I'm new around these parts and would like to hear from Cutter's Mate users about their experience with the different Cutter's Mate products. Specifically, answers to these questions would be helpful:
- In addition to size, what were determining factors in your decision to purchase a mini/standard/plus/commercial-sized unit?
- For those who have had the opportunity to use more than one size, have you found any differences in quality of materials/build, ease of use, or quality of results? For instance, it appears the arms on the mini ar lexan and on the rest the arms are aluminum. Has this mattered one way or another for anyone?
- I've been a woodworker for 45 years, and learned long ago and the hard way about how expensive it is to buy cheap tools; and, often enough, how much more it costs to purchase good "modular" tools piecemeal. The Cutter's Mate products certainly appear well made and they get fine reviews. That takes care of the quality concern. Have you found methods of assembling different Cutter's Mate modules for purchase that result in better value than others; or, have you found vendors who provide good package deals? Some of you seem to have done a good job of purchasing directly from the maker of Cutter's Mate. I live in Wauconda, IL. If the company is still in Ingleside, that's a matter of two or three miles and I'd be happy to work directly with them.
- I'd like to be able to cut free form (Cutter's Mate of some size), strips (Strip Pro or the Linear Scoring Module), circles (Circle Pro 12 or 24) and angles (not clear at all about whether this can be done accurately/repeatably/efficiently within the Cutter's Mate line or whether angles require a step over into Beetle Bits territory.
As a woodworker, I regularly come upon the need to cut glass, and am "just OK" in terms of skill - straight lines being a "specialty" ;-). The trouble is that as with buying cheap tools, being "just OK" cutting glass can get expensive - not to mention frustrating - when cuts get more complex and glass starts to break in ways not intended. I am now building our retirement home and, as with just about every other part of the house, I'd like to make the stained glass windows and transoms myself. Some of these will be larger works, but like most large things they are to be made up of smaller pieces. In terms of Cutter's Mate sizing, I know enough to look at the largest glass elements I'll use and size accordingly. Again, though, hearing from other users about pros and cons of different sized units in addition to materials size considerations would be helpful.
Thank you for your insight and for sharing your experience!