Imagine a large block of ice. It's scored with a serrated blade, then the knife is used as a sort of wedge while a dead blow hammer strikes it. The ice cracks, and the knife slips through the crack, cutting as it goes, until it stops suddenly against this thick silicone mat. That's what I've been using this mat for. I have no idea how many times it's been struck by a knife or other sharp tool and I haven't seen any evidence of damage to it yet. It collects a large volume of water melted from the ice blocks without spilling over onto my counter or floor, and it holds up to sharp tools which just seem to bounce harmlessly off of it. It's exactly what I was looking for in a work surface. I imagine if you just use it for pouring drinks, it'll last a lifetime.