How to Cleanly Cut Glass

Cutting glass is very easy if done correctly.

To hand cut glass correctly, you need a hand cutter, cutting oil / fluid and in some cases tools such as pliers or grips, depending on what it is you are trying to cut out of glass.

Thickness of glass has a big impact on the difficulty of cutting glass.

3mm up to 6mm is very simple to cut as it is easy to manipulate and does not require much force to “open” a cut.

8mm up to 25mm becomes increasingly difficult to cut and requires hand cutters with particular cutting wheels (angle and material)

For this article we are going to cover cutting 6mm glass and below.

Firstly, you need to make sure the glass to be cut is clean and dry and is placed on a flat surface, preferably felt as this will help to make sure the underside of the glass does not become scratched or marked.

Then using a straight edge and tape measure, place the straight edge to the measurement required (take into consideration that if you measure from the edge of the glass to the edge of your straight edge, the head of the hand cutter needs to be taken into consideration, otherwise your glass will not be the correct size).

Then apply cutting oil down the length of the straight edge if your hand cutter is not an oil fed type.

Now you are ready to cut the glass, to do so, apply the cutting wheel as close as possible to the furthest edge along the straight edge, then apply a sensibly firm amount of pressure while steadily running the hand cutter down your straight edge.

Do not try to cut over your original cut, this will only make it difficult to break open and will not yield good results.

Now that your score line from the cut has been run across the entire length of the glass edge to edge, you are ready to “open” the cut.

To do this, you need to place a rounded plastic object underneath the cut at the edge of the glass (not the entire length) your hand cutter should be suitable for this.

With the cutters plastic handle end underneath the glass, apply gentle pressure using your hands to either side of the cut. This will open the cut and split the glass from edge to edge. Once split, be careful to gently separate the pieces before lifting as the two coming in contact with one another can cause damage to both parts.