How to Use Wheeled Nippers or Cutters

July 29, 2015 4 Comments

HOW TO USE WHEELED NIPPERS OR CUTTERS

Wheeled nippers (cutters) are great for cutting glass tiles, small pieces of stained glass, gems, millefiori, mirror and smalti. While they are quite easy to use, this 'How to Mosaic' will give you some valuable tips and techniques to get the most of our your nippers.

Safety First

Always wear safety goggles when cutting with wheeled nippers. 

How do They Work

The fixed wheels do not score the tiles or glass, rather they create pressure which causes the glass to fracture in a controlled manner. The wheels do not join together like scissors, nor can they cut your skin.

How to Hold Your Nippers

Hold them in your dominant hand. For right handed people, hold the nippers in your right hand and face the wheels to the left. Visa versa for left handed people.  

Many people use their spare hand to cup the piece of glass or tile, to prevent the pieces from flying away. Rather than doing this use your spare hand to steady the piece while the press is applied, this will result in a more controlled cut.  To prevent the pieces from flying away, cut your tiles in an ice cream container or plastic bag. Also point the nippers downwards towards the work surface, this will help stop pieces flying off into the air. 

If you lean your nippers to one side when cutting you will get a curved cut.

 

right handed correct grip of wheeled nippers

 

This is a right handed grip for wheeled nippers. Notice that the nippers are held towards the bottom of the arms. This creates leverage which makes it easier to cut.

 

 

 incorrect hand grip of wheeled nippers

This grip of the nippers is incorrect as they are being held too high up. 

What Materials Can I Use Them On

Use them to cut glass tiles, stained glass, mirror, millefiori, glass gems or smalti. They can also cut soft ceramic tiles but this will dull the wheels quicker. Never use these nippers to cut porcelain or hard ceramics.

If you are working with tiles that have ridges, turn the tiles over so you can see the ridges to determine the best place to cut.

Care Of Your Nippers

Wheeled nippers and hard surfaces don't mix! Be careful not to drop your wheeled nippers on the floor as it can knock the wheels out of alignment, which can't be fixed. 

Over time and with use your wheels can loosen. It you find that your cuts aren't as good as they should be, it's probably time to tighten your wheels. 

When you first get your nippers, mark the wheels where they come together. As you rotate your wheels continue to mark the wheels, with this technique you will get the maximum life out of your nippers.

 

put a mark on the wheels when you first get your wheeled nippers

 

 


4 Responses

Diane Kuhn
Diane Kuhn

March 17, 2019

Very informative. Thanks for the infor.

Elfie Adam
Elfie Adam

November 12, 2018

This was very helpful info. Thanks.

lLINDA DAVIES-GRAHAM
lLINDA DAVIES-GRAHAM

March 17, 2019

IT’S A REAL PLEASURE TO READ YOUR ‘GREAT’ HINTS AND I OFTEN GET FANTASTIC HINTS!! I WAS IN A CAR ACCIDENT 15YEARSAGO AND I GOT A PAYOUT BUT IT HAS TO LAST A VERY LONG TIME. BUT YOUR ‘ARTY THING’
KEEPS ME OCCUPIED WHILE HAVING ALOT OF FUN!! SOOOOOOOOOOOO
THANKS ALOT. I’m so sorry I forget badly while I was finishing I remembered I wrote to you but I thought you could have another praise. LOOPY LINDA XXXX

Lucienne
Lucienne

July 29, 2015

Thanks for this handy load of hints.

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