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Best manual may cutter

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Pietrina, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Pietrina

    Pietrina Grumbler

    Please let me know which manual matcutter on the market today you feel is best, easiest and with least kinks
  2. Justan2

    Justan2 Guest

    I love my FT-2200. Solid piece if equipment, well supported and produces flawless results. A used one can be found for about half of the cost of new, and replacement parts are available and inexpensive.
  3. framestudio

    framestudio CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I love my Keencut Ultimat Gold. Never falls out of square, I've never had to make any repairs or adjustments since the day I got it.
  4. 1banjo

    1banjo Grumbler

    Hi I too vote for Keencut ! I have 2 of the older one Ultimat they are 15 to 25 years old & still work like new
    But they now have a newer model out
  5. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God

    Fletcher freak. Built like a tank,and once adjusted,stays that way. L
  6. ali

    ali CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    logan hand mat cutter -.-. I still use it to this day to cut all my mats. I prefer it over a bulky manual mat cutter taking up table space.

    I can do things with a hand mat cuter that a table cutter can not, such as cut different angles, larger sizes etc...

    it also fits in my pocket!

    sometimes I will have to cut 100 mat's in a day and I will still use my logan hand cutter instead. I am just as fast on it as a table cutter

    we got rid of our wizard so I went back to oldschool.
  7. skye

    skye MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I cut for years on Carithers Signature... loved it. If we had a decent shop manual mat cutter I might sell more V grooves, too- don't like the way our CMC does them. I can do just as fast and much tidier with a manual cutter.
  8. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Fletcher 2200. It is only used as backup to my CMC but I pull it off the wall every once in awhile so I don't forget how to use it. It has never had to be re-adjusted and stay perfectly square.
  9. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I have used C&H and Fletchers. Loved both companies products. Taught a mat cutting class for adult ed and had the people bring in their mat cutters. Hated the cutters the artists brought in. Would have been better to teach them to use a straight edge and a utility knife!

    My personal bias, the cutting head really should be attached to the cutting bar, not just "set" on it like the cheaper Logans. Cutting bar should be hinged and mat slid under it. Pull the head toward you not a pushed head like the cheaper ones.

    So a Fletcher or C&H or a clone of their product is the way to go. But really even more important is the consumables. How expensive are the blades and how easy to get them? Fletcher and C&H blades are interchangeable and readily available and fairly cheap in price. Logan blades were, if I remember right, shorter, thicker and harder to get a hold of.
  10. 1banjo

    1banjo Grumbler

    well the bad thing is there is only 2 good companies that I know of !!
    Making new professional manual mat cutters thats Fletcher & Keencut !
    So for buying a new mat cutter you don't have much of a choice!
    I have had a C&H , a Fletcher 2200, & 2 Keencut Ultimat .
    I like the Ultimat the best but I did not have the manual for the Fletcher
    To help get it square up right but I like the production stops on the Keencut
    A lot better and easier to use
  11. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I loved my keencut, it did at least 60k mount before I sold it, and was still cutting like it was when new, I only sold because I needed to buy a cmc, now I need to get a second cmc, the spending never seems to end.
  12. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You forgot "Logan Platinum Edge Mat Cutter 850" in my opinion this cutter is as good as Fletcher or Keencut. Cost is about the same, they may be a little less but not by much. It is a great machine. I believe that Logan purchased the rights to this mat cutter from the company that use to make the Phaedra Saw System. That company is now out of business but the mat cutter lives on thru Logan.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  13. 1banjo

    1banjo Grumbler

    Will I never said any thing about logan 850 as I have never owned or used one!
    But I have owned a logan 660 & in my opinion they're not professional quality
  14. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    The old Logan's are not professional quality. My first was a Logan 650. While fine for an amateur, I was glad when I moved on to a 60" Phaedra Chronomat.

    I've had the Chronomat since 2003 or 2004 and think its great. It's the equivalent of the Logan 860. I have looked at the 860 through images and it appears to be the functional equivalent of the Chronomat. Some cosmetic branding differences but functionally it appears the same.

    I bought my Chronomat at the Decor Expo in NYC in 2003 or 2004. I went there planning to buy a Fletcher 2200. The 2200 wasn't ready to ship yet (if I remember correctly) and I need a new mat cutter right then so I looked the Chronomat. The show special on it made it to hard to pass up - many hundreds cheaper than the 2200 and no wait. It has been happily chuggin along since then.

    Here is another thread that talked about both:
  15. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Banjo I am with you on the older Logans. I was actually pretty outspoken in my disdain for them. The looks of the newer ones is impressive.
  16. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Not only does it look like the Phaedra Chronomat it is the the Phaedra Chronomat which was manufactured by American Design and Engineering. From what I understand Logan bought the rights to the Phaedra Chronomat a few years back; I couldn't remember the name of the machine and the company of manufacturing in my earlier response. It is a great machine and if Logan didn't have the name of being a hobbiest supplier, the Chronomat would give both Fletcher and Keencut a run for their money. In my opinion it is a well priced, great machine and very well built.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  17. Fsimard

    Fsimard True Grumbler

    I own a Platinum Edge and I'm really happy with it.
    As good as a Fletcher!
  18. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

  19. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    And here is a video

    of it.
  20. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I just watched the video and except for the branding and colors, the 860 is almost identical to my Chronomat.

    The only differences that I noticed is that the top production stop swing down arm is shaped differently and the blade holders have a hook adjustment screw that the Chronomat doesn't have.
  21. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Logan must have done some of their own updates after they purchased Chronomat. Sounds as if the updates may have made it a little easier to use.
  22. AaronF

    AaronF CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I love my Chronomat 40". I had the FT-2200 for a few years and found it to be good, but the Chronomat is much easier to fine tune and gives a superior mat cut from my experience of the two.
  23. Al B

    Al B CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

  24. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A few folks have mentioned older models/makes... typically you are witnessing the love of a relationship.

    Honestly the "best" brand is somewhat subjective, but without offending anyone, there are really only four major brands and current models that deserve the attention of anyone looking to purchase a professional level table top mat cutter with stops: The Fletcher-Terry F-2200, the Keencut Ultimat Futura, the Valiani Astra and the Logan Platinum Edge 850.

    They all are in the same league today. They all use bushings/bearings - they all use aluminum bases... Each has some little feature that is slightly different, and all will perform more than adequately in competent hands. If you step down to an older model, a used model a lesser model, than the comparison is skewed.

    One of the rules that is as true today as it was ten years ago or 30 years ago. And that is to to buy the best piece of equipment that you can afford.


    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
    shayla, Joe B and DarthFramer like this.
  25. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The best one is the one that you are familiar with.

    For me, it is the old C&H; it is younger than me and will probably outlast me too. I like the production stops. I did have a spring break on the production stop and I made one out of metal stripping from a hobby store until I could get a replacement. And I have replaced a few set screws from standard hardware at the hardware store.

    And it is great for doing equal width slices of decorative paper from 1/32 and up; and for cutting 8-ply bevel ends when pin-wheeling wrapped bevels - can't do that on a CMC.

    The blades keep getting more expensive though. 10 years ago a box of 100 was $10.00; now it is around $20.00. Wow 20 cents a blade; and I change them for every job, or almost every job. I think I will maybe buy a few extra boxes to last for several years as I'm sure they will become more difficult to find in the next 10 to 20 years or so.
  26. Dirk

    Dirk CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Whenever we have a Spring Break, production stops here, too.
    prospero and Grey Owl like this.
  27. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Here's a question. Are new Fletcher mat cutters still as good since they moved their production to China? We bought a new Fletcher point driver in the years since, and right out of the box had problems with it. Problems with the new replacement, too, which we had to fix by buying a repair kit and some other thing. Perhaps it was just a one time thing, but it does raise the question of whether today's Fletchers are still being well-made.

    Also, is there any significant difference in usage when cutting reverse bevel openings with the Keen Cut as compared to a Fletcher 2200? I cut so many mats on the Wizard that it's a rare occurance, but I still do need to cut one now and then. On our current (old, ratty & about to be replaced) cutter, I would always cut reverse bevels from the back of the board, with the matboard hanging off into space on the left side of the cutter and supported by a weird stack of various frame shop items that came up to the right height.

    Also, in this video, they cut by pushing the blade, but I'm guessing this was done simply for the sake of keeping a person out of the picture, and in reality, the user would stand at the left end and pull it towards them?

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  28. Matt Chambers

    Matt Chambers Grumbler in Training

    Last year I bought a new fletcher wall mount, mat,glass ,foam board cutter. (Made in China)It seems that some of the parts are a lighter grade, not quite as sturdy as my older USA fletcher. Also having a slight twist out in the cut when it comes to the end. It's only 1/32 but I can see it, and it bugs me.
  29. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Are you implying that you don't cut reverse bevels on the Wizard? I do it all the time, never a reason not to use the Wizard. Maybe I'm misreading what you are saying.
  30. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thanks for asking, Pat. I meant that, on occasion, I would be cutting reverse bevels on the Keen Cut. I do almost all of them on the Wizard. Love it, and it grants latitude for reveals of .044 when needed.
  31. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thanks for commenting, Matt. Every time my husband has to fiddle with our newer 3100, he does some Yosemite Sam cussing of Fletcher. Sure does seem like their quality level has declined.
  32. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It seems like it's suggested that C&H is no longer available but I think it is. https://www.atscott.com/ch-equipment/ I've had a C&H cutter for at least the last 30 years & it works great. Production stops, V groove set up. Really, it cuts better than my cmc but the cmc does a fine job and so much quicker I couldn't get along without it. I'm sure all the brands mentioned work well. Hope you find the one for you.

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