How thick is it? Do you mean like astroturf material used for all-weather pitches? If it's thin enough to fold, do as andy suggests. If it's all-weather pitch material, perhaps try a stiff craft knife like a Stanley knife and just go careful and slow.
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For a 1000 pieces, I'd look at fitting the punches to a fly-press. How big a piece of turf are you working over ?
OK - Forget the nail scissors #;¬)
Take the 1" hole saw and grind off all the teeth, then grind the edge sharp (careful not to loose the temper of the metal). Then use the drill press, without turning it on (or maybe on very slow), to press the 'cookie cutter' into the mat. The problem with the original hole saw is that the teeth will pull fibers, not cut them.
You might be able to find a cookie cutter that will fit in the circle cutter slots.... cookie cutters have no teeth...
Probably, try someplace that sells leather working tools. Or search Google for a round cutting punch. The only other one I know of is used by doctors to cut out bits of skin : P
The tool you're looking for is called an arch punch. Here's a link, but you can sometimes find them much cheaper on eBay.http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=osborne+arch+punch&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7FUJA_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16205402702019844455&ei=JLpbS7r7PMmXtgfVwo2uAg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CBwQ8wIwBA#ps-sellers It's more or less the same kind of thing that jtobako was suggesting, only it's made for punch cutting already.
Yup, just place it and pound it with a hammer. You also need a resilient backer, like a scrap hunk of pine. They are commonly used to cut through thick leather or multiple layers of canvas, so they are plenty sharp. I'm guessing you'd get best results on your turf if you went at it from the back side, but that's just a guess.
Get a 6" long piece of 1" od pipe and grind the end of it sharp from the inside so that the cutting edge is the outside edge. If you're only cutting one or a few holes it's cheap, it works and you can get it tomorrow. Oh, to make the cut put the sharp end where you want the hole and hit the blunt end with a hammer or mallot. Wear gloves and EYE protection anytime you are hitting metal with a hammer.
Not sure what happened on my other answer, but that should read "sometimes you can find them much cheaper on eBay".
Place a 1" cylindrical object on the mat and cut around it (carefully) with a very sharp knife. L
No experience of this myself, but you're going to need to stiffen it up to stop things flapping about afterwards - How about a piece of iron-on adhesive fabric. Draw the 1" circle on it first, iron the fabric on in the right place then fold in half, snip a slit to start and carefully cut around the outline with a pair of curved blade nail-scissors.