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It is on the request of visitors of this site * beginners in framing that I write these lines ... What should we think about MAPED cutting rulers and cutters (which are virtually the only present framing tools on the French market).

Of course, you can start with a very limited number of framing tools (see page cardboard material ) but if you want to improve a bit and work more comfortably, it is necessary to equip !

And especially since you are a beginner : as it is not too complicated for someone experienced to make "by hand" an approximately 45° bevel as for the beginner it looks like a perilous obstacle course!

Sooner or later, you will need tools ... as well do it early and acquire quality tools that will not disappoint you!

(* At this point, do not hesitate to contact me by mail for any questions or additional information)

MAPED trade mark

In terms of picture framing, the MAPED mark is unavoidable. In fact, I believe, this is the only French trade mark truly present on our territory that offers specialized tools for the picture framers ...

There are other U.S. marks, which also produce quality tools, but their distribution is confidential and only a few very localized importers distribute their products.

MAPED is present on three major areas : school, office and, for what we need, creative hobbies and framing.

It's a French trade mark - it may be important in these difficult times - which was founded 60 years ago and distributes its products in over 100 countries.

The ruler and cutting tools

The heavy and non-slip cutting ruler is an essential tool of the picture framer, as well as beginners or old hands.

It should not "move" during the cut. To cut a 3mm paperboard, it is necessary to move several times with the blade ... if the ruler does not stay securely in place there will be surprises on arrival!

The QUADRA MAPED cutting ruler has all the required qualitiesto satisfy the amateur framer : extruded aluminum, it has the necessary rigidity, non-slip pads that literally hang over the board during the cutting and a stainless steel cutting edge specially designed to facilitate freehand cuts.

But it's not in this it differs decisively from other cutting rulers from other brands.

Its great advantage is that it presents, because of its manufacturing, on its entire length, a groove in which can be moved two cutting tools : the 90° tool (straight cuts and straight bevels) and the 45° tool (for English bevels ).

This is precisely what makes it inevitable ... Number of beginners in picture framing buy "to start" an ordinary heavy ruler (and there are excellent) ... but sooner or later they have to cut 45° bevel ... and buy the ruler with sliding tools. Both immediately buy the right tool !

There, among professionals picture framers and photographers, another American brand that distributes cutting rulers for a 45° bevel ... It is the trade mark LOGAN ... their material is of excellent quality ... but the cost seems a bit exaggerated in France for amateur picture framers!



How to use cutting tools
90 ° cutter

It allows all straight cuts, both external(Cut to size paperboards) and internal (window openings in the mats).


Some scrapbookers of this site use it also as "mat cutter" for their large size 30x30 sheets or higher.

Draw with a pencil the cut line. Put the 90° tool in the slide. Set the rule approximately to 1.5cm of the line ... Then check visually by gently pressing the tool that the blade coincides with the cut line. If necessary, adjust the position of the ruler.


And now, press moderately on the tool, slide it along the ruler. On heavy cardboard, cutting cannot be done at once: multiple passes are necessary.

The mistake most commonly made is to think that more it is pressed, the more it cuts! That is incorrect... More you press : and more your blade can deflect ! By exerting moderate pressure on the tool, the blade returns to the same spot and the cut is perfect.

Small detail to finish: the interchangeable blades are rectangular and sharpened on the four corners. They can be returned 4 times! In addition, the tool comes bundled with a reserve of 5 blades ... something to cut miles and miles of cardboard!

You will use this 90° tool to open right bevels and also for all cuts of your mat and cards.


How to use the 45° cutter

This tool alone justifies the purchase of the ruler ... Open an English bevel (45°) with a hand cutter is an exercise for seasoned and experienced professionals. But with Maped 45° cutter, it's a very simple work !

Start by drawing the mat window to open on the back of the mat... and always with the ruler inside the aperture.

If you prefer to work side up ... it's perfectly possible ... but you will increase of the thickness of cardboard the drawing of your mat opening.

This means that if your window is drawn 5cm from the edges and that your card has 4mm thick, you will draw the edges of 4.6 cm (5 cm - 0.4 cm).


Slip the tool slide into the groove of the ruler and place it at about 2.5 cm from the cut line. Gently press the tool and make sure the blade is well positioned on the line you have drawn : Repeat this operation at each end of the mark. If necessary, adjust the position of the ruler.

For a better finish angles, go over 1cm around the corners of your window ... In any case, even if you cut too much, the bevel will be wrapped later and your extra cut will not be visible anymore.

Press gently and steadily : the sliding motion of the tool on the ruler is very sweet, the cut is clear and straightforward. It is better to pass 3 times in place to have a curved cut! Your bevel 45 degrees is perfect!

When you open a 45 ° bevel ... Do not discard the center cut, it will serve you later to make a reverse bevel for example.

Be careful when you place the blades in the tool to set them in the good manner... the 45° blades have only two "corners" sharpened and you must place them in order to have the bevel to the outside.

Small detail, which can be important: avoid using the 45° cutter on a cutting mat. Indeed, the risk of deviation of the blade during cutting is high. Also, two reverse cuts could take a path off your cutting mat and thus cause serious damage.

The angled cutter MAPED

Nothing looks more a bent cutter more than another bent cutter ! Yes No. It depends! All cutters cut! bent cutter As well as each other! So what Maped cutter tool is it different?

I love this knife for several reasons. First, take your hands is very comfortable : its rounded, very soft shapes make it so pleasant to use. Then the handle contains a reserve of blades, handy! And the blade in use is protected by a blade guard (simple. .. but we still had to think about it!).

But its great advantage, which alone justifies its purchase : the Double Cut MAPED blade Automatic cutting of the "nets" ... The "net" is a ornamental frame often used to emphasize or highlight the framed document .

It is a thin strip of paper, color-keyed to the document and pasted on the mat to 1 cm or 2 from the edges of the document. The cutting of these thin strips of 2 or 3mm request a lot of regularity : with this cutter, it's automatic!

Indeed, you can install a second cutter blade at exactly 3mm from the first : each time you cut, you obtain a perfect and calibrated "net". Only regret is that this spacing is not adjustable ...

Just a tip for nets : before cutting, I stick a double-sided tape on the back of my paper nets , then I cut the nets with the double-blade. It remains to remove the second protective adhesive and my net is ready to be glued on the mat! The use of double-sided adhesive keeps me glueing the net on a special plaque with the risk of staining it!

Well, again, the beginner does not start with the nets ... but there will inevitably come! Both therefore to be fully equipped !

A comprehensive video-demo

The Store "Eclat de Verre", well known for its shops dedicated to educational and manuals leisures ordered this small video that demonstrates the capabilities of the QUADRA ruler associated with 45° and 90° cutting tools .


In conclusion

Whenever I have a frame to achieve, I use the MAPED ruler and cutter. I can only congratulate myself -and yet I am able to hand open a 45° bevel.

Intelligent design, impeccable quality of materials, ease of use and simplicity are their great qualities!

If you're new in picture framing, feel free to equip MAPED because if there are great opportunities for you to do it later when you will became a seasoned framer.