I don't have a 32" cutter so I have to use the art store's cutter. Most stores in my area don't have cutters available for customers to use for fear of being sued by clients losing fingers. Pre-cut is so easy. BTW, great to see you posting again. Missed ya when you were absent. Best wishes for your health Ralph.
It's a skill, maybe even an art, that some of us simply hasn't mastered yet. I rarely cut my own because it generally take too long, has to be re-done once or twice, and never looks quite as clean as professionally cut mats. Besides, I'm space-constrained and just don't have the room for cutting mat. I totally understand why some people opt for pre-cut!
Using it reliably and relatively effortlessly is definitely a learned skill - at least I hope it will be.
I do like, however, being able to cut a mat to the size and aspect ratio that best suits the individual photograph.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Good info I will be using soon. precut mats are so expensive in stores. btw are 4ply mats a bit too thin? or ok for a temporary installation lasting 2-3 days?
I usually use 4 ply and think they're fine. The cheap ones you get with frames or at craft stores are 2 ply or less, so the 4 ply look better than that at least. I have a hard time cutting 8 ply myself.
... When I was first starting Frame Destination I bought pre-cut until we had the revenue to get computerized mat cutters. ...
I'll add to the endorsement of Frame Destinations. I have visited their shop and been given a tour. They are very very good and Mark is a class act. The mat cutting machines are something to see. They can do basically anything.
I have no doubt that the other vendors mentioned and endorsed by others are also good, too; in all fairness. But Frame Destinations is a sponsor of APUG, as well as a supplier.
And PS: Ralph, I do cut my own, but it is a learned skill and requires the proper tools.