Tools for Glass Cutting

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A few basic tools necessary for cutting glass include safety glasses, a hand grip cutter and a variety of flat-headed breaking pliers. Gather the proper tools to beginning working in glass with helpful instruction from an experienced glass artist in this free video on glass crafts.

Part of the Video Series: Stained Glass Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Shanon Materio. My husband, Philip and I are the owners of McMow Art Glass and today we are going to cover glass cutting tools. So I'm going to always put on my safety glasses first and talk about the different glass cutting tools that there are. This is the old fashioned tool you can still purchase for abut $5 at your local hardware store. The head on this is steel and it does get blunt very quickly so it doesn't last too long. It's a throwaway tool and when you're using this tool you'll find it's difficult to make circles but it does have a nice little wheel on the bottom that we still use if we are trying to tape out a piece. The new glass cutters you'll find will all have these new carbide small wheels on them, never throw these away, they're quite expensive in the $20 to $30 range so they last about six months to a year depending on how much glass you cut. They pivot, they're on a spring and they come with oil reservoirs. This is called a hand grip cutter. It's the same as the straight line cutter. It has a reservoir for filling up with oil but it's great for those people who have problems with maybe carpal tunnel, you're a little bit older, you're not used to using tools, you have arthritis. It's a very popular glass cutter. Again when this goes bad you just change the head. This is a third cut. It's a palm held cutter and different people use it different ways, however, you're comfortable getting the grip that you need. I choose the straight line cutter and I am going to cut a piece of glass with this glass cutter. Notice how easy it is to just release the tension in the surface of the glass. It sang very nicely for me. I'm going to use a pair of breaking pliers on either side of my square line and break the glass. It's a very important thing for us to go over the breaking tools at this time because you have options. I like to keep all of them in my repertoire of tools because they all come in handy but these are my favorites. They are a flat headed tool with a nice little edge to them. They're nice and sharp on the front and they have very good leverage. This is a breaking tool with some teeth in it which also has a little curved top to it and they're great for grossing. The running pliers you can't do without. This happens to be a metal plier. They also come in plastic, a little bit less money but I'm all big on buy the best tool that you can afford to buy. This has a very nice breaking edge to it and you buy them one time and you'll have them for 30 years.


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