Using the right amount of blade depth on a mat cutter is probably the most crucial area to recognize in achieving good mats. It's also one of the most over looked areas. Excess blade depth can cause a number of problems that appear unsolvable unless you know what to do. Below are some typical symptoms of excess blade depth.
|Hook or curve in the beginning of each cut only.
|The initial plunge of the blade into the mat board is causing the blade tip to flex outward and immediately go back to a straight position once cutting begins. This is caused by too much blade extending out the bottom of the cutting head.
|Long curve in length of cut
|Excess blade depth allows the blade to flare outward during the entire cut resulting in a long curve from one corner to another. This is caused by too much blade extending out the bottom of the cutting head.
|Over cuts (blade cutting past each corner with visible mark)
|Because of excess blade depth the start and stop indicator line on the cutting head is no longer accurate. Using it causes the blade to start its cuts sooner and stop its cut later than needed resulting in cuts that go past the corners. This too is caused by too much blade extending out the bottom of the cutting head.
|Blade tip breaking off
|Because of excess blade depth the initial plunge of the blade into the mat board is applying too much stress to the blade tip causing it to break off.
|Cutting head hard to pull
|Because of excess depth, the blade is cutting easily through the thickness of the matboard but far too deeply Into the backing board. This extra material cutting adds more resistance to the cut.
|Blades dulling too quickly
|Although the cutting life of a blade is difficult to predict, unnecessary excess blade depth certainly dulls a blade faster than usual. Proper blade depth ensures the longest life possible from a blade.