In working with stained glass, your tools can make or break your project, literally. And because the key step in crafting your masterpiece is cutting those colorful pieces into the desired shapes and sizes, you’ll want to keep your glass from shattering or cracking by using quality cutting tools. There are attached and guided devices, freehand tools, instruments with an oil reservoir and replaceable blade, pen-style implements—so many options to choose from that a bit of research may be in order before you make your pick. Ahead, find our recommendations to make your task a bit easier.
1. Toyo Pistol Grip Glass Cutter
This glass cutter was designed with user comfort in mind. The tool vibrates as the wheel rotates, which takes some getting used to, but this makes the cut itself easier on the hand and results in less fatigue. The carbide steel wheel is sharp to deliver clean edges, and the body is lightweight. It’s loaded with an oil reservoir that feeds into the cutter head and onto the wheel as it moves. The oil not only extends the life of the wheel itself but also aids in cleaner cuts. The tool is also slightly angled so you can hold your hand at a more natural position to really dig in deep. The heads are replaceable, and if treated with care, this cutter should last years.
2. Gordon Glass Silberschnitt Oil Glass Cutter
This oil glass cutter features a strong and durable cutting wheel that cuts at a 138˚ angle. It’s made of tungsten carbide, which is harder than steel and tends to last longer. The brass handle is handsome and features an oil reservoir, and also has a finger grip that allows more control when cutting. It is available in two sizes, narrow and wide. The former is typically better for slicing curved lines or organic shapes, and the latter for straight lines. The blade head is interchangeable and can be replaced when necessary.
3. Red Devil Professional Glass Cutter
This glass cutter is the heavier-duty version of the brand’s more classic Shaw-style glass cutter. It is crafted with a steel wheel that scores glass cleanly and a ball end for tapping as you cut, to help separate glass along your score lines. While it is a professional-quality product, the wheel is not replaceable. The red handle is tapered for comfort and is easy to spot in a toolbox.
4. Delphi Mini Starter Kit
This full kit includes a Cutter’s Mate guiding tool to cut precisely and measure meticulously. Cutters that can fashion everything from strips to circles to free-form shapes attach to the guide itself, resulting in a process that isn’t quite as freehand as some other pen-style glass cutters. That makes it ideal for both professionals and beginners looking for a little extra guidance. The foam-cushioned handle on the guide makes it comfortable to work for lengthy periods. The entire station has a compact footprint so you can leave it out on your work table if you wish.
This Toyo cutter is similar to Silberschnitt’s, given that both feature straight, metal handles and a carbide wheel. It’s a little less expensive, however, as it also comes with a bottle of good-quality cutting oil. Its handle holds the oil and prevents leakage, while the edge is sharp and capable of withstanding a good amount of pressure. The oil is developed specifically for glass cutters; a few drops go a long way to help deliver smooth, consistent lines.