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I treated myself yesterday to a new cutting mat. It is amazing how easy it is to cut even 6 layers, smooth and clean with minimal pressure. I was noticing that even with new blades my mat was not working well. It may be self healing but after 15 years even after flipping it over several years ago, it was needing lots of force and still there were uncut threads, especially in the most used areas. I had a 60% off coupon so Last night I got a new one. Enjoying cutting this evening. Still do not like refolding tho.
You have passed along a bit of wisdom for all of us to think about today, namely "How old is my cutting mat?"
I would like to share the thought that you got your money's worth out of that 15 year old cutting mat that you purchased in 2004.
Moneys worth. Definitely. Including the back. It has seen a lot of quilts.
There's nothing like new blades and a new cutting mat. What a difference they make!