Dexter Mat Cutter Instructions

A mat adds dimension to a framed picture. The Dexter mat cutter cuts mats used for framing paintings and artwork. The mat cutter cuts a single mat at a time and works well for the occasional framing project. The Dexter mat cutter fits into the hands and cuts the heavy mat at a preset 45 degree angle. This creates a layered look as the blade slices through the coloured surface of the mat and exposes the white or cream coloured centre and gives the mat and the completed framed picture a finished look.

Rotate the dial on the back of the Dexter mat cutter until the blade is at a 90-degree angle. Cut the mat board to fit the inside of the frame.

Measure the artwork before using the Dexter mat cutter to cut the inside of the mat. Subtract the length of the artwork from the length of the cut mat. Divide the difference by two. This is the amount of mat on the top and bottom of the artwork. Repeat with the width of the mat to fully centre the artwork. Flip the mat over and mark the measurements on the back of the mat. Place the top of the T-square against the side of the mat. Draw a light pencil line and recheck the measurements before cutting.

Turn the knob on the back of the Dexter mat cutter until the blade is at a 45-degree angle. With the edge of the T-square against the edge of the mat, insert the blade of the mat cutter into the mat on the pencil line. Slide the Dexter mat cutter along the edge of the T-square for the length of the line. Repeat with the lines all the way around the hole in the centre.


Cut 1/4 inch beyond the corner to make sure that the corners are fully cut from the rest of the mat.


Always exercise caution when using a blade.

Things You'll Need

  • Frame
  • Ruler
  • Mat board
  • T-square
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About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.