Cutting Glass


Grumbler in Training
Apr 29, 2005
Ok, I have cutting glass, but thought that it is time that I try my hand at it. Can anyone give me some advice as to how to cut!!??!! I score the glass and my break goes across the whole pane. Any ideas as to how to keep the little wheel straight? I don't have the $$ for an expensive cutter, so I am reaching out for your help. Thanks!!

Just recently there was a long thread about cutting glass on the Hitchhikers forum.

If your not already a PPFA member join up, sign up for Hitchhikers, search the archives and you will get a very fine glass cutting lesson.

A few quick suggestions...

1. Make sure your cutter is well lubricated and not worn. A worn or dry glass cutter's wheel will skip. A carbide cutting wheel will last much longer and the extra price is a good value unlkess your tools are abused, such as frequent dropping on the floor.

2. Make a slight score. If tiny shards of glass scatter from the score as you run the tool, you're pushing too hard. When it comes to pressure of the cutter on the glass surface, less is more.

3. Break on the score immediately. A score on glass will "heal" in a short time.

4. Use a straightedge, or your matcutter's bar to guide your glass cutting tool.

5. You can lay two sides of a sheet of glass into the frame's rabbet and eyeball the scoring line to fit the other two sides of the frame.

6. When breaking glass on the score line, snap it briskly over a table edge.

At the first opportunity, buy a wall-mounted cutting machine. It not only makes glass cutting neat & quick, but it also cuts acrylic sheets, and sizes matboards & mount boards.
Connie, there are some earlier posts on the g. about cutting glass by hand. It is a good skill to learn. There are times when something will come in that requires you to cut by hand - such as clock cases, cathedral door fronts, octagonal, oval, circle, fan shaped, and heart shaped frames. No reason to send this business elsewhere.

To add to Jim's suggestions, I have found that running the score by tapping on the back side of the glass (the side opposite the score) with the ball tip of the glass cutter before trying to break it really helps.

If you are cutting anything with a curve (or even straight cuts that are narrow), try flipping the glass over after scoring it, laying it on a flat surface, and pressing with the ball tip of the glass cutter along the score line
to run the score. If you are cutting an oval, circle, etc., make several break away cuts out from the score line before you turn the glass over.

I found that holding the glass cutter backwards from the way that you are supposed to hold it worked the best for me - but then I tend to do everything backwards anyway.
A glass running pliers is a handy, inexpensive tool.



Note: Normally the glass you're cutting won't be red.