Glass bottles can be cut and reused to create candle holders, tiki lamps, chandeliers, wind chimes, and more. There is even a Buddhist Temple in Thailand made with over 1-million glass bottles. Although you may not want to build your own building from glass bottles, there are a few different glass bottle cutting tools that can help you get your project moving along.
Tile wet saw
A tile wet saw, such as those used by tile and stone contractors, does a good job of cutting glass bottles. Like any cut to glass, placing the cut on a thin, neck area of a bottle does not work as well as cutting the thicker part of the bottle.
Carbide hacksaw blade
The strength and fine nature of a carbide hacksaw blade cuts glass bottles. Two of the most important things required with cutting a glass bottle is to have support for the glass bottles while it is being cut and to make a level, even cut. Build, or buy, a "trough" for the bottle to sit in so that you can work on the glass while it is safely perched for easy access.
String method for cutting glass
In the string method for cutting glass, fire is created when a string dipped in acetone (nail polish remover) is lit while the glass bottle is turned constantly to keep the flame even while scoring the bottle. Eventually, the bottle is dipped into water, making a clean cut on the bottle.
Hobby store glass cutters
Hobby stores usually sell two types of glass cutters. The first is about the size of a pencil, with a rolling blade at the end. The idea is to mark the area to be cut on the glass with a marker or tape, and then to "score" the area by repeatedly rolling the glass cutter blade over the marked area until the glass is deeply etched. Eventually, you can stop and try to snap the glass where it was scored. This method is not terribly effective for two reasons: your arm and hand may become so exhausted from the repetitive motion that you will give up; and, this method only works on very thin glass. The second type of glass cutter from hobby stores is part of a "glass cutter kit." Such kits usually have a more industrial-strength blade but once again, they work best on thin glass like that found on the necks of beer bottles.
Tips and warnings
Polish the edges of cut glass using sandpaper with 100 to 400 grit. Wear protective eye wear when cutting glass and use protective gloves of some sort on your hands when dealing with glass.
Karen Nehama is a former chef and restaurant manager, currently serving as editor of a food review and recipe website. With expertise as a youth adviser, she is also a consultant for a teen advice column.