The Best Glass Cutters: Easily Make Clean Cuts
Make decorative and non-decorative score lines on glass with these glass cutters.
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON July 7, 2021
There are two possible outcomes from cutting glass: you could end up with a neatly shaped piece, which you can decorate further, or you could end up shattering the sheet of glass — in the worst-case scenario, the glass may cut you. Thinking of the latter may make you think twice about cutting glass, but it doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Using a glass cutter will ensure that you get more positive outcomes. All you need is a high-quality glass cutter that reduces the time you spend on each job. With a little practice, any DIYer can transform into a professional glass craftsman and make some extra cash on the side designing glass pieces. But you shouldn’t just buy any glass cutting tool. We walk you through getting some of the best options on the market.
This glass cutter features an ergonomic handle and Toyo’s Tap-Wheel Technology, which makes it easier to break through the glass.
- Makes a clean cut
- Cutter heads are replaceable
- Designed to outlast conventional cutters
- Has a large oil reservoir
- Oil runs out faster the longer you use it
- Might have oil leak issues
- Only scores thin sheets of glass
This is a general cutting tool that can be used for every DIY glass cutting project. It has a slim handle and a straight-blade design that ensures a clean cut.
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Compact design for easy storage
- Makes curved and straight cuts
- Durable steel construction
- Non-replaceable cutting head
- Doesn’t offer a comfortable grip
- Doesn’t have an oil dispensing system
This is a high-quality and robust manual glass cutter with a precision diamond head. Originally part of a glass bottle cutting set, this tool became available as a stand-alone due to its versatility and ease of use.
- Includes extra heads for many uses
- Comes ready to use right out of the package
- Automatic oil dispensing system keeps the cutting wheel well-lubricated to minimize mistakes
- Lacks in-depth instructions for first-time users
- Some users complain that the grip can cause blisters
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Benefits of Glass Cutters
- Make clean cuts. A glass cutter is used to score or make a slight mark across the glass to weaken it. If used correctly, it won’t crack or chip the glass. You can use additional force to snap off the part that you don’t need or use advanced glass splitting techniques to keep both parts.
- Avoid wasting material. Cutting glass with scissors, tile cutters, or any other unconventional tool can cause the glass to crack or shatter into pieces. If you are working with glass professionally, this could translate to recurring losses from the frequently wasted material.
- Durable and reliable. A glass cutting blade can withstand several uses without going dull. If it does, you only need to replace the blade and keep the handle or sharpen the blade.
- Reuse empty glass bottles. A glass cutter can help to safely transform empty glass bottles into vases, lamps, candleholders, gardening containers, and other decorations you can think of.
Types of Glass Cutters
Pistol Grip Glass Cutter
This is a lightweight glass cutter with a handle that is shaped to conform to your hand like the butt of a pistol. It’s a great option for people with wrist problems, larger projects, or glass that needs more pressure to cut it precisely. It allows the user to apply significantly more pressure to the glass than other types of glass cutters.
Pencil Grip Glass Cutter
As the name implies, this type of glass cutter looks like a pen or a pencil. It’s the most common type of glass cutter on the market. It’s ultra lightweight and a great choice for complicated, intricate, or shallow cuts to glass. It’s also a good choice for smaller jobs. The compact size and intuitive pencil shape make it a very versatile and easy-to-use option.
Custom Grip Glass Cutter
This type of glass cutter is a newer design than the first two. It’s shaped like a pencil grip glass cutter, but with the addition of a saddle, or a thumb rest, that allows the user to apply more pressure for cutting. It’s a good choice for intricate cuts on thicker glass or for users with hand or joint issues who can’t manage longer, uninterrupted cutting with a pencil grip cutter.
A bottle cutter is usually a kit that includes either a pencil or pistol grip glass cutter with a strong base that securely holds bottles of different diameters that you can cut into various sizes. It allows for a safe and snug hold on a bottle and a clean, straight cut. This is essential for anyone who wants to cut bottles into drinking glasses, vases, candle holders, planters, etc.
Toyo Co., Ltd.
Toyo was founded in Japan in 1907. It’s a comprehensive global manufacturer of leading technology glass cutting tools. The company continues to strive to develop innovative and dependable tools, like the Toyo Custom-Grip Supercutter.
Red Devil is a family-owned business that was initially founded as the Smith & Hemenway Company in 1872. It was established by Landon P. Smith and is headquartered in New Hampshire. Over the years, it has designed some of the best innovative hardware tools, including painting tools, knives, scrapers, and glass cutters. If you are looking for an affordable glass cutter, check out the Red Devil DIY Glass Cutter.
MantisTol is a registered trademark of the Shanghai CutTool Machinery Technology Co., Ltd. Located in China, the company develops a wide variety of cutting tools for architectural and housing renovation projects. The company makes heavy-duty trim cutters, flooring cutters, wood cutters, and glass cutters, including the MantisTol 8 .9" Pro LVT/VCT/LVP/PVC/WPC/Vinyl Plank Cutter.
Glass Cutter Pricing
- Under $15: Budget this much for a standard glass cutter and compact, pen-style glass cutters if glass cutting is just a hobby for you. The cutters will help you make smooth, straight cuts if you want to decorate or split glass.
- $15 and up: The glass cutters within this price range have more innovative designs that provide a lot of precision when working with glass. Therefore, expect to find pistol-grip glass cutters with automatic oil dispensing systems, pivoting mirror cutters, and bottle cutters with a clamp stand.
The cutting head could either be a straight cutting or a pattern cutting head. The straight cutting head, as the name suggests, only cuts glass along a straight line and doesn’t pivot. It’s best used to cut glass for making windows, windscreens, or any regular glass design. Pattern cutting heads are slightly narrower and swivel by about 360 degrees, thereby making them ideal for cutting glass into circular shapes or carving out decorative patterns.
The most common types of glass cutter handles are pen-style or pistol-grip handles. A pen-style handle, as the name suggests, has the same design as a tactical pen and you hold it the same way. Pistol-grip handles offer a more comfortable grip since they are designed to be large enough to fit in the hand. You can use pistol-grip handles for lengthy cutting projects to reduce hand fatigue.
Wheel diameter is an important factor when selecting the right glass cutting tool for a particular job. One of the most common wheel diameters is 5.5mm, which is a good diameter for a wide variety of glasses and projects. For softer glass and more large-scale cutting, consider using a wheel diameter of 6mm. Smaller, more intricate jobs will do well with a smaller wheel diameter of 3mm, which won’t drag as much as a larger wheel.
- Material. Prioritize glass cutters with a tungsten carbide head since it doesn’t dull easily and can be used for lengthy cutting projects. Cutting heads made of steel are more common since they are inexpensive, but they dull faster.
- Function. Not all glass cutters are designed for the same function. There are glass cutters that are only designed for cutting plexiglass, glass bottles, or for cutting circles on mirrors. You need to ensure that the glass cutter can cut through the material you are working with.
- Self-Oiling. For ease of use, self-oiling cutters are tough to beat. They continually lubricate the cutting head and glass surface to ensure a clean, neat, and accurate cut. There are many glass cutters that require manual oiling, which can be annoying and time-consuming.
- Wheel Hone Angle. This refers to the sharpness of the cutting wheel. The higher the angle, the sharper the wheel. Most glass cutters will have a wheel hone angle between 120 and 154 degrees. Higher angles are recommended for glass that is more than 0.5 inches thick.
Best Glass Cutters Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you don’t use your oil cutter frequently, ensure that you drain oil from the chamber after you’re done using it so it doesn’t gum up in there. If you use it frequently, ensure that you store it upright to keep the oil from draining.
- If you have a clamp stand bottle cutter, be sure to attach it to your workbench for more stability when scoring around the bottle. Also, ensure that the bottle cutter has a measuring scale if you intend to cut several bottles with a similar design.
- Do not cut tempered glass with a glass cutter; it will shatter into tiny pieces. To cut tempered glass, it needs to be heated to about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, then rapidly cooled so that it can be as strong, if not stronger than, regular glass.
- A glass cutter can be used as a car window breaker in case you are stuck inside your vehicle. You can score the window to make it easier to break. Therefore, you should consider keeping it in your glove box.
Q: What is the best glass cutter?
That greatly depends on the task at hand. You wouldn’t use the same glass cutter for intricate stained glass jobs as you would for cutting large mirrors or window panes. The glass cutters on our review are some of the best on the market, and the Toyo Pistol Grip Glass Cutter is the overall best for smaller, creative jobs.
Q: What tool do you use to cut glass?
Any sharp tool can be used to score glass, but the glass won’t break or snap the way you want it to. You may even end up shattering it. You need to use a dedicated glass cutter, which helps to score glass so that it can split neatly.
Q: Where can I buy a glass cutter?
Most online stores, including Amazon, sell glass cutters. It’s convenient to buy one from the comfort of your home and only wait for a short while for it to be delivered. You can also purchase glass cutters in many hardware stores or craft stores, depending on the size and purpose of the cutter.
Q: How do you cut glass perfectly?
First, you need to place the glass on a flat table so you can map out the area you need to cut with a marker pen. Then, you need to ensure that you can get a comfortable grip on the glass cutter, and score the glass along the traced line with just the right pressure not to chip the glass. Thereafter, you can use your hand to break away the parts you don’t need.
When it comes to the best overall glass cutter for smaller projects, in terms of functionality, dependability, and price, our top pick has got to be the Toyo Pistol Grip Glass Cutter. It is a comfortable, user-friendly glass cutter that features automatic lubrication of the cutting wheel for clean and precise cutting.
Our top budget-friendly pick is the Red Devil DIY Glass Cutter. Its slim profile makes it a highly portable option that is a good choice for smaller, quicker jobs.