Anyone who wants to cut his own passepartout has the choice among products that are differentiated by quality, construction materials, and, of course, price. The following questions should be asked before choosing a passepartout cutter:
Passepartout cutters that consist of a straight edge with a guide groove and an attachable cutting head (MAPED MAT CUTTER, LOGAN PASSEPARTOUT CUTTER SET) are great as economically priced entry-level devices that do not require a lot of space and whose straight edge can be used on its own. A CUTTING MAT must be placed under the material to be cut. It is important that the straight edge have a non-slip rubber backing so as to avoid the possibility of it slipping out of position during the cutting process. Good concentration and some practice with the device is required, especially when making long cuts, in order to coordinate the holding of the straight edge with the guiding of the cutter head. The more metal components that a cutter set has, the more expensive it is but those parts are also longer wearing and provide precise results for a much longer time.
The so-called table cutters, which, like a cutting machine with a worktop that has a straight edge attached to it, are great for those who plan on cutting their own passepartouts and for whom speed and accuracy are the most important considerations. These devices take up somewhat more space and if you do not plan to leave yours set up on a permanent basis you must also consider the space required for storing it. An adjustable mat guide running parallel to the guide rail makes it much easier to pencil in a line where you want your cut to be and of course also makes the actual cutting easier as well because you only have to push the mat board all the way to your preset stop to know that it is in the right position. During the cutting process, the mat board will automatically be held in place under the guide rail by virtue of the pressure you will be applying to the cutting head - with the effect that the mat board cannot shift or slide out of position. This feature assures that even long cuts can be done with exactitude.
In general, the cutting of passepartout requires a certain amount of practice; we recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the whole process by working on cardboard scraps or the like until you feel competent enough to attack the real thing.