Which mat cutter is the best?

Joose

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Tampa, Florida
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?
 

FrameMakers

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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
 

Ron Eggers

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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.
 

J Phipps TN

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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?
 

Ron Eggers

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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.
 

Framerguy

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Destin, Florida
"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
 

FramingFool

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New Cumberland, PA
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....)
 

Lance E

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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.
 

JudyN

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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
 

Rick Granick

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Anyone have any experience with the Phaedra Chronomat? It looks very well engineered and constructed, but I don't remember anyone ever mentioning it here on the Grumble. It looks like it might be an interesting replacement for a C+H, for those who like the "feel the road" sensation of a smaller head hugging the bar, rather than the Cadillac suspension of the Fletcher.
:cool: Rick
 

JRB

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San Diego, CA
Get a CMC, it will be the single smartest thing you will ever do in this business. I know you can not justify one with your volume, get one anyway. It's like hiring a new employee, who not only knows how to do it, but is actually willing to do it without demanding a raise. The one most important features of a CMC is it eliminates any mat cutting prima donas from ever being on your staff.

If you are one of those old fashion, stubborn types, insist a hand cutter is the best, then get a Fletcher.

John
 

GUMBY GCF

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oHIo
I just trained someone who is working out of their basement on a CMC. They did not lease or rent it They bought it. Now let me tell you These are folks determined to be successful. I bet within a year they will be A new store front. If you do not believe you will not succeed. Buy rent or lease it can pay for itself.
 

j Paul

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Originally posted by Rick Granick:
[QB] Anyone have any experience with the Phaedra Chronomat? It looks very well engineered and constructed,

I recently purchased a Phaedra Chronomat 60" and personally I think it is an excellant machine. Far superior to the C&H that I used in framing school. Personally I think the Fletcher is the one that sounds like a car rattling down the road. The Phaedra is silky smooth. The magnetic stop is so easy to use, you get perfect cuts right out of the box. I had my kids use it, who had never cut a mat before, and they could do it first time with no over/under cuts. If you get a chance tty out a Phaedra, they have a 30 day money back guarantee also. They no doubt will be having specials at the show, you might even be able to take home the show model at a special deal.
 
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