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Author Topic: Mat Cutter Recommendation  (Read 11606 times)
JimGoshorn
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« on: July 08, 2010, 11:13:36 AM »
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There doesn't seem to be a forum here specifically for this type of question so I thought I'd post the question here.

Looking for recommendations for good mat cutters. So far, my research leads me towards a Logan 650 or 850.

Any experiences or info appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim
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photographist
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 02:05:18 PM »
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Hey Jim,

  A couple of questions...
  1. What size matts are you looking to create?
  2. How often would you be creating mats (how many a month)?
 
Thanks!

Jeffrey
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 03:48:57 PM »
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Quote from: photographist
A couple of questions...
  1. What size matts are you looking to create?
  2. How often would you be creating mats (how many a month)?

At this point, I don't imagine matting larger than a 16x24 print.

Not quite sure yet. I am going to start doing craft shows if that's any help answering your question.

Thanks!

Jim
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 04:02:51 PM »
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Hi,

I have a Logan 301. Normally I print in A2 and use 50x70 cm frames. The cutter works fine for that. My mats are 50x70 size so I don't need to cut them down.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: JimGoshorn
At this point, I don't imagine matting larger than a 16x24 print.

Not quite sure yet. I am going to start doing craft shows if that's any help answering your question.

Thanks!

Jim
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jerryrock
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 04:35:24 PM »
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I have the Logan 660 (60") mat cutter which comes with the extension board allowing mat borders up to 17". The dual cutting system (straight & beveled heads) makes cutting full sheets of mat board very simple. This size mat cutter requires a large work area. Prior to the 660, I used the Logan 301 for years.
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neile
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 07:55:26 PM »
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Quote from: JimGoshorn
There doesn't seem to be a forum here specifically for this type of question so I thought I'd post the question here.

Looking for recommendations for good mat cutters. So far, my research leads me towards a Logan 650 or 850.

I have the 660 (bigger brother of the 650). It works great for my occasional mat cutting needs. Like all mat cutters it takes a bit of time to get it dialed in so the cuts are precise, but once you've figured it out it works great. Downside is it's looooong and I have to put the leaf in my dining room table every time I use it. When I'm not using it I stash it under my bed in the original shipping box.

If you are buying a mat cutter you absolutely want one with a squaring arm. It makes a HUGE difference to breaking down larger sheets of matboard. Similarly, the reason I got the 650/660 is because of how the cutter head attaches to the rail. It makes it pretty much impossible to get wavy cuts.

FWIW I got my 660 off a guy on eBay that's an authorized Logan reseller. It was cheaper than anywhere else I could find one.

Neil
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Neil Enns
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 08:29:49 PM »
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Before you purchase, check out Esterly. Their web site is www.speed-mat.com. I purchased one used and couldn't live without it. They have a new "starter" model which should be even more affordable. LLVJ 15 has an episode with Bill Atkinson using one of theese--it might be worth looking at. Happy Matting...
Utah
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 01:15:48 AM »
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Valiani Astra 120, works like a charm, here are 3 videos from the Astra: http://www.valiani.com/video.php?vid=8
http://www.valiani.com/purchase.php
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BobFisher
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 06:23:47 AM »
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I use the Logan 301 as well.  The one thing I wish it had is what Neil mentioned - a squaring arm.  It would make cutting down larger pieces so much quicker.
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framah
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 08:37:13 AM »
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In the world of mat cutters, Logan cutters are at the bottom of the pile. Cheap but if you only do a couple at a time, then I guess it's good enough. For those who are saying that theirs is a really good cutter and works great, you only think that way because you haven't used one of the better ones yet.

My Escort was a really good car that worked just fine and I was happy enough with it.  Then I bought my first Volvo and, wow!! Then I bought my first Mercedes and wow!!
See how that works?

The next rung up the ladder are the C&H and Fletcher cutters.   Both are top rung cutters that are in many framing stores and can be used for decades of consistent work. I still have mine in here in case the CMC goes down and I still need to cut a mat and can't wait for replacement parts to come in.

For wall mounted cutters, the Esterly manual cutter like Bill A. uses is great for consistent mats and for production cutting. These also have a cutter at the right end of the machine for cutting the mat blanks, foam core and for cutting glass. Very handy for someone doing all of their framing.  This is the second machine I had.

Then you have the big guys... the computerized mat cutters.

These are not cheap but are definitely worth every penny if you need to do more intricate cuts or mats with multiple openings. I can sit down and cut out mats for 30 jobs in less than an hour or so with every one a different design.  The nice thing about a CMC is that once you have set up your mat cut, you can save it off so whenever you need to redo a mat for a certain image, you just reopen that file and the cutter is ready to go to make the same cut as before. Really nice when you actually are selling your work.

It all depends on 2 things... how much work you have to do,  and how much money you want to spend.

Hi, Neil!!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 08:38:07 AM by framah » Logged

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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 09:40:18 AM »
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The Esterly Standard is very good if you have a free wall, it has a better workflow as the desk cutters (think about weighted cuts). It's a pity that there is no reseller in Europe.

BTW, here is a software to calculate the mat borders: http://www.giorgiotrucco.com/matworks.html
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framah
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 11:14:13 AM »
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Here's easier  freeware for calculating mat borders... it's called basic math.. you know addition and subtraction  and division.

First you measure the art, then ADD how big you want the borders to be and there you have it.  The final size of the mat.

If you have a finished frame then you measure that and take the numbers you got from measuring the art and SUBTRACT the art size from the frame size and then you DIVIDE  each answer by 2 and there you go. You have the mat border sizes.

Seriously! How hard is it for you that you need software for your computer to do simple math??   This is something you should have learned in the lower grades in school.

 Even a hand held calculator can help if you are incapable of simple math.

 If you are concerned about how much to add to the bottom of the mat... it's entirely up to you how you want it to look.
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 11:14:14 AM »
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Thank you all for your replies!

Looks like I have a bit more research to do before making a decision  

Jim
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 11:15:01 AM by JimGoshorn » Logged
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 01:15:54 PM »
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Quote from: JimGoshorn
Thank you all for your replies!

Looks like I have a bit more research to do before making a decision  

Jim

No disrespect to Framah, but don't get stampeded into something more expensive than you need. There's no shame in 'good enough'. I owned a Ford Escort back in the 1980s; first new car I ever bought. Something like $6,000 new, worked every time I turned the key, dirt cheap to repair. Likewise, my wife uses one of the bigger Logans to cut my mats for  me, some as big as 24x36". Works like a charm, and since we're rarely doing more than 4 or 5 at a time, it's plenty good enough. If you're doing lots and lots of mat-cutting, eventually you'll know when it's time for something fancier.

It's easy to say every driver should have a Mercedes and every photo hobbiest a P65+ digital back.
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neile
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2010, 01:20:04 PM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
No disrespect to Framah, but don't get stampeded into something more expensive than you need.

Same same (and I know Framah so I have to be nice to him! ). The reason I bought the Logan is it was the right price/performance tradeoff for me. I don't do a lot of framing on my own. I would LOVE something higher-end, but it just didn't make sense financially for me to do it. I'd prefer to dump that money into the large format printer I also have no rational reason for owning

Neil
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Neil Enns
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framah
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2010, 01:49:09 PM »
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No dissing taken.  

I agree with you that if it works for you then go with it till you need something better. I was only letting  the OP know the differences and why we think of them that way.

For me, in my store I need the best I can to get the most out of it for as long as possible.


 Neil, you definitely need the big honkin' printer!!! Go for it!! Just make sure you have 3 or 4 guys to help you move it.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 02:51:48 PM »
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Quote from: framah
In the world of mat cutters, Logan cutters are at the bottom of the pile. Cheap but if you only do a couple at a time, then I guess it's good enough. For those who are saying that theirs is a really good cutter and works great, you only think that way because you haven't used one of the better ones yet.

My Escort was a really good car that worked just fine and I was happy enough with it.  Then I bought my first Volvo and, wow!! Then I bought my first Mercedes and wow!!
See how that works?

Yeah, the Escort was a really good car that worked just fine and you were happy enough with it.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2010, 07:32:49 PM »
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The Speed-Mat is an incredible tool.  Pays for itself in maybe the first 20 prints you cut double-mats for in time savings alone. Okay, that is maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but the only people I've ever known to sell one either went to a larger unit or a computer-controlled cutter...
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 07:33:09 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

JimGoshorn
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2010, 11:47:01 AM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
No disrespect to Framah, but don't get stampeded into something more expensive than you need. There's no shame in 'good enough'.

I won't. Just don't want to get a cutter that I will regret getting and wish I had only spent a little more for a better one. With most of my photographic purchases, I try to buy items that will last and won't need replacing soon (unless I get that dreaded new gear bug   )

So now it looks like it's between the Logan 850 (similar design to the Fletcher) and the Fletcher 2200. The Esterly looks really nice but the price increase is steep (saw one posting that said with accessories it cost the poster $4k). The Valiani Astra was sold by framingsupplies.com a few years ago but I didn't see it listed there now. I found 2 forums dealing with framing: The Framers Forum and The Picture Framers Grumble. In both forums, the Fletcher is highly regarded (edging out C+H) as well as computerized cutters which at $16k+ are definitely out of the question. The only area where the Logan 850 beats the Fletcher is accessories that are included (production stops [one magnetic], squaring arm and a lift handle) whereas on the 2200, they add  hundreds more.

If I am missing something in my analysis, please feel free to correct me as any information is appreciated.

Jim
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2010, 02:31:53 PM »
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Quote from: JimGoshorn
If I am missing something in my analysis, please feel free to correct me as any information is appreciated.

Your price on the Eastelry sounds high -- I think you should get a quote. A friend just bought a 40x60 and it totaled around $3K with delivery, and the 32x40 is even less expensive.  There are a TON of optional accessories available, but you only need for normal photo matting the basic 45 degree cutting head, and maybe a box of extra mat blades and a box of spare trimmer blades. And then of course a wall to mount it on.


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