Take your glass crafts or window repair to the best glass cutter for a job that requires removing a piece of glass from one of your windows.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Glass Cutter

Power source, blade type, and speed are just a few of the factors to consider when shopping for the best glass cutter. Read on to find out more about these and other attributes of glass cutters.

Corded vs. Cordless

When it comes to power tools, corded tools tend to be more powerful than cordless tools. Thats not always the case, however. Some cordless tools can pack a punch, and they’re often very portable. Theres no doubt that corded tools have their place, but if you want the most cutting power, go with a corded glass cutter.

The debate over whether corded or cordless tools are better has raged for decades, but there really is no answer. It depends on your needs. If you need a tool that you can take to a job site and use in the workshop, then a corded glass cutter makes sense. But if youre looking for a compact, lightweight tool that you can carry around all day, then a cordless glass cutter might be your better bet.

Speed Settings

Glass cutters are fastened to an electric motor, and while manufacturers dont always list speeds, they usually give some indication of what to expect. Speeds may range from 200 rpm (revolutions per minute) to 2,000 rpm. A higher rpm means the blades will spin faster, but it also means the blades will wear out sooner.

Some models feature two speed settings: low and high. The lower setting spins the blade slower but uses less energy, whereas high speed uses more energy but spins the blade faster.

Battery Type & Life

Almost all glass cutters today run off lithium-ion batteries, which are easy to reattach when they die. Older tools used D cells, which are outdated and less efficient. Theyre still available, but its best to avoid them.

A battery life indicator shows how many minutes of full runtime the battery can provide before needing a recharge. This can help you plan ahead and ensure you have a backup battery so you wont be left without one.

Note that battery life indicators arent perfect. Sometimes a battery may appear dead even though it has plenty of power remaining, so dont be surprised if the indicator gives a slightly misleading figure.

Motor Power

Electric motors are rated by amps (Amps), representing the amount of energy they can handle. Most modern glass cutters use between 10 and 12 amps.

The amp rating refers to the continuous output of electricity, not the frequency with which the current is supplied. For example, a 12-volt motor requires a continuous stream of 1 amp, not 0.5 amps. The latter would indicate a smaller motor, despite the fact that the supply is greater.

In addition to motor power, also consider the torque, which indicates the twisting force of the blades. Torque is measured in pounds-feet (lbf.), and its important because it determines how well the blades bite into thick materials.

Blade Size

Glass cutters contain blades, which are usually steel, and they vary in size. Blade diameter is a good indication of durability, and the largest blades are typically found on the right-hand side of the tool. Smaller blades are often on the left.

The larger blades are designed to cut through large pieces of sheetrock, plywood, and other building materials. Larger blades generally require longer strokes, which puts more strain on the arm and hand. Smaller blades are better for fine detail work like cutting crystal stemware.

Handle Design

Handles come in different designs, and the best glass cutter for you will depend on how you intend to use it.

  • Rounded handles are common on glass cutters. They feel comfortable in hand, and the smooth curve makes it easier to grip the tool securely.
  • Barrel-shaped handles are another favorite. These arent as ergonomic as round handles, but the straight shape allows for a firm grip with both hands.
  • Dowel-style handles are commonly seen on drill drivers and screwdrivers, and they consist of two long rods that extend from the handle and meet at the top. This design offers a secure grip with both hands, but it can be difficult to get a solid purchase on the bottom rod with the non-grip hand.
  • Lever handles are also known as pistol grips. This is the classic handle design for a power tool. It consists of a single bar that curves down to form a trigger and up to form a grip. Pistol-grip handles are among the most durable options.

Weight

Glass cutters arent light tools, and the best model for you will depend on how heavy lifting and carrying it will be. Cutters can weigh between 5 and 15 pounds.

Consider that you’ll also need space in your garage or workshop to store it. Also think about how much weight you’ll want to lift, since the heavier the glass cutter, the heavier the glass you can cut.