Project Guide

How to Cut Glass

Prepare the Area to Cut Glass
a person laying a sheet of glass on a flat, open surface
  • Choose an area with a large and flat surface. If the surface is solid, lay down something soft like a mat or old rug underneath the material to be cut to avoid surface damage.
  • The best space to perform the project should be easy to clean and clear of pets and small children as an additional safety precaution.
Clean and Lubricate the Glass
a person cleaning and lubricating a sheet of glass

There are different types and thicknesses of glass and sheets that can be used for indoor or outdoor projects. 

Acrylic and plastic sheets are a protective surface typically used over shelves and table tops, as well as doors and windows. 

Polycarbonate sheets are ideal for protection purposes and are 250 times stronger than glass. 

Glass is used for installation or repair on door and window inserts, picture frames and craft projects. 

  • Use glass cleaner and a cutting rag to wipe down the surface of the material you are cutting, focusing on the areas where you plan to make cuts. If the material isn’t clean, it can affect the quality of the cut and make it more difficult to break through the surface.
  • Let the material surface dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Measure and Mark the Glass
a person using a ruler and marker to measure and mark a sheet of glass
  • Use a ruler to carefully measure and then mark the exact place you plan to cut the material with a piece of tape.
  • Next, lubricate the material with a cutting oil. Cutting oil makes for a neater and more even cut.
  • Concentrate the oil in the area you’ll be making the cut.
Score the Glass
a person using glass cutters to cut a sheet of glass
  • Place the cutter on the surface of the material at the mark.
  • Apply pressure while keeping the cutter slightly angled and tilted towards you.
  • Slowly move the cutter across the surface in a slow and controlled motion until you’ve reached the end and have finished scoring. 
  • Repeat as needed.
Break the Glass
a person breaking apart a scored piece of glass
  • Use the head of the glass cutter to elevate the glass.
  • Firmly hold the material on both sides of the cut.
  • Apply pressure and break it apart as if you were opening the spine of a book.
  • If it doesn’t break through completely to the other side, apply more pressure and lightly twist your hands to encourage the split.