If you’re looking to use glass in your jewelry projects, you need a high-quality glass cutter. Not only that, but you’ll need the best glass cutter for you and the projects you have in mind. Fortunately for you, nowadays you can get just about every type of glass cutting tool imaginable, from small, inexpensive hand tools to industrial band saws.
So, how do you find the glass cutter that’s just right for you? With so many products on the market, it’s hard to sort out the workhorses from the wimps. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best glass cutters in four different categories, and written in-depth comparison reviews to help you find an accurate and reliable solution that suits your needs.
Keep reading to find out which are the best glass cutters money can buy and also don’t forget to read our practical shopping guide at the end of the article, where we share some essential buying advice to help you choose the best possible option.
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases referred from our site.
The Best Glass Cutters Of 2020
We chose the Toyo Custom-Grip glass cutter as the best all-around hand tool. It’s very easy to use, it allows you to exert more pressure with less effort, and it still delivers when you want to do deeper cuts. It’s a great choice for most jewelers.
The Toyo Custom-Grip glass cutter’s blade is made of durable carbide steel, instead of cheaper metal. This means that you’ll get more in-depth, precise cuts for longer, without wearing out the tool.
This model comes with a handle grip that allows you to exert the optimal level of pressure and gives you more control with less effort. It’s a variation of the pencil grip type. The Toyo also has an adjustable handle that you can use for more stability – just place the handle between the index finger and thumb.
Just like most Toyo models, the custom grip super cutter comes with TOYO’s patented Tap-Wheel® Technology that adds a micro-vibration as the wheel rotates, driving scores deeper with less applied pressure. The tool offers easier breakouts, cleaner edges, and less hand fatigue. It sounds like over-engineering on a small hand device, but it really does make a difference!
Even though the carbide steel wheel tip doesn’t technically need it, this model allows you to use oil if that’s what you prefer. You can fill the custom grip tube with oil and it’ll self-dispense.
What’s great about the Toyo Custom-Grip glass cutter is that it’s very affordable – at around $30, it’s a steal, considering that you get all the nice features we’ve just talked about! There are certainly cheaper models on the market, but this is the least we think you can pay for something that really does the job properly.
The positioning of the handle might be a bit hard to get used to for some people. This is because the handle keeps your hand at a certain distance and doesn’t give you many options of where to keep your fingers. If you’re super set on working a specific way, you may want to look at other options. Having said that, we think the learning curve is worth it for the Toyo.
Additionally, although this is well-designed and has a high-quality carbide steel cutting surface, it’s a small tool. That means it might fall short when trying to cut very thick glass – a band saw is a lot more suitable for those tasks. You can also try the Tap Wheel Toyo below if you want something with a bit more oomph.
The Toyo “Tap Wheel” is the perfect tool for people that have wrist or hand problems, and find that holding and applying pressure with a pencil grip type tool can be a bit difficult for them. It offers a lot of control and pressure for minimal effort. Plus, a pistol grip simply makes more sense for thicker pieces of glass.
The Toyo “Tap Wheel” is a pistol grip type of glass cutter, specifically designed for people with weaker wrists or hand problems. The pistol grip allows you to use the full force of your whole hand when applying pressure, which means you’ll be making deeper cuts with little effort.
Additionally, because the pistol grip allows you to exert more force with less elbow grease, it’s a smart choice for thicker glass. You’ll be able to make clean cuts on very thick pieces of glass with ease.
As with the model we’ve looked at above, this Toyo Tap Wheel comes with a high-quality carbide steel wheel tip, which means you’re getting a long-lasting tool. You can cut glass for quite some time before you notice any real difference in performance.
With this model, you can easily replace the heads of the glass cutters and keep the handle that works for you and that you’re accustomed to. Online, you can find wheel heads starting from $4-5 dollars, but if you want a high-quality, Toyo head, you can buy it for around $20:
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases referred from our site.
You will have to sacrifice some capacity for detail work because of the pistol grip. It limits the range of motion that you would typically get with a pencil grip glass cutter. However, once you’re fairly experienced, you’ll find that you can still get a decent degree of precision with the Tap Wheel.
Because of the way the Tap Wheel is designed, you might find that the oil runs out fairly quickly. It’s not a huge downside, but you might have to refill often or dip the wheel in an external oil cup. Of course, with a carbide steel blade, you don’t necessarily need the oil, but it’s worth mentioning for everyone that prefers to work with oil.
You can certainly cut bottles with small hand tools like the Toyo models above (or with the old hot wire method), but the best way is with a dedicated bottle cutter. Tools like this are quite inexpensive and they’re really handy in the workshop. The HPST Glass Bottle Cutter delivers solid, affordable performance for clean and easy cuts on a variety of bottle sizes.
As the name itself implies, the HPST Glass Bottle Cutter is purpose-built for cutting bottles. The design includes five support wheels that can stabilize a variety of different-sized bottles (up to 19.5 inches of length, way more than a jeweler will ever need) and offers precise cuts. This is a perfect choice for anyone that needs to cut a curved glass surface.
The HPST Glass Bottle Cutter is adjustable and easy to use. It has instructions inside the package to get you started, although the tool is very intuitively designed and you’ll probably won’t even need them. To use it, simply apply even pressure over the bottle with your hands on top and slowly rotate the bottle until it’s entirely cut.
The model offers an ultra-strong diamond carbide blade that guarantees you can use the bottle cutter for many years. According to the manufacturer, the blade can easily go over 10,000 cuts, and to prove it they offer a lifetime warranty. If you’re not satisfied with the product, you can return it for a full refund. At this price, it’s a no-brainer.
The HPST Glass Bottle Cutter comes in a bundle package that also includes a glass cutter, glasspaper, and a pair of cut-resistant gloves for your protection. Plus, you’ll get audio and an e-copy of the “Bottle Art” book to spark your creativity and get you started. Considering the price, this product offers an outstanding value.
The HPST is a specialized cutter that can’t be used for cutting flat surfaces. Even though it costs only about $30-40, you still won’t be able to use it for different applications. As a compensation, the product comes in a bundle package that also includes a pencil grip style glass cutter like the Toyo above, but it’s pretty crappy so we don’t expect you’ll use it much.
The Gryphon C-40 Band Saw is an ideal choice for quickly cutting thicker glass and other materials, like rocks and minerals. It’s a bigger and more expensive tool made for professionals that work with a variety of materials and want to use it often. While it’s pricey, it’s also a heck of a lot more versatile than glass-only hand tools!
The Gryphon C-40 comes with a super-strong diamond-coated blade that can easily cut through thick glass, rock, and minerals. The model is specifically designed for cutting intricate patterns in hard materials. It’s important to note that this machine is not just for glass–you can use it on all sorts of materials.
Since it’s so versatile, it’s a lot easier to justify the Gryphon than some other tools for your workshop. It’s one of the best benchtop band saws on the market. You’ll definitely find other uses for it besides working with glass.
This model has a super fast and powerful motor to improve the cutting speed. You can easily work on a lot of pieces throughout the day, as the Gryphon C-40 gets the job done in no time.
The Gryphon C-40 is eco-friendly and very efficient. It recirculates water from within the saw, reducing the need for an external supply or frequent refills. It stays cool and keeps debris to a minimum.
This model is a little light, which means it might move when you use it on large and hard pieces. This can easily be resolved if you simply use something to further fix the saw’s position, but you still have to put some extra effort into it.
The Toyo Custom-Grip Supercutter is the best all-around hand tool for glass. It’s made for comfort and precise cuts, and delivers on both fronts. If you’re looking for ease of use, this model has an adjustable handle that allows for deeper cuts with less effort. The tool offers easier breakouts, cleaner edges, and less hand fatigue. It’s the best choice for most folks.
Another great hand tool is the Toyo “Tap Wheel”, which is the best choice for people that are willing to sacrifice some detailing for more control and less pressure on the wrist. Plus, the high-quality wheel tip and the grip style allow for deeper cuts that can easily handle thicker glass. If that’s a use case that appeals, choose this one over the Custom Grip.
We recommend the HPST Glass Bottle Cutter for cutting bottles, bulbs, and other curved glass surfaces. It can easily adjust to a variety of different lengths (up to 19,5 inches), and it comes with a practical bundle package to get you started.
Finally, if you’re a professional that works with glass, rock, or minerals very often, it’s best that you get the Gryphon C-40 band saw, as it comes with a powerful diamond-coated blade that can easily cut the hardest materials. It’s versatile and should easily earn its keep in your workshop.
How To Choose The Glass Cutter
If you feel like you still need help deciding on the best glass cutter for your specific needs, keep reading to find out the most important factors you need to have in mind before you commit.
Knowing what you want is really important for deciding on your budget. For example, glass cutters with steel cut-wheels and plastic handles are a lot cheaper than models with a carbide steel wheel and metal handle. The quality of the wheel determines how long you will be able to use the cutter and for which tasks, while the handle is for your comfort as well as durability.
You can find decent quality glass cutters anywhere from $30 to $400+, with the price largely depending on the grip style of the tool, the additional features it offers, and the tool itself.
Specialized glass hand tools come at a cheaper price, around $20 to $50, while multi functional tools like a band saw that cut through other materials as well cost a lot more.
For example, the Toyo “Tap Wheel” thick glass cutter is the most affordable option we recommend, costing around $30. On the other hand, at around $400, the Gryphon C-40 band saw is the most expensive product on our list.
Unless you’re buying a bottle cutter or a band saw, the hand glass cutters on the market today mostly differ in the way they’re shaped. The design of the hand tool determines the level of grip comfort and control. This is mainly down to your personal likes and dislikes, though there are some practical differences as well.
Trying to answer all our different preferences and hand sizes, most brands offer:
Pencil Grip – The pencil grip glass cutter is the most popular and widely recognized grip style. As the name implies, it looks just like a pencil, and you hold it just like you would hold a pencil. It comes with or without a reservoir for oil.
Custom Grip – This is a relatively new design that offers more flexibility and allows you to exert more pressure with less effort. It’s a variation of the pencil grip type that also features a handle that goes between the index finger and the thumb. You can fill the custom grip with oil. The Toyo Custom-Grip Supercutter is one of the best examples in this group.
Pistol Grip – Pistol grip is a design meant for beginners or people that have a problem holding pencil grip cutters. Also, a pistol grip glass cutter is a perfect choice for cutting thicker glass. The Toyo “Tap Wheel” from our recommendations is a pistol grip type glass cutter.
Thomas Grip – This type of glass cutter is best for people with small hands or people who want more control by being closer to the glass they’re cutting. We don’t find they’re especially useful, so we haven’t included any here.
You should consider the type of wheel your hand tool includes, depending on how often you’re planning to use the glass cutter and how thick the glass is on which you’ll be working.
For example, the common, inexpensive steel wheel cutter head is alright for people that will use the cutter only occasionally, but it will wear out a lot quicker than a carbide tip wheel. Plus, it’s a lot harder to make precise, detailed cuts with a steel wheel cutter.
If you only need the tool to cut up a couple of pieces occasionally, then the steel wheel is a decent choice, but if you’re working on more difficult, thick glass, or you work on glass frequently, you really need a proper carbide steel tip wheel.
You can also opt for a diamond-coated band saw blade if you’re working on thick glass, or rocks and other minerals.
Hopefully, you found our reviews and essential shopping guide useful in your search for the perfect glass cutter. Our categories provide a clear and useful way of finding the right product for your specific needs. However, if you’re still undecided, our buying advice will guide you in your search.
You can always follow the title links on any product that you’re interested in, to find out the specific prices, in-depth specifications, and customer reviews about each of our recommendations.
Before you go, check out all the other jewelry-making tools we recommend so that you never miss anything important and useful.