Cutting horse store mats to the correct sizes is easier than you can imagine. I just made clean cuts of mats for 6 stalls and laid them very easily using the technique I am about to share with you.
At times you can buy horse stall mats but miss out on the exact size you’re looking for. In order to solve this problem, you need to cut them by yourself which can be a difficult task without the skill.
Other than that, you need the right tools to get the job done.
Let’s go through some of the easiest methods on how to cut horse store mats and tools you will need.
How Do I Cut Horse Stall Mats?
Things You’ll Need:
- Rubber flooring mats
- Utility knife
- Tape measure
- Straight edge
- Pencil or chalk
- Work gloves
- Knee pads
- Soapy water(optional)
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Steps to Follow When Using a Utility Knife
- Equip yourself with the proper safety gear
Since you’ll be using a sharp utility knife, you need a pair of protective working gloves. Use cushioned knee pads to protect your knee joints if you need to kneel when making the cuts.
- To prevent injuries, avoid using your utility knife without the protective gloves.
- Select an appropriate surface to do your cutting
There is a possibility that the knife you’re using can scar the floor beneath the mat when making the cuts. It’s therefore important to do the cutting in an area where damages won’t be noticeable like in a garage floor or basement.
If there’s no ideal surface for cutting, you can protect your subfloor using a layer of plywood or cardboard.
- Measure the area where you’ll be installing the mat
Use a tape to measure your floor space lengthwise, then widthwise. Multiply the measurements together to get the square of the area. Reference this value against the dimensions of your mat to determine how much material you will cut.
Ensure you write down all the measurements so that you don’t leave out anything. The size of each mat is shown in the packaging.
- Make the specified dimensions on the mat.
Drag a piece of chalk or a graphite pencil lightly on the surface of the mat. This makes it easy for you to see when cutting.
The pencil or chalk markings should wash away once you complete your project with no difficulty.
Making Clean, Efficient Cuts
- Lay the mat out flat. Unfold the mat and spread it over the area of your cutting place. Thinner mats may fold to create bumps or wrinkles. Ensure you smoothen this before proceeding.
When cutting interlocking sectional mats, put them conjointly first to enable them stay put.
- Position your straight edge alongside the measuring line. Arrange in a line your tools to make the markings you made earlier more visible. The straight edge guides the blade of the knife and keeps you in line.
Take care not to cover up the line accidentally, or your mat may end up becoming slightly too small or big for your floor space.
- Score the mat along the measurement line. Run your utility knife throughout the surface of the mat. Cut down the length a few distances at a time. During your first pass, concentrate on getting a shallow groove start. Then deepen the cut on subsequent passes.
To enable the blade of the utility knife to glide effortlessly through the rubber, you may dip it in soapy water.
- Continue slicing until the blade clears the mat. Apply strong force, and use long straight strokes to get cleaner edges. Depending on the thickness of your rubber, it may take you 3-4 passes to cut all the way through.
For more good results, cut your mat moving from one end to the other, instead of disjoining a single section at a time.
- Fine-tune your cuts for a custom fit. Unlike other types of flooring mats that seem rigid, rubber is soft making it easy for you to shape it in your liking. This also means it will be easy for you to make modifications on the material in areas with problems.
When perfectly trimmed, rubber mats will lay properly around all corners and columns.
Take care not to make many mistakes while cutting to prevent much wastage and probable injuries.
- Clean up your work area. Use a dustpan and bloom to collect any waste littering the floor. You can suction the small debris using a portable shop vacuum.
Inspect the working area carefully after you’re through. It’s not safe to leave scrap rubber lying around especially if you have small children or pets.
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Benefits of Cutting By Hand
- It’s simple. This is the simplest method to cut mats, as you may have all the tools you need lying around your house.
- No power saws needed. This method allows you to use your hands.
Drawbacks of Cutting By Hand
- Slow. Although it seems the simplest method, it may take you a long time to cut each individual mat.
- Tiring. Your arm and wrist are going to get exhausted due to straining after a day’s work.
Use a Straightedge and a Jigsaw to Cut Through Horse Stall Mats
This is the most efficient method. It ensures you speed up through tons of work and finish making your cuts within no time. Unlike a utility knife, you don’t have to make shallow cuts to reduce friction.
It’s easy for you to cut rubber mats straight through because of the jigsaw’s vertical cutting blade. The cutting process will be easy and this will save your time.
Can You Cut Rubber Mats Using a Jigsaw?
If you want to get clean cuts of your rubber mats with clean edges, you can choose to use a jigsaw for this. You can also use a jigsaw to cut non-absorbent soft materials like cardboard and plastic.
What Rubber Can You Cut With a Jigsaw?
Not all types of rubber mats have the same hardness level, and some may be very difficult to cut using a jigsaw.Vulcanised rubber mats are much more rigid, such as the amoebic rubber mats.
You will need less tools than cutting with hand:
- A straight edge
- A chalk or pencil
- A piece of timber
- A jigsaw
Let’s go through steps you’ll use when cutting your horse stall mats using power tools:
- Just like when using a hand, use a straight edge or a chalk line to follow when making the cut.
- Place a piece of timber under your mat to provide some leverage.
- Since you’ve laid the mat and made a straight line to guide you, use the jigsaw and ensure to follow the line. Go slowly when cutting to avoid making mistakes.
- Once you’ve finished making the cut and notice some thin ribbons on the edges, remove them using a utility knife.
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Benefits of Cutting with Power Tools
- Easy and quick to use: With a jigsaw all you have to do is follow the line rather than making many shallow lines, hence, saving your time.
- Less fatiguing: Using a power tool saves you from much labor, hence no fatigue.
Drawbacks of Cutting with Power Tools
- More dangerous: harmful If you prefer to use a power tool, consider it is more than a utility knife and be careful when using it.
What Other Tools Can you Use to Cut Horse Store Mats?
Although the two discussed methods are the most simplest and efficient to cut rubber mats, there are also other methods. You can use table saws, circular saws and grinders.
You can also use a bandsaw which just like the jigsaw uses a vertical blade. The only issue is that it’s a handheld tool, which requires you to do a lot of work.
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The Bottom Line
Whether you want to cut your horse stall mats using a jigsaw or a utility knife completely depends on your preference. With this information, I am pretty sure you’ll be able to choose the easiest method for you.