How to cut glass: a surprisingly easy DIY project

Glass cutting may seem like the last DIY project that hands-on and crafty homeowners will be doing, which is understandable considering that glass is delicate, and cutting it can be dangerous if done wrong. However, it might surprise you that cutting glass is way easier than expected.

If you need to do a window replacement or any similar project, you can save money on hiring professionals by learning how to cut glass here.

What you need

Glass cutting is an easy process. But glass is still glass, and it’s still delicate. For this kind of DIY project, you’ll be needing the right tools to ensure safety and the best results.

A flat surface

One of the first things you need to remember when learning how to cut glass is the importance of the work surface. Putting tension on glass with a bent or rugged surface will cause the glass to crack or break while cutting, so the work surface must be flat. The best work surface for cutting glass is wood, something like thick plywood will do, with a cover like felt or anything similar on top to provide support and prevent scratches on the glass while working.

Glass cutter

For hundreds of years, the glass cutter remains an irreplaceable tool for its job. A glass cutter is a pencil-like tool with a small blade that can score a line on glass and help cut it. This tool also helps etch beautiful patterns or decorations on the surface of the glass.


A cutting oil or any lubricant of some sort is essential for that clean finish with straight edges. It can also help prolong the life of the blade on the glass cutter, making sure that it’s sharp for more accurate projects in the long run.

Tape measure

Measurement is more intricate in cutting glass than in wood. If you mess up the numbers in wood, you can still chip or cut on a few corners to get the right shape. Cutting glass doesn’t have that privilege, so you’ll need to be more careful while working.

Other essential tools include:

  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Glass cleaner
  • Sandpaper
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge ruler
  • Dowel (any material)

The cutting process

Now that you’ve got the tools in place, here are the next steps on how to cut glass:

The preparation

Always put on safety gloves and goggles before cutting the glass. Make sure that the surface you’ll be using is flat, but above all, make sure it’s clean as well. Dirt can make your flat surface rugged, which can crack your glass when you’re scoring it. Sweep the surface to remove any debris on top. You can use a damp cover laid flatly on the surface to ensure that the glass will not slip while cutting. A dirty glass can also hinder the cutter from cutting smoothly, so make sure you clean both sides with a glass cleaner.
Finally, the wheel of the glass cutter should be cleaned too. You can use a little bit of cutting lubricant on the tip of the glass cutter for smooth scoring.

Cutting the glass

Always make a noticeable mark on the glass before scoring a line. Use a ruler or a straightedge to keep your glass cutter straight. While running the glass cutter, use only moderate force and cut or score only once. If there’s a part that’s not scored, run over the whole line again, but make sure you finish from end to end first. Running the glass cutter back may cause the glass to break, so try to do it all in one move.
The sound while you line the glass can help. If you hear a sort of ripping sound, then you’re doing it right.

Related Page: Special Pattern and Shape Cuts

Separating the cut glass

There are many methods to separate the desired cut glass from the rest. One easy way to separate the glass is by placing a long dowel directly under the scored line. The dowel can be in any material, whether wood, metal, or plastic. When the dowel is in place, press on both sides of the glass with either palm; this will snap the glass in two if you scored the line properly.

Final touches

Always remember that the edges will still be sharp. To prevent cuts, use fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen any rough edges on the glass. One way to easily do this is to wrap the sandpaper on a wooden block that you can easily hold.

Quality glass in one day

If you’re still learning how to cut glass and mastering the techniques for such a DIY project, there are professionals you can trust to provide you with quality glass that is custom-made for your needs.

One Day Glass is a division of the trusted Peninsula Glass that offers creative glass solutions at a very reasonable price.

Get professionally-crafted glass that fits all of your home projects in just as one day, as the name suggests.
Contact One Day Glass today!

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