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Pro Mat Cutters

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
I’m beginning to see the limitations of my mat cutter and looking to upgrade. Looking for input regarding Fletcher-Terry 2200(or used 2100) vs C&H(what model?) vs Logan Platinum(probably a reason for the lower price point)
Should I be thinking used? or go New?
Thanks,
Steve
 
888

FramerInTraining

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
What’s your budget?
 

FramerCat

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I have all three of the ones you mentioned. I really like the Fletcher the best for my preferred cutting technique. It's lighter weight so that it can be moved easier. You can stand wherever you want to make your cuts. The Logan requires a very specific cutting technique using both hands to pull toward you while standing at the end of the cutter to get the best cut. C+H is about the same as Fletcher for technique but single edge blades are much more necessary for this machine to keep your lines straight and it is really heavy.

I haven't seen mat cutters get too messed up from use to not be fixable. I think used equipment is the better deal.

Ed
 

FramerInTraining

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
In that case, you'd want a CMC like this one:

 

FramerCat

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I agree with Mo that a CMC is far more useful than a manual cutter (I have a couple of those too, including a Wizard 8000 like the one mentioned). It takes up a bit more space, is much more difficult to move, and costs more. Now buying a used CMC is entirely different than buying a used manual cutter. There are a lot of things that can be wrong with a CMC that you won't know about until you have to spend $5000 on a new driver pack. Be sure that you are getting what you expect before making that kind of investment. New CMCs usually come with some kind of warranty so you can get your money's worth before it becomes a large paper weight.

Ed
 

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
I agree with Mo that a CMC is far more useful than a manual cutter (I have a couple of those too, including a Wizard 8000 like the one mentioned). It takes up a bit more space, is much more difficult to move, and costs more. Now buying a used CMC is entirely different than buying a used manual cutter. There are a lot of things that can be wrong with a CMC that you won't know about until you have to spend $5000 on a new driver pack. Be sure that you are getting what you expect before making that kind of investment. New CMCs usually come with some kind of warranty so you can get your money's worth before it becomes a large paper weight.

Ed
Thanks. Right now my interest lies in manual cutters as I am just getting started. Perhaps down the road if all goes well I will make the leap. Are all computerized mat cutters Windows OS Based?
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Logan Platinum
The Logan Platinum is as good as any Fletcher 2100 or 2200 and better than the C&H. I don't know if Ed is talking about the Platinum, I also have had several and actually never found that I had to use both hands to cut. The Fletcher is a good cutter and the C&H is better than the hobby framer but I didn't like the C&H near as much as I liked the Fletcher. The Platinum is a professional grade manual mat cutter and does an excellent job.

I agree with everyone about the CMC. Personally, I wouldn't purchase one until my business is such that it is necessary to produce a lot of mats in a short amount of time. I am not a fan of Wizard, never have been, and unless they get much better never will be. If it is a used CMC you want I would recommend the Eclipse as a good starter CMC and they are a work horse and will do just about everything you want them to do. Myself, I own a Valiani and consider them one of the top 2 in the market place. I originally owned a Eclipse and moved to a Valiani and have never looked back. Zero - and I mean Zero problems and it cuts everything that I want it to cut including 8 ply without doing any changes to pressure or speed.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
In general Logan tends to sell less expensive, hobby level framing equipment.
That being said, a quick look at an image of the Platinum model looks to be well built.
For manual cutters, I have only ever used C&H. I've been using them for about 25 years.
I've heard good things about Fletcher, but have never tried them.
I might recommend getting a size up from what you think you will have a need for.
99% of what I cut would fit in a 40" cutter, but I like the flexibility of a 48" or 60" cutter.
I only use our CMC for mats with multiple openings, and for cutting a bunch of identical mats.
My staff has never learned to use the manual cutters, and only uses the CMC.

Brian
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The Logan Platinum, from what I understand, was previously Phaedra Chronomat which was manufactured by American Design and Engineering. I believe that Logan bought the rights to the Phaedra Chronomat a few years ago. It is the only mat cutter in the Logan line that is a professional quality model all their other seem to be hobbiest quality. I personally believe the Logan Platinum would give Fletcher and C&H a real run for their money in quality and usability.
 

Creative Chicks

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I started out out my CMC life with the Fletcher 2100. It was a real work horse and I really liked it until I burned the mother board. I have the Valiani now and highly recommend it. You may even find a used one that will be of good use for many years to come.
Lori
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I probably have less experience with this stuff than anyone else on this forum, but maybe this will be useful to you...

When we bought our framing biz a few years ago, we inherited a decades-old Fletcher tabletop mat cutter. I don't remember the model...sorry. It was on an MDF / veneer base, and although it was a solid piece of equipment, it was easy to move between the table and a shelf underneath the table (I kept it stashed away when not in use). The only thing I truly hated about it was trying to line up my start/stop points, without either cutting too much or too little in each line.

One of my moulding reps told me about a shop that was closing down, just a couple of hours away. He said that they had a Wizard 8000 CMC that they wanted to sell, and that the price was more than fair.

I think I only gave about $2,000 for the cutter and the computer. I ended up buying a refurbished PC, a wall mount/stand, a few air clamp hoses (had a blowout the first time I turned it on), and a license for the Wizard software. All told, I think I spent a total of about $3,000-3,500 to get a fully functioning system.

Although this CMC is several years old, it's a workhorse. The 8000 only comes with a 45* blade headblock (unless there are aftermarket blocks I don't know about), but that's usually all I need. If I need a 90* cut, I just put the mat on one of my laser engravers.
 

Attachments

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I started out out my CMC life with the Fletcher 2100.
Lori, I believe you meant to say Fletcher 6100. I agree totally with you about the Valiani - I'm considering upgrading but not because of problems, I have never had a single problem with my present Valiani. I like the looks of some of the new upgrades. Joe
 
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