Introduction: How to Use a Wet Tile Saw to Cut Glass Bottles

Picture of How to Use a Wet Tile Saw to Cut Glass Bottles

Please pardon the less than stellar photos in this Instructable.
It was created years ago when I had nothing but an inexpensive
digital camera. I hope to update it soon with much better images.

After purchasing numerous gadgets and widgets to cut glass
over the years, I finally discovered the joys of using a wet tile saw.
They are inexpensive, easy to operate and in my opinion, fun to use.

If you are in need of a straight cut on a glass bottle, especially
a wine bottle, this is right up your alley!

No wires, no candles or flame, no torches or shattered glass after
all that work.

As my intention for the cut glass is for a later project, if you seek only
to cut the top from a wine bottle to use as a glass, you'll find step #3 to
be what you need. Be sure to file, torch or otherwise smooth down the
sharp edges before using it as a drinking vessel.

Be sure to check out Fstedie's instructable for making drinking glasses out of wine bottles, too!

Step 1: The Basics of a 7" Wet Tile Saw...

Picture of The Basics of a 7" Wet Tile Saw...

While wine bottles can be used for various things, this
tutorial is basically aimed at cutting the tops off.

Hopefully, this Instructable will have you wishing and wanting a tile saw yourself.
Fear not, they are not as scary as you think, are very inexpensive, and may even be
in your garage already.

This tutorial is based on use of a 7" QEP wet tile saw. Many home improvement
stores offer wet tile saws; which are intended for use in cutting tiles for mosaic
and other projects such as backsplashes, counter tops, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
It is an electrically operated saw which works with water.

While I have used a standard, inexpensive blade intended for tiles, there is a
blade available which is called a diamond blade. Let me reassure you that use of
the word 'blade' is not what it sounds like. In fact, it is nothing like an actual saw
blade with teeth or sharp edges, it is rough to the touch, though. Naturally one would
want to exercise caution with any power tool, so it is always a good idea to keep
your fingers away from the cutting wheel while in operation.

After familiarizing yourself with the initial operation of the saw itself, we'll
bring in the bottles, complete with pictures for each step.

For those who haven't any common sense, allow me to remind you of the
need to be of sound mind with all your senses in check before proceeding. In
other words, consumption of the bottle contents is fine, just not while doing this

Put on some clothing you don't mind getting dirty and wet,
grab your safety glasses, ear plugs and let's have fun!

Step 2: Choosing Your Bottles...

Picture of Choosing Your Bottles...

In choosing a bottle to cut on your tile saw, keep in mind that lumpy, bumpy
or odd shaped bottles are a little more difficult to cut straight.

Shown in this post are examples of different bottle shapes.
At left is a bottle shape typically used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Note the bottle shape allows for slightly over half the bottle
length to be cut into rings easily. Once you begin cutting into the
angled neck of the bottle, it is more difficult to keep the bottle flat
and straight, thus you must rely on your hands to hold the bottle straight
for cutting. Please note, you can use rings of all different shapes and

The bottle in the middle is often bears Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux 
blends and such. The shape allows for more straight cutting and a taller
cylinder. The bottle on the right is almost a perfect choice, allowing you to cut rings
all the way to the top of the bottle, or to provide an even taller cylinder.
Think candle holders!

Remember this little bit of information when shopping for bottles,
especially at a recycling center. And speaking of recycling, don't feel
guilty at all about only getting a few rings out of a bottle. Keep a big tub
nearby to put all the scraps into, then be sure to take them to the recycling

Step 3: The Initial Cut...

Picture of The Initial Cut...

Hope you still have your safety glasses and earplugs handy!
Let's begin making those rings, shall we?

Make certain your saw is plugged in and on a stable, level work surface.
Ensure the water reservoir is full, make sure it stays that way every chance
you get. Babies, pets and other critters under feet are not a good idea while
using the saw. Don't look away while working. Instead, stop what you are
doing, turn off the saw, then tend to your business. Bottles can be replaced,
babies on the other hand...hmm. Not so easy.

Holding the bottle firmly, but not in a death-grip manner, slowly move the
bottle toward the blade. As you should have ear plugs in, you should still be
able to barely hear the glass hitting the cutting wheel. My personal manner
of holding the bottle is with both hands. My method is to roll the bottle towards
myself, rather than away, because I feel there is a greater chance of kickback
when rolling the bottle away from your body.

Speaking of hands, I feel much more comfortable using bare hands. Once in
a great while I will get a teeny tiny glass splinter, but as long as you work slowly
and carefully, glass splinters should not be that big of a problem, more of a

After you work, be sure to clean your hands and arms and put on lotion, as they
will feel as though you have been handling chalk all day.

Once the cutting wheel (or blade) has entered the bottle, slowly turn the bottle
back towards you, as though you were going to roll it off the table towards your
body. Slowly, don't move too fast. You will soon get the hang of it. Keep in mind
that thicker bottles will require more cutting time. Don't rush it. Let the tool do
the work.

When you have completed one ring, turn off the saw and examine it. See how
easy that was? If you didn't cut quite straight, don't worry, you can carefully file
it off using the saw or leave it as is, the kiln will likely melt away any imperfections.

Step 4: The Hubs and the Nubs...(a.k.a. 'Punts')

Picture of The Hubs and the Nubs...(a.k.a. 'Punts')

Another thing to note are the punts, which I lovingly refer to
as nubs or hubs on the bottom inside many bottles.

When you first begin cutting a bottle from the bottom, keep in mind
that you only need to cut through the glass enough to separate the rings,
or in this case, the bottom, from the bottle.

You might want to save these hubs, who knows when a new idea
may strike. Who knows, you may come up with a great thought for
using them.

Step 5: Setting the Rip Guide for Straight Cuts...

Picture of Setting the Rip Guide for Straight Cuts...

If you prefer evenly sized rings, be sure to set and note the width
of your cut. For those planning to make many rings, record the
placement of the rip guide with a permanent marker.

The rip guide is a bar which runs vertically across the saw table.
Most saws come with both inch and centimeter marks.

Slightly unscrew the knob, adjust each side of the rip guide, making
certain they are both the same, tighten knobs.

Step 6: Keep Cutting Those Rings...

Picture of Keep Cutting Those Rings...

Ta-da! It was very easy.

Now let's do it again. And again!

Step 7: Finish Cutting the Bottle Into Rings...

Picture of Finish Cutting the Bottle Into Rings...

Continue cutting until you have reached the last section of
the bottle which can be cut evenly, typically before the neck,
until the bottle is completely cut into rings.

Keep in mind, you don't have to work with the tiny section at
the top of the bottle. It is not wasteful to use another bottle as long
as you return the scraps to the nearest recycling center.

Step 8: Details for the Techs...

Details, details, details for the techy:

(7" QEP Wet Tile Saw)

120 Volts
60 Cycle
3600 RPM
4 Amps

Step 9: Now What?

Picture of Now What?

Alright folks, you now have a bottle cut into rings.

Stay tuned, I'll soon be adding instructions for melting them in a kiln.
You'll have the coolest, tinkling, green chimes in town!

Karen Marie


mferris4 (author)2015-11-03

I have a 4.5" tile saw, which should work, Just want a voice of experience from someone who has done it before. I know I will have to rotate the bottle. So far I have cut two bottles, but am not feeling I am doing it correctly. Lots of glass dust and a few chips. Can I do this with a 4.% inch blade?

WUVIE (author)mferris42015-11-04

Also, meant to say, if you use a diamond blade, the cuts will be much smoother. Shop around for the best price, and be sure to ask a lot of questions of the salesperson. Hopefully, they will be knowledgeable, and can help you select a good blade. :-)

metalman1949 (author)WUVIE2017-11-23

I did not see anyone suggest filing the edges to smooth them.

It's easy to find affordable diamond files these days, Harbor Freight for example, or online. I have filed the edges of cut glass for years and it makes the edges nice and smooth, though no longer shiny. Does anyone know if polishing with a bench grinder and cloth wheel and jewelers rouge will shine and smooth even further the filed edges?

WUVIE (author)mferris42015-11-04

Hello! Nice to meet you.

First, I want to make absolutely certain that you are using a wet tile saw. When you use the term 'glass dust', I am concerned. You definitely do not want to breathe glass dust, or even tile dust, for that matter. If you are using a wet saw, make certain the reservoir is always full of clean water. Chips in the glass, well, that doesn't sound good, either. Make sure you are cutting slowly, and surely, and never forget that kickback could cause a serious accident in a hurry. Be very, very mindful and careful when cutting.

Yes, I also have a small saw, and while it will work, it will definitely take longer to cut bottles, but I turn them as I push them into the blade, securely and slowly.

Be very careful, and be sure to check back in to tell me (crossing fingers) that you are using a wet saw.

mferris4 (author)WUVIE2015-11-05

Wet saw. Glass dust on top after the water has drained back into the resevoir. Yes that was confusing. Wet saw, works best

lloweryan (author)2017-10-02

I am so happy to see this, I have been collecting the bottles and dragging my feet on trying to cut manually.

Going to Home Depot this week to buy the Glass Tile Diamond Blade for the QEP Wet Saw. Thank you, Thank you.

DanielK343 (author)2017-01-02

Thanks so much for posting this. It was so easy! Tile saw cut through the bottle like it was butter!

pefferie made it! (author)2016-04-17

thanks for the ible!

WUVIE (author)pefferie2016-10-11

Pefferie, I am so sorry I have not visited this Instructable in some time. Good to see you were able to use the tutorial. :-)

NicC13 (author)2016-10-10

Hi will a 4 inch cutter work fine cutting the bottle ?

WUVIE (author)NicC132016-10-10

Hi there! Wow, I can't believe there are still comments coming in on this old Instructable. I really should update it. :-)

Short answer - yes, a 4" tile saw will work, but...

When you are cutting off the bottoms, it doesn't matter, as the glass will make contact with the blade. But if you are looking to cut off the top section, depending on the size of the bottle, you may not be able to reach it with the blade. Cutting it at a tilted angle is not my favorite thing to do, with regard to safety.

I hope that makes sense. If not, give me a poke, and I'll try to do a better job. ;-)

NicC13 (author)WUVIE2016-10-11

Hi thanks for the quick reply it makes sense :) i think i will get a 7 inch cutter to give me the best versatility for diff bottles

TrystanO (author)2016-03-14

hi there, has anyone used this method to slice the bottoms off cut glass decanters?

WendyH20 (author)2015-11-05


Can you use this method to cut a bottle lengthwise - from neck to base?


WineCraftG (author)WendyH202015-11-08

Yes, you sure can. I cut liquor bottles neck to base quite a bit. It's more difficult, and takes quite a bit of precision. If you arent dead centered, you run the risk of cutting one side of the neck too short, generally causing it to be very weak (& in my case, break easily!). Feel free to check out my FaceBook page, or my Instagram page. Good luck!!!

- WineCraft Glass

MaryA23 made it! (author)2015-08-24

Nice tutorial...I thought I had tried all the ways to cut bottles with little luck....This worked my first try.

WUVIE (author)MaryA232015-11-04

Whoo hoo! You did it!

MaryA23 made it! (author)2015-08-24

Thank You

WUVIE (author)MaryA232015-11-04

Great job, Mary!

ChrissyA (author)2015-06-01

Thanks so much for this tutorial! Its exactly what i needed after lots of frustration with glass cutting techniques that didnt work. I have cut all of my bottles but now the challenge is smoothing out the rough glass at the rims. Help! How do i smooth the rims? They are quite rough.

WUVIE (author)ChrissyA2015-07-03

Hi Chrissy, you may need to use a bit of wet sanding paper to smooth the edges, or it may be a blade issue. A diamond blade is best, but if you don't have one, just try to at least use a new blade, and work slowly, holding your glass to cut smoothly. :-)

ChrissyA (author)WUVIE2015-08-04

Thanks WUVIE! I used a brand new diamond blade in a wet saw but the edges definitely need smoothing still. I went slow and turned the bottled toward me and let the blade do the cutting instead of pushing it through. I will give the wet sanding paper a try.

Shera55555 (author)2015-07-09

Hi - Can you use a 10" Diamond Blade instead of the 7"?

We saw a youtube video where the woman just pushed the bottle through, we did this, but the cut ended up being all jagged. We will try your method of turning the bottle towards ourself through the blade.



dranad (author)2015-07-02

WUVIE (author)dranad2015-07-03

Hello Dranad, I am sorry, your message arrived blank. :-)

Shayloubea (author)2015-06-12

Can this saw cut a thin mirror?

WUVIE (author)Shayloubea2015-07-03

Unfortunately, sometimes not so well. The finish on cheap mirrors often chips off, and many mirrors are very thin. I would not suggest cutting thin glass on a tile saw, as it could splinter and chip, and present a very dangerous situation. :-(

DiegoS4 (author)2015-01-29

Im cutting ring but imhave a 4 inches qep wet tile cutter and the rings get a lot of cheaps should i buy a new blade for glass or exchange for 7? And im thinking on buying an extra large microwave kiln what could you advise?

Ps awesome tutorials!


WUVIE (author)DiegoS42015-02-25

Hello Diego,

I am so sorry for the delay in my response. I have been lazy about checking my messages.

If you are going to fire the rings in a kiln, don't worry too much about the chips, as they should melt down and no longer be very sharp. A new blade will work wonders, but also remember to let the saw do the work, and don't force the glass into the saw. Be especially careful, and go slow.

Unfortunately, I do not have any helpful information about large microwave kilns, as I only have a small one, and my other kilns are actual ceramic kilns.

Many thanks!


sandcarver (author)2011-12-11

Hello everyone I just found this nice place and cut my first wine bottle a couple of days ago. I just ordered today a 10" continues rim diamond blade for my tile saw. I no that its going too be a lot better on the cuts than the old blade that was on it. I do a lot of sandcarving in glass and thought cutting the wine bottles for candle cover and so far there going good.

Battlespeed (author)sandcarver2014-03-31

Very nice! You should do an instructable on this. (author)sandcarver2012-04-10

That is awesome

Abeytj (author)2013-03-24

After several years trying various methods, I tried this today, great! I used a Circular saw for wood fitted with a tile cutting blade. The pictures are not clear whether, the bottle has to be cut through. My first attempt was to cut a deep groove around and then seperate the pieces by other means and the second was cutting through. This is better. Also the uneven edges can be groud with the side of the wheel. I used a wheel with 4 split edges and was worried whether it will shatter the bottle, no. Also the blade was not water cooled. Great post indeed

sunshiine (author)2011-11-11

I have wanted to make these for a long time. I will come back to this page when I am ready to give it a try. By the way I visited Wuv n Acres tonight. I heard that when you save the seeds from Hollyhocks if they were red, you may or may not get red the next year. Is this true? I will be visiting you page again hopefully in the spring if we are ready to plant. Thanks so much for sharing your hard work. I am looking forward to seeing more. Maybe soon? I assume you are less busy in the winter months. Have a perfect and beautiful fall Weekend. Sunshiine

amic (author)2009-09-29

Thanks for posting this! I never even thought about the wet saw and was not looking forward to using one of those bottle cutter kits! Do you have instructions on how to "fire polish" wine bottles that have been cut into drinking glasses? All of the instructions I find mention you can either grind the edges or fire polish, but they never tell give the fire polish process.

Project Upcycle (author)amic2011-08-16

You need to heat the bottle to 1000 degrees [in your kiln] then heat the edge with a torch until it melts to a smooth surface. Dont let the bottle cool or it will crack. after you polish it, hold the kiln at 900 degrees for a few hours then turn the kiln down at 10* F per minute until the glass is at room temp [note glass NOT kiln temp] then voila!

sunshiine (author)2011-08-06

Very good! Thanks for sharing!

WUVIE (author)sunshiine2011-08-07

Thank you so much! I'd like to update the photos, though. They were taken with my old camera. Things have changed so much since then. :-)

Callum Snowden (author)2011-07-31

Make candles within the nubs of the bottles and hang them from some thin copper wire, but make sure it doesn't melt!

rpvanpatt (author)2011-04-03

any update on the kiln part?

kz1 (author)2011-02-16

The punts would look good embeded in rock or adobe walls, planters, stepping stones, etc. Lots of uses for those little critters!

kz1 (author)2011-02-16

The bottle bums would make neat little bird feeders that could be set around or a hold drilled in the center and hug up near birds habitats or bird baths.

Shades of Grey (author)2010-12-07

Drill a hole through the top, put a chain/string/twine etc through, hang several together and make some wind chimes.... however probably not a good idea to have up high winds, but might make a nice sound in the breeze. Or leave little more lip on and use them as bird feeders.

rpvanpatt (author)2010-09-14

Hey, I have been using the same saw as this actually for the same idea. But I am very interested in reading about the kiln soon. Thanks!

bongodrummer (author)2010-09-05

Nice instructable, thanks! I have been using a tile cutter and similar technique to trim up a white stone door handle (you can see here - bottom of the page) for the oak doors I've been making. Getting the surface rounded and natural stone looking was the tricky bit - I had to recruit the belt sander to help with that ;)

darinthewoods (author)2007-09-19

Somehow I can't seem to get the knack of this - your rings look fairly smooth on the edges, whereas mine are quite jagged and chipped. I did purchase a diamond blade meant for cutting porcelain tile, but it didn't make much difference over the original blade that came with the saw. I've keep the tray topped up with water and I've tried cutting fast, slow and in between...can you offer any suggestions?

splatman (author)darinthewoods2007-09-20

Most likely, you need a glass cutting blade. Yes, there is such a thing.
You can buy them Here.
I used a tile saw to cut glass until its stock blade wore out, then I bought the blade linked above.
Since then, I wouldn't ever go back to any other type blade for glass work

Another thing that would help is, if the machine came with a miter gauge, use it to keep the bottle perpendicular to the blade. If that don't work or there's no miter gauge, improvise something that can slide on or alongside the fence.

Since it's difficult to keep the bottle straight when you get toward its top, try cutting the bottle top-first, especially if you're going to leave the bottom with an inch or more of the sides.

bongodrummer (author)splatman2010-08-30

That is good advice, and a nice instructable, thanks. I am trying to source a glass cutting blade here in the UK and having poor luck. Can anyone help?

I am having the same exact problems. I'm trying to cut beer bottles and all i get are chipped edges. I have tried both blades(the one it came with and a diamond). I have noticed that when i cut through the label it gives a nicer edge. Next I'm going to try and put masking take all the way around the bottle and see if that helps. I haven't tried cutting wine bottles yet. Maybe they give a nicer edge because they are thicker?? I'm going to get a glass specific diamond blade(thanks for the tip splatman) and see if that helps any. I'll let you know what i find.......

WUVIE (author)chester30002009-07-18

Oh, and if you like wine bottles, try champagne bottles, but take it slow, they are very thick. :-) Karen

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