Contrary to its designated name, the best glass cutter does not cut the glass clean, but scores it instead (as a scratch) to make a split in the surface causing the glass to break in two along the score.
Glass cutters of old had diamond-tip cutting heads (no lubricant required), nowadays the most common are cutting wheels made of tungsten carbide and toughened steel (most are oil-fed) with varying shapes and sizes.
They are available as table-mounted, hand-held, and specialty glass cutters.
Most cutters require lubrication to provide a smooth score and prolong their lifespan.
Style of glass
Knowing the kind of glass to be cut is also crucial.
While a regular sheet of glass can be split in a jiffy with these cutters, tempered glass has a propensity to smash to smithereens instead of neatly breaking apart.
So how do you choose the right glass cutter that matches your need?
You’ll need to consider several factors before actually making the purchase.
Better yet, surf the internet for best glass cutter reviews to help you determine which brand most buyers and users find the best.
Types of glass cutters
Here is a list of some glass cutter types and how they work.
We have categorized them into two; the handheld and specialty glass cutters.
Pistol grip – they’re available in various colors and brands.
Its hollow pistol-like grip can be filled with lubricant and is perfect for neophyte glass hobbyists.
It is comfortable and leaves less strain on your wrist.
Pencil grip – it features a straight shaft that’s oil-filled and easy to hold.
It can be pushed or pulled, depending on your preference.
You can hold it like a pencil or like a dagger when you make a score by pulling.
They are also available in different colors and brands.
Specialty cutters – There are proprietary, specialty style cutters, as well.
Examples include the Toyo custom grip and Pro-Score glass cutter, along with Score One.
Glass cutter pliers – this compact and durable pair of breaking pliers has a built-in cutting wheel that will surely be your good partner at home if you’re planning some DIY home improvements that require glass cutting, or doing some glass mosaic.
These are just a few of the myriads of glass cutters available in the market, but these should get you started in choosing the right glass cutter for you.
What do I look for?
Below are a few ideas and properties to look for when purchasing a quality glass cutter.
Hard-anodized aluminum is today’s most commonly used metal for glass cutters.
It is resistant to constant wear and oxidization, lasts long, and is reasonably priced.
The more expensive and longer-lasting wheel cutters are made of stainless-steel and tungsten carbide.
They can withstand rigorous use and intense heat.
They won’t dull easily when cutting thick glass even in large volumes.
Your hand-held glass cutter made of anodized aluminum, stainless steel, or tungsten glass will not have much of a problem with corrosion.
If you intend to use a table-top or wall-mounted cutter, however, it would be highly advisable to choose a cutter made of durable stainless steel, to prevent it from corroding when attached to concrete or wood.
Some work areas, like a lab, need to be free from oil contamination.
In such situations, a cutter that requires dipping its cutting wheel or head in oil is absolutely not applicable.
The diamond-tip cutter is the recommended type in this case.
You may also go for the oil-fed or self-lubricating cutter which features automatic oil dispensing system that keeps the wheel or cutting head lubricated each time you cut without messing up the workplace.
They’re work-efficient and highly resistant to corrosion.
A glass cutter may be considered as a simple machine, but operating it requires quite a lot of strength (especially the thumb and forefinger).
It can fill your hands and cause fatigue to your wrist, arm, and shoulder after tackling large volumes.
It would be best to rummage around for a cutting device that allows the arm and shoulder to apply pressure on the cutter, instead of the thumb and fingers, such as a pistol-grip and oil-fed cutting wheels.
Lastly, don’t trust a cutting wheel merely by its cost or the fact that it has been a market leader for quite a time.
Those things don’t necessarily make it the most reliable brand.
With advanced technology, computer-aided designs have made headways in terms of highly efficient and top quality products at marginal prices.
You’ll want to scrutinize the device intelligently, weighing the price against quality and performance.
Most importantly, think about how it best fits your glass cutting project or needs.