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What Can You Use To Cut Tempered Glass?

Cutting the tempered glass

Tempered glass is often preferred in areas where stronger glass is needed. It’s great for safety purposes but it can make it difficult to cut. What can you use to cut tempered glass?

The easiest and most effective way to cut tempered glass is with a specialized laser cutter. Very few people have one of these laser cutters at their disposal, so you will have to take the glass to a shop and have them do the cutting for you.

One of the things that you will often hear when it comes to cutting tempered glass is the fact that cutting it is impossible for the homeowner. As we will show you in this article, however, it is possible if you use the right method and tools.

We should also say that there are some very specific ways that you can cut tempered glass by heating the glass first in a kiln. Keep in mind that this is going to defeat the purpose of tempered glass because it changes the structure back into regular glass.

What Can You Use To Cut Tempered Glass?

One of the biggest problems you are going to run into when cutting tempered glass is the fact that it is not going to cut as smoothly as you would like. Unlike regular glass, it is likely that you will chip the tempered glass and will end up with an imperfect surface.

That being said, there are many times when we are going to be putting the cut edge against a wall or in another inconspicuous area so it is not going to be seen. If that is the case, a few minor chips in the glass edge are not going to make a big difference.

Unfortunately, you also need to be prepared for the possibility of ruining the tempered glass when you try to cut it. We will explain that there are various methods you can use to cut the glass, but will also tell you that not all of them are going to work perfectly.

As we will also discuss, the ideal method for cutting tempered glass is to anneal it. Essentially, this means that you are going to heat the glass up in a kiln and allow it to cool off over an extended amount of time.

At that point, you will be able to cut the glass by scoring and snapping it or by using a glass cutter. You can also use a wide variety of other tools because you basically turn it back into regular glass.

That can be effective, but it also goes directly against the reason why you may have purchased tempered glass in the first place. It could end up being a safety issue.

As you can imagine, there are plenty of safety issues involved when trying to cut tempered glass. Fortunately, the glass itself is going to be fairly safe because if it does shatter, it’s likely to shatter into many small pieces.

You still need to be cautious about whatever tool you are attempting to use. This could include saws, knives, and various cutters.

Make sure you are wearing the proper PPE, including gloves, eye protection, and hearing protection.

For now, we will take a look at some of the various tools that may be used for cutting tempered glass. Don’t be surprised if this goes against what you hear on other websites, because they don’t always tell the full truth of what needs to be known.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/02/2022.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Diamond Blade?

tools to cut tempered glass

A diamond blade is often used for cutting material, such as stone. It can also be used for regular glass but can you cut tempered glass with a diamond blade?

You can use a diamond blade for cutting tempered glass but you need to work the glass properly. This includes working slowly and methodically as well as allowing the blade to do the majority of the work.

One of the biggest issues you will have when cutting tempered glass with a diamond blade is that the edge of the cut is going to be rough. If you are putting the edge against the wall or under a ledge, you will not have to worry so much about it.

If you do want to smooth out the edge, you may be able to do so with a whetstone. This will both shape and smooth the edge, but you need to go slowly or you could end up cracking the glass and ruining the entire piece.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Wet Saw?

tools to cut tempered glass

If you have a wet saw available, you probably use it for cutting everything from stone to porcelain. Is it also something that should be used for tempered glass?

As long as you cut slowly and let the saw blade do the majority of the work, you can often cut a piece of tempered glass using a wet saw. The edge of the cut is going to be slightly rough but if that doesn’t matter, you can often get through the glass effectively.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Glass Cutter?

tools to cut tempered glass

A glass cutter is often used for cutting regular glass but is it a good choice for cutting tempered glass?

Using a glass cutter to score glass before snapping it is not going to work if the glass is tempered. It will simply make the score mark and then when you try to snap the glass, it will shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces.

If you are set on using a glass cutter for cutting tempered glass, you need to anneal the glass first by putting it in a kiln and allowing it to cool for an extended amount of time.

This is not preferred, because you are actually taking away the tempered element so the glass is just regular glass.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Tile Saw?

tools to cut tempered glass

A tile saw equipped with a diamond blade is used for cutting stone, porcelain, and other similar items. Some people will also use it for cutting glass but what about tempered glass?

If a tile saw is equipped with the right type of blade, it can sometimes cut tempered glass successfully. The key to getting it to cut the glass is to cut slowly and allow the saw blade to do the majority of the work.

If you are trying to cut a long piece of tempered glass, you may run into problems when you get to the back edge. Generally speaking, the glass will cut fine but when you try to break through, it will shatter the glass.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/02/2022.

This can sometimes be overcome by cutting the glass from both directions and meeting in the middle. It isn’t going to be a perfect cut, but it may be enough for what you need.

If the edge of the glass needs to be smooth after you cut it, you can use a whetstone or some wet sanding with sandpaper.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With Laser?

tools to cut tempered glass

It is unlikely that you have a laser available but if you did, could you cut tempered glass with it?

Laser cutters are the only way to safely cut tempered glass and get a nice, clean cut. Typically, the glass is cut by other means before it is tempered. If you must cut it accurately, you can take it to a shop where they have a precision laser cutter and allow them to do the work for you.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Water Jet?

tools to cut tempered glass

You cannot cut tempered glass with a waterjet. It is too harsh and the glass will likely shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces, thereby ruining it. If you only need to cut a very small portion of the glass, such as a groove, you may be able to use a waterjet but you are taking a risk.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With Scissors?

tools to cut tempered glass

Scissors cannot be used for cutting tempered glass. The type of pressure applied to the glass with scissors would shatter it instantaneously. There are other methods of cutting tempered glass, such as using lasers or even a wet saw equipped with a diamond blade.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Grinder?

tools to cut tempered glass

Many people use a grinder for cutting tempered glass but you have to use extreme caution so that you don’t shatter the glass in the process. Generally speaking, this should only be attempted if you have to cut the glass in place.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass With A Dremel?

tools to cut tempered glass

If you have a Dremel equipped with a diamond blade, you may be able to cut tempered glass. You should work slowly, making sure that the leading edge of the blade is wet, and try not to cut the entire way through the glass from one side to the other.

How To Cut Tempered Glass Properly?

Confused man standing

We often hear that there is a right way and a wrong way to do something. That may be true, but when it comes to cutting tempered glass, there may actually be a number of acceptable methods.

The proper way to cut tempered glass is to send it to a shop that has a specialized laser cutter. They will be able to cut the glass without shattering it. Otherwise, you can try using a wet saw with a diamond blade but you are taking a chance.

Since there is more than one method of cutting tempered glass, we will review the methods below. The first method is the one that is considered to be the most effective.

Essentially, this is a method that takes the tempered glass and changes it into regular glass. You can then cut it using any of the various methods that are typically used for regular glass.

Before we discuss the specific steps for this method, it should be noted that you are circumventing the benefits of tempered glass in doing this. The glass will shatter, just as regular glass and it will not have the strength of tempered glass.

1. Heat

Just as regular glass is turned into tempered glass by heating, you will also anneal the glass by heating it as well. This is done by putting the glass in a vessel and covering it with water before inserting it into a kiln.

Of course, most people do not have access to a kiln but if you can gain access, then this would probably be the way to go.

Generally speaking, you will have to heat the glass to a temperature of about 800°F. There are going to be variations, depending upon the thickness of the glass and a few other factors.

Heating the glass is one thing but cooling it is another. That is what we will discuss next.

2. Cool

The most important part of the process is to cool the glass properly. A minimum of three hours should be given to cool the glass inside of the kiln. This will help to slow down the process, which is what you need to do.

It may take a total of eight or nine hours to completely cool the glass. This is done to bring the glass completely back to its original state so that you can properly cut it.

Keep in mind that the outside of the glass may cool much more quickly than the inside of the glass. Don’t be fooled by this, because trying to cut the glass too early could cause it to quickly shatter. Give it extra time if necessary.

3. Safety

When cutting glass, it is vitally important that you pay attention to your personal safety. You should wear gloves and safety glasses. A stray piece of glass could quickly cut you or may even cause you to lose your eye.

4. Mark

Use a sharpie or another appropriate marker to mark the glass where you will cut it. Using more of a permanent marker will keep it in place while you score the glass. Don’t worry, it will wash off easily.

5. Score

Work along the marked line and score the glass. You may need to run the glass cutter over the glass multiple times to score it appropriately.

6. Snap

Put a small object, such as a dowel rod under the glass where the glass was scored. You should then put quick and even pressure on both sides of the object to force the glass down. It will snap along that line.

7. Sand

The final step in the process is to sand the edges. Since you are dealing with regular glass and not tempered glass at this point, you can just use some wet sandpaper to do the job.

That is the best way to cut tempered glass but it is by no means the only way to do so. As we discussed throughout this article, you may be able to cut tempered glass using a wide variety of methods.

Each of those methods is going to carry some risk of shattering the glass. That is the nature of working with tempered glass. If at all possible, use a laser cutter but if not, try the following.

1. Tool Selection

The best tool for this type of job is a wet saw equipped with a diamond blade. You can also use a portable saw with a diamond blade, such as an angle cutter or even a Dremel tool.

The real key is to choose a tool and then use a diamond blade. Without the diamond blade, you are probably just going to shatter the glass as soon as you try to cut it.

2. Water

The purpose of the wet saw is to keep the saw blade cool and allow it to last longer. It also has the added benefit of lubricating and keeping the blade from vibrating against the glass.

3. Go Slow

One of the most important factors for successfully cutting tempered glass is to do it very slowly. Allow the blade to do the majority of the work and only put a minimal amount of pressure on the glass so that you don’t shatter it while cutting it.

If you are trying to cut the whole way through the glass, you may need to make several passes to cut through it very slowly. It’s going to take some time, but if you try to force the cut all at one time, you may shatter the glass as the blade pushes through the opposing edge.

4. Smooth

Although it may be possible to cut tempered glass using a wet saw, it is not going to leave a very smooth edge. You will have to smooth the edge using some wet sandpaper or a whetstone. Work slowly and methodically and it will help to smooth the edge out.

More than likely, however, you will want to cut the tempered glass in an area that will be hidden. If you are hiding it under an edge or if it is against the wall, it is unlikely that you will see the little imperfections from cutting it.

You can cut tempered glass in a variety of ways but the best way to cut it is with a specialty laser. You will have to take it to a shop that owns one of these lasers and then have them cut the glass for you. Otherwise, you are running the risk of shattering the glass while cutting it.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/02/2022.