The Cutter's Mate was launched onto the stained glass market in 2004. Made in USA, it was specifically designed to make cutting glass that much easier. It does this by supporting a glass cutter, in a constantly vertical position, as the glass is scored. Although the tool itself is heavy, it is beautifully engineered so that the cantilevered support takes the weight. All the artist has to do, is control the pressure of the cutter on the glass, and guide it.
For this test, the Cutter's Mate was looked at from the following points of view:
Use as primary glass cutter
Use by arthritic persons
Does it make your band saw redundant?
Quality of engineering/longevity
For the test, our usual Toyo Pistol Grip Glass Cutter was returned to the shelf, and two stained glass projects were completed using the Cutter's Mate only.
The capabilities of this cutter are considerable. We cut a heart in one score. Relief lines were then cut, using the Cutters Mate, and very clean breaks were achieved.
Because the glass cutter is held in a steady vertical, the break along the glass gives a very upright and tidy edge, even on quite tight curves.
I found that with the cantilevered support of the tool, it was possible to cut complex shapes such as a heart, in one cut. This was very easy on machine made glass, such as Spectrum opaques etc.
I also found that I very rapidly became used to the glass cutter being at rest, at the back of my bench, always in the same place, and as easy to bring into use as a hand held tool.
This convenience has a price as the cutter occupies the rear six inches of the bench top.
Working on art glass with its more brittle characterisitics and uneven hard surface, was a pleasant surprise.
Cutting with the tool held with two hands, I had superb control of the cutter. It was possible to maintain a lovely even pressure AND speed across the surface of the glass, EVEN when scoring rather small pieces.
The Cutter's Mate is also very good for ordinary tasks like cutting straight lines using your square. It is perfectly easy to score the glass while following such a straight edge.
The circle cutter and straight edge cutter are available add-ons. Circle cutters are great if you cut enough circles and ovals to justify an extra tool.
The beauty of having this cutter so well balanced on its cantilever is that absolutely no strength is required to hold, guide or manoeuver it. Using two hands glass can be scored without hand tension. I suffer from arthritis and this tool is as easy or easier on the hands than my pistol grip glass cutter. A day in the workshop with a lot of cutting, using the latter will result in my hands getting somewhat tired. No sign of that with the Cutter's Mate.
Losses due to the glass breaking anywhere but along the score line, have reduced hugely. I have always found cutting art glass by hand a dreadfully
wasteful experience, but not with this tool.
Although I remain in favour of the band saw for a tight inside curve, I did find that the Cutter's Mate was capable of any reasonable cut on art glass. It is certainly a cost effective alternative to the band saw for high users of art glass who make a lot of unusual curvy cuts.
I had the glass cutter in use within ten minutes of the parcel arriving at the door. It is very straightforward to set up. The instructions are concise and clear. The cutter sits on the back edge of a Moreton work surface (not included). For this test I used a small surface and the cutter fits across the back perfectly. Can also be used straight on the bench using rubber feet provided. No skill, and no tools needed.
The Cutter's Mate is beautifully engineered. Everything went together easily and fits perfectly. The whole cantilever then just glides around, Rolls Royce style. Great!
The glass cutter has an oil reservoir in the handle and uses an easily replaced Toyo cutting head. Beautifully designed with a large padded handle that's easy to control.
And its convenient. If you need its bench space to cut a large sheet on the work surface, the cutter just lifts off and can be stowed on a suitable rack.
Arm length: 16" Longest straight cut: 42.5"
Toyo oil-fed cutting head. The oil reservoir extends through the handle for easy filling.
Modular construction for one-step assembly and storage. Ready to use right out of the box.
Rubber feet for use on a tabletop, bench surface, or light table.
Compatible with the Morton Surface.
All painted surfaces are powder-coated to resist chipping and scratching.
Can remain on your work area when not in use. Simply swing the arm out of the way.
Large, comfortable Grab-on foam grip handle eliminates strain normally experienced while scoring glass.
All in all, a very good tool, beautifully engineered.
When you ask your supplier for the Cutter's Mate, don't forget to say that you read about it on this web site!
If you are a UK supplier, or a stained glass tool manufacturer, and have a tool or product that you would like us to test, please send it to us for a try out. We reserve the right not to review all items sent. Items for such testing are not normally returned, unless specifically requested.
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