A stained glass saw or cutting system can save you time and expand an artist’s capabilities. If you want to improve production times and want to add a glass saw or cutting system to your collection of stained glass tools here are a few options to consider. The best stained glass saw out there is the Taurus 3 Diamond Ring Saw and it is used by many glass artists. The best glass cutting system is really more dependent on the size that suits your needs but I recommend the Cutter’s Mate Mini Starter Kit as it is an affordable and capable entry into glass cutting systems.
If you love working with glass like myself, then you understand that it’s more than just a job or a hobby. It’s an intricate art form that requires incredible precision, attention to detail, and hard work. Whether you are soldering pieces of glass for a panel, or grinding intricate glass pieces for a stained glass masterpiece, the most important thing you can invest in is your equipment. It can mean the difference between a high-quality cut and a poor one that leads to breakage.
In order to create the best cuts possible, there are two pieces of equipment that professionals and hobbyists use most: stained glass saws and glass cutting systems. Both of these tools can be used to add a professional touch to your work, and in some cases allow for cuts to be made that otherwise might not be possible.
Take a look at the following guide, complete with reviews, which I have put together for stained glass saws and glass cutting systems for sale. I hope it helps you in your search!
How To Choose: A Guide to Glass Saws and Cutting Systems
Glass ring saws feature a table-like surface with a saw blade, also called a “ring”, placed in the table’s center. They are ideal for cutting thicker pieces of glass that need to be shaped into panels, such as stained glass or sheet glass. There is also a bandsaw style for glass cutting. If you are interested in buying a stained glass saw, then there are a number of things that you will want to consider including your budget, how often you plan on using your saw, and many other factors including whether a glass ring saw or glass bandsaw would be best.
Glass cutting systems, on the other hand, often feature a grid-like platform with a unique arm that swivels across its surface. These amazing tools specialize in making incredibly intricate cuts that would otherwise be impossible. They are also much smaller than stained glass cutters, which make them perfect for hobbyists and professionals who have limited space.
Stained Glass Saw Guide
In this guide, I am going to run you through the process I use to pick out the best glass saw for my needs. Before purchasing a stained glass saw, I’ve always found it helpful to list out the most important factors to take into consideration.
- SAW TYPE
- BLADE TYPE
- ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Stained glass saws are available at many different price points. They can range from $150 to over $1,000. The lower end saws are usually in the $150 – $250 range and will often feature lower quality materials. Personally, I don’t recommend lower-cost stained glass cutters because they do not always make smooth cuts and can sometimes chip the glass you are working on. If you are a beginning glass cutter, or cut glass sporadically as a hobby, these can be a great affordable option.
Saws in the $300 – $600 range are ideal for more serious glass cutters, including those who cut glass on a professional level. These saws feature higher-quality blades, higher quality cuts, and incredible blade support. These factors are important to ensuring precise cuts, and are essential features for any professional.
The stained glass saws for sale above $600 offer rock-solid features and capabilities. These are ideal for professionals who need to be able to cut through just about any piece of glass. These higher-end stained glass saws often feature diamond coated steel blades, replacements, and the ability to cut through extremely thick glass.
There are two different types of saws used in glass work and it is important to distinguish which type would work best for your purpose.
Glass Ring Saws are named for the type of bladed it uses. The blade is a circle and round in shape providing a 360 degree cutting surface. This allows for cuts in virtually any direction making it a very versatile and useful stained glass tool.
Glass Bandsaws are very much like the ones used in woodwork. The main difference being the blade which is one suited for cutting glass. This type of saw excels at cutting thicker pieces of glass and unlike the ring saw, it only cuts in a forward motion only capable of turns that are wide and sweeping. A benefit of the bandsaw is the ability to also cut wood and other materials by a quick change of blades.
If you are looking at purchasing a stained glass saw, you will also want to consider the types of blades that come with it. Different blades specialize in cutting different types of glass, and also have different uses.
- Diamond Coated Blades: These are some of the most common blades you will come across and are found on BANDSAW style glass saws. They can be found in both mid-priced and the most expensive stained glass saws. These blades are extremely strong and have the ability to cut through glass safely and smoothly. They are also your best bet for cutting thicker pieces of glass for heavier duty projects.
- Wood Blades: These are much less common and are primarily used for cutting materials without the use of water or oil.
- Round Blades: These blades are found on RING SAW style glass saws. They are useful for artisans who want complete control and versatility while using a stained glass saw. Round blades allow you to begin the cut from any angle including forward, backward, and sideways. This ensures incredible precision for even the most difficult cuts.
There are many additional features you will want to consider when looking for a stained glass saw. They include the following:
- Work Surface: This is the surface on which you will place glass to be cut.
- Throat Depth: This is the depth at which the saw can cut into the material.
- Motor Power: The power of the motor will determine how well the will handle thicker pieces of glass.
- Accessories: These may include a face shield, stabilizer foot, extra blades, spotlight and more.
Stained Glass Cutting Systems
If you are looking for something that offers a little more flexibility, finesse and comfort than a stained glass saw, then I would recommend a glass cutting system. These awesome tools are designed to help glass cutters make extremely precise cuts, particularly in smaller pieces of glass.
They specialize in easily cutting geometrical shapes, as well as cutting anything you could draw or trace. They are designed for artisan glass cutters who require more delicate control.
When deciding which glass cutting system to choose, there are a couple of main factors to consider, including:
Glass cutting systems are relatively affordable with pricing that ranges from $100 to around $250. Many of the lower cost glass cutting systems for sale are miniature models. These are perfect for hobbyists, as well as students looking to get into the art of cutting glass. If you are not working with larger pieces of glass, the smaller models are perfect for conserving space.
If you are not working with larger pieces of glass, the smaller models are perfect for conserving space. For Larger piece a glass cutting systems with a larger surface to work with will be ideal for larger pieces or long cuts. They also feature longer cutting arms. This reduces the need to shift pieces of glass you are cutting in order to reach certain areas, which will also help improve continuity and workflow.
Glass doesn’t cut itself! For those experienced glass-cutters out there, you know that your hand experiences significant fatigue after using a glass cutting system for long periods of time. When determining which cutting systems you should buy, consider how much force the glass cutting system requires you to use while making cuts.
Many come with weighted handles that are designed to apply enough pressure to cut the glass. Also, try to pick a glass cutting system that features a foam cushioned handle for a more comfortable grip, as well as a handle that can rotate 360 degrees. If you can find all of these features in one system, you will even be able to sit down while cutting glass!
There are many additional features you will want to consider when looking for a stained glass saw. They include the following:
- Weighted handle with 360-degree rotation ability
- Glide system that ensures the cutter is always at a 90-degree angle. This helps reduce breakage.
- Ruler for making accurate measurements.
- Geometrical compass guide will allow you to cut set shapes quickly and with consistency.
The Best Stained Glass Saws – Top 3 Reviews
The Taurus 3 Ring Saw is an extremely popular model for a number of reasons. For starters, it is practical because the saw portion can be removed from the rest of the unit and used as a separate hand saw. This glass saw also features a quiet 1/5 horsepower motor, and long-lasting parts.
The Taurus 3 also offers glass cutters an impressively large 17 ¾” x 16” surface and a 5 5/8” throat depth. These features will allow you to cut large pieces of glass with ease. The Taurus 3 Ring Saw is also useful for cutting thick glass, tile, bronze, brass, silver, stainless steel, copper, plastics and more thanks to a strong diamond-coated ring blade. Additional features include a spotlight for improving accuracy by reducing shadows, an optional face shield, a stabilizer foot, and even an instructional DVD.
Overall, the Taurus 3 Ring Saw is an incredible piece of machinery that offers some of the best features you could hope for right out of the box. If if you are looking for a quality stained glass saw, this should be a strong contender.
The Omni-2 Plus Wire Saw features a unique round diamond blade that allows you to make cuts from any direction. This is ideal for artisans who want incredible control over their work, as well as for those who make difficult cuts on a regular basis. The blade is also remarkably thin, with a .063” diameter that offers even more flexibility and intricacy when making cuts.
Other benefits to the Omni-2 Plus include its large 12” x 12” surface, a spotlight to highlight your work area, and a powerful ¼ horsepower motor. It also features a convenient automatic pump that continuously cools the saw so that you can make precise cuts without worrying about your blade’s temperature.
If you are a professional looking for a durable stained glass saw that provides incredible functionality, then the Omni-2 Plus Wire Saw is your machine. Its convenient features and advanced blades will make it worth your while.
The Studio Pro Precision 2000 Deluxe Band Saw is especially designed for the all-purpose worker. It is capable cutting many materials including glass, wood, metal, plastic and others. This particular glass saw also comes with an adjustable blade arm that allows you to work with materials of varying thickness.
This diverse glass saw features two unique blades. The first is a Studio Pro Diamond Blade, which is incredibly strong and is especially useful for wet cuts. The other is a Studio Pro Wood Blade that is designed for dry cuts, such as wood.
This is a relatively small glass saw, which makes it perfect for hobbyists or those with limited space. It is also extremely easy to use, features rust-free aluminum materials, and includes a nice three-year warranty.
The Best Stained Cutting Systems – Top 3 Reviews
The Cutter’s Mate Plus Cutting System is one of the higher-end cutting systems available to consumers. Personally, I think it is well worth the money because it offers all of the features you need to create high-quality and precise incisions.
One of the standout features of this particular glass cutting system is its large size. It lets you make cuts as long as 62.5” and features a massive cutting arm that is 21” long. This is ideal if you work on projects with varying sizes.
The Cutter’s Mate Plus Cutting System is also designed for comfort. It comes with a heavy cushioned handle that ensures a comfortable grip and reduces the amount of pressure required to cut glass. When you combine that with the ability to turn the blade 360 degrees, you can even work on your projects sitting down. Other benefits to this cutting system include an oil-fed cutting head and a rubber foot for increased stability when needed.
If you are looking for a large cutting system that can handle all types of projects, as well as consistent and professional cuts every time, then the Cutter’s Mate Plus Cutting System is an excellent choice.
The Cutter’s Mate Mini Starter Kit is an excellent cutting system designed for entry-level users and hobbyists who want to make the most intricate cuts possible. This is a smaller version of the original Cutter’s Mate featuring an 11” cutting arm and the ability to cut lines as long as 22”. It also features a convenient ruler, ruler stabilizer, and 1” straight edge to ensure that your cuts are consistent and straight at all times.
Two grid adapters are also available for additional space, as well as rubber feet to assist with stabilization. It also comes with a convenient one-year manufacturer’s warranty for added peace of mind. Despite the small size, it feels very sturdy and is very easy to use.
The small size of the Cutter’s Mate Mini Starter Kit, combined with its features and usability, make it an exceptional option for hobbyists and students with limited space who don’t want to sacrifice quality.
The Mini Beetle Bits Glass Cutting System is a small, yet versatile, cutting system designed to provide users with an incredibly easy glass cutting experience. Despite coming in at a relatively low price, it is packed with numerous useful features. Among them are a swiveling rest and a straight edge rest. The swiveling rest also features a compass dial, which makes cutting the most popular shapes very easy.
The Mini Beetle Bits Glass Cutting System is also loaded with two waffle grids, a 14” ruler, a ruler positioner, an 18” cutting bar, super stops and a glass stop. These features are designed to let even the newest users make precise cuts every time. They also allow for easy replication of shapes, which helps to improve workflow and consistency.
At this price point, I would highly recommend the Mini Beetle Bits Glass Cutting System to individuals who are just getting into glass cutting. This is an easy machine to setup, and it is designed for hours of comfortable use!
I hope you found the list and guide useful. Be sure and let us know what your experience has been with any of these or any other model you have tried!