Craft Glass Cutters

Despite their name, glass cutters do not actually cut glass, nor do they have a blade. They use a metal wheel to create a weakened line in the glass, called a score, along which the glass will break when pressure is applied. Cutters are typically handheld tools and have a wide range of quality, utility, and power.

What does a glass cutter look like?

In general, glass cutters are made up of a handle of some sort, as well as a little metal wheel that runs along the glass like a pizza cutter. There are several different styles:

  • Carbide Steel Cutter: This is a glass cutter at its most basic. Although this type of glass cutter has a tendency to become dull over time, the cutting head can be easily replaced. Handle materials may consist of metal, plastic, or wood, and they are designed to be held like a pencil by the stained glass artist.
  • Tungsten Carbide Cutter: This type of cutter is more durable and efficient than the steel cutter. The handle of this cutter is usually plastic and may be filled with oil to lubricate the wheel as it cuts the glass.
  • Pistol Grip Cutter: This cutter uses the same tungsten carbide head but replaces the stick handle with a pistol grip. This helps to reduce hand fatigue, and it is often used by stained glass artists with carpal tunnel syndrome.

How do you cut a mirror?

The steps for cutting a mirror are identical to the steps for cutting any other piece of stained glass:

  • Clean the glass to remove any particles that could damage your cutter and impair the quality of the score line.
  • Mark the glass where you want to cut. This can be done with any permanent-type marker.
  • Lubricate the cutting wheel with lamp or cutter oil.
  • Run the cutting wheel along the glass, applying just enough pressure to create a little white line.
  • Break the glass along the score line, either by using a pair of running pliers or by holding the glass so that your thumbs are on either side of the line and rotating your hands away from each other.

How do you use a glass cutter on a wine bottle?

This can be achieved in a couple of different ways:

With a glass cutter:

  • Remove the label, and make sure the bottle is free from any debris or particles that could damage the cutter.
  • Mark the line you wish to cut with a marker or masking tape.
  • Run the cutting wheel along the line, striving for one continuous motion.
  • Pour hot, then cold water over the score line, alternating until the bottle cracks.

With a bottle cutter:

  • Align the rollers so that the area you wish to cut is above the cutting wheel.
  • Apply gentle pressure as you rotate the bottle.
  • Take care not to slip, as it is not advised to go over the score line more than once.
  • Pour hot, then cold water over the cut line, alternating until it cracks.