market. That makes it much more lightweight and easy to transport than a thicker mat. At the same time, the self-healing construction provides protection to your table.

The double-sided mat only has a grid printed on one side. The other side is solid green, allowing you to do general crafting projects without taking measurements. The grid can be used to do more precise and detailed cutting work.

The self-healing construction smooths after each cut and reseals the surface. That allows the mat to continue protecting you for a long time.

The product must be stored flat instead of rolled up or bent. It can be slid into a closet or a space in your garage or workshop when not in use. It's important that the mat not be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause the surface to warp. Similarly, you should never apply iron or excessively hot water to the mat.

This rotary mat should only be used with rotary blades. Straight blades have the potential to damage the surface.

The materials include three layers that have been welded together with heat. They will not peel apart or unstick.

Pros
  • The mat is thin enough to be lightweight, which makes it easy to move and store despite its large size.
  • There is a detailed grid with multiple angle measurements and geometric notations.
  • The three-layer construction has been welded together with heat, so it won't peel apart as time goes on.
Cons
  • You can only use rotary and circle blades, as straight blades might damage the materials.

Final Thoughts

Our top recommendation is the Rotary Set from Fiskars. In addition to a cutting board, this package includes a precision ruler and an effective blade. The self-healing mat material protects your surfaces without wearing out, while the ruler has a highlighted edge for easier cutting. The kit has everything you need to make precision fabric and thread cuts for your projects.

For singular mats, we recommend the Fiskars Rotary Mat. It has many of the same properties as the mat in the rotary set. Both sides are printed with easy-to-read grids and angled guidelines. It is also larger than the other mat at two by three feet. Since it's so large, it's great for tailors and DIYers who need to cut fabric from the bolt itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a self-healing cutting mat?

A self-healing cutting mat is a type of cutting mat that reseals itself after being cut with blades. This keeps the surface smooth, and it allows the mat to be used over and over again without being damaged.

Self-healing mats are very popular with crafters and sewers who use rotary blades. While rotary blades allow for more precision and control than straight blades, they also pose a significant risk to your furniture. A self-healing cutting mat protects your table and prevents the blade from dulling.

Regular cutting mats will retain their cuts, so they will wear down with time. In addition, these grooves can cause you to make inaccurate cuts. You might slice along an existing groove without realizing it, or your fabric might become crinkled due to the uneven surface.

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