Self-healing cutting mats are specialty-plastic mats comprised of several layers of material that serve as a cutting surface underneath sharp blades. To help ensure the longevity and sharpness of knife blades, it’s important to use softer surfaces underneath them when cutting. Harder surfaces could mar or disaffirm the blade.
Cutting mats work great as they are made of layers of materials that will all the knife to sink into them, though not cut all the way through. This protects the knife, and the work surface underneath (such as a desk or table).
Some cutting mats are self-healing, meaning when a knife mark is made during a cut, the plastics in the material will push together mostly eliminating the previous visible cut. In actual practice, different quality mats perform differently in the “self-healing” area, where some really do look like they haven’t been cut on, while others look like they’ve been cut on a million times These mats often come in green and white, with other colors also available. Magnetic cutting mats are an option too. When cutting lighter or thinner materials, magnets can be rested on top of them, securing them from slipping when cutting.
If preferred, cutting mats are also available with measurement markings printed on them. This can make it easier when laying out materials and lining up angles for cuts. A cutting mat is usually a stable leather working tool to have.