Techniques

Sharpening Your Glass Cutting Skills

Glass cutting is one of the most essential skills of any glass artist. Getting the right edge can make a tremendous difference in the quality of a fused glass or stained glass pattern. Luckily, glass cutting is surprisingly simple when you employ the proper tools and techniques.

The important thing to remember, especially if you’re a beginner, is that confidence is key. With time and practice you will inevitably make strides in the accuracy of your edges.

Essential Glass Cutting Tools

You can find all the tools you need to make clean cuts in our online store. In order to achieve a straight edge, you will need the following tools:

  • A carbide steel glass cutter
  • Cutting Oil
  • Glass cutting and breaking pliers, there are many plier varieties suited to different cuts.
  • For more complex glass cuts or perfect circles, you can use special cutting systems. Shop our selection of cutting systems here. Naperville, IL Glass Cutting Tools

Avoiding Common Glass Cutting Mistakes

-The size of your glass cutter’s wheel should be appropriate to the type of glass you’re using. A smaller wheel is generally most appropriate for art glass. If you aren’t sure whether your wheel is appropriately sized, refer to this sizing chart. 

-Beginners often make the mistake of applying too much pressure to the glass surface when running the score line. This, along with re-tracing the score on the same side, will result in jagged or chipped edges.

-Cold glass is harder to work with. Getting your glass closer to room temperature makes it easier to work with.

-Score the smoother side of your glass for a more even slice.

Important Safety Precautions:

Always wear protective clothing to prevent a disaster. Accidents happen, and simply reducing skin exposure could prevent a nasty cut.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Long Sleeved-Shirt, preferably in a thick material
  • Long pants, jeans made from a durable fabric work best.
  • Protective Gloves, many artists insist that gloves limit their ability to manipulate glass. Some choose to forgo protective gloves. Unfortunately, the nature of glass art make this a relatively dangerous choice. The right glove could save you the pain of a cut without hindering your work.
  • Goggles are perhaps the most important safety material when working with glass. The impact of a small shard can cause severe damage to your vision, so we recommend choosing a comfortable pair of goggles that you can use every time.

Never underestimate the importance of proper safety gear when working with glass. Shop our safety gear here.

With these tools and tips you’ll be ready for cutting precision edges in your glass. Remember to practice, and practice with caution!

Shop our selection of glass cutting supplies here