Glass Crafted

The 4 Best Stained Glass Kits For 2020

Let’s face it, Stained Glass making can be an expensive hobby with a ton of different tools and supplies needed to get started. It can be confusing to keep track of everything you need (especially for a beginner), and make decisions about which model and brand of each to get. That’s where the stained glass starter kit comes in!

Whether you’re a beginner with stained glass crafting, or maybe buying a christmas present for the artist in your life, a good quality kit can take some of the guesswork out of the buying process. The bad news is, there are a ton of starter kits on the market. The good news, is that we’re here to help you figure out what’s right for you, your skill level, and your budget!

First, we’ll give you our overview of best beginner stained glass starter kits for those who are impatient. After that, we’ll go through each of our top picks in detail. Next, we’ll go into detail on all the things to consider when choosing between the different options. Finally, we’ll recap everything we learned to help you make an informed choice!

Let’s get started!!

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Stained Glass Starter Kit Reviews

TitlePriceKey ItemHonor
Deluxe Stained Glass Tool Kit$Soldering IronTop Entry Level
Stained Glass Start-Up Kit$$Gryphette GrinderTop Mid-Range
Premium Stained Glass Start-Up Kit$$$PowerMax GrinderTop High-End
Deluxe Stained Glass Start-Up Kit$$$Glastar GrinderHonorable Mention

Deluxe Stained Glass Tool Kit

Deluxe Stained Glass Tool Kit
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Pros: Every item is essential and will get used.
Cons: Doesn't include glass or instructional materials.
Our Rating: 4.8 / 5

At the entry or beginner level, the Deluxe Stained Glass Tool Kit is our top pick for home use. It’s doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but what it does have is exactly the set of tools, supplies, accessories, and consumables you need to get started with your first project.

The key list of supplies included:

  • Weller 100-watt soldering iron
  • Supercutter glass cutter
  • Breaker and Running Pliers
  • Flux, 60 / 40 Solder, Copper Foil, Flux remover
  • Fid and burnisher, abrasive stone, ruler, marking pen
  • Safety Glasses

The Weller 100-watt soldering iron is the core of this kit, and the most expensive item included. A good soldering iron is critical for stained glass making, and the Weller 100 watt is a fantastic choice. It’s the honorable mention on our list of Best Soldering Irons For Stained Glass, and will do great for up to medium-heavy use.

The hand tools include all the most critical pieces you’d need to get started, like a glass cutter and breaking pliers. Suppercutter for the glass cutter, and the Studio Pro pliers are both good brands.

It includes the critical supplies and consumables you need to get started, like flux, solder, copper foil, and flux remover. These should last you through your first projects with no problem.

There are no power tools (e.g. saws or grinders) included in this kit, which keeps the cost low - and is probably a good fit for people just getting their feet wet with stained glass making. The grinder or saw can be an upgrade you make after you decide stained glass making is right for you.

The kit doesn’t contain any glass sheets, so that’s the one addition we recommend you make if you decide to go with this kit. This Glasspack is the same one included in some of the other kits on this list. You might also want to consider some pattern books if giving this as a gift.

Safety glasses are included with this kit, but there are no instructional materials.

All in all, this is a fantastic choice, especially for beginners who are just getting their feet wet and need all the basic supplies. It has the most critical tools that will get used on just about every project you tackle, and you can scale up your tool kit and accessories as your skills and wallet allows.

Stained Glass Start-Up Kit

Stained Glass Start-Up Kit
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Pros: Good array of critical tools plus Gryphette Glass Grinder.
Cons: Grinder not suited for toughest size jobs.
Our Rating: 5.0 / 5

Our top pick in the mid-range is Stained Glass Start-Up Kit. It adds an entry level glass grinder, 8 pc glass pack, and a instructional DVD on top of the critical tools and consumables found in our top pick.

The list of key supplies include:

  • Gryphon Gryphette Grinder
  • Weller 100-watt soldering iron
  • Supercutter glass cutter
  • Breaker and Running Pliers
  • Flux, 60 / 40 Solder, Copper Foil, Flux remover
  • Fid and burnisher, abrasive stone, ruler, marking pen
  • 8 Piece stained glass pack
  • Stained Glass Made Easy DVD
  • Safety Glasses

If it’s in your budget, this is probably a better overall beginner value than the entry level starter kit, because it includes some extra supplies and accessories that you’re going to need in the long run. Notably, the 8 pc. glass pack is something you’d almost certainly want to order along with the starter kit, and it’s almost 30% of the price difference alone.

As for the Gryphette Grinder, it’s ranked as our top entry-level grinder in our Stained Glass Grinder Buyer’s Guide. It’s great for lite and medium sized jobs, but if you’re looking for heavy duty use, this isn’t might not quite have enough oompf.

This kit also has the Weller 100-watt soldering iron (honorable mention on our soldering iron buyer’s guide), which is a great iron and a good value for home hobby crafters.

The other difference between this and our entry level starter kit is the Stained Glass Made Easy DVD. Depending on how you like to learn, this may or may not be a huge consideration for you, but it does have some nice ideas for beginner patterns.

Premium Stained Glass Start-Up Kit

Premium Stained Glass Start-Up Kit
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Pros: Complete kit with everything you need and all the bells and whistles.
Cons: Some supplies may go unused depending on your needs.
Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

If it’s in your budget, and you’re looking for the top of the line, look no further than the Premium Stained Glass Start-Up Kit. It has just about everything a beginner or experienced artist is ever going to need, in addition to tons of accessories that can make some of the more tedious parts of stained glass making more enjoyable.

The list of key supplies include:

  • PowerMax II Grinder
  • Weller 100-watt soldering iron, and stand
  • Brass SuperCutter Glass Cutter
  • Breaker and Running Pliers
  • Flux, 60 / 40 Solder, Copper Foil
  • Grinder Cookie, marking pen, line preserver
  • 8 Piece stained glass pack
  • Stained Glass Made Easy DVD
  • Introduction to Stained Glass Instruction Book (with 15 patterns)
  • Safety Glasses

The PowerMax II grinder is a solid grinder with great stats in terms of power and torque, and reviews are generally quite good. If you’re a professional with your own shop, it’s not going to quite cut it - but for home use it’s fantastic.

The Weller 100-Watt soldering iron is, once again, a great tool and featured in our soldering iron guide. The Hakko FX-601 in our pick for high-end kit beats it out slightly, but it’s still a great choice.

The Toyo Brass Supercutter that’s included in this kit is a recommendation in our Stained Glass Cutter Buyer’s Guide. It has a great form-factor that’s easy on the hands, and a solid cutting wheel that’s good for many many cuts before replacement.

This beginner kit features a ton of great instructional content, between the DVD and the book. The patterns included in the book are great for starting out.

Likewise with the consumable supplies, there’s everything you need to get started right away, plus some awesome upgrades like glass polish that you’re bound to run out of at some point. If you have the room in your home, keeping extra on hand is never a bad idea.

All in all, if expense isn’t an issue this is an awesome choice and a great value for 1 stop shopping. If you’re looking to get started with the art of stained glass making, this kit has everything you need!

Deluxe Stained Glass Start-Up Kit

Deluxe Stained Glass Start-Up Kit
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Pros: Complete kit with everything you need and all the bells and whistles.
Cons: Fewer bells and whistles than our pick for high-end, may need to add some extras to your purchase.
Our Rating: 4.6 / 5

The Deluxe Stained Glass Start-Up Kit didn’t take the top spot at any of our price-points, but we thought it deserved an honorable mention nonetheless. It comes in squarely between our mid-range and high-end picks in terms of value, and has some really great beginner artist features.

The list of key supplies include:

  • Glastar Superstar II Grinder
  • Weller Soldering Iron SPG-80, and soldering iron stand
  • Toyo Glass Cutter
  • Breaker and Running Pliers
  • Flux, 60 / 40 Solder, Copper Foil, Flux remover
  • Fid and burnisher, abrasive stone, ruler, marking pen
  • Glass polish, lubricant, pre-tinned wire
  • Adjustable Zinc Came, hand foiler, 2 Homasote boards, craft knife
  • Chemical Brush, Glastar Soldering Iron Tip Cleaner
  • 10 Piece stained glass pack
  • Safety Glasses, Splash gaurd

The main component of this kit is the Glastar SuperStar 2 Grinder (featured as an honorable mention on our stained glass grinder buyers guide). It’s a mid-range grinder, with enough torque and power to tackle large jobs.

The soldering iron included is the Weller Soldering Iron SPG-80, which is widely regarded as a good quality soldering iron for stained glass (though it didn’t quite make our “Best Of” list in our Stained Glass Soldering Iron Buyer’s Guide. This iron should work well for non-commercial use for just about everyone.

The selection of hand tools in this kit is top-notch, and features a Toyo Glass Cutter. It has all of the critical supplies you’d expect, plus a number of “nice to have” accessories that make certain activities easier.

Overall, this kit lacks some of the bells and whistles of our High End recommendation above, but the selection of tools accessories, and supplies may be better suited to most beginners. The addition of the extra instructional content with patterns, and focus on the critical supplies that are must-have, ensures you won’t wind up with a bunch of secondary tools and consumables you won’t wind up using. Starting out with this kit and adding in anything from the high-end kit you think you’d need is a really great option for starting out!

Stained Glass Starter Kit Buyer’s Guide

As you may have guessed, there are wildly different costs for the different stained glass beginner kits to help fit any budget. As the purchase point increases, so does the number of tools and supplies included. Making an informed decision means understanding which components of the kit are ones you’re likely to make good use of, and weighing that against the price.

We’ll go through the major considerations lister here below:

  • Consumables: All kits include consumables like solder, foil, flux, etc.
  • Hand Tools: Hand tools, including soldering irons, pliers, glass cutters, etc.
  • Power Tools: More expensive powered tools like grinders, saws, and on the very high end - kilns.
  • Glass Packs: Glass sheets of various colors and textures for use in your projects.
  • Instructional Materials: DVDs, Books, etc which give an into to stained glass making.
  • Protective Equipment: Eyewear, gloves, etc to keep you safe while you work.
  • Price: How much the cutter costs!

Consumables

Consumables, or things you use up in the process of making an item, are a big part of stained glass making. As such, they tend to form the cornerstone of most beginning stained glass kits. These are usually low priced in comparison with the tools and other goodies you find in many kits, and you’re almost guaranteed to use them. As such, don’t put too much weight on the presence or absence of any particular item.

Consumable supplies commonly found in kits include:

  • Solder
  • Flux, flux remover
  • Copper Foil
  • Glass polish
  • Lubricant

Any kit worth its salt should have at least foil, solder, and flux. The other supplies have more specialized use and are less critical when you’re just beginning.

Hand Tools

Stained glass making relies heavily on the use of non-powered hand tools. Some are absolutely required, while others are more specialized and make specific tasks easier. We recommend choosing a kit that has, at minimum, a soldering iron, glass cutter (manual / wheel), breaker pliers, and running pliers.

Common hand tools found in kits include:

  • Glass cutter
  • Soldering iron
  • Breaker and running pliers
  • Fid and burnisher
  • Ruler
  • Flux brush

Quality in the more expensive hand tools (especially the soldering iron) can make a big difference, and should factor into your buying decision. This is particularly true at the lower cost options, where these items make up the majority of the cost.

Power Tools

Some of the more expensive beginner kits include power tools, like grinders and saws. These tools usually aren’t strictly required, but can definitely make some tasks easier and more enjoyable.

Kits with power tools might include things like:

  • Stained Glass Grinders
  • Wet Saws
  • Kilns

If it’s in your budget, the right power tools can make projects come together more quickly. They can also have a huge impact on the quality and intricacy of the finished project. They generally aren’t required (early on), but it’s likely you’ll want to upgrade to them at some point if you don’t go with them from the start.

Glass Packs

What’s a stained glass maker without any glass? As experienced stained glass artists know, glass can be one of the most expensive things you’ll need. Some starter kits come with packs of assorted art glass sheets (of different sizes, colors, textures).

If you’re an absolute beginner, you might consider a pre-cut kit for your first project or two. However, before long you’re going to want to start diving into the very satisfying practice of cutting your own glass.

Whether to way to presence of a glass pack in your buying decision is up to your unique needs. Generally we don’t place much weight on it, since you’ll be needing to buy glass at regular intervals anyway so finding a good supplier is something you’re going to have to do in the long term.

Instructional Materials

Some starter kits come with instructional DVDs or books to help you get acquainted with the practice of stained glass making. Depending on how familiar you are with the practice, these may or may not be useful to you.

There’s quite a bit of good free instructional content and patterns on places like youtube, but if you prefer the book format or having a DVD, that can be a great option too.

Protective Equipment

Stained glass making can actually be a fairly dangerous activity. Especially with power tools in the mix, small pieces of glass flying around is a recipe for disaster without the proper precautions.

At minimum, we recommend solid eye protection be worn at all times. Depending on the activity, protective gloves are often a good idea.

Price

Finally, price is the key factor in determining whether a particular beginner stained glass kit is good fit for you. Kits on our list range from around $150 to as high as $1500 dollars! Based on the considerations above, your particular skill level, and needs, you should have everything you need to weigh each option against the pricetag and make an informed decision that fits your price range.

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

We’ve covered a ton of great info about what makes for a good beginner stained glass starter kit. We’ve given our top recommendations for various price-points and all the info you need to make a great choice. To recap:

The Top Entry Level Starter Kit:Deluxe Stained Glass Tool Kit
The Top Mid-Range Starter Kit:Stained Glass Start-Up Kit
The Top High-End Starter Kit:Ultimate Stained Glass Start-Up Kit
Honorable Mention Starter Kit:Premium Stained Glass Start-Up Kit

Ultimately, only you can decide which stained glass starter kit is the right one for your circumstances.

If you’re just looking to get your feet wet before splurging on more expensive tools and accessories, the Deluxe Stained Glass Tool Kit is a perfect option. It has all of the critical supplies you need to make your first piece, and can serve as the core of your tool chest with no problems. Consider adding a glass pack, since this is the only kit that doesn’t include it.

If you’re looking for a more complete kit with some basic power tools like a grinder, the “Stained Glass Start-Up Kit” is our recommendation. It has all the same critical components as the entry-level kit, and adds on a glass pack, a good entry-level grinder, and some instructional material.

If price is no object and you just want the most comprehensive starter kit available, our pick at the High-End price point is the “Ultimate Stained Glass Start-Up Kit”. It has everything you’re going to need to get up and running, plus a ton of goodies that make specific tasks easier and more enjoyable.

Finally, our honorable mention starter kit falls in between the Mid-Range and High-End price points. It’s another solid option with great instructional materials, patterns, and books, and a strong focus on the most necessary tools, supplies, and accessories you need to start out.

So, there you have it. The rest is up to you!

Good luck, and go create something amazing!