Hand glass cutter - diamond?carbide?gold?

Lori M.

May 23, 2003
Thanks so much for everyones patience in answering my questions. These seem like unimportant items compared to most of the posts.

I would like to hand cut my own glass and see there are several hand cutters out there. Do I need a diamond tip especially, is there a favourite that anyone might have? Should I buy one that has the oil in it?

Wouldn't it be nice if the packaging said "This is the one that framers like". Any small suggestion would be appreciated.

I use the Fletcher hand cutter that is shaped like a utility knife. Love it.

I cut my glass on a table and break it off the side. I've done it this way for 15 years.

Fletcher make a very good product….and if I could not buy a TOYO cutter Fletcher would be my choice….but after spending a number of years cutting glass for up to 8 hours a day (I had a picture framing glass business), I defaulted to the TOYO TC-17B Oil Filled glass cutter….which is IMHO possible the best glass cutter in the world……..the Diamond tipped cutters are also good but tricky to use….I also cut my glass on a bench…..
The "L" shaped Fletcher cutter with the oil reservour is good. I often cut glass away from me rather than side to side. To break it, grab each side of the cut with thumbs and forefingers and just break it like you were going to break a pencil of some such and pull the two pieces apart at the same time. This saves you from sliding the glass to the table edge and possibly scratching it. This is easier for me than breaking over the edge of the table and prevents a piece from falling on your foot.
My mom does a lot of stained glass, and loves her oil filled cutter. I think it has a diamond tip. She loves it. I prefer to cut by wall mount cutter. I can never cut a straight line by hand. :rolleyes:
Cutting a straight line by hand is not too hard, it will take you a few to get the pressure. I use the good ol' fletcher with the ball end. It is the basic one. I think they go for a couple of dollars. I have used this one for about three months now. If you put them away in a good spot they will last a while. I have not really played with the others.
good luck
I forgot to add - mine can be filled with oil, but I keep it in a jar with a papertowel just barely saturated with kerosene and oil. Works great.

And I use a straight edge backed with cork to cut by.

I guess you all are ready for another of my "in the old days story" so here it is.

We used to use the Fletcher Gold Ball cutters, without a doubt, the best. In those days most men used some sort of an oily cream in their hair. Keeping your glass cutter in a small jar of kerosene was the best way to make it last, but then it also got all over your glass.

What we did was run the cutter through our hair a couple of times before making our cut. It took me years to get out of that habit, even though I did not use oily stuff on my hair anymore.

I think Betty has the best idea, with the jar and soaked rags, keeps the cutter lubricated without the drippy mess.

In the old days, everyone used diamond-tipped cutters. When my dad passed on I found that I could not use either of his 2 cutters. Each had a different size diamond, A,B etc with the larger tips used for the heavier weight of glass. At that time I could not find a company who could re-set the diamonds (the stones were rotated in the head of the cutter so as to present an unused portion for cutting) and so I purchased my own
The trick with the diamonds was to find the correct cutting angle -known as "the set". Rather like a traditional pen nib,once one person had used it for a while it could be spoilt by someone else using it. (My Dad's advice to an early teenage me, "Three things you should never loan to anyone son,your comb,your pen,and your girlfriend.")
So I was converted to a wheel cutter. In those days the only sheet that you could buy,in what we now know as 2mm, was 72" x 48". What fun we had handling those onto the bench in our low ceilinged room!For me today ,I am with Dermot on the TOYO. The best thing since sliced bread.
they Toyo cutter is the one to go for.The wheel should last a very long time if you dont abuse it.

The cutter I am using just now is a Mitsuboshi one which is probably exactly the same as the toyo.Had the same cutting wheel on it for about five years now.