Bad cut on my matcutter


Grumbler in Training
Jun 20, 2006
Melbourne, Australia

I have a Fletcher 2100 matcutter which I have been using for 18 Months. The last few weeks I have not been able to get a perfect cut. I get hooks at the start of the cut. I have adjusted, readjusted the blade depth, checked everything is clean and not loose. Proper stance and everything yet I still cannot get a perfect cut. ( Especially when competing against CMC's! )

Nothing has changed so I am not sure why this has started happening. Any help would be very much appreciated.


Luke Ingram
Hmmmmmmm, is your arm paralell to the bar? Is your wrist locked? Do you plunge the blade in, wait a tick and then cut, stop and release the blade? Is the blade just barely going into the slipsheet?
It's all in the body english and the position of the cutter. Body just to the left of center of the bar, arm straight and locked, ingage the blade applying torque down and to the right and hold it all the way through the cut, mild preasure on the hold down bar. Finaly, call Wizard as soon as possible.
A badly beaten up slip mat can cause this, I have also come across it when someone is using a plastic self healing cutting mat as a slip mat.
A blunt or incorrect blade (to flexible) will also cause it.
Nothing has changed so I am not sure why this has started happening.

Welcome to the Grumble, Luke! You will find a wealth of useful information here to help you in most any situation of your life! (Also some good info on framing)

From the way you have worded your statement, I am taking it to mean that prior to a couple of weeks ago, your cuts were acceptable, eh?? So that means to me that something HAS changed even though you may not realize it. And it may not be in the machine but in you.

Have you injured your back or shoulder recently?

Have you been sick with anything that would throw off your balance or co-ordination?

Do you have any repetitive motion pain?

Been under medication for anything?

And lastly, has anyone else used your machine to cut mats?

Aside from the obvious, worn bushings, bent or wrong blades, different brand of blades or matboards, or adjustments, you may have suffered something that you aren't aware is affecting your stance or your grip or your follow-through.

If the cutter used to work and now it's broke, we gotta find a way to fix it, eh?? Dig deeper into the last few weeks and try to discern what may have changed in your life or you physically OR how has the machine been altered from what its condition was when it was operating properly.

Good luck with it. The frustration of not knowing the answer can make matcutting very nasty.

Recently had an occassion to video tape my "performance" with my cutter and was appalled at the habits I had!!!!!! I highly reccommend that everyone(rookies A N D oldtimers) get someone to take some shots from 2-3 different will be astounded at the stuff you do!!!!! my cuts got immediately better(they werent THAT bad before) after I went over the video a few times....decided to make this a yearly thing(my, how soon we forget!!!!)
Bill, can you share with us what it was that you needed to correct and did? Feet position? Elbow/arm angle? Tongue on the right side? All of the above? Video...good idea!
Hey I had a video done of myself at the matcutter as well.

I found that while I as cutting mats on my Wizard, I was over supinating my right arm, causing me to spill my cocktail. Also I was slouching too much waiting for it to cut the last opening on multi opening mats.

Now my posture is much better and I don't dribble anymore. :D

Sorry couldn't resist, just being a smarty pants.
For the record I have a Fletcher 2100 as well, a beautiful tight machine. What every one else said ;)
Try a 015 blade and see if it may help you.
Other than that, maybe something wrong with the mat board - dried out?
When the moving head gets loose, the cutting motion is very important. But when adjusted properly, our Fletcher matcutter does not require much care in the stance, arm, or hand position.

Luke, it is likely that SOMETHING has changed in the past few weeks to foul your cuts. I suggest going back to the original setup and adjustment instructions that came with your machine. Take it step by step, making sure you check everyhing.

In my limited experience, a loose moving head, a too-used slip sheet, or excessive blade depth are the most common causes of hooks.

John Ranes, who works for Fletcher on occasion, is very good at providing long-distance diagnostics and advice. Perhaps he will respond here soon.
Do you use stops? I'd could never get a good cut without them. I'd get a pinch effect that you might be calling a hook. Without stops, the head tends to roll forward a bit as you dive the blade into the mat causing a pinch that looks like short bend at the start of the cut. The stops prevent the forward motion. At least it worked for me.

Where is John Ranes? I'm not here nearly as much anymore, but I haven't seen him in any threads lately.