Tool Review Tuesday & Giveaway: Olfa Folding Cutting Mat
6.7.2016

Tool Review Tuesday!

It’s Tool Review Tuesday! This is where we choose a tool, do some rigorous product testing, and produce a review that gives you the nitty-gritty details needed before you add something to your cart.


Featured Tool: Folding Cutting Mat by Olfa, Item # 82315, 82314

Connecting Threads Reviewer: Ann

Olfa Folding Cutting Mat

What is this typically used for?

This tool is used with rotary cutters and acrylic rulers for cutting fabric and quilting.

What was your first impression of the Olfa Folding Cutting Mat?

It was familiar–I have used Olfa cutting mats for years and they’re good quality, very durable.

What was your experience with it like?

Excellent! When it is flat, you can neither see nor feel the wavy joined area. It looks and functions just like an Olfa mat that does not fold.

How long did it take you to learn how to use it?

There was nothing to learn–simply unfold and lay it flat.

What did you like best?

I liked the sturdy hinge. Olfa says the user will wear out the mat before the hinge does. Also, since it is hinged, the pieces are always together.

Could you see another potential use?

These cutting mats could be used for many crafts and with a fixed blade craft knife. I have used it for scrapbooking and making models for interior design. You can cut paper, foam core board, and more on it (not just fabric)!

Who would appreciate an Olfa Folding Cutting Mat the most?

These are perfect for:

  • Quilters who attend classes and retreats
  • Beginner, intermediate, and expert quilters
  • Embroiderers, paper-piecers
  • Anyone acquiring the essential quilting tools
  • Crafters such as scrapbookers and model builders

Why do you NEED one?

These cutting mats would be fantastic to take to classes and/or retreats. They fit great in a bag! The smaller size means you don’t have to carry it separately in its own bag. Also, it could be used next to the sewing machine for frequent cutting for paper piecing.

Any other perks?

We’re giving away both sizes of Olfa Folding Cutting Mat for FREE! Want to be one of our two winners? Here’s how:

  1. Tell us what you would use an Olfa Folding Cutting Mat for in the comments below -AND-
  2. Share what tool you’d like to see us review next!

UPDATE: Our winners have been selected and contacted. Thank you to everyone who participated in our first Tool Review Tuesday Giveaway!

Each tool is reviewed by a member of the Connecting Threads team. Have a tool you want us to scope out? Let us know and it could be the next Tool Review Tuesday feature!


90 comments

  1. Penney Devey - June 7, 2016

    I love the fact that a folding mat can be so much easier to carry. I’d love to try one! Could you review your favorite rotary cutter next?

    Reply
  2. Karen - June 7, 2016

    I would use a folding mat like that in the motorhome – I have such a small space for working on my quilts there – would love to be able to try that out. I’m really not sure what tools need to be demonstrated I try to keep the number of what I have down as I don’t have a lot of room but maybe the Bloc Lock rulers – I admit I have one and have never used it, I keep forgetting I have it.

    Reply
  3. Michelle - June 7, 2016

    I would love to have a folding cutting board. I don’t have one small enough to take on retreats or to classes. I always have to borrow someone’s cutting board–when they’re finished with it!! Please review rulers next. I have a zillion, but I don’t know what is the best use for them.

    Reply
  4. Sylvia Sipes - June 7, 2016

    I love the fact it is so easy to carry, while traveling or to a quilting class! I would love to learn which template is the most versatile.

    Reply
  5. Nancy Sikkenga - June 7, 2016

    I would love this folding mat. I dont have a nice travel size and this would be perfect. I am left handed so would love some reviews on left handed products.

    Reply
  6. Jenn - June 7, 2016

    This folding cutting mat would fit great in my “go bag.” You really can’t beat Olfa, I’ve worn out a couple and was given another brand and it did not hold up as well as the Olfa cutting mats. That’s the only brand I’d ever use. I’d like to hear more about blade sharpeners. Are they worth the money?

    Reply
  7. Carol - June 7, 2016

    I enjoyed reading the review, as I have wondered about the folding mats and if the hinge would be a disadvantage. If I could have one, I would use it on a small table on my deck this summer to get some quilting done, I always use my cutting mat to ensure that I always have a clean surface and enjoy having a grid to check sizes. For the next tool review, I would like to read an opinion of some of the new cutting rulers with metal edges that are supposed to keep your rotary cutter sharpened as it passes along the metal edge.

    Reply
  8. Lisa - June 7, 2016

    A foldable mat would be wonderful to take on vacation or class. I love Olfa mats. I’d love to see those new Dritz Easy Grip pins reviewed next. How large are they? Can’t really tell–would nice to see them in action.

    Reply
  9. JoAnn - June 7, 2016

    I have a sewing room that is a guest room during the summer months and I am thinking that this is one more thing I wouldn’t have to find a space for (right now I stack them behind a dresser). I would love to see some reviews or suggestions for irons that stay on longer.

    Reply
  10. April - June 7, 2016

    I would use it while paper piecing while at my sewing machine and I could take it downstairs and cut up projects in front of the tv instead of always wasting valuable sewing room time.
    I’d like to know more about your thimbles, and what you recommend for people that don’t like to wear one.

    Reply
  11. Kathy H. - June 7, 2016

    I am presently planning a month long trip in a rather small camper and would love to continue utilizing my new found love of piecing and quilting. This mat looks to be just what I need. I would like to see reviews on clip on lights for the sewing machines as my eyesight is not what it once was. Thanks,

    Reply
  12. Lucy - June 7, 2016

    I’d love to have a folding mat to take along to the beach. It would fit easily into my travel bag and let me work on the balcony while enjoying the weather. I’d like to see a review of lights that can be added on to your sewing machine to put more light on the presser foot area.

    Reply
  13. peg - June 7, 2016

    I would put this in my machine trolley to take to classes with me. I would like some new rulers reviewed next.

    Reply
  14. Shari K. - June 7, 2016

    I would definitely use this to take to class and also when friends come over for an alternate work station. I would like the rotating mat reviewed, please.

    Reply
  15. Antonia Arnold - June 7, 2016

    This mat would be convenient beside my machine when I am paper piecing and have to trim seams. I would like the needle threader from Clover reviewed.

    Reply
  16. AS - June 7, 2016

    The mat would be so nice because it would take less room to store. I’d use it for cutting quilt pieces. Review the rotating mats.

    Reply
  17. Quilting Tangent - June 7, 2016

    the mat would be great for travelling. Review the Olfa Rotating Cutting Mats.

    Reply
  18. Susan - June 7, 2016

    I would use this for classes.
    I would like to see the rotating mat reviewed. I can’t get mine to stay together while using it.

    Reply
  19. Maureen - June 7, 2016

    I have a large Olfa at my cutting table that I LOVE. It would be nice to have a smaller one for next to my machine when I need to trim, I was leery to try a folding one though. Would like to see a review for blade sharpeners- are they worth it?

    Reply
  20. Karen - June 7, 2016

    I quilt upstairs and downstairs. This would make the move easier. Please review markers

    Reply
  21. Kathleen - June 7, 2016

    I could certainly use a cutting mat that folds because my sewing room is very tiny. The walls are closing in because I have stuff stacked on the floor and can just about move sideways through what floor space is left!! Not sure what tool I’d like to see demonstrated. How about the various types of fusibles and how to use them best?

    Reply
  22. C Hutch - June 7, 2016

    I have been watching for reviews on folding mats. Would like to have use of one for ease in moving and storage.
    Review of tools such as magnetic pin catcher with pin heads always outside.

    Reply
  23. Rita Russell - June 7, 2016

    I would take my folding mat to my 92 year old Mother’s house to help her cut out her quilts pieces .I would love to read a review about the Karen Kay Buckley’s perfec ttadjustable ruler.

    Reply
  24. Doe Farrell - June 7, 2016

    Would be handy mat when traveling. Would fit with/in sewing machine case and easy to transport. I have been know to take my machine all kinds of places besides quilting classrooms like when visiting family and even to my special needs daughters riding stable for repairs. Would like you to review sewing machine needles since so many new ones are hitting the markets

    Reply
  25. Cheryl L - June 7, 2016

    I would love to have a folding mat to take with me in my sewing machine travel case. It would be one less thing to handle. I would like to have you review spray starch.

    Reply
  26. Manon jacob - June 7, 2016

    I would bring the folding cutting mat to the cabin.
    I would love to learn more about the stencil/template and chalk block

    Reply
  27. Amy Caldwell - June 7, 2016

    I would keep the folding in our truck so that I wouldn’t have to roll up my big to take when working on projects at a friend or family members home.Would love to see a review of the Creative Grids Stripology Ruler.

    Reply
  28. Donalma Shoust - June 7, 2016

    I am a member of a group that makes “quilts for kids” a U.S based organization.We have to carry all our supplies up stairs to a common room to sew for the group, so I used to have to carry my sewing machine in a rolling case and all my other supplies in another bag up the stairs.Now I fold up the mat and up it inside my rolling case for my machine with other supplies and saves me several trips.Its great.

    Reply
  29. Joellyn P. - June 7, 2016

    I would love the olfa folding mat to take when I travel to Florida and retreats. It would take up alot less space. I cracked my last mat I took to retreat as it was cold and when it got bent a little bit it cracked. I put tape on the back so I could continue to use it. I would like a review of the hot ruler. It might be nice for making bias tape.

    Reply
    • Hayley - June 7, 2016

      Thanks for entering to win our giveaway, Joellyn! If you’d like to read our review of the hot ruler, you can check it out here.

      Reply
  30. Jenny - June 7, 2016

    This cutting mat would be so much easier to take to retreats and to class, right now I have a large one that I love but would be so much nicer to have a smaller one too!!

    Reply
  31. Vicki H - June 7, 2016

    I sometimes watch the grandkids at my daughters home. The mat would be perfect to take when I sew during nap time.

    Reply
  32. Sandy K - June 7, 2016

    We go the cabin most every weekend during the summer. The mat would be real convenient for times in the evening when I might have time to sew.

    Reply
  33. EllenB - June 7, 2016

    Love my Olfa mats and would use this one for retreats, classes, and vacation. I’d like to see your review of the Point 2 Point tool and Finger Presser.

    Reply
  34. Betty Getchell - June 7, 2016

    Betty G -I would use the folding mat at classes. I would like to see a review rotary blade sharpeners.

    Reply
  35. Lori B - June 7, 2016

    I travel a lot for work and this folding mat would be great to pack. I would like to see a review for various marking pens.

    Reply
  36. Barb - June 7, 2016

    That mat would be perfect for taking to classes, as well as for traveling. Sometimes I set up an extra work station at home and this would be great there, as well. I would love to see a review on rotary blade sharpeners, or the small travel irons.

    Reply
  37. Betty H - June 7, 2016

    The folding mat would be great to take to classes and Project Linus sewing days. A review of LED sewing lights would be great.

    Reply
  38. Connie German - June 8, 2016

    going on a cruise quilt retreat and will need to pare down supplies to fit in a suitcase and think this would be good. Thanks

    Reply
  39. Connie White - June 8, 2016

    I would use the folding mat to use at retreats and classes. I travel an hour to attend these events and always worry about my mat getting damaged on the trip.
    I would like to find out more about the rotary blade sharpeners…..do they really work?

    Reply
  40. Carol Sitterson - June 8, 2016

    I would love to have this mat to take to my quilting class. I just started quilting and dont haqve many tools as of yet.Right now I carry my big mat and so afraid of causing damage to it. I would like to find out the best blades to buy for my rotary cutter.

    Reply
  41. Delaine - June 8, 2016

    I would use this mat to take to classes or to cut smaller pieces so that I don’t have to get my big cutting mat out. I don’t know if this is considered a tool, but I would love to read a review on basting spray. Thanks!

    Reply
  42. Shona Patterson - June 8, 2016

    This sounds like a lovely mat to have. I’d like it because I have limited storage space,and have ruined my big cutting mat because I couldn’t store it properly. It’s a bumpy disaster now. I’d like to see a review on marking tools, I’m just using a regular pencil to draw around my template because I need a clear line to follow, but there must be something better?

    Reply
  43. Mary D - June 8, 2016

    I would certainly use this folding mat for travel sewing when traveling for work or going to retreats or sewing groups. I take my Featherweight with me to these events and a travel mat would be great.

    Suggestions on what to review next. The latest greatest quilt marking pens. Titanium sewing needles – worth the cost. Soft & Stable and like foam products for tote bags – which is better, best bargain.

    Reply
  44. Shirley Clark - June 8, 2016

    I could find so many uses for this when going to work on prayer quilts at the church, and for classes. It’s just so neat!
    I’d also like to see more reviews on irons. I read them online, but they are all so conflicting.

    Reply
  45. Janie - June 8, 2016

    I was given a seam ripper with a blade not your normal seam ripper, I would like to know how to use it. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Reply
  46. Cindi Jackson - June 8, 2016

    I go to a quilting class weekly & the folding mat would be great for that! … I’d like to see review of marking tools.

    Reply
  47. Deb G. in VA - June 9, 2016

    I’d love to have a folding mat to take to quilt classes and retreats. I would also like to see a review for rotary blade sharpeners.

    Reply
  48. Darlene - June 9, 2016

    I would like a folding mat.It would be easier to carry and not so bulky.I would like to know more about how to use rulers.

    Reply
  49. Patricia - June 9, 2016

    I would use it for travel and babysitting trips to my daughters. A review on blade sharpeners would be good.

    Reply
  50. Kay Hare - June 9, 2016

    Folding matter would be peffect to keep at the ironing board to trim up edges after pressing. Would keep additional one in the bag of take along supplies for classes and sewing time with friends. The next tool for review suggestion is rotary blade sharpener.

    Reply
  51. Beth T. - June 9, 2016

    I’d use this folding mat when I go visit my friend Diane for a quilting getaway.

    I’d love to see you review different kinds of hoops for hand quilting.

    Reply
  52. Cathy - June 9, 2016

    I love my other Olfa mats. It would be great to have one that folds and packs up so easily. It would be perfect for classes and workshops. I would love to see a review on washable markers.

    Reply
  53. Marian Allen - June 9, 2016

    I would us it for workshops and classes, as I am a very new quilter! I need to learn about everything, would like a guide for what needles to use when!

    Reply
  54. Phyllis long - June 9, 2016

    Have a new group meeting at church to quilt. Having a foldable mat would be great. We must carry in supplies each time, we have no onsite storage place. I would like a review on sticky fusibles for appliqué Hope I win. Will be put to good use and the older I get the harder it is to lift and carry. Not to mention large odd shapes. Have a fun day.

    Reply
  55. Maureen - June 9, 2016

    This would be great for traveling or for using next to my sewing desk on a small table. Thank you for the opportunity to win one.

    Reply
  56. Evie H - June 9, 2016

    I have a work table next to my sewing machine and would love the smaller mat to put on it for quick cuts when needed. Would also be nice to have when I visit my sister (who’s not a quilter and has no mat). Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  57. Nancy C - June 9, 2016

    We have a cottage and I am always taking my sewing supplies back and forth – I have no place to store them at the cottage. The folding mat would be perfect ! There is nothing like sitting on our screened porch overlooking the lake-using my featherweight
    to make quilts- and a foldable olfa mat would be superb ! How about reviewing
    rotary cutters- to go with the mat?

    Reply
  58. Brenda Wilkinson - June 9, 2016

    This would be the perfect size to take with me on holidays. I usually take a quilting project and this would fit into my project bag without the corners bending. I think a good tool to review would be the blade sharpener.

    Reply
  59. Sue - June 9, 2016

    The mat would be great to take anywhere that I also take my sewing machine!!
    I have wondered whether blade sharpeners are worth the money. I always seem to get a nick in my blade. Please review.

    Reply
  60. Cheryl - June 9, 2016

    This folding mat would be ideal to take to my daughter’s house when I babysit the grandkids. I could do my cutting there, rather than having nothing to do after the kids are in bed. I’d love to read a review of various magnifying lenses or devices with lights, if possible. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

    Reply
  61. Allison CB - June 9, 2016

    Wow – this would be a cool tool for a workshop – or if you are travelling on vacation and you just have to cut out some fabric (LOL—that would be me!!!). Another cool tool would be the extending magnet on a stick that helps pick up pins that you’ve dropped. I think there is a new one out there with a light on the end!! Would be way helpful!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!

    Reply
  62. Vicki cranfield - June 9, 2016

    Perfect size for class and for sewing in small areas

    Reply
  63. Janice N. - June 9, 2016

    I don’t have a permanent cutting station, so the Olfa Folding Cutting Mat would be a great tool because it would be so much easier to store away when I’m not using it. I’d like to see you review the Shape Cut Plus Cutting Guide.

    Reply
  64. Sharon B. - June 9, 2016

    I would be able to take it to retreats and workshops. I would like to know about sharpeners for blades.

    Reply
  65. Karen W. - June 9, 2016

    I would share this cutting mat with my granddaughter. She has shown a real interest in learning to quilt, but has very limited space. I bought her a sewing machine for Christmas and it sits in her closet because she can only sew at my house. (We live in different towns.) So this would be perfect for her. I would be very interested in seeing specialty rulers reviewed, esp. the Bloc Lock.

    Reply
  66. Pauline Pire - June 9, 2016

    I would use the mat for workshops and at home since I have a limited space.
    I would like you to review the Dritz Easy Grasp Pins!???

    Reply
  67. Cathy Wilson - June 9, 2016

    I’d love to have a folding mat for classes & retreats! I’ve been wondering if a sharpener for rotary blades is worth the expense. I really appreciate all of the reviews here!

    Reply
  68. Kathie L - June 9, 2016

    I love to take workshops, and this is the perfect companion.

    Reply
  69. Sandra - June 9, 2016

    I am going on a retreat this Fall and I sew with a group of friends on charity projects for our guild, so it would be perfect to take along to either. I, too am interested to see a review for an Olfa blade sharpener; at our Fall retreat last year, a girl had one but I’d already replaced my blade so I didn’t get to see it in action. Another suggestion is different types of marking pens.

    Reply
  70. Karen Addleman - June 9, 2016

    The folding mat would be great to take to retreats. It would fit great in my sewing machine tote. I’d like to see a review of your favorite rulers.

    Reply
  71. Marilyn Hommer - June 9, 2016

    A folding mat would be great for taking to my quilt group work or project days. Having to pack several specific items a folding mat would make it much more convenient.
    I would like to see an evaluation of macanical needle threaders.There are several designs but which ones really work?

    Reply
  72. Suzy Fisher - June 9, 2016

    Aside from quilting, I would use it as a puzzle mat with my daughter when we do jigsaw puzzles together. Quite often we have to move the puzzle before we are finished. Right now we’re using a 30″x36″ mat which is great for the floor but too big to move elsewhere. The fold-up capability would make it so much easier to store as well.
    I’d love to see a review of the Clearview Super 60 Degree Ruler or any of your favorite rulers. Thanks!

    Reply
  73. Jackie - June 9, 2016

    I am new to quilting so this folding mat would be great in my little sewing room and I would also be able to use on top of ironing board. Handy size for storing in small area. I would love to see a binding tool reviewed.

    Reply
  74. Joy P - June 9, 2016

    I have friends over to quilt on a regular basis. It would be nice to be able to set up two cutting stations.

    I’d like to see a review of any of the specialty rulers.

    Reply
  75. Chris - June 9, 2016

    I would love to have this for traveling to classes and meetings. So many ruler types, who makes the best.

    Reply
  76. cindy - June 9, 2016

    Having a small area for sewing and storage, the folding mat would be very convenient to use. Would love to get some input on seam rippers. The F & P ones I purchased did not hold up at all. Both broke after a couple of uses. So info on good quality ones would be great

    Reply
  77. Glenna - June 10, 2016

    The folding Olfa mat looks like a great little addition to any sewing room. Thank you for your review. I would like to see a review on needle threaders…specifically the ones that have a built in light.

    Reply
  78. Diane Oakes - June 10, 2016

    Would love to have this cutting board, especially for doing quilting away from home. Would like to see a review on rotary cutters.

    Reply
  79. Doris Veckery - June 10, 2016

    A group of us meet weekly at each others home, so I try to make sure I have enough handwork ready to bring with me. Unfortunately, I’m not a good planner and I often run out of work . A small cutting board would be perfect for me to take with me so I could cut out my pieces as I work.
    A large cutting board is fine at home but isn’t practicable to take with me. This board seems to fit my need perfectly.

    Reply
  80. Susan Bostaph - June 10, 2016

    A folding mat would be perfect for when I travel to see grandchildren ! Please review blade sharpeners.

    Reply
  81. Megan Clark - June 11, 2016

    If I were to win I’d give this to my mother in law who recently had her stash of cutting mats and rotary cutters stolen from their safe place she kept them inbetween a saturday craft group. She uses them mostly for cutting fabric (she makes all sorts, from bunting, to bags, to cup tidies, so this foldable cutting mat could come in handy, making it easier to take home rather than leaving it somewhere which is apparently an open area for those with sticky fingers!

    I’d love to see a review on which rotary cutter you think is best

    Reply
  82. Melissa - June 11, 2016

    I’d love to have one of these folding mats for traveling to classes and sew-ins! I would like to see a review of Quilter’s Delight Safety Pin Grip Covers. I’ve always wondered how they work

    Reply
  83. FS - June 12, 2016

    This folding mat would be very useful for me! I have a lot of pets who love to get in the way when I work with fabric. This small mat would be easy to use anywhere but on a large table … I’ve found myself cutting fabric on top of the washer/dryer!!

    As for a tool review, I’d like to know if a 60 mm rotary cutter really is easier to use than the standard 45 mm. My hands aren’t the strongest, so I’m thinking of going up a size.

    Reply
  84. Sandi James - June 12, 2016

    I do a lot of papercrafting and quilting. I have a wonderful friend who is just getting started exploring her creative side. I’ve been gifting her some supplies and would certainly love to add a cutting mat like this to her tools. She has two small children and needs to put her cutting tools away when they are not in use, so this folding mat would be perfect for her!
    I would like to see the ruler set be reviewed sometime soon! I am just now getting into using rulers.

    Reply
  85. Esther G - June 13, 2016

    I quilt on my kitchen table so something that doesn’t take up a lot of space and is easy to squirrel away would be great. I’d love some reviews on irons.

    Reply
  86. Sara Medd - June 13, 2016

    I would love to have a folding mat. Great to travel-sew with! I’d like to see reviews on irons as well. Thanks.

    Reply
  87. Dixie Alms - June 13, 2016

    I *love* this folding mat!!! I’ve had it for about six months and carry it to all my classes, retreats and open sew sessions at our quilting shop. It’s the cat’s meow!

    Reply
  88. MaryAgnes - June 14, 2016

    The folding mat would be perfect to take on vacation. I’d love to see a review of thimbles.

    Reply
  89. Linda Christianson - June 14, 2016

    I would like to know about products used help keep the mat last longer. The folded mat would be helpful to take on trips. I wonder about the the rotary blade over the broken part. Glad you did a review.

    Reply

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