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Thread: Anyone bought an Olfa cutting mat recently?

  1. #1
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Anyone bought an Olfa cutting mat recently?

    I am thinking about getting a new mat for my cutting table. Although the cutting mat that came with my table is still in fine shape (after 15+ years!), I noticed recently when using my Olfa rotary mat that my rotary cutter seems much easier to use on the Olfa surface. I have to press harder on my big mat.

    Anyhow, it seems like a luxury, but I am thinking of getting an Olfa mat to place on top of my existing mat. Things change so fast these days, I am wondering if the newer Olfa mats are as good as the old ones (I bought my Olfa rotary mat many years ago). I have read that the lines are better now, but that the mats themselves are thinner. Also, I have read several reviews that complained about terrible outgassing that does not stop. How long does a new mat have to be aired out to stop smelling?

    I am thinking of getting the 35" x 75" with clips to hold the three pieces together, since my table is big enough. I saw in the reviews that a lot of people duct tape the backs together so they don't have to use the clips. This means the mats are not reversible?

    Or should I get the 24" x 36" mat? Seems to me that would be big enough for my largest June Tailor mat.

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    My original mat is about 25yrs old and is an Olfa.
    Definitely worn and I knew it was time to replace.
    I still have it and it is on the corner of the table that I don't use so much.

    So a couple of years ago, I bought a new set of 3 .... you are correct, the new mats are not as thick.
    To me they are more slippery when cutting and while they are still considered "self-healing",
    because they are not so thick for the blade to cut into is probably why the slippery feel.

    I still don't really like the new mats, but not much I can do about that.
    Whenever I ask about it in shops, I just get a blank look or stare, or shrug.
    Often have been given the comment, that nothing is like it used to be. IOW get over it!

    My new ones are three 24"x36" mats. My table is 48"x72".
    The four sit still and I never used the clips that came with them, nor see the need for duct tape.
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  3. #3
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    The new Lori Holt mats are very nice. They are definitely thicker than the Olfa mats, and they're printed on both sides. Plus, they come in cute colors.
    Annette in Utah

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sheri.a's Avatar
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    I purchased the 3piece 35x75 almost 2 years ago. It fits over my dining table (the dining room is my sewing room). I have been very happy with it. I got it with a 60% off Joanne’s coupon.

    I have used Olfa for years and really didn’t notice a difference.

    One thing I did do was cover the screws that connect the sections with blue painters tape. The always seemed to catch on things.
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  5. #5
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    I bought a 24 x 36 a couple of months ago and I'm happy with it. There was never any smell to it. It's printed on one side which is what I prefer.

  6. #6
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    Just a couple of months back, I bought the "set" of Olfa mats, because I thought I would like being able to cut longer pieces, but have found that the "clips" get in the way and the mats aren't as wide as the regular mats, as a result, I find that I rarely use them and wish I had bought a regular Olfa mat. I haven't noticed any overbearing odor.

  7. #7
    Super Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    I listen to a sewing podcast and she talks about how wonderful the Havel cutting mats are.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I changed to Quilter's Select mats. I have a large Fons and Porter mat that has no lines, only measuring lines at the edges. It is one of the best I have of the green mats. I have all brands of mats and Quilter's Select is the best of the newer mats for me.
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  9. #9
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    I have the 30x60 Martelli & it is really nice. They run periodic 1/2 price sales.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ginaky's Avatar
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    I too love the Quilter's Select mats. And I love how the numbers count both ways on them.
    Regina in Richmond, KY

  11. #11
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Prism, I recently bought a Quilter's Select and love it. I use different rotary cutters and they all work well with it.

  12. #12
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    I went on line and bought the Quilting Bee. No odor and it is thick. I bought a small one to see if I liked it and went back and bought a larger one. No complaints and I would recommend it.
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  13. #13
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I love Quilter's Select, both the mats and the rulers!
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  14. #14
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    I understand the issue with the new mats, but the people who work in the stores have no idea what the companies who make the products have done that changed them. Please don’t hold them responsible.

  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
    I understand the issue with the new mats, but the people who work in the stores have no idea what the companies who make the products have done that changed them. Please don’t hold them responsible.
    I don't hold them responsible for changes by the manufacturers.

    However, as a good LQS/vendor, I do expect them to be knowledgeable,
    and ask questions so they can inform, we, their customers.

    No, I do not expect them to have all the answers!!
    In those cases they can always say ....
    "That's a good question, and I do not have an answer. I'll try to find out for you."

    It's only the basics of Common Customer Service!
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  16. #16
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have used mine for so many years I can not remember when I bought it. It always good for me. I was girted two from someone at times and they are nice but I always go back to my Olfa. If I had to buy a new one it would be the same.

  17. #17
    Junior Member SewingSenior's Avatar
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    The first Olfa I bought was 25 years ago and I didn't need to replace it but I did buy a bigger one about 3 years ago. The newer mat is already showing signs of wear and will soon be making my rotary cutter more difficult to control. I'm thinking I'll change brands later this year when all the DIY projects around here are finished and I can get back into my sewing room.
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  18. #18
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    I have several mats and always go for the Quilters Select. Really like that one best.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Based on the comments here, I considered Olfa, Martelli, Alvin, and Quilters Select. I wanted a really large mat, so that ruled out QS (largest is 24" x 36"). I actually purchased the Olfa 3-section 35"x70" mat on sale at JoAnn's and brought it home before seeing that Martelli was having a half price sale on their mats (today is the last day). I have liked Olfa in the past, but have some doubts about Olfa thickness and quality these days, plus I saw some drawbacks to linking the 3 sections together. I would have ordered the Alvin on Amazon because the price was so good, but I did a search on "stink" and saw that recent reviews complained about it. So I ordered the XL Martelli and will return the Olfa. One thing I noticed at Martelli checkout was that shipping was going to be $20 for the XL mat alone. I went back and added a 60mm tin storage can for $5, and that bumped me up into free shipping.

    My biggest hesitation about the Martelli mat are its colors and lines. Too many lines can be visually confusing to me, and I'm not sure I like the big squaring logo on both sides -- something I personally will probably never use.

    When I realized my old cutting mat is just "not cutting it" anymore, I did not realize deciding on a new mat would be so difficult!

  20. #20
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Prism, what do you have to spend to get free shipping? I wanted to get the round one but shipping is 16.00 ouch!

  21. #21
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Susie, you need to spend $125 to get free shipping. The XL mat I ordered was $124.99! That's why adding a $5 item saved me $15.

    I was looking at their round-a-bout too, as it would be better than my Olfa square rotating mat, but figure I should wear out the one I have first.

  22. #22
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    ..........I was looking at their round-a-bout too...........
    Suggestion ... just set a smaller mat on top, and let it be your round-a-bout!

    I just plunk a small one on top.
    Cut.
    Turn the mat.
    Cut again ... more versatile for usages .... and saved me a whole lot of dough!
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  23. #23
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Thanks, Prism and Quilt E
    Prism, glad you got the free ship. I hate those charges!!!

  24. #24
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
    Thanks, Prism and Quilt E ............
    You're most welcome, SusieQOH!!
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  25. #25
    Super Member Slow2Sew's Avatar
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    I use a 6"x24" ruler with an alignment lip on the edge for most of my quilts. I bought an Olfa mat bc my old June Tailor was very worn. I failed to notice that measurements on the Olfa mat are printed inside the beginning measurement lines, meaning fabric covers the measurements when I align the fabric. As a result, the June Tailor still gets used most of the time and the Olfa stays in the closet. :-(

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