Glass cutting mirror with his hands. Cut mirror with a glass cutter

How to cut glass properly with a glass cutter

For 2 centuries, glass has been an integral part of any home. This material is used in the production of windows, mirrors, picture frames and many other elements of the interior. Hard, but at the same time incredibly fragile glass, has certain features of processing, fundamentally different from concrete, plastic or brick. Cutting this material is a very fine and precise process, requiring special tools and certain knowledge. In this article, we will try to convey the essence of the glass cutting process in as much detail as possible, as well as tell you about a few important nuances that will be useful in the work.

Having started the procedure for cutting glass, be sure to take into account that the work with this material requires compliance with safety rules, neglecting which is not recommended. In its raw form, glass has sharp edges that can easily cut into the skin and cause infection. To avoid cuts, protect hands with gloves and wear clothing with sleeves. Since glass tends to crumble into small, sharp splinters, we strongly advise you to wear safety glasses.

The place where you cut the glass should be flat and stable. It is categorically not recommended to perform this operation on a knee, a loose stool and other doubtful surfaces. Following this rule will minimize the risk of your glass falling on the floor, it also makes the work more comfortable and improves the quality of the cut.

If you have not previously had any experience with glass and do not yet know how to cut with a glass cutter, we do not recommend disregarding the above recommendations. It is possible that some experienced craftsmen can do this work with their eyes closed on their knees, but for beginners it usually does not go so smoothly. Inexperience, you can make many mistakes: grabbing a sharp edge, dropping the glass on your foot, or jamming the cut and getting splinters in your eye. If you are working with glass for the first time and have not yet experienced the process, it is best to be prepared.


All operations must be performed with work gloves. It is usually advised to choose them made of latex, but it is quite enough to use cotton ones with a protective working layer.

After cutting the mirror its edges are processed with fine sandpaper.

Cutting glass canvases requires a special tool, such as a glass cutter. It makes the work process much easier. Despite this, you can cope with the task with other materials. If you need to urgently cut the glass into pieces, and there are no suitable tools at hand, they can be replaced by improvised means.

What should be taken into consideration while working?

As in every case, when cutting the mirror at home there are some nuances that must be taken into consideration. Before you start, you need to read the advice of professionals and learn the technology of cutting. All this will help you better understand the process and prevent or reduce damage to the mirror.

You should be aware of such important little things:

  • during the cut, the tool must be kept perpendicular to the surface, a minimal deviation of a few degrees is allowed;
  • the table to support the glass must stand flat and firmly;
  • the cut should be made in one precise, quick and uninterrupted movement;
  • it is strongly not recommended to change the pressing power during the cutting process, only about half of a centimeter before the edge of the mirror it is possible to loose the tension to avoid a chipping
  • the glass is cut from the far side towards yourself;
  • the cut is made only on the front side of the mirror;
  • when using a roller glass cutter, if the cut is good quality, there will be a dark mark on the mirror, if the lines are whitish, it is likely that the glass is not completely cut;
  • if a diamond glass cutter is used, the mark on the mirror will always be white;
  • when using a long ruler, bicycle tube cuttings can be put on the edges to prevent slipping.
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Very important addition. Never deepen in any way the bad cut, because you will not be able to repeat it exactly, and the following steps will only spoil the mirror and you will be able to cut only a smaller element from it.

How to cut glass without a glass cutter

Before we proceed to a detailed description of glass cutting techniques, we want to remind you of safety. Always wear work gloves and safety glasses to prevent cuts and shards from getting into your eyes. Be careful not to put excessive pressure on the glass.

Using a flaming thread

A very common technique mostly used to cut glass bottles. The straight glasses also can be cut by this method, but with some nuances. All you need to cut a straight piece of glass is a piece of woolen thread, flammable liquid (alcohol, kerosene, etc.), and also a piece of glass chemistry.д.) And a container of cold water.

Soak thread in flammable liquid and fix it in the cut line on the glass. We ignite, wait for complete burnout and immediately put it in cold water or pour it on the place of heating. The main thing is that the glass cools down as quickly as possible and breaks from the temperature drop. A characteristic “click” will indicate the success of the work performed. If the glass is not cracked, you may try to repeat the operation.

This method is quite even cutting bottles, but does not always work with large glass sizes. As it is very fire-hazardous and requires a fire extinguisher on hand or a container of water, which is already mandatory.

Soldering iron

Very interesting, but very slow way to cut glass thermally. suitable for shape cutting, but will also make a normal straight line for the trimmer with no problem. A file and heating element (a soldering iron or a burner) will be needed for this operation.

After marking the line for the trimmer of the future cut on the glass, we take a file and make a small groove with it at the very edge. 1-2 mm away from it, heat the place with the soldering iron until a micro-crack is formed between it and the groove. Then we step back from the crack itself by the same distance and gradually move to the finish point. It takes a long time to cut the glass that way, but you can get any shape. To speed things up a bit, you can periodically cool the glass by putting a damp cloth over it.

With scissors in the water

A simple method of directional glass cutting. Makes it easy to cut out round shapes, but not good for making straight lines. You will need a pair of scissors and a container of water as a sort of lubricant. The maximum thickness of the glass should not exceed 4 mm.

The process of cutting with this method is very simple. We take a piece of processed glass, immerse it in water and use scissors to cut small pieces from the edges. The water will not allow the glass to crack, allowing you to make a controlled chip. You can get oval and round shapes this way.

With a diamond wheel

Not the safest way to cut glass and requires a lot of accuracy and obeying the safety rules. Can easily chip the glass and launch a splinter in any direction. Otherwise this method is very effective and can do the job. You will need a special tool (angle grinder, drilling machine or drill) with a diamond wheel with a thickness of 0.1 mm thick.

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The cutting process itself is quite simple, but requires some skill and a steady hand to guide the tool precisely along the line. Lay a piece of glass on a flat place, then take the cutter and run the trimmer blade on the glass surface. The main thing is not to plunge into the depths, but only to touch lightly, so that a small groove is formed, similar to a wide line for a trimmer from a glass cutter. Then just break the glass in the right place.

To minimize the risk of glass breakage and to minimize glass dust, you can hose down the cutting area with water from time to time.

Use a file

To cut the glass, it is enough to make several notches on its surface with the angle of the file. Apply only a little more pressure than average to create a clean groove that resembles a glass cutter. When the chipped area is marked, simply break the glass against the edge of the table or put a match under the place of the cut.

This method requires some skill, and if this is your first time cutting glass, we strongly recommend that you practice on small, unwanted splinters before moving on to the main material.

Victory drill bit

If you know what glass cutting is all about, here’s another way to cut glass without a glass cutter. With some experience, a single drill bit with a pobedite tip may be sufficient for this operation. The main thing is to make sure the drill bit is more or less new, with sharp corners on the head.

The process itself of cutting glass with a drill bit is much the same as with an ordinary roller glass cutter. The differences are higher pressure, but otherwise the steps are standard. We lay the glass on a flat surface, mark the trimmer line of the cut, put a plank on it, and guide the trimmer line down from top to bottom. Before cutting, turn the tip so that the sharpest corner touches the glass. After obtaining a clear line for the trimmer, break the glass along the cutting line.

Materials required

When all the necessary things are in place, you can proceed to the main stage of the work. Here are the step-by-step instructions, tested by the author, which guarantee an even chipping, if these points are followed. If you have never cut glass or mirrors before, it is better to practice on unnecessary splinters before you start with the main material.

Safety at work

It is important not only to cut the right piece of mirror correctly, but also to keep yourself safe while working at home.

Before you start cutting the mirror you must learn the safety rules carefully.

This will help to avoid injuries and damage to the material during the work:

glass, cutting, mirror, hands
  • The workplace should be tidy. No unnecessary items on the table. Drawers for scraps, working tools and the mirror are placed in a comfortable position;
  • It is necessary to check the operability of all devices before you start working (glass cutter, pliers);
  • Rubber tips are put on the lips of the pliers;
  • Do not worry and do not make any abrupt movements while working with the mirror;
  • Do not touch the trimmer line to cut the mirror with your bare fingers;
  • It is forbidden to cut the mirror on surfaces not adapted for this purpose;
  • If you are working at height, do not throw the cuttings down. All trash must be taken away with you;
  • If a lot of scraps accumulate during cutting, they should be moved out of the drawers and into a garbage can;
  • Take out pieces of glass with care. If they are cracked, you can only take one piece at a time;
  • It is forbidden to cut on your lap;
  • If an electric glass cutter is used, it must be handled with the utmost care;
  • If the mirror was brought from a cold room, you should give it time to warm up;
  • Do not blow off glass dust. If the floor is to be swept and workbenches cleaned, the special brush is used;
  • If a special suit is used, shake it thoroughly before removing it.
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Safety precautions must not be neglected during work. If you can not create the right conditions for cutting glass, it is better to postpone this activity to a more appropriate moment.

Surface Preparation

Before the work, the mirror must be put in order: clean the surface, remove all stains, whatever kind they may be. Foreign layers will blunt the tool faster, but what is more dangerous. the cutter can slip from the marked line and simply scratch the mirror or hurt the cutter.

often old mirrors are trimmed: to adapt them to a new interior, to be integrated into the installation or simply to give them a new life. The longer the glass has been in service, the more thoroughly it needs to be cleaned. Special products are required. After removing dirt, you need to degrease the surface and then dry it. You can use a hair dryer with cold air blowing.

Tip When cleaning the mirror, it is better to refrain from cloth cloths and even terry towels, because they can leave lint. It is better to use modern synthetic wipes.

The last stage of preparation is to bring the cloth into the room where it will be made. The surface must get used to the temperature regime.

Is it possible to cut glass without a glass cutter at home

Not everyone knows that it is possible to cut ordinary glass with scissors. The main conditions in this case are sharp. sharpening the cutting edge. It is necessary to put all the glass in a large enough container so that it is covered with water.

Sometimes there is a desire to buy a mirror of any intricate shape.

It is the liquid that prevents the appearance of chips and cracks. Then, carefully with scissors begin to cut small pieces, achieving the desired shape and size.

Cut a mirror in any shape.

Pay attention! Such variant of treatment of a mirror is suitable only if its thickness does not exceed the mark of 4 mm and it is necessary to make a figure cutting. It is likely that cutting a straight line for the trimmer in this case will not work.

You can also use another way. For example, take a file that has a rectangular or triangular cutting edge.

The cutting element must be placed strictly on the marked line and perpendicular to the mirror surface.

The procedure in this case is as follows. make incisions on both sides with the edge of the file. Then the main line for the trimmer is scratched and the breakage is carried out. But to realize this variant you need a skill in working with such materials as glass and mirror.

If you have never worked with a mirror, ask for help.

You can also try using a drill bit for pobedite. Here, holes are made in several places. They all lie on the cutting line. After that, a thin line for a trimmer is scratched between them and the unnecessary part is eliminated by tapping and breaking.

If everything is done correctly, you can hear the sound of the cut glass, it is impossible to confuse it.

Important! If you work with a drill bit, you must turn it so that only the sharp corner goes into the glass. Otherwise the mirror will crack.

You can cut the mirror yourself.

With all these features in mind, it’s easy enough to trim or shape the mirror at home.

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