Easy Cutter Ultimate

This handheld tool allows miter cuts from 45 to 135 degrees of small pieces of wood, plastic, rubber, and even metal. As a miniaturist and model maker, this tool has been invaluable for cutting one or a myriad of small parts at various angles and sizes — to change the angle you slide a self-indexing metal guide that runs perpendicular to the blade. I design and build furniture, accessories and sometimes houses of the 50s, 60s and 70s in 1:12, 1:16 and 1:24 scales. When I’m in the middle of a project, such as the architectural model I’m working on currently, I use the Easy Cutter fairly constantly — a few hours at least a couple of days each month. I have been using my cutter about three years now and a friend has been using hers well over 5 years without any trouble. You can buy new blades for this tool, but neither of us has found the need, thus far. It’s also worth mentioning I have some arthritis in my hands and many tools are simply too difficult for me to use. With one hand, I can easily clamp the Easy Cutter down enough to cut through three layers of laminated Popsicle sticks. Although profoundly solid (hardened steel, rubber coated handles, stainless blades), the Easy Cutter is virtually silent — about the same noise as a pair of fingernail clippers, but without the annoying habit of flipping the cuttings through the air. Using it while talking or watching a film is completely unnoticeable.

I have also handed this tool to my young friends (no younger than 10) when they’re helping create miniature worlds alongside me, and although the spread of the handle is not geared to small hands, they have nonetheless found the Easy Cutter quite usable. I must caution, however, that the blade is VERY sharp, and that this, as with any other cutting tool, is to be handled with respect for its damage capability and for oneself when using it. There is also a smaller version called The Super Easy Cutter, but I prefer to have too much power than too little when hand cutting through wood.

I don’t know of another tool that addresses the need for an accurate, hand-held mitre-cutter (from 45 degree up to 135 degree) at such an affordable price. Northwest Shortline, a cottage industry out of Seattle that’s been in business for over 40 years, has a series of tools that ROCK! Their Chopper series of cutters is very accurate (they’re primary focus is the model train crowd). However, their cutters can be twice as expensive as the Easy Cutter. Also their Chopper requires a flat, stable surface. I prefer to carry a tray of materials and tools to a comfy spot and just work until a natural stopping point presents itself. The Easy Cutter allows me to continue working while talking and sitting on the couch or just on the porch with friends.

-- April Canady  

Easy Cutter Ultimate
$24
Manufactured by Midwest Products Co., Inc.

Available from Amazon