Looking for the best cutting mat? It’s a worthwhile search. Any keen sewer spends a great deal of time on one particular non-sewing activity: cutting out fabric. Sometimes we do this with shears; other times, a rotary cutter makes the best sense. And if you’re using a rotary cutter a good cutting mat becomes absolutely essential.
Why do you need the best cutting mat?
The best cutting mat should be much more than simply a ‘cutting board’ on which you use your cutter with impunity. It should be something that makes straight, correctly spaced cuts intuitive to make; almost automatic. That means it’ll be a 2D ruler as well, with grid lines and possibly even diagonal lines that guide you in your cuts. A good mat will be self-healing; even a self-healing mat eventually deteriorates, but a regular mat will be all cut up after a few uses.
One quality cutting mat that gets consistent all-star reviews on Amazon is the Crafty World Pro Quality Cutting Mat. This mat comes in three sizes: 12 x 18 inches, 18 x 24 inches, or 9 x 12 inches. It’s double sided: both sides are a deep green, and both have grid lines and angles marked, down to 1/8 inch measurements. Align your fabric to the grid and it should be easy to cut straight, geometrically correct lines. The crafty mat is self-healing, which means it doesn’t matter if our cutter goes through the mat: it’ll meld together again directly. This cutting mat even has a ten year money back guarantee, so I’d expect it to last a good long time!
The Quilters Bee Premium 2-Color Cutting Mat is a very comparable cutting mat that is also well-marked, self-heals nicely, and can be expected to wear for a long time. This mat comes in just one size; 18 x 12 inches. It has different colors on alternate sides: forest green with a yellow grid on one, and blue with a white grid on the other. You may find that the green side works best for dark fabrics; the blue side, for light fabrics. Both sides have grid lines down to 1/8 inch measurements, as well as diagonal lines. And this mat also comes with a ten year money back guarantee, so you shouldn’t have to budget for another cutting mat in a while.
Both of these mats are pretty much as sturdy as they come; they are both 3 mm thick, with enough substance to lie flat and also to keep the cutter going smoothly. The grid lines are thick and easy to see.
The Crafty and Quilting Bee mats are quite likely the best cutting mats in their category. But do you work with large projects that dwarf Crafty’s 18×24 inches? No worries, you have much, much larger options! Like Sullivans Cutting Mat for the Home Hobby Table, a grand 59 x 36 inches. This is a gigantic white self-healing mat with dark grid lines. It doesn’t have diagonals, but the grid is as good as they come. There are yardage numbers on the edges if you’d like to measure.
If you don’t have a place to put a 59 x 36 inch mat you can buy the Sullivan Home Hobby Table, and have a dedicated cutting table ready for you whenever you need to cut.
There’s no reason to muddle on with sub-quality equipment: get the best cutting mat and make your projects speed along!