Glass Crafted

The 3 Best Stained Glass Saws In 2020

While proficiency with a glass cutter and scoring are critical, a high quality stained glass saw can be incredibly useful for taking your craft to the next level. Being able to create efficient and precise cuts in your glass can be the decisive factor in having a professional look and feel on a finished project.

When it comes to picking a good stained glass saw, there are a bunch of factors you need to be aware of and keep in mind. If you’re ready to kick your glass craft up a notch, we’re here to guide you on the ins and outs of glass saws to help you make an informed decision. Below, we’ll give you a quick overview of our picks for the best stained glass saws in a number of categories. We’ll also give an in depth review of each of our picks. We’ll also give you a run-down of all the important attributes to pay attention to. Finally, we’ll wrap up everything we’ve learned.

Let’s get started!!

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Wet Saws For Stained Glass: Reviews

TitleHonorSaw TypeBladeArea
Gemini Taurus 3Best Ring SawRingStandard17.75"x16"
Gryphon C-40Best Band SawBandDiamond12"x12"
Gryphon Omni-2 PlusBest Wire SawWireDiamond14"x13.5"

Gemini Taurus 3 Ring Saw

Gemini Taurus 3
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Pros: Powerful and quiet with tons of nice-to-have features.
Cons: Water splashback on the face shield can be somewhat annoying.
Our Rating: 4.8 / 5

The Gemini Taurus 3 Ring Saw is our top ring saw recommendation for stained glass work, as well as our top pick overall if you’re not sure which type of blade you prefer. As a ring saw, the blade cuts in any direction, which is just perfect for intricate and small pieces. It has a powerful yet quiet motor, and includes a bunch of extra features that make it a true joy to use.

The key list of features include:

  • 17.75” X 16” cutting surface.
  • Doubles as a hand saw if you remove it from the base.
  • 1 / 5 Horsepower Motor
  • Includes standard ring blade.
  • 1.5” Throat Height.
  • 9.8 lbs unit weight.
  • Integrated spotlight, removable face shield, stabilizer foot.
  • Also cuts tile, gold, bronze, silver, aluminum, and stainless steel.

This saw boasts a cutting surface that’s big enough for even large pieces, and the fact that the saw detaches from the base makes it even more versatile. The cuts from this saw are very precise, and the kerf (or blade thickness) is quite small (which is good for detailed cuts). If you’re just getting started, this device is easy to get the hang of and will serve you well as your skills progress. Intermediate and advanced users will find this a breeze to use and tough enough to tackle any size job.

All in all, this is a great saw that won’t let you down!!

Gryphon C-40 Band Saw

Gryphon C-40
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Pros: High speed, powerful motor for smooth fast cuts.
Cons: Not durable enough for high-wear (professional) use without maintenance.
Our Rating: 4.6 / 5

If you’re in the market for a wet band saw to use for stained glass, our recommendation is the Gryphon C-40. The tool is 17 inches tall, and boasts a 1 square foot working surface. The motor weighs in at 1 /3 HP, which is strong enough for tough jobs.

The key list of features include:

  • 12” X 12” working surface.
  • 1 / 3 Horsepower Motor.
  • Direct drive
  • Includes one diamond coated blade.
  • 16.35 lbs unit weight.
  • Also cuts tile, gold, bronze, silver, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Since this is a band saw, it only cuts in one direction so is better suited to long sweeping cuts rather than intricate ones which switch direction often. As such, it can help you work through large pieces much faster than the omni-directional saws if that’s your intended use. The saw is really intended for hobbyists and small shops which don’t run it continuously, so if you usage patterns are heavy expect to replace parts from time to time.

If a wet band saw fits your intended use, the Gryphon C-40 is an easy choice!!

Gryphon Omni-2 Plus Wire Saw

Gryphon Omni-2 Plus
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Pros: Lots of replacement blades included, cuts smoothly.
Cons: Replacement blades included for a reason, they snap often.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

The Gryphon Omni-2 Plus Wire Saw is our top pick in the wire saw category when it comes to stained glass work. As with all wire saws, it cuts in any direction for making intricate and difficult cuts. The motor is powerful enough to get through think pieces, and the working surface accomodates large sheets with ease.

The key list of features include:

  • 14” X 13.5” working surface.
  • 1 / 4 Horsepower Motor.
  • Direct drive
  • Includes six diamond coated blades.
  • 16.55 lbs unit weight.
  • Also cuts tile, gold, bronze, silver, aluminum, and stainless steel.

As with most wire saws, the blades on the Gryphon Omni-2 Plus are somewhat fragile and prone to breaking. Fortunately, the package includes 6 replacement blades, which should be good for a decent number of cuts.

All in all, if a wire saw is your preference, we think the Gryphon Omni-2 Plus is your best bet!!

Wet Saws For Stained Glass: Buyer’s Guide

There are bunch of different types and prices when it comes to wet saws. So what’s the difference between these tools? Which are best suited for stained glass? What makes for a good value? The main attributes you need to keep in mind are:

  • Saw Type: Type of cutting action: ring, band, or wire.
  • Blade Material: The material from which the blade is made.
  • Throat Height: The cutting depth.
  • Size: The area of the cutting table and the device itself.
  • Cooling: The method for keeping the bit cool.
  • Safety: Features which help protect the operator.
  • Accessories: Supplemental items like replacement blades, drawers, foot pedals, etc.
  • Noise: The amount of noise a particular wet saw makes.
  • Price: How much the grinder costs!

Saw Type

There are 3 main types of wet saw used commonly with stained glass making:

Ring Saw

A wire ring of a very small diameter spins at high speed to cut the glass. The rings are typically made of steel and are quite strong. With this saw type, the blade will cut in any direction which makes it very versatile for cutting intricate patterns.

Band Saw

A band saw consists of a thin flat blade with a hardened cutting face. This type of blade only cuts in one direction, and can’t make sharp turns when cutting curves. Wet band saws are most useful for cutting straight lines, and can be used on things like wood and tile effectively.

Wire Saw

A wire saw is similar to the ring saw in a lot of ways, but the key difference is that it has a straight wire blade that moves up and down instead of spinning. As with the ring saw, it can cut in any direction which is good for sharp turns and intricate patterns. The wire saw blades are generally cheaper than the other types, but also somewhat more fragile.

Blade Material

Wet saw blades come in a variety of materials which affect their operating properties when used for cutting stained glass.

Diamond Coated Blades

Diamonds are one of the hardest substances known to man. Industrial diamonds are commonly used on drill bits, saw blades, and other high friction surfaces to help make them harder. Wet saws frequently make use of this material, and it’s great for use with glass to give a smooth cut.

Steel Blades

Steel blades are also common, especially on ring and wire saws. They tend to be more fragile than the diamond coated blades, but still cut quite well for our use.

Throat Height

The saw’s “throat height” refers to the maximum height of an object that can be cut by the saw. For glass sheets, it’s important to choose a saw with a throat height that is larger than the height of your sheet.

Size

The size of the device itself and the working area should also be considered when choosing a stained glass saw. Device dimensions will affect where you are able to store and operate the tool. Choose a size that fits your space!

The other key factor is the working area (or table) size. If you’re working on large pieces of glass, you will need the space to accommodate it. If you do primarily small pieces, the extra table space can get in the way. Some units come with changeable tables of various sizes, which may suit your needs if you don’t stick to one size all the time.

Cooling

It’s important when working with high friction processes like glass cutting, to keep the parts (both the saw and the piece being worked on) cool. Wet saws are called so, because they use liquid to cool the blade and piece being cut. The liquid application method varies from saw to saw, and should be paid attention to when you choose the best one for you.

Safety

As you can imagine, pressing pieces of glass up against high speed saw blades can be a dangerous activity. While you should always wear protective eyewear, hand protection, and clothing, some saws also come with additional safety features.

Stained Glass making with power tools can be a hazardous activity. We encourage you to strongly consider the extra value in safety features when you pick a saw.

Accessories

Most saws have a wide array of accessories available or included at purchase. One of the most important accessories to consider are the replacement blades. High end blades can be expensive, and understanding the properties of the blades you pick can be very important.

Noise

Different types of motors, the speed they’re operating at, the power generated, and type of blade can all affect the noise generated by a stained glass saw while it’s cutting. Depending on your environment, noise may or not be a big concern for you, but it is something to keep in mind.

We generally don’t advise making noise the deciding factor in a purchasing decision. Investing in a pair of earplugs is generally a good alternative if you have sensitive ears.

Price

Finally, price is the key factor in determining whether a particular wet saw is a good value for you and your unique needs. A good glass saw isn’t cheap, and understanding the tradeoffs that come when you go up and down in price is critical to identifying a good value.

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

We’ve covered a ton of great info about what makes for a good stained glass saw. We’ve given our top recommendations for various wet saw types, and broken down the key features of each. To recap:

The Best Ring Saw (Best Overall):Gemini Taurus 3
The Best Band Saw:Gryphon C-40
The Best Wire Saw:Gryphon Omni-2 Plus

Ultimately, only you can decide which (if any) stained glass saw is the best for your use case.

If you’re not sure which one to go with, or are sure you’re looking for a ring saw, our top recommendation is the Gemini Taurus 3. It has a precise blade, cuts in any direction, and boasts a impressive set of technical specs.

If you’re looking to make broad sweeping cuts, quickly, you’re probably best suited with a band saw. Our top pick for wet band saw is the Gryphon C-40.

Finally, if a wire saw is up your alley, we recommend the Gryphon Omni-2 Plus. It has a great motor, cuts in any direction, and comes with a solid number of replacement blades.

Remember, weigh your budget against the important performance specs we covered above. Good luck, and go create something amazing!