Glass Crafted

The 4 Best Stained Glass Cutters For 2020

A good glass cutter can be one of the most critical tools in your shop regardless of your skill level. From beginners to experts, just about every project will make heavy use of a glass cutter, and your ability to use it effectively will help determine how your final product comes together. Great cuts can save you a lot of time grinding and finishing a piece, and having the right tool can make that more likely to happen.

That said, if you’re a complete beginner, you might be interested in starting out with a pre-cut kit. It’s highly likely that you’ll want to move on to cutting your own before too long, and most of the items on this list are pretty cheap - so it doesn’t hurt to get one today!

Below, we’ll give you a quick overview of our picks for the best stained glass cutters on the market in 2019. We’ll also go over the attributes you need to look at when choosing the right cutter (or cutters) for you. Finally, we’ll give an in depth review of each cutter on our list of top picks, and sum up everything we’ve learned.

Let’s get started!!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Stained Glass Cutter Reviews

TitleHonorWheel TypeGrip Type
Custom Grip SupercutterBest Pencil GripCarbide SteelPencil Grip
Toyo Pistol GripBest Pistol GripCarbide SteelPistol Grip
Strip and Circle Glass CutterBest Circle CutterCarbide SteelCircle Cutter
Toyo TC-10 Pencil GripHonorable MentionCarbide SteelPencil Grip

Custom Grip Supercutter

Custom Grip Supercutter
CHECK PRICE

Pros: Hand saddle reduces strain and provides good leverage.
Cons: May take some getting used to for standard pencil grip users.
Our Rating: 5.0 / 5

Our top pick for pencil grip cutter, and top pick overall is the Custom Grip Supercutter. It has a unique saddle that provides much of the same benefit you’d get from a pistol grip cutter, but with the form factor of a pencil grip.

The key list of features include:

  • Modified pencil Grip.
  • Adjustable 4 position saddle.
  • Carbide steel cutting wheel.
  • Spring controlled oil flow system.

The cutter features a spring controlled oil flow system, which works well and keeps the cutting wheel well lubricated. Overall, the grip can take some getting used to if you’re used to a traditional pencil grip cutter. However, we think that once you’re used to it (which doesn’t take long), we think you’ll agree that this is way more comfortable (especially for sustained use).

This is our top pick overall, especially if you’re a beginner in the field and haven’t already formed your own preferences. Start with this one, you won’t regret it!

Toyo Pistol Grip Cutter

Toyo Pistol Grip
CHECK PRICE

Pros: Comfortable grip provides good leverage.
Cons: Oil system can become leaky or dried out.
Our Rating: 4.6 / 5

Our top pick for pistol grip cutters is the Toyo Pistol Grip. It has all the main features you should look for in a pistol grip cutter, and is higher quality than the cheaper ones you might find in hardware stores, etc.

The key list of features include:

  • Pistol Grip.
  • Carbide steel glass cutting wheel.
  • Automatic oil flow system.

If you have issues with grip strength or other wrist related problems, this cutter might be your best bet. A small percentage of users have reported issues with the oil delivery system (either leaky or dried up), but those appear to be edge cases and can be solved by dipping the wheel periodically.

Overall, this is a great cutter for people who prefer the pistol grip style!

Strip and Circle Glass Cutter

Strip and Circle Glass Cutter
CHECK PRICE

Pros: Cuts both long strips and perfect circles.
Cons: Somewhat complicated - be sure to read instructions.
Our Rating: 4.8 / 5

The best glass cutter for circle cuts is the Strip and Circle Glass Cutter by Glastar. This type of cutter is more specialized than the others on this list, but we felt it was important to include here. Cutting perfect circles and long strips is important in many stained glass designs, and that’s exactly what these tools do very well.

The key list of features include:

  • Cuts circles from 3-25” in diameter.
  • Cuts strips from 1-12” in width.
  • Spare cutting wheel included.

If you’re a brand new stained glass artist, it’s ok to hold off on purchasing a circle cutter until you’re ready (but we suggest picking one up as soon as you’re sure you’ll stick with it). This cutter is the best one for circle / strip cuts on the market in an affordable price range. The only real drawback is that it can be a little complicated to use - so be sure to read those directions!

Toyo TC-10 Pencil Grip

Toyo TC-10 Pencil Grip
CHECK PRICE

Pros: Solid construction, easy to use.
Cons: May result in hand fatigue compared to other cutters on this list.
Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

We didn’t give the Toyo TC-10 our top spot for pencil grip cutters, but we felt it deserved an honorary mention. While we recommend the Custom Grip Supercutter overall, if you truly prefer an unmodified pencil grip, this should be your pick.

The key list of features include:

  • Standard pencil grip.
  • Carbide steel glass cutting wheel.
  • Self-oiling feed system.
  • Cross hatched metal grip.

This cutter is of high quality, and has a solid heft to it. The oil dispensing system works well and doesn’t leak. This cutter will definitely get the job done, and is a joy to use.

Stained Glass Cutter Buyer’s Guide

Despite it’s name, a glass cutter doesn’t actually do much in the way of cutting glass. Instead it uses a small angled wheel to score the glass slightly, which then allows the user to break it cleanly along the mark.

You can read more about the details of how a glass cutter works from wikipedia.

There are several different types of cutters for stained glass, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

The main attributes you need to keep in mind are:

  • Handle Type: Determines how pressure is applied to the glass cutting tool.
  • Cutting Wheel Material: The type of material used for the actual scoring surface
  • Lubrication: How the cutting oil is applied to the glass surface.
  • Price: How much the cutter costs!

Handle Type

There are a few handle types, which you’ll commonly find on a glass cutter:

Pencil Grip: This type is shaped, unsurprisingly, like a pencil. It relies on the user to apply pressure in the same way you would when using a pencil (e.g. with your wrist and fingers).

Custom Grip: A newer type of tool, this is similar to the pencil style, but also includes a thumb rest or “saddle”. It allows you to apply more pressure using less finger strength, and is great for folks with joint or hand strength issues.

Pistol Grip: This type is similar to a pistol handle, and allows the user to use more of their palm to apply pressure.

All types tend to cut equally well, and our preference is the pencil grip. If you have issues with grip strength or your wrist, consider a pistol grip cutter as the more comfortable option.

Cutting Wheel Material

Glass cutter wheels are usually made from either tungsten carbide, or hardened steel. The process of scoring the glass creates a lot of heat, so over long periods the tungsten carbide tends to hold up a little better. For lite use, either type should be fine, but if you’re a power user, the tungsten is probably your best bet.

Lubrication

Like we just mentioned above, the friction caused from scoring glass produces quite a bit of heat on big cuts. Many glass cutters include a mechanism for dispensing cutting oil to keep the cutting wheel cool while in use.

Price

Finally, price is the key factor in determining whether a particular cutter is good for your situation. Most of the high quality cutters are in the $30 range, but you can certainly find cheaper ones. We prefer and recommend spending the extra cash, as the ergonomics and quality of construction are almost always worth it.

Conclusions: What’s The Best Stained Glass Cutter For You?

We’ve covered a ton of great info about what makes for a quality stained glass cutter in 2019. We’ve given our top recommendations for various types of cutter and all the info you need to make a great choice. To recap:

The Best Pencil Grip Cutter:Custom Grip Supercutter
The Best Pistol Grip Cutter:Toyo Pistol Grip Cutter
The Best Circle Cutter:Strip and Circle Glass Cutter
Honorable Mention (Pencil Grip):Toyo TC-10 Pencil Grip

Ultimately, only you can decide which stained glass cutter is the best for your circumstances.

If you are looking for standard (non-circular) cutter tools, and don’t have a strong preference on grip type, the Custom Grip Supercutter is your best bet. The modified handle makes it comfortable to use and easy to get good leverage while you cut.

If you’re interested in a pistol grip cutter, the Toyo Pistol Grip should be your pick. It’s got a comfortable handle, and all the features you’d expect from a quality cutter.

If you’re out to make perfect circles or make long straight cuts, the Glastar Strip and Circle Glass Cutter is our suggestion.

Finally, if you want an unmodified pencil grip, we recommend the Toyo TC-10, due to it’s high quality construction and ease of use.

Good luck, and go create something amazing!