Whether you’re trying your hand at stained glass crafts or a pro glazier, you need the right tools for the job. And one of the most important tools in your arsenal is a glass cutter.
The best glass cutters will make perfect cuts in sheets of glass. You want a glass cutter that can make a sharp score in the glass, so that it breaks cleanly and evenly. Cutting glass well takes skill, practice, and most of all, good tools.
The best glass cutters work efficiently, so you can get precise cuts and clean snaps without wasting glass due to bad scores. This guide will help you choose the best glass cutter for your project.
- BEST OVERALL: CRL TOYO Original Supercutter Metal Handle Cutter
- BEST FOR THICK GLASS: Toyo Custom-Grip Supercutter
- BEST FOR STAINED GLASS: IMT Pistol Grip Oil Feed Glass Cutter
- BEST FOR MIRRORS: VIGRUE Glass Cutting Tool Set
- BEST FOR WINDOWS: Red Devil 102370 Professional Glass Cutter
- BEST FOR GLASS TILE: B Bloomoak Professional Carbide Tungsten
- HONORABLE MENTION: CCC TEEZY Glass Cutter Tool with Carbide Tip
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Glass Cutter
Before you start shopping for a glass cutter, there are a few things you should know about them.
Glass cutters range in size from 5 to 7 inches long. You need to pick a tool that fits comfortably in your hand so you can handle it deftly. If you have smaller hands, a large glass cutter may be hard for you to control. If you can’t control the tool, you might end up with bad cuts and wasted material.
The best glass cutter for you will depend on the type of glass you are cutting. Most glass cutters can handle a wide variety of glass types, but some work better for certain cuts than others.
Cutting thinner sheets of glass (under 6mm), like those used in stained glass art, doesn’t take much force to score the surface, so for that kind of precision work you’ll want a lighter tool you can use to make detailed scores.
Cutting thicker sheets of glass (up to 20mm), like those used for plate windows and mirrors, rarely requires detailed cuts. Most of these score lines are straight and need a deeper score to snap accurately. In this case, you’ll want a heavier glass cutter you can bear down on to cut into the glass.
Some of the best glass cutters have swappable heads intended for specific uses.
There are several types of glass cutter grips.
- Pencil-grip glass cutters are the most common style. They have long, thin handles that rest in your hand like a pencil. These are good for general use, and they include the traditional Fletcher-style, a tapered pencil-grip cutter with a brass ball on the end. This is the glass cutter preferred by many glass-work pros.
- Custom-grip glass cutters also fit in your hand like a pencil, but they have an adjustable saddle you can place between your fingers or in the palm of your hand for extra leverage and control, allowing you to make detailed scores.
- Pistol-grip glass cutters are good for beginners and those making quick cuts in thick sheets of glass. They have large handles contoured to fit the hand, and they allow you to use your arm strength to apply leverage to a sheet of glass instead of just your wrist.
- Thomas-grip glass cutters are similar to custom grip glass cutters, but they’re short and fit in the palm of your hand. They have contoured rests you can hold between your thumb and index finger. They make detailed scores, but could be challenging if you have larger hands.
The best glass cutters have durable, sharp cutting wheels that make consistent, accurate scores. Most of the top models use tungsten carbide or steel alloy wheels for the job.
Tools with tungsten carbide wheels are the most durable and will produce the best results, and they are usually more expensive than tools with steel alloy cutting wheels. While cutters with steel alloy cutting wheels will be less expensive, they might not stay as sharp for as long as tungsten wheels. Dull cutting wheels lead to improper score lines, which could make glass snap inaccurately.
Some glass cutters have six-wheeled turrets with multiple cutting heads. Just rotate the turret to a new blade when the old one gets dull.
Cutting range refers to the thickness of material a tool can cut. Be sure you pick the right glass cutter for the job at hand. To cut thin sheets of glass, you need a tool with a range of 2mm to 6mm. For medium glass thicknesses, you need a tool with a 6mm to 12mm range. There are also cutters that can cut thicker glass sheets with a range of 10mm to 20mm.
Many glass cutters have swappable cutting heads, so you can choose the cutting wheel you need and put it on the tool. Multi-head tools let you cut a wider range of glass thicknesses.
Lubrication makes glass cutting simpler. You’ll also need oil to ensure your cutting wheel remains sharp for as long as possible. Many of the best glass cutters feature self-oiling capabilities. These models have an oil reservoir in the handle, a wick that connects the reservoir to the wheel, and a compressible head. When the head compresses during a cut, the wheel comes in contact with the wick, allowing the oil to flow onto it.
Some models don’t self-oil, in which case you’ll need to oil the wheel while cutting.
If you’re new to glass cutting, you might not realize how important ergonomics are. Applying pressure over a long score line can wear you out in a hurry. Choosing a glass cutter with the appropriate grip and size will make a big difference in your comfort level and the amount of control you have.
For beginners still building hand and wrist strength and endurance, a pistol-grip cutter may be the best choice. You’ll likely outgrow this cutter quickly as your hand gets stronger, but it’s a good starter cutter.
Our Top Picks
Now that you have a bit more background on the best glass cutters, how they work, and what you should look for when choosing a model, you’re ready to start shopping. Below is a list of some of the top glass cutters on the market.
If you’re looking for a glass cutter that can handle a variety of work, check out the CRL TOYO Original Supercutter. This pencil-grip glass cutter features a brass handle that doubles as a reservoir for automatic oiling. It’s strong enough to stand up to the pressure you’ll need to apply to cut thick glass, but maneuverable enough to handle detailed cuts. It comes with a head and cutting wheel set that can cut 3mm to 6mm glass. You can buy another cutting wheel head that can handle thicker glass sheets. It has a precision-ground carbide cutting wheel that will stay sharp for a long time.
The Toyo Custom-Grip Supercutter makes it easier to cut thick glass thanks to a saddle on its handle that improves leverage and control. You can use it in four different positions, so it can fit any size hands. The handle of this glass cutter doubles as an oil reservoir for the self-oiling function, which operates by spring control. However, this particular tool works quite well without oil. It features a carbide steel cutting wheel and can handle most thick hobby glass and repair projects with ease.
The IMT Pistol Grip Oil Feed Glass Cutter is designed to let you use your entire arm when scoring glass—a benefit to new hobbyists building up their wrist strength. It also features an automatic oil system, with the grip serving as the oil reservoir. The IMT Pistol Grip Oil Feed Glass Cutter comes with two cutting heads, one for 2mm to 6mm glass and one for 6mm to 12mm glass. Both feature tungsten carbide cutting wheels. They also spin freely in 360-degrees, allowing you to easily make curved cuts in stained glass. It also has a ball-end handle for snapping scored glass.
Vigrue’s Glass Cutting Tool Set has a head that swivels 360-degrees, making it easy to cut curves as well as long, straight lines, key to working with mirrors. The cutter has a metal pencil grip and a cutting head that can handle glass thicknesses from 3mm to 18mm. The knurled handle adds a bit of slip resistance while also serving as a reservoir for the self-oiler. The handle has an anti-skid pattern and ergonomic design so you will be comfortable even when you’re cutting for a long time. The ball end doubles as the reservoir cap and a tapping ball for separating scored seams.
If you’re looking for a traditional-style tool for cutting glass window panes, check out the Red Devil 102370 Professional Glass Cutter. This Fletcher-style glass cutter features a solid metal body with a ball end for tapping scored glass seams. It also has three notches in different sizes for snapping glass panes. The Red Devil features a steel wheel that works well for straight cuts in window glass, as well as other general glass cutting uses. The traditional design doesn’t include a built-in self-oiler, so a few drops of oil every now and then while using it will go a long way toward keeping the wheel sharp.
The Professional Carbide Tungsten Alloy Handle glass cutter by B Bloomoak makes it easy to cut glass tiles and thick sheets of glass. This pencil-grip style cutter has a rubber grip to reduce hand fatigue and improve control, as well as a handle reservoir for oil storage to feed the self-oiler. It also has a steel ball end for cracking seams. The cutter head on the B Bloomoak can handle glass thicknesses ranging from 2mm to 19mm, and it comes fitted with a tungsten carbide cutting wheel. This combination will allow you to cut most glass tiles with ease.
If you’d prefer to keep your glass-cutting journey more affordable, be sure to check out the CCC TEEZY Glass Cutter Tool. This budget-friendly, pencil-style glass cutter comes with three heads for cutting glass thicknesses from 2mm to 20mm. Each head has a carbide steel wheel. The CCC TEEZY has a steel-bodied handle that acts as a reservoir for the self-oiler. This cutter also comes with a metal ball on one end for tapping scored glass seams. This cutter comes with a screwdriver and an oil dropper for adding oil to the reservoir.
FAQs About Glass Cutters
If you still have some questions about your new glass cutter, we’ve got answers.
Q. How do I choose a glass cutter?
Choosing the best glass cutter mostly comes down to preference. However, if you’re new to glass cutting, you may want to choose a pistol-grip model to improve your leverage and wrist endurance.
Q. How do you use a glass cutter?
To use a glass cutter, drag the wheel from one edge of the glass sheet to the other edge, applying pressure while holding the cutter at roughly 45 degrees. Once you have an end-to-end score mark, lay the glass cutter underneath the sheet directly under the score mark, and slowly push down until the glass snaps at the seam.
Q. What kind of oil do you use to cut glass?
Almost any oil will do, including machine oil, but for best results, consider buying glass cutting-specific oil.
Q. How do I maintain a glass cutter?
Keep your glass cutter lubricated and clean. If the wheel wears out, replace the cutting head or buy a new wheel to install in your cutter. Dull wheels make bad cuts.
Q. How long does a glass cutter last?
A glass cutter can last a lifetime if properly maintained. Some manufacturers claim their cutting wheels can cut more than 20,000 meters of glass before they need to be replaced.