CutList Plus Express is self described as, “perfect for smaller projects”, and, “designed to meet the needs of home users”. When I hear descriptions like that I automatically get a bad feeling. Some of you might have had the unlucky experience of getting a ‘home owners’ tool kit, with hammers that bend and screw drivers with handles that fall off.
Just because the end user does not support themselves in the woodworking trade doesn’t mean they deserve tools that won’t get the job done. So, I will admit when I was asked to review this software, I started with a slight bias.
My shop was building a medium sized kitchen for a Brooklyn apartment renovation when I was given this software to try. I’ve always done cut lists by hand. Draw out the rectangle, make your 4’ and 8’ marks, fill the rectangle while mentally calculating the space. After years and thick stacks of cut lists in job folders around the shop you get a familiarity to it.
But the jobs are always different and so naturally the layout is always different and that makes cut lists always a challenge. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for average homeowner who makes a cut list every 2 years or so. That’s where CutList Plus Express says they come in to save the day. But do they?
Short answer, yes. Yes in a big way.
You figure out the pieces you need, add their dimensions, and the type of material and that’s it. You have an easily readable, professional looking, and the most important part completely accurate cut and material list. I used it for this kitchen and it probably saved me a good half hour of work. For a shop wasted time is wasted money, for a homeowner wasted time is missing football on Sunday, both are pretty painful.
I like to have a hard copy of my plans so I printed them. The software gives you a few options of the information you want included in your pint out which is nice. The pages, like I said above, are everything you could ask for.
CutList Plus Express also offers an included app so you can take your list on the go without needing to print. Easy to export and load on the phone, I can see this being a real value when you go to the lumber yard. No papers to lose or handwriting to miss read. It’s all right there, clear as day.
I don’t want to sell the extra features short, there are many more impressive and helpful technical aspects to the software that the more advanced homeowner may want to explore (and I’d be happy to talk with you about them in the comment section if anyone wants). But if we are thinking about this as a shopping list then the basics will do. And the basics work well.
For the price of $39 (including the app), maybe if you do 1 small project a year then you should still struggle through with the old paper way. But if you are doing something larger or have multiple projects in your future I would suggest adding CutList Plus Express to your tool box