In a previous video I demonstrated how to cut bottles using the Kinkajou bottle cutter. The Kinkajou works well: it usually produces a nice straight cut that doesn’t require a lot of smoothing after the fact. But I’ve stumbled across another way to cut bottles: you can cut bottles with a tile saw.
My sister gifted me a tile saw a few years ago when I was remodeling a bathroom. It’s a cheap saw and there are many just like it on Amazon or at Harbor Freight. You can get away with one of the $70-80 models. In addition, don’t forget to have hand and eye protection, as well as a dust mask or other breathing protection. The saw produces a lot of glass dust, and it’s probably a bad idea to suck it into your lungs!
You also need bottles. The cool thing about using a tile saw is that you’re not limited to round bottles as you are with most speciality bottle cutting tools.
There’s very little to it and no “secret techniques” to show you. If you’re making a straight cut perpendicular to the bottle you can use the saw’s fence as a guide. But I like using the tile saw because you can make angled cuts across the neck of the bottle, as well as other non-perpendicular cuts that you can’t produce with the Kinkajou.
Take your time. If you try to force the bottle through the blade it’s a recipe for disaster. Take it slow. Gently push the bottle into the blade until it fully penetrates the glass. Then rotate the bottle slowly into the blade, until there’s not much material left. Then remove the bottle and plunge into the remaining material until it’s fully separated. In my experience this is the best way to prevent the two side from splitting unevenly and leaving a jagged edge.
Is a tile saw a better or worse method than using a Kinkajou ? Well it depends. The Kinkajou makes a more reliable and smoother cut. But it’s not perfect. Sometimes your bottle will still separate with a jagged edge. In addition, the Kinkajou isn’t designed to cut through the neck, and can only make cuts perpendicular to the length of the bottle. The Kinkajou also requires a time-intensive process of scoring the bottle, and then separating it using hot and cold water.
Cutting bottles with a tile saw is much faster. You can completely cut a bottle in about a minute. You have more flexibility in the cuts you can make. The downside is that your bottles are more likely to break unevenly (so make sure you have extras), and you’ll spend more time sanding and polishing the finished product.