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A Safe Way to Cut Tempered Glass without Shattering

Tempered glass is also known as toughened glass. Due to its strength, people consider it a safety glass. For increasing its strength, the manufacturing process follows thermal and chemical treatment.

That is why that type of glass is a safe glass compared to any normal glass. People use this safety glass for various purposes like vehicle windows, tabletops, shower doors, fireplace doors, etc.

image - A Safe Way to Cut Tempered Glass without Shattering
A Safe Way to Cut Tempered Glass without Shattering

For different uses, you need to cut the glass for getting your required custom size. You cannot cut this type of glass using the same method as for cutting an ordinary glass or untemper glass.

Here is a guideline to follow to cut this type of glass.

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Important to Know Before Cutting Tempered Glass

To cut the tempered glass, you have to follow a special procedure. The process is well-known as the annealing process. By this process, you will efficiently undo the process of tempering.

For this, you will heat the pane to around 1,000 °F (538 °C) first. Then cool it down slowly. Once it is cold, the glass pane will get the state in which you can cut it.

This heating and cooling process makes the glass week enough so that you can cut it properly without any shattering.

One thing is to remember, if and only if you have the access to the kiln, then go for this procedure. Otherwise, you will need to contact a professional to cut the glass without hampering it.

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Steps to Cut Tempered Glass Safely

To cut the tempered type glass to avoid shattering, you need to follow the process very carefully. Because, after annealing, the glass loses strength. So, you need to handle it with extra care.

The following steps may help you. Here are the easy seven steps to follow.

✔  Step#1: Cleaning Surface

image - Cleaning Surface

Very carefully clean the annealed glass surface. You can use any glass cleaner for this cleaning purpose. Just spray cleaner on the glass surface, wait a bit, and wipe it with a cloth.

The cloth needs to be a lint-free clean cotton cloth that can make the glass surface perfectly dry after wiping. You can repeat the cleaning until the pane surface is perfectly clean.

✔  Step#2: Ensure Safety

image - Ensure Safety

For safety purposes, use safety goggles, and for hands, use leather gloves. The extra protection is required because, through the annealing process, the glass pane is no longer a safety glass.

So in case of breakage, it may create dangerous sharp edges. Safety gloves and glass will protect from unexpected accidents.

✔  Step#3: Making Line

image - Making Line

Now, you will need to mark a line on the glass pane where you want to cut. Use a straight edge for this purpose. You can use a metal ruler that can serve the best purpose.

First, measure the spot for where you want to place the glass. Then hold the ruler-straight along with the glass edge, mark with a permanent marker according to the measurement.

It will keep a trace of where to cut. Also, it helps to cut the glass straightly, without any curve.

✔  Step#4: Score with Glass Cutter

image - Score with Glass Cutter

Score the glass surface with your glass cutter. When you are cutting the glass, keep the straight edge of the cutter in place.

Press your cutter into the glass carefully, not pressurizing too much. Run the cutter from the beginning of the marked line through the entire length of the line.

Try your best to make it done in one try. Two lines may create shattering.

✔  Step#5: Placing Wooden Dowel

image - Placing Wooden Dowel

For this, you need a wooden dowel of 1⁄4 inch or 0.64 cm. Put it just under the line you have cut with the cutter.

Line it up exactly is very important, otherwise, the glass may shatter when you press on it. Also, do not use a long dowel. It may cause an imperfect glass edge with jeggings.

✔  Step#6: Apply Pressure

image - Apply Pressure

It is the most important step. Now, you need to apply very sharp pressure on both sides of the wooden dowel.

Apply the pressure suddenly and straightly, without any pause. A pause may make the cutting imperfect and the glass may break down through another curve line.

Use both hands to create equal pressure. Now there are two divided pieces of glass as per your measurement.

✔  Step#7: Sand the Edge

image - Sand the Edge

It is the final step. Now, you will have to sand the freshly cut edges of the glass.  For this purpose, you can use sandpaper coarse 10-grit.

It will make the newly cut rough glass edge smooth and safe. Otherwise, you may face an accident by cutting your hands with an uneven sharp glass edge. Maintain the eyeglasses and hand gloves also in this step to ensure safety.

Important Advice

Though the overall process is very easy, you need to follow it very carefully. One mistake can cause a big accident that may harm you badly.

Here are some important reminders for you to follow:

  • Initial proper cleaning is very important as this will ensure an accurate and smooth cut of the glass pane
  • Maintaining safety protection is a must from first to last of the procedure.
  • The marking ruler should be strong and straight enough and the permanent marker needs to be deep in color to make a visible line
  • Do not use the glass cutter twice through one line
  • When you will apply pressure on the glass, press it with medium pressure to avoid scratching.
  • Wooden Dowel measurement needs to be perfect in size, not so large not so small.
  • Avoid placing hands directly on the dowel top. If you do so, the sharp glass pieces may enter into your palm.
  • Never skip the sanding step to avoid danger.

If you can follow the safety advice properly, then there is no matter to worry about cutting the glass perfectly.

The final recommendation is it is better to buy annealed glass if you want to get a custom size. You can easily cut the glass pane into different shapes.

It is better than cutting toughened glass unless you find a piece of tempered glass at your home that you will need to utilize after cutting.

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