3 Best Mat Cutters for in 2023 for Professionals and Amateurs Alike

Whether you are an artist, student, professional photographer, DIY enthusiast, or craft teacher, a mat cutter is one of those tools that can make your life so much easier.

There is only so much you can accomplish with scissors or paper cutters!

A mat cutter serves as the perfect equipment for tricky situations. You probably remember facing difficulties with cutting tight corners on paper with a scissor or scratching the surface beneath the paper with a cutter. 

Mat cutters allow you to complete all your crafting endeavors with accuracy and speed seamlessly. So how do you select the best mat cutter? We have shortlisted four of the best options available in the market.

Best Mat Cutters Reviewed

Out of the four products we recommend, three are offered by Logan which specializes in mat cutters. We used each of these products extensively for a variety of crafting projects to gain a total understanding of their features, with each product’s pros and cons.

Do not miss out on some vital information at the end in our Buyers’ Guide. Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase. Here are the four best mat cutters for professionals and amateurs alike:

  1. Logan 450-1 Artist Elite Mat Cutter

The first product to make the cut is Logan’s Elite 450-1 Artist Mat Cutter. As the name suggests, it is the ideal mat cutter for artists. This product is the largest on our list and features a cutting capacity of about 40 inches, making it the perfect choice for all significant projects.

Logan Graphic Products Inc. 450-1 Artist Elite Mat Cutter for Framing,...
  • Cut Easily with Straight Cutter Elite & Pull Style...
  • Fully Adjustable to Suit your Professional or...

The Artist Elite Cutter from Logan consists of a baseboard, a hinging guide rail, a parallel guide in aluminum channels, a 20-inch removable measuring bar, production stops, and a squaring bar. We especially liked the pull-style bevel cutting head that features a start-and-stop indicator, an anti-crawl button, and nylon guides that hook onto the guide rail.

You get a three-depth position straight cutter, which also has nylon guides that hook onto the guide rail. We recommend that you always use a slip sheet when bevel-cutting an opening on a mat board. Do not forget to set the parallel mat guide to the border size and then place the mat board with the color side down.

This mat cutter is placed at the number one spot in our recommendations as it is easy to operate, thanks to the clear instructions and parts list along with online resources on the Logan website.

  • Squaring bar to ensure the mat board is held square 
  • Parallel mat guide in aluminum channels makes marking borders a breeze 
  • Aluminum guide rail can be quickly straightened if it does not hold square 
  • Two production stops help significantly while bevel cutting openings in mat boards 
  • It includes five additional blades 
  • Ideal for cutting thick mat boards rather than thin sheets of paper  
  • The straight cutter is not as sturdy as you would like and can be improved 
  1. Logan Compact Classic Model 301-1

Taking the second spot on our list is the Compact Classic Model 301-1 Mat Cutter by Logan. It is a large-capacity precision tool that conveniently creates professional beveled mats for all kinds of framing projects. It includes a mat guide, a cutting board, a bevel cutter, a straight-cut knife, and an instruction manual.

Logan Graphics Compact Classic Versatile Portable Mat Cutter Model...
  • This large-capacity precision mat cutting system...
  • Bevel cutting head and mat knife for straight cuts...

We liked the sturdy parallel mat guide that allows you to set border widths ranging from 1.9 cm (3/4”) to 11 cm (4-5/16”). You will appreciate the push-style bevel cutting head that has a start-and-stop indicator, the spring-loaded serrated guide rail, and the mat knife for straight cuts.

Overall, the 301-1 Cutter is ideal for low-volume cutting tasks, preferably for DIY framing projects. It is reasonably simple to install and use. You can say goodbye to crooked cuts from handheld cutters when you buy this efficient mat cutter from Logan.

We recommend that you use the Logan 270 blades with the 301-1 Compact Classic Mat Cutter. Calculating the size of bevel cuts can be somewhat tricky, and you will be grateful to Logan for explaining how to measure and calculate cuts through demonstration videos in a DVD that is included in the package.

  • 32-inch cutting capacity but being open-ended, the cutter allows you to cut larger mat boards by sliding them 
  • You get a built-in carry handle in the box 
  • The package includes five extra blades and thoroughly illustrated instruction videos 
  • Best product for hobby photographers or framers 
  • One of the reasonably priced mat cutters and provides optimal value for money 
  • Does not offer a lot of versatility as it works only with standard thickness 4-ply mat boards 
  1. Logan 4000 Deluxe Handheld Mat Cutter

Logan’s 4000 Deluxe is the only handheld mat cutter that we have included in this list, as it is the company’s most advanced handheld mat cutter. It consists of a marker bar system that allows faster marking. We especially liked the pivot-and-pull blade coupled with the ergonomic handle, making this mat cutter convenient and time-saving.

Logan Graphics 4000 Deluxe Handheld Pull Style Mat Cutter, Silver
  • Cutter cuts full bevel cuts on any mat board and...
  • Perfect for cutting mat board, foam board, and...

You will appreciate the fact that the blade slot in this cutter is designed to prevent blade flex, giving you straighter and more precise cuts. The start and stop indicator is accurate and prevents over-cutting. If you have cut a mat board before, you know how annoying it can be if you overcut it.

It uses the Logan 270 blade. When we used the 4000 Deluxe mat cutter, its new ergonomic knob caught our attention as it helped in the comfortable operation of the cutter. You can upgrade it and use it on the Compact, Artist, Adapt-A-Rule straight edge, or Simplex board-mounted mat cutting systems.

You can use this versatile handheld cutter with mat boards, craft paper, foam boards, and photographs. If you buy this mat cutter, you get a compact and convenient tool that can accomplish a range of cutting tasks with various materials. It is perfect for amateurs and first-timers.

  • One of the most reasonable branded mat cutters out there 
  • Instruction video excellently demonstrates how to set up and use this cutter 
  • Scribing device conveniently marks border widths 
  • Mat cutter measures just 3.5 x 8 x 8 inches, making it portable and lightweight 
  • Includes a marker bar that allows faster, more accurate marking 
  • Cannot cut any material thicker than a 4-ply mat board with a 45-degree bevel using this cutter  
  • You will need a separate straight-edge as a guide, we recommend a heavy 24-inch carpenter’s square

Mat Cutter Buyers’ Guide

Here is a list of some essential factors to consider when buying your next mat cutter:

  1. Price

Some mat cutters available in the market can be pretty expensive. It is a rookie mistake to end up buying an overpriced mat cutter that does not do the best job. It is crucial that you understand your needs and accordingly choose a product.

If you are a beginner or a DIY home crafter, buying a large and costly mat cutter is not ideal.

  1. Durability

Like any other product, longevity is a vital prerequisite of a good mat cutter. It is frustrating if you buy a product and it malfunctions or breaks in a short period. You would want to get a mat cutter that can withstand heavy use.

Even if you are only starting with framing, go for a more durable option. The initial outlay may be a bit more than you would have liked, but it will pay off in the long run.

  1. Ease of Use

We strongly recommend buying a mat cutter that is easy to install, set up, use, and troubleshoot. Not all of us are professional crafters or framers, and the more complicated a machine is, the less likely it is that you will enjoy using it.

You should pay attention to how ergonomically it is designed and if it comes with detailed, easy-to-follow instructions or not.

  1. Versatility

If you buy a top-notch mat cutter that can work with a wide array of materials, it will be considered beneficial in the long run. If you are an amateur, you may think that you will be using the cutter for only one type of material.

Mat cutting is not rocket science, and it does not take years to go from amateur to skilled. Before you realize it, you may want to start experimenting with different mat boards and papers once you get the hang of it.

Final Verdict

Mat Cutters are not reasonable, and if you are going to invest a decent amount of money in buying one, it is essential that you choose a product that fits your needs the best.

We are confident that with the help of our buyers’ guide, you will be able to pick one of the four products we have recommended in this list. In our humble opinion, these four mat cutters are undoubtedly a cut above the rest.

On Architecture Lab we have also reviewed the Best Self Healing Cutting Mats and the Best Guillotine Paper Cutters meant to help you in all your creative endeavors, cast a glance!

Till next time, happy cutting!

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