The following won’t come as news to Shark Week loyalists: Old sharks are covered in scars, their bodies a veritable wasteland of battle marks.
But the following may be news to those who are newish to crafting: That old-school cutting mat you use—it’s about to be pockmarked and gashed and slashed from wounds accrued from craft tools you deploy in your workshop. And you can imagine that a rutted craft mat likely creates an obstacle or two (or three or four, etc).
In case the title of this article didn’t fully tip our hand, we are on the verge of dropping down to our knees to all-but beg you to do yourself a big solid and (if you haven’t already) get with the now and switch to a self-healing cutting mat. Using anything else is simply a mistake, a little blunder that heaps mounds of unnecessary difficulty into your craftwork.
So without further ado, let’s hop to it and spill a little digital ink as we count a few of the main virtues of the self-healing cutting mat.
Every Time is Just Like the First Time
There’s something nice about having a go-to item in your work kit, something that you use with such frequency that it basically adheres to your hand. With tools such as this, an undeniable bond forms.
But there’s also something to be said for tools and implements that are basically like new every time we call them to action. And when it comes to cutting mats, you absolutely want something that falls into this category. Your classic, old-school, hard-surface cutting mat definitely develops a little character, retaining little dings and cuts suffered during craft projects of yore. Perhaps that sounds nice and poetic, but it is most certainly not a good thing.
With a self-healing cutting mat, every journey with your hobby knife is basically a maiden voyage.
And why does that matter so much? Your traditional cutting mat becomes uneven as it collects those gashes and slashes, and an uneven cutting mat does not suit a crafter looking to make precision cuts. Perhaps that’s fine if you’re the rare crafter whose work skews toward the abstract, but if not, go ahead and make sure to get yourself a self-healing mat.
Self-Healing Mats Save You Money Over the Long Haul
Perhaps we don’t like to admit it, but when it comes right down to it, money is almost always a factor. And when you finally bring a self-healing cutting mat, such as this one from Alvin into your crafting world, you can be sure that cash savings are coming right along with that mat, too.
This bank-account boost applies even if the self-healing mat you choose is a little pricier than its old-school counterpart. That’s because you’ll be saving in the long run, as that self-healer is indeed going to be with you for the long run. A battle-scarred mat will need to be replaced fairly often. That self-healer, though—if you buy one and treat it properly, you may never have to buy another.
And this is likely a good time to remind you that self-healing does not mean indestructible. You’ll need to give that self-healing mat a little love from time to time (this guide can help you keep that mat as good as new) or you’ll end up needing to replace it. When it comes to taking proper care of your self-healing mat, there’s an aspect of the upkeep that might seem counterintuitive: using dull knives is a big no-no, as they leave wide, uneven cuts that can exact a hefty toll on your self-healing mat’s surface. So be sure you’re always using a fresh, sharp craft knife.
Another sweet, cost-saving perk of the self-healing mat: its soft surface will help your craft blades stay sharp, which means fewer replacement blades, which means more bucks in your pocket.
Provide a Shield for Your Work Area
We’re saving the most obvious for last: A good cutting mat adds a layer of protection to your craft desk or dinner table or wherever you happen to be working. Some crafters, especially if they don’t frequently use cutting tools, think they can get away without using a mat if they just use a little extra caution when slicing.
That might work a time or two, but sooner or later, you’re leaving a gash in a surface that truly didn’t have to suffer. So if your craft work ever involves cutting, go ahead and equip yourself with a proper self-healing mat; you’ll eventually need it.
Not only will that mat keep you from leaving a gash in that gorgeous tabletop, it will help you make more precise cuts, because if you’re more focused on not damaging the underlying surface, your less likely to cut like an ace.
Read more Tips, Tricks, and Reviews on TheWiseMum.com