Reviews

This Heavy-Duty Cutting Mat is Worth Every Penny for DIY Projects

The Dahle Vantage cutting mat’s heavy-duty, multilayer design paired with a heavy PVC construction makes this double-sided cutting mat versatile and durable for almost any DIY project.
Debbie Wolfe Avatar
Dahle Vantage Cutting Mat Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

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Self-healing cutting mats protect table surfaces without dulling cutting blades. The Dahle Vantage 10693 Self-Healing Cutting Mat is a heavy-duty, 5-ply, double-sided mat constructed to withstand repeated cuts from rotary blades, craft knives, scissors, and knives. In my tests of the best cutting mats, it received the best overall award because it satisfied all my testing criteria for durability, self-healing abilities, cleanability, and ease of use. I used a rotary blade, craft knife, box cutter, and pocket knife to test the durability of the surface and its self-healing ability. I cut through various materials, including card stock, leather, fabric, cardboard, and foam. It’s important to me that cutting mats have U.S. customary and metric measurements on the edges and a grid system and angle lines. On the Dahle Vantage, the measurements are printed in contrasting white, making it easy to read and a cinch to make accurate cuts.

Dahle Vantage 10693 Self-Healing Cutting Mat: At a Glance

Dahle Vantage Cutting Mat Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 9.5/10

PROS

  • Repeated use of rotary blades and utility knives did not damage the surface
  • Large footprint offers plenty of room to cut large pieces of fabric and paper
  • Substantial size and weight keep the mat in place and prevent shifting during use
  • Comes in blue, black, or clear; additional sizes are available for those needing smaller or larger mats

CONS

  • Due to its larger size and heavy weight, this mat can be cumbersome to move

Get the Dahle Vantage cutting mat at:

What is the Dahle Vantage cutting mat?

The Dahle Vantage 10693 Self-Healing Cutting Mat is a 24-inch by 36-inch cutting mat with double-sided versatility. The mat is ⅛-inch thick and features 5-ply PVC layers that help protect work surfaces while preserving the sharpness of cutting blades. Its self-healing layers allow shallow cuts to disappear, leaving behind a smooth surface. The mat’s heavy-duty surface is designed for use with a variety of cutting blades.

The Dahle cutting mat also features white grid lines and measurement marks in U.S. customary and metric units screen-printed on a blue background for increased visibility and minimal glare. The grid lines make it easy to square up items or make accurate cuts by lining up a ruler. The mat can also be used on both sides: One side is printed for measured cutting along grid lines, and the other side is suitable for freehand work.

Dahle Vantage Cutting Mat Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Is the Dahle Vantage cutting mat easy to use?

Grid measurement layouts on cutting mats make squaring up materials such as fabric and paper easy. The Dahle Vantage features two such grid systems: inch and half inch. Each inch segment is subdivided into ⅛-inch increments with U.S. customary units on the left-hand side and bottom and metric system units on the right-hand side and top. The inch increments are also on the top and right side of the mat, bordering the metric units.

These measurements make it easy to line up materials to get accurate sizing before cutting. If accurate measurements are unnecessary for a project, the reverse side is blank for freehand cutting.

The Dahle Vantage 10693 is 5-ply and handles multiple cuts very well. Craft knives and rotary blades glide smoothly over the PVC mat without leaving significant surface gouges. However, to help preserve the longevity of the surface, it’s important to avoid running a blade over the same area repeatedly, as this can damage the mat.

Is the Dahle Vantage cutting mat comfortable to use?

The Dahle Vantage cutting mat’s 24-inch-by-36-inch surface provides plenty of room to create. Additionally, its 5-ply surface makes cutting comfortable because it gives a bit when the blade slides across the surface, taking some of the pressure out of the user’s arm. However, using a sharp blade for each project is always the best practice. Dull blades require more pressure to cut, increasing the chance that the knife will slip from the force behind it. The Dahle Vantage cutting mat features a slightly textured surface that helps grips the material in place to minimize accidental slips, making this mat safe to use.

The mat weighs 5 pounds, which is heavy for a cutting mat. It’s not designed for portability, and some may find it cumbersome to move around. This mat is best used on a dedicated work surface.

Is the Dahle Vantage cutting mat worth the money?

Quality cutting mats are expensive. However, the Dahle Vantage 10693 Self-Healing Cutting Mat retails, on average, for under $50. It’s heavy-duty, offers a generous work surface, has metric and U.S. customary measurement units, features two grid systems and angle lines, and is double-sided. These features are all desirable in a self-healing cutting mat. Other cutting-mat competitors offer mats of this size for almost double the price. The Dahle Vantage cutting mat provides excellent value for all its features.

Dahle Vantage Cutting Mat Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Should you buy the Dahle cutting mat?

I chose the Dahle Vantage 10693 as the best cutting mat because it exceeded all my shopping considerations and testing criteria. This mat outperformed top competitors and is a great value. I like that this large mat provides ample space to work with large materials. I especially like the multiple grid measuring systems and units. Until I used this mat, I was a long-time fan of Fiskars mats. I still like Fiskars mats because they are lightweight and durable, but they can wear down over time when using box cutters or other heavier-duty blades. Unlike the Dahle Vantage 10693, the self-healing surface on the Fiskars and Olfa mats is not as smooth immediately after cutting. The Dahle Vantage 10693’s self-healing surface is ultra-durable, and I anticipate this mat will last for years. And at under $50, this mat is an excellent value.

Where to Buy the Dahle Vantage 10693 Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Get the Dahle Vantage cutting mat at:

Meet the Tester

Debbie Wolfe is a photographer, author, and freelance writer in various niches. She has contributed hundreds of home, garden, and crafting articles and DIY tutorials for leading media outlets and retailers, including HGTV, Real Simple, Forbes Advisor, The Spruce, The Home Depot, Walmart, and Mother Earth News. She is the author of two DIY books: Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts and Crafting with Herbs, from Skyhorse Publishing. Her testing approach is straightforward and budget-minded.

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Debbie Wolfe

Contributing Writer & Editor

Debbie Wolfe is a freelance writer, photographer, and author who specializes in a variety of fields. She’s been contributing to BobVila.com since March of 2020 but has been writing in the home and garden industry for 10 years. Debbie covers all topics pertaining to home, gardening, and food, and she has published hundreds of DIY tutorials with step-by-step photography for leading home and garden media outlets.

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