What a piece of crap, or is it just me?


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Dec 1, 2004
New Westminster, B.C. Canada
Okay so I recently bought a new Logan 201 Oval/Circle Cutter. Got it real cheap on ebay so I thought I would give it a try. I am so unimpressed. I have followed the directions carefully, downloaded the videos from Logan's site and tried just about eveything I can think of. On experimental practice cuts the only way I can get it to cut through I have to put so much pressure on the head that it actually pushes a pressure line on the good side of the circle. I have tried everything I can think of. I am just using regular Crescent Board, not the thicker stuff so that is not it. Even if I turn my thumb white it doesn't necessarily cut through either, and yes I am using a slip sheet. I emailed Logan on Friday, but have not recieved an answer yet. Any ideas, besides throwing it against a wall? Watch for it soon on sale on EBay unless I get a solution.
Anyone have a manual Fletcher or C & H they want to sell?
Again, Thanks
James, Have you tried going around more than once, each time going just a little deeper into the mat? I know you need to do that with the C&H anyway. The C&H also has a depth stop screw that can keep the blade from going any further, maybe yours has something similar? Just a thought.

Good luck!
As I remember, the Logan oval cutter is a "step" cutter. (I'll look later this morning.) You actually have to "step down" the cut. Go around once, then move the lever and around again, and one more time.

It uses the #11 or #24 x-acto blade and can't make a full depth cut on one pass. (Make sure you have a new, sharp blade in place.) I don't use mine anymore, (I have a Gene Green oval cutter) but I used it for a long time before that, though.


"Throwing it against the wall" worked with my stubborn little single-stage snowblower.

It's worked well for three seasons since that little outburst.
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:

"Throwing it against the wall" worked with my stubborn little single-stage snowblower.

It's worked well for three seasons since that little outburst.
My snowblower works 3 out of 4 seasons as well. Just wish the season it worked was winter!

Jerry is right, works for home framers, gets them frustrated like you are feeling now, then they come in to us to get it done right!

I think Logan really wants us to be in business. I have used their products, but more importantly my customers have used their products. They use them, get crappy results and come in to me! Gets people reluctant to pay for framing so appalled at their own work that they become willing to pay to have it done correctly!

OK so I am typing tongue in cheek (but only halfway!)

Get rid of the Logan, look on-line for a C&H, or CMC. You'll be happier with "real" equipment!
Hey James,
I have a C+H oval cutter for sale! It's the big one.
Email me if you wanna talk about it.
I'm serious.
It's a lot easier to use than the Logan, it sounds like.

Edie the itstakingupvaluablestoragespace goddess
To Betty's reply, yes it does step.

RE going around once, Tried that too

I did look for a depth adjustment. I cannot see one. There seems to be a set screw on the inside. I may take the thing apart, but I wanted to see if there were any answers. On the exploded parts diagram it does not appear to be it.

I used a new blade that came with the .....little beast. To take it apart may be a permanent unsolution (good english again?)

Yes I recognize that it is not a professional tool, but due to feedback I got on another post I thought it might be okay as a stopgap until I can afford better.

I did approach the widow of my mentor. He has/had an older (C&H I think) that will likely never get used, but their son wants to hang on to "dad's" framing tools for now. I am not sure if the circle/oval cutter is included in that thinking.

Edie, I am interested in yours, it is more a $$ thing (not having a lot extra for that stuff right now). Don't want to insult you with a lowball offer cause that is all I have right now.

There was a C&H Jr on Ebay a while ago. It did not move even though the opening bid was $199. I contacted the vendor after the auction closed. It did look used hard, at least the previous owner did not appear to know about slip sheets. That model could be mounted up and put away easily when not in use. (which would be most of the time, honestly). He asked for an offer which I didn't make. Might still be available.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding - but did you step it down a notch with each "go around"? That's how it cuts a little deeper each time.

I looked at mine, and it looks a little different than a picture of a new one. The lever on mine is more visable.

Actually, you start with the lever all the way away from the cutting head, and step it closer to the head with each round. That allows a little more of the blade to be exposed with each rotation.

No, it's not a "professional" oval cutter. Yes, it will cut oval mats - maybe even enough to help you pay for a "professional" cutter.

I've probably lost some work because I did not have a "professional" cutter, but I know exactly how many I would have lost without the one I have now...
all of them. And that was too many for me.

So, you can wait until you have everything perfect to start, or you can start where you are, use what you have, and do the best you can with what you have.

Perfect equipment is a wonderful thing, but it's not always the equipment - the operator has a lot to do with it.

Give Willie Nelson a "Wal-mart Special" guitar and you'd still have great music. Give me a LE Les Paul, and you'd still only have noise.

(Now, fire away.)

I became tired of moving my old C&H off the shelf 2 times a year to cut a few oval mats.I plan on outsourcing oval mats, much easier and no hassles.

I've got the Logan oval cutter too and it takes a lot of practice. I don't really push the oval mats so I only do them if someone asks for them. Since that's not very often, I've got to practice again before I can do one well.

The cutter requires 3 times around, with each turn a little deeper cut. It digs into your hands and is not fun!
I will definitely raise the price on my next oval to make it a little more worth the time and effort. I found that you have to follow the instructions to the tee and then it will work (after many tries and blades). I think the directions are on the Logan website if you didn't get them with the cutter.

If you're still having problems, email me and I can try to help you more.

I don't have an oval cutter - but you can be sure - I will not buy any other Logan products. I don't think they are the quality for professionals.

I regret not having "shopped" more when I was opening and also wish I had been directed to a better line of product than that.

I had some problems with my mat cutter recently - and STILL haven't heard back from Logan. The underlings couldn't figure out my problem and I haven't heard from the next one up on the totem pole, yet.

Next time you hear about this it may be on ebay!
Originally posted by Jerry Ervin:
I agree whole heartily, however, sometimes you just can't make chicken salad out of chicken (well you know).
Well, you got me there, Jerry.

I really didn't mean to sound as belligerent as it may have come across. I just get tired of what I call the "yeah, but... syndrome", and the people who must have everything "perfect" before they ever start anything. Sometimes, it just can't be.

'Cept for chicken salad! ;)

I have one of the first C&H Oval cutters. I keep thinking I should keep it to cut glass, that was 9 months ago and it is still sitting on end taking up space. Send two men and a truck and it might be less than you paid for the Logan.
It definetly is not one you remove from the shelf when you need to use it.
Thanks to CMCs, oval and circle mat cutters are a dime a dozen now. In fact, you can get them for free, if you will pick them up. For example, Ciecle's house of photography in San Diego has one for free, you just have to come and get it.

As far as the one you have goes, your blade MUST be ultra sharp. A brand new blade from the box is not sharp enough, you have to hone them even sharper.

TC, I don't have a clue, she called me and said anyone who picked it up could have it. I would suggest you give her a call. I'm at home now so I don't have her number. Her shop is on India street in San Diego. Call information and talk to her. I understand it is a good one, can't remember the make. I know it ain't a Logan. I also know she does not want to have to move it or crate it. Call her.

I say "dito" to Phoneguys post. I too just bought one as a temporary stop gap until I get a CMC

Exactly the same expierience as above. Had to cut about 20 practice mats to get an acceptable cut. The problem is it will not cut all the way thru without extreme pressure which then leaves a mar on the surface of the mat. I finally gave up and cut from the back and had a reverse bevel.

The logan just isn't worth the trouble, mine is also going to go back to E-Bay. Will be outsourcing until a CMC comes my way.
Okay, so I have a truck with Canopy and would be willing to drive as far as say....Seattle (from the Vancouver BC area). Anyone know of a free oval cutter that would be worth my trip? Heck, I would even say thank you at that price ;) Like many, I don't get a call for ovals often, (actually only 1 customer if you don't count my wife, she doesn't pay), but I would like to be able to offer them. The Oval Master Jr sounds like it would be a great size, anything bigger I would outsource
OK I just reread this and it sounds like begging. Yup, begging. I actually am willing to pay for something if it isn't free (more begging)so if you have something getting dusty and think it deserves to get used drop me an email.
Phoneguy Canuck,

JRB is correct in that CMC's have made manual oval/circle cutters less of a must for most frame shops. If you have a need to cut oval glass, then they do still serve for that function.

Some factual information...</font>
  • -- C&H stopped making the Oval Master and the Oval Master Junior. The both use "trailing blade" technology. In the field, I've heard of more unhappiness among "Junior" owners than full sized owners. (My opinion - I would not buy one...not even for FREE.)</font>
  • -- The Logan 3 Step, similar to the Fletcher Mat Mate Oval Circle cutter can cut an acceptable oval mat opening.
    It does take practice, a fresh sharp blade, a smooth surface to spin the material, and 2-3 rotations. The burden of success falls more on the operator than the equipment.</font>
  • -- Besides any CMC to cut ovals, only one manual machine cuts ovals as quickly and as accurately - Fletcher's F-1000 or F-1100 machines. They use "tracking blade" technology rather than "trailing blade" technology....that's why. If you can pick one up new or used...this might be for you. They are about the size of a C&H Oval Master Junior.</font>
  • -- Accent Art Distributors right in BC typically lists used equipment for sale as well as sells new. Contact them and perhaps they can be of assistance... Accent Art </font>

(Yes, I work for The Fletcher-Terry Co., but the information shared above is still factual. ;) )
John, thank you. I really do like the look and layout of the Fletcher above all others. Right now my pocket book will not allow me to entertain purchasing one at full or near full price. They must be good because I have not seen one show up on the used market, that I am aware of, very often. Alan, if you have one at Accent let me know (if you are reading this). I originally had a line on a Fletcher Matmate circle/oval used but that fell through. When this logan came up cheap ($14.00) I thought I would give it a try. In my book I got what I paid for!!! For now I am hoping to find something that will fit a tight budget that I can justify spending money on for a part time framing business...Like someone else said here I probably am better outsourcing. Doing that though doesn't let me play and try different things...As I said to Susan May on the chat, I don't need it urgently so I have the luxury of time to see what comes my way. This may be a tool I never buy. If I ever get a storefront shop I probably would work into a CMC. Right now I am still learning and really am just to small an operation.
James, I've had a C&H Ovalmaster Junior for about 25 years and the only real complaint I have is the size limitation. I did replace the cutting head with an aftermarket rig that takes Dexter #3 blades.

I have a CMC now (sort of) but I still keep the C&H around to cut oval glass and fomecare backing. That comes up about six times/year.
Phoneguy Canuck

If you're truly enjoying getting into this biz,then trust me, your wife is paying.
This is a very old post of mine, but I believe in giving credit where it is due. I did, at the time of the original post, drop Logan and email. I never heard back. Recently while cleaning my mailbox I found the old email, and resubmitted it. This time I got a quick reply, and the person offered and did send me a new cutting head to see if that would make a difference. The new head arrived. Intereting that the replacement head is made out of completely cast metal, while the original head is largely plastic.
Set it up, pulled out some scrap and butchered my first oval, but it did cut through properly. Grabbed some more scap and reread the instructions. Second time around it worked. Good enough for what I need until I can afford better. Logan did end up helping in the end. I did try and email a thank you to the person who helped from Logan, unfortunately the email was returned as person not known.

I know of a C&H oval mat cutter for sale. I don't know how much you are willing to pay, but my friend is asking $600.00 for it. I'm not sure of the particulars. Let me know if you are interested.
The original cutters had nice machined metal heads, I have one and it works just fine.
The latest ones are not a patch on the originals, in fact none of the parts, are anywhere near close to the original quality.
James, just a thought - is the Logan on a level table top? I cut oval mats for years with several different types of cutters and found that if the table top wasn't level, you always had a problem.

Also check to see if the surface of the cutter is warped.

I put a sheet of glass on one cutter, covered with the slip sheet over the glass. That cutter seemed to need the glass surface under the slip sheet to cut nicely.

Another pointer is to start the cutting head with very light pressure, with the blade barely touching the surface. I usually went around 4 to 6 times to cut completely through.

It is also important on some machines that you keep the pressure even as you turn the head.

Another cutter I used was the Alto EZ Mat oval cutter - it is composed of oval templates in the most common oval sizes, and a hand cutter that takes a Dexter #3 blade. Low tech and pretty good - it is aimed at the craft market. Used to be pretty cheap, too. The hand cutter is great if you need to cut other shapes by hand. Like any mat cutter, it takes some practice to develop the feel.

Ditto Ron's comment about replacing the cutting head on the C & H.