How would I use the dough calculator? Figure for a larger pizza, say 17 inches and then use the cutter pan?
That is a good question but not with a particularly easy answer. If you were to make a thin crusted pizza, such as a cracker style pizza or a Chicago style thin crusted pizza, you might use the bottom diameter of the pan, along with the proper thickness factor, in the dough calculating tool such as the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
. If you were to make a pan dough that would fill the entire depth of the pan, or most of it, then you might use the average of the top and bottom diameters (again with the proper thickness factor) in the dough calculating tool. If you were to make a shallow Chicago deep-dish type of pizza where the dough is pushed up the sides of the pan, I suppose you could use the deep-dish dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html
(with the proper thickness factor and the requested pan dimensions). You don't have to be super precise on these matters since you can always tweak the dough in the pan to get it to fit the way you want.
I think a cutter pan is a versatile pan, especially one that is dark, anodized and needs no seasoning. It can be used on an oven rack or on a stone. It can be used to make pre-baked or par-baked crusts, and the cheese and toppings can be pushed right to the outer edges of the pan without fear of their sliding off of the pizza. Its weakness, in my opinion, is that it doesn't make the best NY style pizza. Also, for a Chicago deep-dish pizza, the pizza will be shallow, not deep. A good companion piece to the solid cutter pan is a perforated one, for those instances where you want the bottom of the crust to get more heat in a more direct way.