If you are like me and sometimes need a drink or two to get the creative juices flowing, you will probably have a few empty wine or beer bottles around.
Although you could just recycle them, empty glass bottles can be great materials for your next project!
In this article, we will go over the basics of glassworking and how to use a glass cutter tool succesfully.
Glass Cutting for Beginners
Cutting glass is a fun activity that little people know about. Which is strange because we all have some empty bottles around that we could put to good use!
We all know that playing with broken glass is dangerous. But if you use the best glass bottle cutter and a protective glove, there is nothing to worry about.
Of course, we would recommend you to cut the glass when you are sober, and not right after drinking the entire content.
Wondering what you can make when you purchase one of the best bottle cutter kits?
It of course depends a little bit on the type of bottle you are using, but people commonly use empty bottles to make vases, candleholders, shot glasses, tumblers, etc.
A simple Google search for the phrase “wine bottle art” or “repurposed wine bottles” will give a good idea of the possibilities.
You can make even more colorful designs by not just cutting but also painting the glass. Which you can easily learn by taking an online glass painting class.
For a quick impression, check out the tweet below that uses empty wine bottles.
So many bottles create so many options for candles and decor. The variety of colours of glass alone is wonderful! pic.twitter.com/WDOOGFeMCf
— Bottle Cutting Inc (@CutWithKinkajou) 6 November 2017
How to Cut Empty Glass Bottles?
There are many different ways to break glass. The hard part is to do it safely and in a controlled manner.
This is where having a glass cutter comes in handy. Glass cutters are a nice to have in your glassworking starter kit.
A glass cutter will help you score the glass, such that you can cleanly separate the two halves of the glass bottle without breaking it in a thousand and one pieces.
Normally buying a bottle cutting kit once is enough. You don’t need to buy the best wine bottle glass cutter for your wine bottles, and then the best cutter for beer bottles, etc. Since more cutters can work with bottles of different sizes.
But we do recommend using a specialized bottle cutter rather than buying the best glass cutter. Cutting flat glass is very different from cutting a bottle.
1. Preparing your Bottles for Cutting
We know you are probably excited to start cutting your first bottle. But don’t forget to properly prepare the glass bottles before cutting with the following steps.
- Wash off any label from the area you want to cut.
- Remove the cork or cap from the bottle.
- Wash the inside of the bottle and let it dry to remove any residual.
2. Cutting the Bottles
Even though glass cutters are relatively safe, things can always go wrong. So before you start cutting you might want to wear protective glasses and gloves.
Once you are completely safe, you can start cutting. The exact instructions might change amongst machines, but the general method is shown below.
- Firmly place the bottle in contact with the glass cutter.
- Score the bottle at the desire location.
- Then heat the scored area with a (candle) flame or hot water.
- Without giving it time to cool down, place the hot bottle in an ice bath.
- After a few seconds you can gently remove the bottle from the bath and try to break it into 2 pieces.
Don’t get discouraged if your first bottle isn’t a great success. Sometimes cutting glass is more of an art than a science.
Especially, getting scoring the glass can be tricky since the glass might slip if you apply to much pressure, but with too little pressure you might not score deep enough.
If you were successful, don’t forget to polish the edges of the glass just to make sure. Especially if you are going to use it as a shot glass or tumbler.
The video below shows how to cut a square bottle using the Creator’s Bottle Cutter.
Glass Cutting Tips
It takes some practice to get the hang of cutting a bottle. Especially if the bottle has a special shape or includes indentations.
However, before giving up on a potential new hobby, make sure you didn’t fall for any of these beginner mistakes.
- Make sure the blade is in contact with the bottle. If the blade doesn’t touch the glass properly you are either using a bottle that is too big or should reset the blade.
- Remove the paper labels from the bottle, so you don’t obstruct the blade.
- Make sure that the bottle you try to cut isn’t too thick. More glass cutters can only cut glass that is a few mm thick.
- You can personalize the glass even further by using a glass etching cream.
Recommended Bottle Cutters?
There are many different cutters to choose from. We will save you the hassle of reading all the glass bottle cutter reviews.
Below we will just go over the two most popular glass bottle cutting kits.
Creator’s Bottle Cutter
It is 12 x 6 x 5 inches in size and doesn’t require any assembly. You can use it straight out of the box. It includes a carbide cutting head that is used to score the bottles.
Additionally, this glass cutter also comes with two rings that can be used to separate the glass, a palm protector to keep your hand safe and an abrasive stone to smooth the glass edges.
Not just wine glasses, but even thick Champaign bottles can be cut with the Creator’s bottle cutter.
Kinkajou Bottle Cutter
This wine bottle cutter looks a little different from other models but is very safe to work with. It can cut bottles that are between 43 and 102 mm thick and durable enough to last over 200 cuts.
Some excellent motivation to drink an extra glass this weekend!
Unlike most other models, the Kinkajou bottle cutter lets you cut very low to the bottom of the bottles.
See the video below on how to use the Kinkajou bottle cutter.