I previously used a 12"x18" cutting mat in my business, but as of a week ago, I can't find it for the life of me. My theory is I actually scooped it up with some 12"x18" prints I sell and shipped it to one of my customers.
Alas, I was in need of a cutting mat since I use it often. So I began to research cutting mats both on Amazon and on manufacturers websites. I eventually landed on the DAFA mat because of it's specifications, positive reviews, and price.
I opted to upgrade to a larger 18"x24" size because I regularly cut or trim 12"x18" sheets of paper, so wanted some extra room. Speaking of cutting, I only cut with sharp utility knives. (I do not cut with a rotary cutter, so I can't speak to that.) But what I can tell you, I just finished a day of cutting using a new utility blade and the mat still looks brand new. I cut both cardstock and cardboard (which required different pressure) and not a cut. The reviews that say this mat does not self-heal must be doing some extreme pressure cutting - as I don't see how it's possible with normal use to wear this cutting mat. I expect many years of use out of this mat.
Regarding dimensions, the actual mat size is 17 11/16" x 24 7/16". One side has markings in inches, while the other side is in centimeters. The inch markings are every inch for a combined area of lines 17"x23". The centimeter markings are every 10 centimeters for a combined area of lines 430cm x 580cm. And the bonus, you really are getting two cutting surfaces in one which essentially doubles the life out of this cutting mat.
This DAFA cutting mat was shipped flat in a big, thin box. After unwrapping, I did NOT notice a strong odor as the 1-star reviews have mentioned. Yes, there is a slight smell, kind of like how a new car has a new smell to it. After a day of laying open on a table, I no longer notice any odor when walking into the room.
This DAFA cutting mat performs how I expect a mat twice the price should perform. Whether you are a light hobby user, or a full-time professional, I fully expect this cutting mat to perform equally in both environments. Very pleased with my purchase and it comes highly recommended. If my experience ever changes, I will update this review.