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Cutting Mat or Rotary Cutter?

Cutting Mat or Rotary Cutter?

Old 08-31-2015, 07:01 AM
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Kinda weird, but make sure your blade is in correctly. Go to the website of the brand you use. Just in case - mats are expensive!
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
I haven't seen anybody mention Alvin mats yet. They are less expensive than Olfa and as far as I can tell are just as good quality and come in nice large sizes for reasonable prices. I have a very large one that covers most of my cutting table and I LOVE IT! I bought it on Amazon. I own mats made by Alvin, Olfa, Fiskars & Dritz - Alvin is my favorite.

Hydrating your self-healing mat periodically is important, regardless of brand!! If yours is small enough, take it into the shower with you every now and then, and lay it somewhere flat to slowly dry (don't put it in the sun unless you're trying to fix a warp). If your mat is too large for that (like mine), what I do is every now and then I give it a good scrubbing (I just use water & a brush - this is just to remove lint and any caught fibers) and then I lay warm wet towels over it for a few hours.

If you don't do this every now and then, your mat becomes brittle and won't "heal" anymore. My oldest mat (Olfa) got so brittle that the corner of it shattered when I tried to pick it up awkwardly. Now I know better!

This reminds me, I need to soak my travel mat...
I have an Alvin that I like very much too. I need a second mat, so just ordered a Sullivan, wanted to try something completely different as I've had all the name brand mats over 30 years. Waiting for it to arrive now.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
Have you tried the back of the mat? You can flip them over. Having said this, I think that after 12 years you have gotten your money's worth from your current mat.
I'm with the princess on this one.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
Another thought - what kind of table do you have your mat on? I have a 6' folding table and found that it "gives" a little in the middle and will skip now and then. I have less problems if I put the mat at the end over the legs.

I have had a few brands of mats, but the Olfa lasts years longer. I love the Olfa ergonomic cutters.
I'm with you, katier825, about the Olfa mats and ergonomic cutters. I use a dining room table on risers for a cutting table, but have a large mat I bought from JoAnns (32 x 60) and it was rolled up when I bought it. I noticed that dipping problem with this mat (definitely seems to be the mat, not the table), even if I place a smaller Olfa mat (18 x 24) on top and use my Slide-lock, so I get missed spots and have to go over spots at times.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:34 PM
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My cutting mat DID break along the edge when I picked it up!! That certainly says brittle to me!! I will try however once more to rehydrate it.

Included photos of my cutting table....ironing surface and storage area... this puppy is SOLID as a ROCK! It's on heavy duty wheels and will move but it is mega heavy!
Attached Thumbnails img_20140421_103818_315.jpg   img_20140131_201458_997.jpg   img_20140301_163458_255.jpg  
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:36 PM
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Cutting mat that is 12 years old - time to replace.

As for the cutting problem being the cutting mat or the cutter. It could be both!

Sometimes my blade skips threads when cutting. Usually I need to change blades. But sometimes the screw that holds the blade in place is loose. That also causes wavy cuts.

Mat - I notice that I tend to cut in the same place on the mat all the time. Move your fabric to the center of the cutting mat and then cut. You might see a big difference.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:02 PM
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I use an olfa mat and cutter. Have tried others and will always stay with Olfa.

One crazy thing we have noticed, is that blades dull very quickly when there's a granite counter top under the mat. Doesn't make sense, but we've seen it over and over at the store.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:47 PM
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Has anyone used one of the mat renewal tools that look like a scrubber/sander? I have a large Fiskars and have used both sides, but still have some cutting "skip" issues that are really aggravating! I've scrubbed with a Mr. Clean sponge and that helps, but still seems grooved--I will try the warm wet towels on it after I clean cause it's too big for tub.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:01 PM
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Olfa....both. The blue mat I got caused a lot of "skipping". Wetting the mat with warm water and scrubbing might help, too.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:35 AM
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I had a friend that was using a mat that was so worn from use - I have no idea how she could cut anything decently with a rotary cutter on it. The top layer was missing in places - looked like a potholed road!

If a mat is used a lot - especially if the cuts are usually in the same spots - it will wear out. Age and amount of use do not always go together. It can be six months old and hacked up if used a lot.
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