Bumping this thread to ask ... I Just bought an Olfa self-healing mat. I'm cutting 7-8 mil glossy paper on it. I'm just using a normal razor blade on them now with a straight edge.
My question is, do the rotary cutters work well with a straight edge? I noticed after my first few cuts I was slicing the mat a little bit with the razor. I don't want this thing to be sliced up after a few weeks. Or will these slices "Self heal" as they are supposed to? I just did the cuts last night and haven't looked at them today to see if they healed. I'm just trying to decide if it's ok to use what I'm using, or go to a rotary.
I got a bunch of Olfa cutting mats and sundry Olfa and Fiskars rolling cutters both. They make sundry blades that do zig-zags and deckle cuts too. The blades do seem sharper than a generic razor blade.
Yes, the green mats "self-heal." More proper, the thin blade cuts affect the topmost green layer, but does not penetrate the harder plastic mid layer. I've had mine for years and it is pretty marked and cut up, but it still works. That green layer skin is pretty well bonded to the inner harder white plastic.
As to the straight edge, I prefer the thick clear plastic ones the quilters use. Maybe 3" wide and 18" long. I've hit the long metal rulers with the blade and that pretty much nicks it for thin stuff or thin cloth papers and it will skip a thread or two so you need to slice again or get a new blade. The plastic ruler I use most often is about 1/8" thick and serves as a good guide, plus you can see through it and trim edges to a 1/8" border more accurately than a table roller cutter like a Rotatrim which has since been retired in favor of the mats since I can get a better cut, and straighter too. I can shove the mats behind a dresser to hide them too. Quilter's clear rulers are good for aligning prints too. Really is a handy ruler to have around.
The Olfa blades seem sharper to me than the Fiskar blades, maybe they are thinner? Even Harbor Freight sells some 45mm dia. roller blades for carpet cutters (2 for 99 cents I think?) that fit some handles, but they are a bit thicker than the prior blades and may bind a bit in the handles made by them. Fiskar is really super on any of their stuff that breaks and often sends me a newer unit with a blade too. I had one where the nut would unscrew while rolling and they replaced the entire thing with a newer model. Replaced some scissors too for free (Handle's lock broke.). No complaints about their service.
I often angle the roller blade inward maybe 15 degrees so the edge isn't easily seen while I do a cut. Spray mounting them seems to not show an edge that way with a lot of dark in the image - sort of a reverse mat I guess.
Most of the stuff can be had for 50% off if you watch the online coupons for places like JoAnns Fabrics or Hancock Febrics. Mats can be expensive in the larger sizes.