Cutting and Convenient Measuring Surface
I put a couple cuts into my 12"x18" mat - the first one was a light cut, the amount of pressure that I use for cutting through basic cardboard, and it didn't even show up nor could I feel it. The second cut, I put a bit more pressure behind, and a thin line was apparent... but not for long. Heh, although my camcorder didn't seem to pick it up well, the line disappeared as I watched it.
I also definitely appreciate the measurements printed on the mat. I can't tell you the amount of times I have spent with the "angry mutters", wondering where I placed my tape measurer for a simple, short length check. This mat sure simplifies that. It is no where as flexible as one of the product pictures depict, being rather stiff. However, I prefer it this way, not really wanting another floopy work mat that may edge curl over time (I have a Neotech guitar mat for body work that does exactly that).
-- I received this as a complimentary review product with the aim of hopefully elucidating features and drawbacks that may help you ultimately decide what fits your needs and budget best.
Great self healing cutting mat for the serious crafter
Great cutting mat. I made a video to show my experience with mine directly out of the package the day I received it. It performed as well as my thinner fiskars one. I like the thickness and weight behind this one for projects where I need the mat to sit still and not move around while I am cutting. The self healing qualities work as good, if not better than the fiskars brand. I double checked even after the video to ensure that there were not any cuts left from the rotatory tool. I kept the video short because I was not sure if I was going over the max size for uploading for review, but I tried to hit any important points, and can gladly answer any questions if I forgot something. I received this mat as a sample piece for reviewing purposes, but I use these mats in everyday life and would buy this mat and recommend it to other serious crafters to use with fabric and paper crafts.
This is an awesome craft mat. It has no odor. The mat is perfect for crafts because you can cut right on it and not have to worry about it being ruined. I received it to review and tested the healing capabilities. I ran a sharp pair of scissors over it. A few minutes later you can see the line but it had almost completely sealed up.
A great mat for handicrafts
My wife has been seriously into scrapbooking, card-making, and other related handicrafts for many years, and she's become very expert at it. She has regular meetings with craft groups like Creative Memories and Stampin' Up, and over the years, she's accumulated a large collection of specialized tools and equipment for this kind of work. When I asked her if she wanted to try using a Calibre Art self-healing cutting mat, she was very happy to oblige. Here's what she had to say after using the mat:
"With the cutting mats that I've used in the past, I have considered them as a consumable item, like paper. Eventually there would be so many cut marks on the mat that I would just throw out the old one and buy a new one. The Calibre Art cutting mat is promoted as self-healing, where cut marks would disappear within minutes. I scoffed at the idea, but I must admit that I was amazed to learn how well it worked. I deliberately made many cuts in the mat with my X-Acto knife. At first you could see and feel the cuts. I then gently rubbed them with my finger and set the mat aside. When I checked later, there were no cuts that I could see or feel. I did make one intentionally deep cut which took a while to disappear, but it eventually did go away. When you are card making or scrapbooking, you are generally cutting through other paper thickness and do not make deep cuts in the mat itself. The cushioning of the mat surface insures that your cuts will be clean and completely through the paper or cardstock without having to cut again. The feel and weight of the mat is very pleasing, and I appreciate the grid markings that help keep everything straight. The angle markings are a new addition to a cutting mat for me. If you work in inches primarily, there is a side for you. If your work is in centimeters, there is a flipside for you. In the past, I have used cardboard mats or a paper pad under my work area, but these will now be replaced by the Calibre Art cutting mat. I'm looking forward to doing many projects without wondering when I will have to replace the cutting mat."
In watching my wife use the mat, I was equally impressed with it. Cuts really did heal almost instantly, and even some deliberately deep cuts (deeper than would occur in normal use) healed in a few hours.
The cutting mat was provided to me for evaluation. I did not promise to post a review, but I stated that if I did review the product, it would be an honest, unbiased review.
Great features on this cutting mat! I like it a lot!
I have always wanted a cutting mat like this--they come in handy so often. But it never moved to the top of my "need" list. So I never really investigated the different product offerings before. So, I must say, when I saw the phrase "self healing" I was skeptical. After getting an explanation from Calibre Art customer service and after working with this board for a while, I now see how this terminology accurately describes what this cutting board is all about:
Of course the cuts you make on this board are still "there" on the board....But, hey, you can't really see them; you can't really feel them; and, most importantly, the prior cuts never interfere with the cut you are making now. Pretty amazing! These boards by Calibre Art are made of top grade plastics, especially formulated to maintain a delicate balance between rigidity and pliability. In my own layman's terms: When you make a cut, the molecules give way, but then try to get back together.
You can picture a poorly constructed board of cheap plastic: Cut after cut, until the top layer of the board starts to flake and lift and tear off. And the poor quality boards have an odor, too, from the cheaper manufacturing process and less refined plastics. Not with this board: Cut after cut after cut, this board still looks like the day you first used it. And this board does not warp; continues to lay flat and sturdy.
I love the two sides, one side metric, the other American/Imperial inches. It is very handy to have the angles, too. I have the 18" x 24" size, and it is a perfect size for my needs, plus it is easy to store. But it does come in other sizes so you are not forced to buy one too big and cumbersome or too small for your needs.
*I received a sample product from Calibre Art.
Perfect cutting mat
I'm an artist and illustrator, and I used a Uchida brand 18" x 24" cutting mat for decades before being offered a sample Calibre Art cutting mat for review purposes. It now replaces the old Uchida, and right off the bat is a better mat, because unlike the Uchida, the Calibre Art mat is two-sided. This means I won't live long enough to wear it out.
I use a fairly heavy duty utility knife when cutting on this mat (and on the older mat). I use it to cut thick rag made watercolor paper, heavy paper made for use with acrylic paints, mat board, and also cardboard when I need to create some type of shipping packaging. I like to cut through whatever I'm cutting with one cut, so depending on the thickness of whatever I'm cutting, I may press down fairly lightly or with a fair amount of pressure. And the more pressure I apply when cutting, the deeper the blade goes into the mat.
When I cut on this mat with up to what I'd call a medium pressure, I cannot see where on the mat I've cut - even with a magnifying glass. When I cut with a great deal of pressure, and I did this to test the mat, then I can see where I cut. (I deliberately cut over the logo area that is on one side of the mat, because I figured it would be easier to see a cut there, and it is. But I had to cut with a lot of pressure to leave a "scar" on the mat surface.)
Also, and unlike the Uchida mat, the 18" x 24" Calibre Art mat has inch markings (broken down to eights of an inch) on one side, centimeters on the other, and guidelines for cutting at an angle on each side. There are also grid patterns on both sides. I always use a Fairgate aluminum straightedge (that I've had 30-40 years?) to both measure and cut, but the design of the Calibre Art mat is such that I could easily use the mat itself to make precise measurements if I so desired.
It really does amaze me that even with a magnifying glass under bright lighting I cannot see cuts I've made on the Calibre Art mat using light to medium cutting pressure. The only cut I can see is the one I deliberately made with great pressure to test the self healing surface.
This is probably the best mat I have ever used. I had bought thin mats from hobby stores in the past and was annoyed with how the cuts were into the plastic and after time had to throw them out. Plus they smelled like plastic chemicals. Not this mat. I love that there is no odor at all from this mat. No chemicals either. It is safe for me and my kids who love to help me craft. I was very impressed with the self healing element of the mat. I have learned to use little pressure from my old mats but my kids press down pretty hard. It left a small line that virtually vanished in no time. The inches and centimeters are a huge help. Most of my patterns are in inches but it is nice to have the option for centimeters as well. I use my mat primarly for bow making. It is a great measuring tool and I can do all my work on the mat. I accidentally folded it in half when I put it up and was so scared it was going to stay that way but it went bqck flat. And it is a fairly thick mat so I was so impressed! This really is an amazing mat and I am so glad I was able to receive during a promotional period for my honest opinion. Any crafters dream.
A thick and sturdy cutting board
I bought this based on the recommendation of a friend. I use this to cut craft and fabric. This cutting board is very sturdy and thick. It is easy to cut and the cut marks seem to heal pretty well. What I like the most about this product is that it doesn't have the bad plastic smell that some cutting boards have. Overall I am satisfied with the product.
Excellent cutting mat that is perfect for rotary cutting quilting squares
This is an excellent cutting mat that is perfect for rotary cutting quilting squares. It is solid, thick, and durable. My Fiskars rotary cutter Fiskars 45mm Contour Rotary Cutter (195210-1001) is working great on it.