June 23, 2024

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Self-Healing Cutting Mats – How to Cut Them to Size

A self-healing cutting mat (or rhino cutting mat as they are also known) is an extremely useful tool for any professional in the signage industry, as well as for printers, designers, dressmakers and many other craftspeople. They provide a large cutting surface that is safe for a rotary cutter and can be used again and again without leaving score marks. They can be purchased in standard sizes from medium to super-size and often are available in custom sizes to fit a particular production table or counter.

However there are times when you need to cut your rhino mat to size. Perhaps you’ve moved it from a larger table to a smaller one, perhaps custom sizes weren’t available or were more expensive? So what is the best way of trimming a self-healing cutting mat to size?

Clean cut
If you want to keep mess to a minimum, scoring is the answer. Score it a long a straight edge, apply bending pressure and then score again. It will cut through quickly and cleanly this way.

Quick and messy
A circular saw will do the job in no time if you don’t mind clearing up the mess! Make sure you have your industrial vacuum cleaner handy.

Curved edges, irregular shapes
If your production space has curved edges or an irregular shape, try cutting the mat in place to fit the shape with a router. Clamp the mat in place and use a flush trim bit, running it all the way round the table. This is also quick and easy, if a little messy.

Once you have your rhino cutting mat trimmed to exactly the right size your production table will be all set up for cutting, trimming and all those other tasks. If you have some reasonably sized off-cuts don’t throw them away. They can be used to make mini cutting mats for smaller jobs, or portable cutting mats for when you are out and about and need to do some last minute trimming alterations. Even a small A4 size piece is handy, so trim the off cuts into usable pieces and keep them for future use.

Of course many places that supply self-healing cutting mats will cut them to custom sizes for no extra charge, so do check first when buying a new one. You could easily save yourself the trouble of cutting yours to size and have it delivered already a perfect fit for your table.