Logan Mat Cutter 350-1 Compact Elite

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by swittmann, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    Dear all,

    My husband asked me what I would like to have as birthday gift and I told him that my wish would be a new mat cutter. I stumbled upon a Logan 350-1 Compact Elite, which seems to have the right size for me/my prints.

    Has anybody here some experience with this mat cutter?

    I have been using a Dexter free hand cutter (or whatever this is called in English) for several years, but I am looking for a bit more comfort now, to be honest...

    I am open for your suggestions, hints and tips :smile:

    Thank you!
     
  2. mudfly9

    mudfly9 Member

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    Having never used anything like this before, I bought one a few weeks ago. My very first attempt came out exactly as planned, which can't be bad!
     
  3. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I have used one very similar to this. It's much easier to use and less straining than using free hand knives (we call them exactos where I come from but it's the same idea).

    I noticed that this one, like the one I used before, has an option to set the blade at a 45 degree angle to bevel your windows. I would never have done that free hand although you may have more skill.

    Looks like a good value mat cutter and I imagine your hands would thank you. Probably will pay for itself in mat board over the long run.
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I used a Dexter as a student years ago, and it doesn't compare to the Logan cutters. For one thing the Dexter blade is thicker, so the over cuts are much more obvious.

    You might consider the Logan 301 - I believe it is the same as the 350, without the measuring rule and the square arm, and is less than $100 USD. I would never trust either one, especially the squaring arm.
    I measure a rectangle and mark it on the back side of the matte (with either Logan, you mark the back, not the front side, like the Dexter, IIRC), then cut using the rail guide, which, on mine, is reliable and stays parallel when adjusted for width. Also, for long cuts, if you keep the cutting tool in place, you can slide the whole matte board and continue cutting without a hitch in the edge.
    It also comes with two cutting tools, one for bevels, one that cuts straight down, nice for cutting the outside, and for cutting foam core.

    But the big reason for going with the cheaper model - you can wrangle another present from him with what's left over - like blades - or matte board - or dinner. . .
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have been using the 301 or 301-1 for about 20 years. I was never able to solve my tendency to curve my cut at the end or the beginning of the cut. I now still use the Logan base with the hold down bar but I use a Dexter with it instead of the Logan cutter and blade. Now I get straight cuts.
    Dennis
     
  6. pstake

    pstake Member

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    oops. clearly I had never heard of a Dexter cutter but have now been educated by Google. It looks considerably easier to use than an exacto (especially for bevels) but more difficult than a logan.

    I'll go now. Don't mind me...

    [exits quietly]
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I have the same problem, Dennis, with my bigger, fancier, more expensive 650 (I think that's the model number). It has production stops, which are nice, especially when you're cutting multiple windows, and it will handle boards up to 40" wide. It in theory can cut 8 ply mats as well, but it always curves the cuts on the 8-ply. I wish it was more reliable in that regard so I could cut my own 8-ply mats which just look SOOOO nice when done right.
     
  8. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    This is easy to overcome if you press the knifeholder sideways against the ruler while you cut. I had this problem only with the first two cuts. Then never again.
     
  9. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I don't know what my Logan model is, but it may be the compact. In any case, I love it. I can cut beutiful mats in no time. I use the 'optical center' method, so the top and bottom cuts are different, as are the sides. A quick layout, and it's easy. You can also do straight cuts to reduce the size of a mat board. All in all a great tool - I thank my Wife every time I use it.
     
  10. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I think the Logan cutters in general are decently made and good value. I chose a 750-1 Simplex Elite in order to be able to cut mat across a 40 inch dimension (the compacts limit to 32) and also score acrylic glazing, etc. I may never use some of those features, but I also occasionally paint watercolors and I might make use of them. For years I used a Dexter cutter and a straight edge, but it requires more attention to detail than I'd like, and ideally it needs a way to clamp the straight edge down. I was once told folks in the back rooms at the Philly Art Museum use the Dexters and a straight edge. I'm not sure I believe that, but then if true, they probably use them frequently enough to stay in practice.

    I think all the Logan cutters come with a DVD that is a pretty well done introduction to how to cut mats.
     
  11. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    Thank you everyone for your input, much appreciated!

    I also noticed that it takes some practice using the Dexter. It gets better when I have to cut several mats in a row, but better don't ask how many times I screwed up... :confused: Oh well...

    Luckily I found a shop who has the 350-1 model on sale at the moment, and I was also given a discount voucher by them, so in the end, the 350-1 cost just 11 Euros more than the 301, which I would have taken otherwise. Now I look forward to working with it - some prints are waiting to be framed :smile:

    Thank you once again!
     
  12. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I purchased one *many* years ago - I love it!
    As others have said - it sure beats a knife and a straight edge hands down.

    Didn't realise they came with a DVD now - guess that actually shows how long I really have had it!!! :D
     
  13. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    Nanette, there are some nice videos on youtube. Just look them up.

    They make it look very easy - I hope it will be for me, too ;-) *just kidding*

    I can't wait to cut my first mat with this thing! :smile: I have the feeling that cutting mats may become my new hobby - LOL!
     
  14. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Now why didn't I think of that????:whistling: Thanks for the heads up!!
     
  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Used a Dexter for several years and did quite well. Still use it to cut mat board down to size. Logan is much much nicer.

    Straight corners -- start your cut by inserting the blade partially into the matboard an inch or so early while moving the cutter, then press down the rest of the way at your starting mark.

    I found it was the initial pushing of the blade into the matboard that would deform the blade -- then as one starts the cut the blade would straighten out and give one a curved start. By starting the cut early while drawing the cutter forward keeps the blade from deforming. Works with 4 and 8 ply.

    With 8-ply I found that using multiple passes (usually 3), working the blade deeper into the board each time works the easiest. I cut a lot of 8 ply.

    PS -- I did not have money for beer in college, so I put signs up in the Art Department..."Will cut window mats for beer". An average job might cost a 4-pack of Guinness (no cheap American crap! This was before the micro-brews.) One while doing the job, the rest for later.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2013
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    That is a great sounding suggestion. I never tried that. I do have my technique down with the dexter/logan combo and can make perfect cuts. But I have quite a lot of logan blades to use.
    Dennis
     
  17. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Actually, back to the Dexter cutters, I once attended a framing workshop by a guy who was the curator of a major private print collection. He used a Dexter, but he said contrary to the normal instructions, he cuts from the front surface which allows seeing exactly where the visible cut is going. The only time this could be a problem is in the case of textured foil surfaces or the like, for which a strip of heavy paper or cardstock for the cutter to slide on can protect the surface. His major trick was that in starting the cut, you position the guide surface of the cutter body slightly away from the straightedge such that plunging the tip of the angled blade in snugs the guide surface right against the edge. If you put the cutter body directly against the straightedge and then push the blade in, it flexes and swerves outward as the cut starts, creating the curve. (The trick is to cut about 100 mats to learn what that distance needs to be!)

    Now that I own a Logan, I go with that.
     
  18. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    That is what I use to do with the Dexter also -- and what led me to my method with the Logan I wrote about above.
     
  19. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Great thread with some excellent tips. Thanks!
     
  20. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    Thank you once again for the precious tips!

    Today, my cutter came and I already cut 3 mats. Wow, what difference! All 3 mats turned out perfectly, straight edges, perfect corners, beautiful bevels - fantastic! (read: this thing is fool proof :tongue: - LOL!)

    I really like that the cutting tools are lead by the guide rails, so the cuts turn out really straight.
     
  21. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Now that you have mastered straight line matt cutting, you can start on your oval matt cutting technique!:blink: Worked in a lab that offered this service - I *never* got the hang of it; so many useless pieces of matt-board after I tried, I was banned from cutting anything other than regular matts. At least I excelled at those. . . . . .
     
  22. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    Hahaha, Nanette :D Ovals, circles, floral ornaments, corn circles... time to get creative *LOL*
     
  23. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Been away from this thread for a few days - about the curving of the cut at the end (or beginning). To minimize this, the depth of your cut must be just deep enough to penetrate your backing board (which really should be the same kind of board as the matt. (If you don't use a backing board, letting the blade tip run into the "trough" in the board, you run the risk of ragged edge cuts.)
    When I get a new pack of board, the first thing I do is mess around with the depth set screw so that the blade cuts just deep enough to go through. The reason this cutter makes nicer cuts and over-run cuts than the Dexter is that the blade is thinner. If the blade is running too deep, it can curve (in the middle of the cut too, you just might not see it because the right angle of the side isn't nearby).
    The next thing is to be sure that the board is sitting on a stable (very strong, or stiff) table top. If the board is allowed to bow (especially on very long cuts), the blade may not cut deep enough, as the matt and backing "dip" down during the cut, but the length of the cutting tool won't allow it to bend. For this reason, some folks set the depth deeper than necessary to accommodate the bowing, as there is no bigger PITA than finishing an incomplete cut on a large matt.
    All of this comes from doing a lot of matts and several conversations with Logan customer service over the years.
     
  24. andreios

    andreios Member

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    I hope Sandra won't mind my jumping on this thread :smile:

    I am about to purchase the Logan 350-1 Compact Elite as well, but I have one worry - in the seller's description I read that it can cut borders between 1,9 - 11,4cm. Now, when I mount some of my smaller prints, it sometimes happens that I need the border to be, say, 13 or 14cm. Would this be possible with the Logan?

    Thanks for answers!

    Andrej
     
  25. Jim Taylor

    Jim Taylor Member

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    Yes, this is easily doable, but you'll need to remove the parallel mat guide and mark-up and measure the size of the aperture manually.

    The 350-1 is a great mat cutter for the low volume user, I love mine! :smile: