Username Post: Need help to choose/buy a mat and a trimmer please        (Topic#1558627)
vanilaa
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vanilaa

Hello everyone,

I've started scrapbooking not long ago and I don't have a lot of tools or supplies.

I have the Making Memories tool kit and used the mini self healing mat for eyelets. It's nice, but quite small.
I bought a paper trimmer in a small craft store here in Germany, but I'm not satisfied at all with it. Can't cut my paper properly, the cuts aren't really straight, the blade doesn't cut well and there is no edge to "block" the paper and prevent it from moving while cutting. Basically, I need a new trimmer and some kind of mat to protect my desk.

What kind of mat do I need? Is there a difference between self healing mat, cutting mat, splat mat or craft mat?
I've found the We R Memory Keepers 16x20 magnetic mat with ruler, and when I watched the video, I saw that there's also a trimmer which I can buy too. I didn't find it on scrapbook.com though, so I wonder if it may be included with the magnetic mat? Is it a self healing mat, can I have layouts with brads on it or set eyelets and it stays as new?
Do I need that kind of mat, or something else? I've also found a non stick craft sheet, but I don't know if I need it? For the moment I only have some patterned paper, some brads and eyelets, and that's basically it. I'll soon receive Shimmerz paint and stickles glitter glue, do you think I really need a cutting mat AND a non stick sheet? Or maybe something completely different? I saw there are some glass mats, but I prefer working with something not breakable (bit clumsy hehe ). I found other mats, but they seem to be for some crafting machines I don't have (Cricut mats or something?). What about a splat mat from Bazzill Basics? Is it like a cutting mat or like a non stick sheet?

If you advise for the magnetic mat from We R Memory Keepers, do you think I should buy the magnetic trimmer, or should I go for a "stand-alone" trimmer? I've seen the one from Fiskars and it seems to be popular, what do you think?

I'm a bit lost and would like to invest in good tools!

Thank you sooooo much for your advice and your help!

Nolwenn


 
KatieJo
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KatieJo
In response to vanilaa

I keep making attempts to reply to you but my reply keeps disappearing before I'm finished. There is a lot to comment on...

I will say firstly that I don't have a lot of actual experience with the specific items you are referencing. (I have other versions of the same products.) From what I can tell the Splat Mat and the Ranger Ink Mat are designed to protect your surfaces from ink, marker, Stickles and paint etc. After you are finished, you can simply wipe them off and start again. And your desk should stay clean. I think most of these are kind of rubbery - like the rubbery baker's sheets which some people actually use instead. I have a small one like this that works very nicely. If I work on a bigger project, sometimes I just lay out a piece a cardboard (like from the back of paper pad etc) so that the ink and the like doesn't decorate my furniture.

The self-healing and We R Memory Keepers Mat (which may indeed also be self-healing) are designed to keep craft knife blades and template system cutters from slicing into your desk surface and creating cuts or marks in it. I've included a product list of a few of the craft knives I am referring to below. You DO NOT need one of these with any trimmer I am aware of. I am not however familiar at all with the We R Memory Keeper Crafter's Magnetic Anywhere Twist Trimmer you have referenced. Most of these mats do feel a lot like little Making Memories one you have for your brads and so should be able to be used for brad and eyelet setting if you'd like.

You cannot use either of these for the other's purpose.


Edited by KatieJo on 05-16-11 01:56 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
KatieJo
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KatieJo
In response to KatieJo

As for the best trimmer... it is kind of a preference thing.

As far as I'm aware, there are three main types of trimmers.

There is the Swing Arm... such as the Fiskars one you show which has both the guide and the blade lift up. Some pros: they tend to start in a cheaper price range, they can be a bit lighter and more portable (if you think you might want to go to crops), and they start their cutting anywhere along the straight line (instead of just at either of the two edges). The last will allow you to use this version to create slits or boxes in the paper. Cons: require blade replacement and sometimes fall out of alignment and need to be replaced because they will no longer cut straight. I had one of these when I started and did like it, but it did end up have this problem.

The Guillotine has a blade on a big handle. You pull the whole blade up and pull it back down to chop the paper. Pros: They do tend to be fairly sturdy. They can at least a few sheets at a time. And they do not need blade replacement often... you might just need to resharpen the blade eventually. Cons: They tend to be bigger and heavier (so not very portable). They also cannot start cutting anywhere but on the top edge.

And finally the Rotary style.... Pros: At least with the one I have, the blade is self sharpening and doesn't need to be replaced. Cons: They are probably mid-range in bulkiness and they can only start cutting from one edge or the other. This is the one I have now. I like that it cuts straight and can cut a very thin strip from a wide sheet of paper. However, unlike the swing arm, it also cannot cut a strip from a narrower sheet because of the wide guide.

I've included product references of examples of the swing arm, the guillotine, and the rotary (this is the very version I have and is often recommended). Also, the last one is a combination of the swing arm and the guillotine.

Even if nobody else expresses their opinions here on which is the best trimmer.... that would be unusual for us indeed :)... there also product reviews in the Superstore for each trimmer they offer. Do check those out to see which you might like best.


Edited by KatieJo on 05-16-11 02:33 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
vanilaa
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vanilaa
In response to KatieJo

KatieJo: thank you for taking the time to explain the different trimmer and mat options!

I'm tending to the magnetic mat, I saw that it's one of the essential tools of a scrapbooker. The other splat mat/non stick mat doesn't seem essential for me at the moment.

I'll look into the other trimmers too and read the reviews.
I don't think I'll go to crops (don't think there are any where I live), but I need a trimmer that I can easily put aside in a box (bought an Expedit and a Leksman box, it needs to fit in there). I also use my desk to surf, play computer games, learn for exams, pay bills, and scrapbook.
I can't have all my tools out on the desk all the time, so I need something that's not too large, but it doesn't have to be a "real" portable trimmer.

Thanks a lot for your help! If anyone else would like to share their experience and advice too, feel free!


 
meezerpleaser
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meezerpleaser
In response to vanilaa

If you're wanting to keep costs down and yet protect your work surface, WM has "quilting" mats that are the right size for a good price. Look in the sewing section. Magnetic just seems like an expensive extra. As for a trimmer, I do just fine with a good ol' basic Fiskars. Straight cuts for me, and even the blade has been working fine for 3 years now!!
Products Referenced in This Post:


 
AndieBee
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AndieBee
In response to meezerpleaser

I use a smaller Olfa self healing rotary cutting mat, a heavier plastic quilting ruler and an xActo knife. Fussy, I know but I'm just beginning myself and I don't need anything else right now. (I don't think... )


Edited by AndieBee on 05-17-11 04:49 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
vanilaa
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vanilaa
In response to AndieBee

Thanks a lot everyone for your answers! I really helped me find out what I need and what I want!

Lucinda, thank you for the tip to check quilting mats at WalMart (I think it's what WM means?). Unfortunately I'm from Europe and I don't have WM here. But you made me rethink the magnetic extra, which I actually don't really need. KatieJo also wrote that I don't need a cutting mat with a trimmer, and as I plan to cut only with the trimmer, I decided not to buy a cutting mat at all.

AndieBee, thank you for suggesting a lower-cost solution, unfortunately I am quite clumsy and ruler + craft knife = not straight cuts + knife blade stuck in finger (yup, already happened a few times so I prefer avoiding it altogether hehe )

I decided to buy the Making Memories trimmer after reading all the reviews and the advice from KatieJo, mainly because it seems to be great (and self-sharpening blade is cool), but also because a left-hander wrote that she is able to cut well with it (I'm left-handed and some products (mostly designed for right-handers) are sometimes a bit difficult to use).

Thanks again for your help and happy scrapbooking!


 
binkiemonstermom
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binkiemonstermom
In response to AndieBee

As far as the cutters, I prefer my cheaper Fiskar's one compared to my more expensive rotarty blade one. I think the Fiskars one is just easier to use. It is more portable and doesn't take up room on my desk. I think it was under $20. When it no longer cuts straight, I think I will buy another!!!!
As far as the mats- I have a self healing one that is good for cutting and setting eyelets/holes/ anything that could damage my work surface. I have a glass mat for my circle cutter- it makes the cutter glide more easily and gets a smoother cut when using the circle cutter or even a craft knife. The splat or craft mat is great for stamping/glitter/misting/ painting...anything messy!!!
HTH!!!


 
rtay
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rtay
  • rtay on 05-28-11 05:56 AM
In response to vanilaa

  • vanilaa Said:
Thanks a lot everyone for your answers! I really helped me find out what I need and what I want!

Lucinda, thank you for the tip to check quilting mats at WalMart (I think it's what WM means?). Unfortunately I'm from Europe and I don't have WM here. But you made me rethink the magnetic extra, which I actually don't really need. KatieJo also wrote that I don't need a cutting mat with a trimmer, and as I plan to cut only with the trimmer, I decided not to buy a cutting mat at all.

AndieBee, thank you for suggesting a lower-cost solution, unfortunately I am quite clumsy and ruler + craft knife = not straight cuts + knife blade stuck in finger (yup, already happened a few times so I prefer avoiding it altogether hehe )

I decided to buy the Making Memories trimmer after reading all the reviews and the advice from KatieJo, mainly because it seems to be great (and self-sharpening blade is cool), but also because a left-hander wrote that she is able to cut well with it (I'm left-handed and some products (mostly designed for right-handers) are sometimes a bit difficult to use).

Thanks again for your help and happy scrapbooking!


Good choice, I love mine.
I use a large self healing mat on my table top. I just bought a new one...my old one is in bad shape, but it's about 12 years old, so even tho they are expensive, they last a very long time.
I use my non stick mat when I'm inking, or using craft glue...I love these, and don't know how I went so long with out one, it was a great purchace.


 
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