I need to cut a few inches from this PVC chair mat (if this isn't PVC, can you tell me what material it is). How do I achieve this?

I though of using an acrylic knife; will it work? The line will be straight and 40 inches long.

  • 1
    You can almost certainly use scissors. Failing that, any craft-knife (Stanley knife) and a straight edge. Nov 20, 2016 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


I've cut chair mats by laying them on a flat work surface. Then secure a metal straight edge along the cut line. (In my case I clamped a long piece of aluminum bar stock in place to the work surface with the mat in between).

A utility knife with a sharp blade was then used to score a cut line along the straight edge. Chair mats are a relatively soft plastic and it was not possible to use a score and break off type process. Instead I cut in the same place along the straight edge 3 or 4 times. I then removed the straight edge and clamps and positioned the cut line along the edge of the work surface. This allowed cut area to be opened slightly as the part to be removed was bent down over the edge of the work surface. Once the cut line was opened like this continued passes of the utility knife blade in the cut groove allowed the cut to be made deeper and deeper and eventually finish the cut.


I cut my chair mat using tin snips. First I tried scissors, but was not getting any results but a sore hand. Then I tried my tin snips, worked much easier, as these are designed for much harder material than paper. You can get tin snips at hardware/tools stores. There's a particular tools store known for discount tools that has tin snips for under $8.

  • Tin snips will make a jagged cut. Better to use the straight edge and utility knife. Jul 7, 2019 at 0:10

I used tin snips for cutting a chair mat. It cut very easily and did not make jagged edges whatsoever. I used a Sharpie to mark off my cuts. I didn't want to cut too small, but am a millimeter or two larger than I wanted. Secondary cuts along the already cut edge are more challenging so my only regret is not going a smidge inside my cutoff lines.

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    – Alaska Man
    Jun 25, 2020 at 0:24
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Jun 25, 2020 at 0:45
  • @AlaskaMan easy on the jokes with the new folks. They don't know you and might be a bit... confused... ;)
    – FreeMan
    Jun 25, 2020 at 14:40

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