Mat board cutters are available in every price range. The differences between the cheaper options and the more expensive options come down to the following things:
Do your research so you feel comfortable before making a purchase.
Since I can speak from experience about the equipment I have used over the years, I will only "review" those items. Luckily, I started with the very cheap and have worked my way up to more expensive tools so I can give you a great idea about a few price ranges.
If you have comments or suggestions on items you have used please add them to the comments box at the bottom of the page. Questions are welcomed there too!
Logan Freestyle Basic 1100 click for more info
Cost: $ ($15-$20)
Features: beveled blade for cutting mat opening, compact
Pros: very cheap, can be used almost anywhere
Cons: it's easy to make mistakes when cutting freehand, mistakes waste mat board (and money), process is slow when cutting multiple mats, must premeasure and draw every cut-line by hand
Learn here how to use a handheld mat cutter
Logan Compact Mat Cutter 301 Click for more info
Cost: $$ ($70-$90)
Features: adjustable fence to set border widths and draw cut-lines up to 4 1/2" wide, fence makes batch cutting quick and easy, includes straight cutter for cutting mats down to size (30" maximum) and beveled cutter to cut mat opening,
guide rail holds mat down during cutting process and has a channel that the cutters ride in to ensure perfectly straight cuts
exact measurements every time because of the fence, being able to batch cut mats quickly and easily without have to re-measure, cuts are always straight, helps eliminate wasted mat board and wasted money, portable,
light weight (7 pounds)
Cons: cannot cut mats longer/wider than 30 inches without "work arounds", no squaring arm to ensure perfectly square mats
Logan Simplex Plus 750 Click for more info
Cost: $$$ ($220-$270)
Features: 27 inch squaring arm which ensures perfectly square mats and helps hold large sheets of mat board level while cutting them down to size, squaring arm has tape measure on it and a stop block to make cutting sheets of mat board
down to size accurate and fast, adjustable fence to set border widths and draw cut-lines up to 6" wide, fence makes batch cutting quick and easy, include a straight cutter for cutting mats down to size (40" maximum) and a beveled cutter to cut
mat opening, a guide rail that holds mat down during the cutting process which has a channel that the cutters ride in to ensure perfectly straight cuts
Pros: (in addition to the Pros listed for model 301) 27 inch squaring arm with attached tape measure and stop block, 40 inch cut capacity can handle full sheets of mat board, fence can be set up to 6" wide,
can also be used (with additional cutting tools) to cut glass
Cons: while still portable it is significantly heavier than model 301 (17 pounds) and the squaring arm makes it more challenging to carry around.
I have learned and improved my skill with each of the mat board cutters I've used over the years. it's nice to be able to buy the most expensive system available - if you can do it - but I am glad that i started with one of the most basic mat board cutters there are!
Learn here how to use a more advanced mat cutting system.
Click here to learn the trick to cutting double mats.
Check out some neat mat kits we put together for kids