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What's the best bottle cutter on the market?

The complete bottle cutter review

UPDATE: We put the top bottle cutters to the test, and the results are in. Click here to see our in-depth reviews, and our pick for the best-tested bottle cutter available.

Photo: DIY Maven

About a year or so ago, I found myself shopping for a bottle cutter. I spotted an inexpensive one at my local craft store, and since I had a project in mind that required a bottle cutter, I bought it. As it turned out, that wasn't a good idea. It didn't cut so much as scrape. Plus, I wanted to cut slanty bottles (at the neck, actually) and it certainly wouldn't do that. (Can any cutter do that?) I put it back into its box and stuck it in the closet in my craft room and that's where it's been ever since. Now, after seeing so many more great recycling projects out there, like the tumblers pictured above, I want to give glass cutting another go. So, to make a long story a short question...what's the best bottle cutter on the market?

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Murray on Oct 28, 2015:

Hi Lori, Of course the glass is not tempered, all beer, glass, wine, bottles and vases are NOT tempered. Tempered glass can NOT be cut (unless they are annealed / un-tempered) because they shatter into a zillion little pieces. The comments were irrelevant. If you can place a straight score line around your vase, and your apply a proper breaking process like the one in my video link below, you can get a nice straight cut.  The alternate process is to cut with a diamond saw. If you want to go that route, contact a Lapidary / Rock & Mineral club in NJ. There are lots of them and they all have the necessary diamond saws used in cutting glass, rocks, gemstones, etc. For a few $ I am sure one of the members would cut the vase for you.

Cheers, Murray


Lori P. on Oct 27, 2015:

Hi Murray,  This is Lori P. from NJ.  I wrote you back on Aug. 25...regarding changing a vase into a "lamp" shade...I purchased a round bottom with a ruffled top cranberry vase that needs to have the bottom cut off in order to fit the base of my Victorian lamp.  I have called many stained glass stores in the NJ area and not one of them have a bottle cutter - can this be accomplished with only using a diamond blade table saw?  Some of the stores have said that the vase is not tempered glass and would cut unevenly???  What should I do???  Thanks again.  Lori P.


Murray on Aug 28, 2015:

Part 1. Hi Denise, (2 part reply due to character limit)  I'm glad the video was useful. You should be getting 100% success so if you would like to describe what the failing cuts look like, I can offer some suggestions. For example, when you immerse the heated bottle into the ice water, it is important to dip it in with the closed end first so that the outside of the score line is exposed to the ice water but the inside wall is not. Or stated another way, do not plunge the bottle in upside down. And of course, a  continuous score line is critical.    Regarding the sanding of the cut edges, I can speak quite a lot from having tried numerous tools and techniques.  My current process uses a set of 3/4"  sleeveless sanding drums (for use with any electric or battery drill) some info of which you can see at the link below to Lee Valley Tools. I buy standard 9" x 11" sheets Silicon Carbide Wet/Dry sandpaper which cost about $1.50 each. I cut each sheet into 12 pieces (the drum requires a 2" x 3") so each drum sleeve costs about 15 cents. A sleeve will do about 5 - 10 bottles so it's very economical once you invest in a few sanding drums. These drums are made by a company in Greensboro N.C. but with the Canadian $ so low, you can order them from Lee Valley Tool for approx $12 U.S. each. How many you but depends on how much time you want to spend and how smooth and shiny you want your glass edge to be.  


Bobbi on Aug 27, 2015:

Denise,  I just received my sanding pads from Kinkajou Sabar Tooth!  They are awesome and work the best out of the many pads I have tried.  I can get the beveled edge n about 5 mintues with these diamond pads.  One is 60 grit and the other is 400.  The kit also comes with 2000 grit paper.  Before getting these pads I had such a hard time getting that bevel.   


Denise on Aug 27, 2015:

Good Afternoon Murray, Thanks for the video again. I've been practicing and have had great success and flops. But I do have one question what do you recomend using to sand the edges when I'm done.

Thanks Denise


Bobbi on Aug 26, 2015:

I guess Ishould also say the hole/circle needs to be big enough to fit a candle through.


Bobbi on Aug 26, 2015:

I have another question.  How do you cut a hole in the middle of a bottle?    I want to leave the bottom in for support of a candle.   And of course the bottles Ihave seen look to be beveled too.  


Lori on Aug 26, 2015:

Hi Murray, Thanks so much for the info...I forgot to mention that the body of the vase has square corners, but where I want the cuts to be made is rounded...would that be a big problem for a glass cutter?  Thanks again.  Lori


Murray on Aug 26, 2015:

Lori, I live north of you but it's in Canada and do things cross border has a number of impediments. I suggest you search for shops that do stained glass products. Just check your yellow page listings under stained glass. They all have workshops with the right tools including diamond blade table saws. Since you only need to cut off the top and bottom, the saw would be a solution. But many of those stained glass shops have bottle cutters and other devices so they should be able to help you.

Cheers, Murray


Lori P. on Aug 25, 2015:

Hi Murray, I have a pink colored glass vase that I need to cut the top and bottom off, so I can use it as a lamp shade...how do I find someone who can do this for me?  I sure don't trust myself...I have tried to look up professional glass cutters in my area and the search still gives me the different types of bottle cutters on the market.  Is this something you could do for me???  I am from NJ.  I would be very grateful for any info you could provide.  Thank you.


Murray on Jun 05, 2015:

Hi Denise, getting a successful, clean separation will require different conditions depending on the thickness of the glass, the type of glass, the area on the bottle where the score line runs, and the process being used to thermally shock the bottle.

I can provide you with my personal info via email if you would like to contact me   marvie10@gmail.com  

Cheers, Murray


Denise on Jun 05, 2015:

Thank You Murray, where are you located address and I can see how much it would be to ship them I don't mind doing it myself but I don't have alot of confidence. Do you recommend practicing on alot of botles before cutting what you want/

Thank You


Murray on Jun 05, 2015:

Hi Denise, The key issue for you is not going to be the cost of me cutting the bottles, it will most likely be the cost of shipping bottles back and forth. It doesn't take too many $30-$40 shipments back and forth to equal the cost of a Creator's Bottle Cutter which I have seen on Amazon and other places for $99.  If processing Pendleton bottles is a one time event then purchasing the cutter may not make sense. However if you plan to cut other bottles to make drinking glasses, mugs, lamps, etc, then the purchase would likely make a lot more sense.

Cheers, Murray


Denise on Jun 05, 2015:

Good morning Murray, I have been reading your post in response to bottle cutters. Would you be interested if I pay for shipping on cutting some Pendleton whiskey bottles for me. If so what would you charge or do u think I should buy the creator kit you recommend?. Thank you

Denise


Murray on Apr 29, 2015:

Thanks Ray, it's great to see that there is a device in the market that can actually score square bottles. So many of the liquor bottles that are readily available for up-cycling are square and rectangular. and those tend to have some nice embossed and applied ceramic labels on them.


Ray on Apr 29, 2015:

That's great news Bobbi. Enjoy.


Bobbi on Apr 29, 2015:

HI all,   I think I have FINALLY got into the art of bottle cutting.   I was not having a lot of luck with the traditional cutters, especially with the square bottles.  I purchased a diamond blade for my wet tile cutter.   Life is so much better now!  Out of the last 10 bottles I got 8 proper cuts.  It would have been 9 but I tweeked a rough edge and craked the 9th one!  No bottle is safe from me now!  


Murray on Mar 03, 2015:

Hi Edwin,  That might work, but it depends greatly on the bottle construction and uniformity of thickness along the score line. With the whole bottle heated, when you submerge in cold water the  fracture will propagate along the weakest path which may not be the entire score line. However what you could try instead of submersing the bottle in a bath would be to run a single ice cube or frozen ice pack along the score line.

Good luck


Edwin on Mar 03, 2015:

Thank you Murray for your response on February 6th 2015,

I wanted to know if it would be sufficient to make a continuous score line lengthwise down the wine bottle and then place it inside an oven between 250-350 degrees. Only afterwards would I place the bottle into an ice bath. Or would this cause the entire glass to shatter?


Murray on Feb 06, 2015:

Anonymous , I can suggest two ways to cut a bottle lengthwise. 1.) use a small diamond circular saw like the ones Lapidary folks use to slice through rocks and gemstones. I believe Lortone still manufactures economical ones. 

2. If you are doing this on a one time basis or need to cut the bottle without any material loss by a saw blade, try this if you are electrically savy. Make a score line manually along the vertical center all the way around the bottle trying to keep the score line continuos. Wrap a length of straight or coiled nichrome (resistance) wire around the score line . Use a controlled AC source off the house 110 VAC  through a dimmer or other power limiting device in order to keep the temperature of the heating element between 250-350 deg F. After about 15-30 secs emerge the bottle (minus the heating element) into ice water. The bottle should immediately separate. 

Cheers, Murray


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