Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Glass is a very popular building material. The glass cutter is the perfect craft to cut glass in a quick and easy way. Whether for the professional craftsman or the hobbyist: The glass cutter helps you to turn your project into reality.

With our large glass cutter test 2021, we would like to give you all the important information on the topic of glass cutters so that you can find the right glass cutter for you. We have compared the advantages and disadvantages of the hand-held glass cutter with diamond tip and wheel tip and worked out valuable buying criteria to help you make your decision.




Summary

  • If you want to cut glass precisely and without splintering, the glass cutter is the perfect craft.
  • The term glass cutter is somewhat misleading because the glass is not actually cut, but scored. This creates a breaking point where the glass can be broken.
  • To avoid glass splinters, it is important to use an oil. The oil is already integrated in some glass cutters.

The Best Glass Cutter: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a glass cutter

What do I need a glass cutter for?

Whether you are a hobby craftsman or a professional: If you work with glass, you cannot do without a glass cutter.

Depending on the thickness of the glass or even working with tiles requires a special glass cutter. It is very easy to use because you only have to apply it to the glass to generate a clean cut.

Glasschneider-1

Depending on the model, the glass cutter can be made of wood, but also of metal components.
(Image source: 123rf.com / Kovtunenko)

How does a glass cutter work?

The glass is not cut, as the name suggests, but first scribed.

The glass is only scribed and NOT cut.

By scribing, you can break the glass through the cut edge, also called a fissure. This works because the surface tension is destroyed by scoring the glass, comparatively like an eggshell fracture inducer. However, if you wait too long, the fissure can cool down again, so that it is then broken down again.

In addition, repeated scribing can lead to unclean edges. For a precise result, it is therefore best to scribe the glass only once and break it directly. The glass cutter usually consists of three parts: the handle, the cutting head and the cutting tool. Depending on the model, the glass is cut either with a ground diamond or a steel or carbide wheel.

The handle can be made of different materials such as plastic, wood or even metal. The oil tank of oil-guided glass cutters is also located in the handle. In addition, the cutting quality is influenced by the shape of the handle.

Depending on the model of the glass cutter, the cutting tool consists of a wheel made of steel or metal or of a ground diamond. The cutting head is considered the connecting piece between the handle and the cutting tool and also carries the cutting tool. Depending on the type and model of glass cutter, the cutting tool may or may not be rotated.

Who is a glass cutter suitable for?

As mentioned before, the glass cutter is not only applicable for the professional, but also for the hobby craftsman. Glass is a popular material and is therefore also used in many projects by hobby craftsmen or hobbyists.

What does a glass cutter cost?

Compared to other tools, the glass cutter is very inexpensive. Depending on how much you want to invest, there are models between 5-40€. The cheapest glass cutters start at 5-10€. These models are mainly suitable for hobby craftsmen.

More professional glass cutters are available from €10. An oil glass cutter is available from 20€. Glass cutters for more special occasions, for example for tiles, are available from 30-40€. Here you can see the prices at a glance:

price range in €
price range 1 5-10€
price range 2 from 10€
oil glass cutter from 20€
price range 3 30-40€

What are the alternatives to a glass cutter?

Of course there are alternatives for you if you have decided not to buy a glass cutter.

For special projects with glass, a professional glass cutter can help you.

Most DIY stores offer a cutting service where you can have the staff cut the glass to your specifications. It's best to find out in advance whether the DIY store you trust offers a glass cutting service. If you have a very special and unusual idea of how you would like your glass cut, you can of course also hire a professional glass cutter. On the internet you can find various providers who will deliver your cut glass to your home.

Decision: What types of glass cutters are there and which one is right for you?

If you decide to buy a hand-held glass cutter, there are generally two types you can choose between.

  • Diamond glass cutter
  • Wheel glass cutter

As the name suggests, these two types differ in the tip, as the first model contains a specially cut diamond and the second model contains a wheel tip. A special model is the oil glass cutter, which already has an oil tank integrated in the handle. The automatic addition of oil facilitates the cutting process. All types of glass cutter have advantages and disadvantages, which you will find more detailed information about in the next sections so that you can form your own opinion.

What distinguishes a diamond glass cutter and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The diamond glass cutter is particularly suitable for more delicate materials, as the diamond, which is firmly mounted on the tip, means that hardly any pressure needs to be exerted when scoring the glass.

Glasschneider-2

Even if the diamond in a diamond glass cutter does not look like the diamond in this picture, it can still be called a diamond.
(Image source: 123rf.com / Wyszolmirski)

Even though you do not need cutting oil when using a diamond glass cutter, it is important to pay attention to the thickness of the glass, as this affects the width of the diamond tip you need.

The diamond cutter is more suitable for advanced users, because it can be problematic for beginners to ensure the required cutting angle. Furthermore, incorrect use can lead to damage to the diamond. Overall, the diamond cutter can be used very well for round cuts and working on templates.

Advantages
  • Suitable for hollow objects
  • suitable for delicate glass
  • can be used for round cuts and templates
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Very sensitive

What distinguishes a wheel glass cutter and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Another type of glass cutter is the wheel glass cutter. The wheel glass cutter is the most popular type of glass cutter and has been available since the 19th century. The wheel glass cutter is especially suitable for hobbyists because it is very robust due to the tip made of steel or carbide.

You should pay attention to the cutting angle of the glass cutter because this determines which glass you can cut with the tool. This cutting angle is already set by the manufacturer and refers to the angle between the flanks of the cutting wheel. Below we have compiled a table for you to use as a guide depending on the thickness of the glass you want to cut:

glass thickness cutting angle
2-3mm 120°
3-4mm 127°
4-6mm 135°
6-8mm 140°
8-10mm 145°
10-12mm 150°
12-15mm 155°
15-19mm 155-158°
up to 25mm 158-160°

In addition to glass, the wheel cutter also cuts tiles, ceramics and mirrors. There are already suppliers in the trade who sell a glass cutter including several wheels so that the customer can directly replace the wheel that has become blunt. The glass must be broken relatively quickly after scribing, as the fissure cools down very quickly with a wheel glass cutter. Furthermore, this type is not suitable for hollow vessels or even fragile glass.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Robust
  • Suitable for various materials
Disadvantages
  • The glass must be broken quickly
  • Not suitable for fragile glass
  • Not suitable for hollow vessels

other types of glass cutters:

In addition to the classic hand-held glass cutters, we would now like to briefly introduce you to other glass cutters.

  1. Round glass cutter: This type of glass cutter needs practice, as the glass cutter is used like a compass and makes it especially difficult to cut the glass. The circular glass cutter is constructed as follows: The cutting head is attached to a rod, which in turn is attached to a suction cup.
  2. Bottle glass cutter: As the name suggests, the bottle glass cutter specialises in cutting bottles. With this type, it is important that the glass is only scratched once. Furthermore, the glass is separated by alternating exposure to heat and cold with water.
  3. Electric glass cutter: Tiles and thick glass can best be cut with an electric glass cutter. One disadvantage, however, is that only straight cuts can be processed. Thin glass, such as Tiffany glass, cannot be cut.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for all types. In the next section you will find out which criteria you should use when buying a glass cutter.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate glass cutters

In the next step, we will give you specific buying criteria so that you can find the perfect glass cutter for you. The buying criteria that you can use to compare cordless circular saws with each other include:

Cutting quality

The quality of the cut is influenced by the quality of the glass cutter. After all, quality is the be-all and end-all.

The better the workmanship of the glass cutter, the better the end result.

For example, it is important that the tip of the glass cutter is well made in the head. In addition, it is also relevant that you pay attention to good quality when buying the glass, as it plays a significant role in the quality of the end result.

Glass mould

Even before buying a glass cutter, you should know roughly what kind of glass and what shape you want to cut. For simple and straight cuts, a wheel cutter is particularly suitable. If you want to cut a circle, you should use a round cutter. For more creative work, it is worth investing in a diamond glass cutter.

Glass thickness

Glass thickness also plays a significant role in your glass cutter purchase decision. Overall, there are glass thicknesses between 2-25mm. While a diamond glass cutter is more suitable for more delicate work such as Tiffany glass, a wheel glass cutter is particularly helpful for thicker glass or tiles.

Cutting oil

To ensure a smooth and splinter-free cut, oil must be used when cutting glass.

There are already glass cutters on the market that have an integrated oil tank and thus continuously supply oil to the tip. Of course, the oil can also be added manually. Further down in our blog you will find recommendations for the right oil.

Handle

The handle also plays a decisive role in the quality of the cut. Every hobby and professional craftsman must find out for himself which handle is the right one for him. There are various handle shapes to choose from. It depends on the shape of the handle whether the glass cutter has to be used with the fist grip, the grip between the index and middle finger or the pencil grip.

The material of the handle, which is often metal or wood, also influences the grip strength in the hand. Some handles can also be used as a breaking edge. However, this is not possible with oil cutters, as they are not as stable due to the additional function.

Facts worth knowing about glass cutters

How do I use a glass cutter?

  1. Prepare the workplace: When working with glass, you can injure yourself with glass splinters. It is therefore important that you wear protective goggles and gloves. Place the glass on a safe surface such as a cardboard box or a bed sheet.
  2. Prepare the work material: Mark the edge of your cut with a waterproof marker. Place a ruler on the marked cutting edge so that you can cut exactly along the line. If you are not using a hand-held oil cutter, add some cutting oil to your glass cutter.
  3. Cut and break the glass: Cut your glass quickly and with light pressure along your marked cutting edge. Only cut the glass once, as cutting it more than once will give messy results. It is important that you break the glass quickly after cutting, otherwise the fissure will cool down again. Place the glass on a hard surface to break it.
  4. Finishing the fracture edges: You can use wet sandpaper or a whetstone to smooth the cut edge.

Which oil is recommended?

The oil is very important for a clean glass cutting result, as the glass is easier to break and the glass does not splinter as quickly. Synthetic oils are best. Glass cutting oil, petroleum or even motor or bicycle oils. If necessary, you can also use water.

Photo source: Minaev/ 123rf.com

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