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Cutting Mat or Rotary Cutter?

Cutting Mat or Rotary Cutter?

Old 08-29-2015, 08:47 PM
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Default Cutting Mat or Rotary Cutter?

A quilting friend and I have been discussing having issues with our rotary cutter/mat. We each have two different brands of cutters and mats. We are having issues when attempting to cut our fabric strips; the rotary cutter seems to skip areas when cutting alongside the ruler. We both have tried new blades including titanium blades and the issues seem to persist.
I have read several times that the issue may not be the rotary cutter but the cutting mat. Since we have used new blades I am beginning to think that perhaps this is correct!! Opinions here??

I know I will most likely get a dozen different answers to this question. LOL so here goes.....

What brand of cutting mat is your favorite to use. Is one mat brand better then another?? Does one brand last longer than another??

As always, thank you for all of your wisdom, quilters!
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:09 PM
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When my rotary cutter starts missing a few threads I change the blade and the problem goes away. But I do think mats wear out, dry out and get small pieces of fabric threads stuck in them and over time that is bound to cause cutting issues. Have you turned your mat over and used the plain, unlined side? I have 2 green Olfa mats and have had them over 5 years. I can tell some spots in the middle where I cut a lot are starting to wear, but I feel like I have gotten my monies' worth so far!
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:21 PM
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I love my Olfa mat, but I had a cheapy Dritz mat before that which lasted me until a family member had the "thoughtful" idea to store my mat upright while I was in the hospital. Came home to a wavy, crocked mat. I was able to revitalize the mat for a while by soaking it in the bathtub & giving it a gentle scrub with a sponge and Dawn.

That said, mats do not last forever & if different rotary cutters & new blades don't solve the problem, your issue is almost certainly with the mat.
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:31 PM
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try soaking your mat in 1/2 cup white vinegar and warm water, soak for an hour then use mushroom brush to get any threads out of cuts on the mat. This will give you an almost new mat!
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:31 PM
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I should add that I live in a very dry climate. I have soaked my mat but it really didn't seem to help much. I estimate it's at least 12 years old.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:46 AM
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Since you have tried a new blade, I would say your issue is with your mat. I do not have a favorite brand of mat.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:42 AM
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Replace the mat.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:02 AM
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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.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:07 AM
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I find my rotary cutters work best on a self-healing mat so when it was time to get a new one that's what I looked for. Found one to fit my talbe....4' x'8' with marking on both sides, one side is black and the other side is green. Haven't had any problems since.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:17 AM
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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 really like the Altos mats, but the only one I really, really hate are those opaque white ones which are not self healing.
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