Speed-mat experience?

Tommy P

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Nov 16, 2003
Mid North Indiana
I have asked advice before on what new mat cutter to buy and had several good responses ranging from a Chronomat to "biting the bullet" for a CMC. Thanks to all.....my question now......are there any comments on "Esterly Mat Cutters by Speed-mat"??
I've cut my teeth on a table mount....this wall mount unit intrigues me but have no knowledge of other than advertisement in PFM. Any help is welcome.
I remain "humble frameboy"....
I have had a speed-mat for probably 15 years and love it. It is great for production work where you want several of 1 size. You don't have to turn the matboard for every side like a straight line cutter. It also works great for multi-opening mats. Also having it on the wall saves lots of space for me. It proabably isn't for everyone, but I sure like it.
When I first encountered the SpeedMat at my old job, I hated the thing. Seemed like too much math to worry about. But honestly, once you work out the "formulas", you'll have no problems getting a perfect mat every time. Even multiple opening, multiple mats. The SpeedMat was actually the only piece of equipment that I insisted we buy new when we first opened. We bought the 40x60 model with all the extra goodies: oval/circle mat cutter, oval/circle glass cutter, 8-ply head, etc.

We've since bought a Wizard, which we love, but for start up, a SpeedMat is a good way to go. Not sure for how much more, but you can get a kit to make it computer guided too. Good luck with your decision.
The Esterly was the only mat cutter I used for over twenty years. I loved it. It was great for production work, and since it was wall-mounted, it took up little space, leaving my work tables free for other things. I think it is the next-best thing to a CMC. I had no trouble selling it when the time came.
Thanks Susie, Andy and Pam! Your comments are a big help. Another question. I have limited space. How much wall space is required? My ceiling height in the area I could put this is only 6'6'' tall! Width is probably not a problem. What do you think???


That should be fine. Our ceiling in the back is only 7'9" and there's enough room above the unit for a small shelf.

Originally posted by frameboy51:
My ceiling height in the area I could put this is only 6'6'' tall! Width is probably not a problem. What do you think???

I know not the price, frameboy, but it may be worth your time taking a look at Fletcher's "new" MatPro 120 or 150.

These are not actually new products; they've been on the market for quite some time. These are top quality free-standing/wall mounted manual/pneumatic production cutters manufactured by Valiani. I suspect "they ain't cheap". To the best of my knowledge, they are available under the Valiani brand, or Fletcher/Valiani; I suspect they are identical machines.

For what it's worth, until they got a CMC, our local Larson Juhl used one of these beasts for years for all of their in-house custom framing .

I had the opportunity to speak at length (in private) with the fellow who was in charge of Larson's mat cutting dept. (it's much better getting information from the person who uses the machine, than with the one who sells it :rolleyes: !!!)...

He had nothing but praise for the Valiani. I was told (off the record... shhhh ;) ) that it was actually built far better than their CMC. Never had a problem; never a down day. He still uses the machine when the CMC is busy, and claimed that it cut like new, even after all those years of heavy use.

Back at your space concern, my understanding is that the height, on the stand, is 6'-5". I suspect it could be mounted on the wall somewhat lower.

Best of luck.
Thanks for the plug and positive comments on the Fletcher MatPro 120/150 Printmaker.


This machine is still relatively new, first shown 11 months ago at SACA in Italy. The model you saw at LJ was more than likely an earlier machine. The MatPro is even more solid than the models it has replaced. It is drawing good interest here at the West Coast Art & Frame Show in Las Vegas, and is a viable alternative for someone looking for something between a tabletop manual mat cutter and a full CMC.

To clarify, it is sold exclusively in the United States and Canada through authorized Fletcher-Terry distributors.

frameboy51....both models stand at 6'5".

For more details..... Fletcher-Terry Mat Pro 150


John (Kindly excuse the advertorial

[ 01-27-2004, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: John Ranes II, CPF, GCF ]
(Kindly excuse the advertorial )
I think it's okay since it's a direct response to an inquiry.

But there's going to be **** to pay with Captain English for making up a new word.
Thanks for the great picture (and info) John! What I like most about this model is that if you turn it upside down it would be a good substitute for the famous "Garden Weasel"!!! ( And I have heard of an "Advertorial" before). Some of us, Ron, get out of the shop once in awhile!
Seriously, I will check this out.....so many possibilities.....and me suffering from prograstinationism!! (Is that a word??)

humble frameboy
I'll be damned!

"Advertorial" even made a 1961 appearance in Webster's Dictionary. My apologies to Mr. Ranes.

But I'm drawing the line at "prograstinationism."
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
I'll be damned!

"Advertorial" even made a 1961 appearance in Webster's Dictionary. My apologies to Mr. Ranes.

But I'm drawing the line at "prograstinationism."
I'm going to look up that word... maybe tomorrow!