Glass Cutting: How to hold your Cutter

March 12th, 2021

Before I discuss this weeks topic, I wanted to say that there is a lot of information to cover when it comes to the cutting of stained glass. To make the information easier to digest, I plan on breaking the glass cutting process into three different categories: Holding your cutter, Cutting & Breaking the glass, and Cutting different shapes.

For this week’s post, Ill be going through the basic technique of how to properly hold your wheel cutter. Now this isn’t the one-and-only way to hold you cutter. But until you’re more comfortable cutting glass, I’d recommend starting with this technique, as it’s the best one for beginners.

To hold your wheel cutter, first place it between the pointer and middle finger of your dominant hand as shown in the image below.

Next, close your pointer finger and thumb down on the divots of the cutter. This way your pointer finger will act as a guide to keep the cutter moving straight. The ball of the cutter should rest in the crotch of your fingers, just below the knuckles.

Finally, with your other hand, place your thumb on the top of the cutter and your pointer finger along the shaft holding the cutting wheel. This is done to help provide downward pressure and help guide the cutter.

Before you go practicing on glass, you should really get a feel for how it feels to grip the cutter in this way. I know how awkward it feels at first, but after some time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

One Response to “Glass Cutting: How to hold your Cutter”

  1. Makai on March 14, 2021 2:55 am

    I feel like the methods for holding a tool are often overlooked in art. Much like in traditional forms of drawing (graphite, charcoal, or pen), the way you hold your tool is very important. Kim Jung Gi (among other artists) suggests holding your pencil/drawing tool closer to its center, to encourage drawing with your elbow instead of your wrist.
    I imagine much the same could be said for this post, the way you hold your tool is extremely important in terms of maximizing control and comfort. When you’re cutting glass, it’s important to understand the proper technique. Very cool.

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