How to Use a Dremel to Cut Glass

A Dremel being used on the head of a screw.
What You'll Need
Dremel rotary tool
561 multipurpose cutting bit
Marking tool
Grinding or sanding bit
Proper Respirator or dust mask
Adequate ventilation

Dremel is a brand of power tools, especially rotary tools, that can be used to cut glass and other types of material such as wood, plastic, and metal. The list of Dremel tools includes scroll saws, hot glue guns, and powered screwdrivers. When you are cutting glass with this tool, keep in mind that they not only cut through normal types of glass but even cut fiberglass and plexiglass.

Always remember that with Dremel rotary tools you are doing a rather quick and efficient cutting job, because they are able to work at very high speed—between 10,000 and 35,000 RPMs. They produce high-quality cuts, but the key to a fine result is a steady hand; if you hold the tool steadily as you are cutting the material, you will have a satisfactory result.

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Step 1 - Inserting the Multipurpose Cutting Bit

Unplug the Dremel before you insert the multipurpose bit required to cut glass. Don't forget to tighten the collet with a wrench. Once you are finished, you can plug it in again and start working.

Step 2 - Marking the Glass Before Cutting

Mark the glass at the points where you would like to cut it; the marks will serve as guidelines to help you. In the case of a straight cut, it is recommended to use a straight edge as a guide and clamp it to the glass to prevent it from moving. On the other hand, don't use cutting guidelines if you want to cut the glass freehand.

Step 3 – Starting and Finishing the Job

Turn the Dremel to a power setting between six and eight and start cutting the glass. It is advised that you start at an angle of about 45 degrees in order to expose the glass more to the Dremel's blade. Keep going until you finish the cut as desired or needed. Once the cutting job is complete, you can remove the multipurpose bit from the rotary tool.

When you are using a Dremel, even if you are familiar with such tools, always remember to read the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations. Every compatible bit may be marked for specific purposes and you must take care to know which bit you need to cut which material, even though there are multipurpose bits which can cut through many. A rotary tool can also use a long, thin, and conical bit to shape the glass in corners and carve small details on it.

After you have successfully finished the job, refine and smooth the sides with the grinding or sanding Dremel bit. Because you must use the Dremel according to the hardness or softness of the material, know your material well. You’ll want to use the grinding bit for hard materials and the sanding bit for soft materials.

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