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Thread: Which mat cutter is the best?

  1. #1
    Grumbler in training
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    I have a small frame shop and gallery and I need to upgrade my mat cutter. I won't be doing production work, just the variety of jobs that walk in. I've heard that Fletcher is the way to go...But I'd like to hear from those who use these on a daily basis. What say you?
    –Joose<br />Great Art & Frame<br />9906 W. Linebaugh Ave.<br />Tampa, FL 33626<br />(813) 792-8960
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  • #2
    PFG Picture Framing God FrameMakers's Avatar
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    The fletcher is a good machine.I have never heard of anyone, no matter their size, regreting the purchase/lease of a CMC (computer mat cutter). Just think of it as your first employee that doesn't call in sick or take potty breaks.

    Welcome
    Dave Wetterstroem

    You don't stop playing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop playing.

  • #3
    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Ron Eggers's Avatar
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    I have never heard of anyone, no matter their size, regreting the purchase/lease of a CMC (computer mat cutter).
    I probably come about as close as anyone.

    My Mat Maestro DOES call in sick and take potty breaks (I think it's smoking in the restroom) but, when it gets back to work, it's a maniac!

    I had a C&H, a Logan and a Fletcher (which I still use.) The Fletcher wins, hands down, and has already outlived the other two combined.

  • #4
    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God
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    Fletcher. The 60" model is much more useful than the 48" model, and well worth the extra cost for most custom shops.

  • #5
    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer J Phipps TN's Avatar
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    I agree that Fletcher is the best, at least for me.
    I have a question for all of you with computerize mat cutters. How large would a shop need to be to really need one of those. I would love to have one but I'm just afraid the cost would be to great for the size of my shop. How many mats a day would the shop need to be doing?
    Jennifer

    Expressing the Art of Framing
    www.picturethistngallery.com

  • #6
    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Ron Eggers's Avatar
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    Mine is a one-person, full-time store front. You can't get a whole lot smaller than that unless you're moon-lighting. I sell an average of four mats/day, though some of them are very complex - the kind that took me a day-and-a-half to cut by hand.

    Normally, it's very difficult to grow without hiring good help, which is a much bigger step than most non-employers would realize.

    A CMC is the single best thing you can do to grow your business without hiring.

    BUT . . . Even if my Mat Maestro were 100% reliable, I wouldn't give up my Fletcher 2000.

  • #7
    PFG Picture Framing God Framerguy's Avatar
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    "Which mat cutter is the 'best'" is like asking which car is the best! We all have our favorites and for our own reasons. If you have used one type of mat cutter only and have not had any problems with it, that may be the "best" mat cutter for your shop.

    I am still using the old C&H Advantage mat cutter that I bought when I opened my fulltime art gallery. I had used a Logan before buying the C&H but didn't like it for full production work. It taught me the basics of how to cut a rectangular mat with a fairly even mat opening/borders.

    I haven't used any of the Fletcher mat cutters except for the short ones that are used in matting workshops and those I didn't care for. But I can't complain about the C&H cutter. You have to maintain it and take care of it as you need to do with any piece of equipment but it will give you accurate cuts and long service life as does a Fletcher or many of the other brands available.

    Framerguy
    You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
    - Naguib Mahfouz, writer (1911- )

  • #8
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    I used a C&H for years .... it was ok, but IMHO the Fletcher is far superior ... and Jim is right : don't even consider a 48" as your only cutter ... the 60" is the way to go.

    I'd consider a CMC if I had the room ... which I don't, ... so I don't (until I take over the shlocky operation next door, that is ... but I gotta admit, his faded-red-from-UV-pictures-which-he-
    hasn't-changed-in-three-years window display sells a lot of UV glass....)

  • #9
    Moderator Team Lance E's Avatar
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    I would never open another frame shop without a CMC, this machine is the hub of a framing business and the point that allows for the easiest and most creative aspects of everyday designs.
    We have a Gunnar 601, perhaps excessive for the smaller shops but certainly a well built machine. We still have a trusty old Fletcher 2100 (48", IMHO 60" is too big and heavy to use lots) which gets used for Bevel Accents and ocassional nostalgia hits.
    Don't get back to basics - never leave them.

  • #10
    MGF Master Grumble Framer JudyN's Avatar
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    I might as well put in my opinion. Both of the above cutters are good machines.

    We have used the Keencut Mat Cutter for years. The difference is the head on the Keencut glides on a flat rail the others slide on a round bar. The head on the Keencut does not need lubrication. It glides on a rail that only needs cleaning with a damp cloth once in a while. It is very smooth. By the way we have also owned the C&H and a Fletcher. Maybe you can try them all out at a show.

    http://www.keencut.com/ultimat.htm
    An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
    Mae West

    http://www.frameitup.com/

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