Selecting a Cutting Mat

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Ajax, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Member

    Hello all,

    I’ve been looking into cutting mats and so far have only found mats by Olfa and Selectum. Are there any other recommended brands I show know of? If not, is there any preference between these two manufacturers? Also, which size mat would people say is the best value and which size is the most useful: 12†x 18,†18†x 24,†or 24†x 36†?

  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    i have a 24x36 self healing blue cutting mat, i asked for it for my b-day last year, big sucker, but i love

    I also use a 5 foot long folding leg table, that is my total workspace, you can see some of it in the pictures in my album

  3. Ajax

    Ajax Member

    Thanks for the input, Rick. The mat size people prefer was the primary question I was looking for an answer to. That’s one vote for a 24x36 mat then. When I built my R100 I made the mistake of using a scrap piece of wood and it looks like my x-acto needs a new blade now! :oops: :D

  4. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    I have an 18x12 green cutting mat that I have used for several years. Certain areas of it are no longer self healing and when I can afford a new one, I will get me one. But I use that size mat since it fits nicely on my work desk. Someday soon (after I have cleaned it off and prettied it all up) I will post a pic of the desk. Not for any reason other than..."this is where it all happens for me." Hummmm...might be a nice thread to start. Show us your workstation! hehehe
  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    I have a number of kitchen cutting boards and two 12 x 18 self healing cutting mats. The cutting boards line shop working surfaces and are replaced when they get to dinged up to be useful anylonger. One word of caution though, the self healng mats can't take denatured alcohol. It disolves the printing (don't even ask). I've also found high density polyethlene mats that are about 24 x 36 inches at TAP Plastics a local plastic distributor. They're not self healing but are cheap enough not to really care and are much easier on the cutting edge (around $5.00 U.S.).

    Best regards, Gil
  6. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member


    I have an 18 x 21 in self healing mat, but I only use an area about 9 x 12 inches on the front of the mat. When I travel I use a 6 x 8 inch mat and it does the job. I would assume that if you were building a 1/33 scale B52 you would want the biggest mat you could find, so the size of the models you build would also determine the mat size.

    What’s more important then the mat is to have a dedicated working area.

    I’ll take up ashrunner's challenge here is my workbench

    Jim Nunn
  7. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    Helps to attach the file. . . .

    Jim Nunn
  8. cardfan

    cardfan Member

    Ok, I'll chime in. And no, it usually doesn't look this clean.
  9. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Okay, I guess since I started this photo stuff, I might as well participate. After all, I said I would after cleaning the desktop. All I did was remove some books and magazines from it. To the left is my reference bookcase...about 200 books and four stacks of mostly aviation magazines two feet high. To the right is my computer station. You can just see my scanner in the upper right. Cork bulletin board to tacking up instructions and diagrams above the desk, and the most valuable piece of three power magnifying lamp.
  10. Ajax

    Ajax Member

    Thanks for the comments, guys! One of the things I was wondering about the larger mats was how much use that extra space is. It seems most of you find the smaller mats perfectly adequate to do most jobs, which is fine by me since the smaller mats are so much cheaper! ;)

  11. Ajax

    Ajax Member

    Thanks for suggesting that people post pictures of their workstations, Ash. It’s interesting to see what items most people have readily available to use. Oh, and Glen, if that’s your set of Firefly DVDs off to the side of your desk I have to compliment you on your excellent taste in television programming. :) I can’t wait until the motion picture hits the theaters! Hmmm.. that also gets me thinking what a fun project it would be if someone ever came out with a card model of Serenity. 8)

  12. cardfan

    cardfan Member

    Hi Ajax,

    That is in fact Firefly, my favorite late night viewing material. I was going to mention it earlier, on the extra features disk, one of the planning stages for Serenity was a simple paper model! I love this hobby...


    Oh, and the bench has instantly cluttered itself with experiments on Roman's life boats. :)
  13. tino

    tino Member

    Talking about cutting mat, I want to buy one to. Someone can tell some site on the net where I can buy one? :)
  14. Gecko23

    Gecko23 Member

    I started with a 16" X 12", and eventually just cut it in half. I find I only really use about a 6" X 6" section of it for the majority of models, so two corners get chewed up while the rest stays pretty pristine.

    Not to mention it fits right under the pile of uncut parts neatly, which is a plus for me since I don't have a permanent area setup. (Which is why I don't have a pic of my work area handy, BTW :D)

    On the other hand, the extra mat area is useful, it keeps small parts from falling off, and provides extra space for scoring, etc without risking wooden desk/table tops.
  15. cadwal

    cadwal Member

    I bought mine at
  16. Ajax

    Ajax Member

    Thanks for the heads up, Glen! I haven't worked my way through the special features disc yet. :D

  17. Ajax

    Ajax Member

    Space considerations were definitely one of the big factors I was weighing. I went ahead and measured out the amount of table area that would be occupied by the mat and decided the 12" x 18" would fit my needs nicely. And then having finally made up my mind I saw what I thought was a pretty good deal on an 18" x 24"and ended up buying that one instead! :D


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