Craft Tool Review: G2 Generation Green Bottle Cutter

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Everything old is new again, and that goes for some of the “green” crafts of the 70’s including recycling bottles and glass. DiamondTech is right on top of the trend with the G2 Generation Green Bottle Cutter. It was up for a CHA Innovation Award at Winter CHA, and I was excited to try it out myself.

Here’s how it’s described on the website:

Be part of Crafting a Green World, it’s easy with the new Generation Green (g2) Bottle Cutter. Made from recycle aluminum, the g2 is lightweight and allows you to easily score and separate discarded bottles and wide-mouth jars in 3 steps. Its 6 turreted cutting head means cutting longevity. Using the g2 Bottle Cutter you can turn old glass bottles and jars into glass sculptures, vases, lamps shades, votive holder or fashion anything you can imagine.

The box comes with the cutter- you need to assemble it- a “tapper”, sandpaper, and instructions. Did I mention that the tool itself is “green,” as it’s made from 100% recycled aluminum! I thought that was a strong selling point.

I assembled the cutter pretty quickly- the instructions for assembly and all step-out photos, so you can see exactly how to put it together.

With the bottle cutter assembled, it was time to prep my bottles and jars. I had two wine bottles, two glass bottles, and a pickle jar. The instructions say to remove all labels and glue residue. After some prep, I was ready to go!

I stared with a glass bottle and started to get my cutter set up. There are wing nuts that need to be adjusted to get the bottle cutter in place. The instructions say you can just tighten them with your fingers, but I got very frustrated because the screw would just turn and turn- I had to put a screwdriver in the back in order to properly tighten the wing nuts. This of course, mean that I had to remove it from the bottle and hope that I didn’t shift it before I tightened it up.

It was a little unwieldy, as there is no base, per se- the bottle cutter rests in the mouth of the bottle, so you need to hold the bottle up. The system isn’t heavy at all to hold, but it still will knock the bottle over because of the weight and lack of counterbalance or base.

I read and re-read the instructions, and got ready to cut my first bottle. I made sure to told the cutter with the flat of my hand, not “grip” the cutter and guide bar. I also tried to keep in mind that you don’t need to use a lot of force- essentially, you are just scoring it.

Score! Er...scored!

The next step is to dunk the bottle in to alternating hot and cold water baths to get it to crack along the line and break. I filled my pot with hot water and a bucket with cold…and dunked for 5 seconds each about 5 times as directed. I though I heard it crack, but I’m not sure.

Then I took the “tapping” tool- the long metal wire with the plastic do-hicky in the middle and inserted it into the bottle. (Yeah, I know that it’s not technical, but I don’t know what it’s called.) I started tapping away. The glass broke, but not along the score line exactly.

I tried dunking it a few more times, and tapping again. I didn’t get far. I took the tapper out of  the bottle and started tapping on the outside. It broke, but there was one part that was kind of jagged.

Convinced that I just needed some practice, I moved on to a small wine bottle.

Score line achieved.

Dunked in the hot water, then the cold water

The results were the same- jagged instead of a smooth cut.

Now, as an aside, when I was working with the wine bottle, I didn’t really have a big enough pot. I tried to make the score line close to the top, so I know that the line would be submerged. However, I couldn’t submerge the entire bottle, so maybe that was the problem.

A little daunted but not completely discouraged, I tried yet another beverage bottle.
Same process. Adjust the cutter, make the score, dunk the bottle, and tap….

Great for a bar fight, but nowhere near the clean cut I’d hoped for. Assuming at this point that I was doing something drastically wrong, I set a larger pot of water on to boil and took a moment to review the video on the site.

The only think I identified as a problem was the water temperature- my water was hot and steaming, but not just past the full boil. So for the next two tries, I made sure the water was at a boil and then turned off the heat. That water was hot!

Back to step one: score. By the way, this was a much bigger bottle.

This bottle was a larger size, and the tapper wouldn't fit inside on one end, and couldn't reach the inside of the glass with the other.

I had to lay the bottle down and tap it from the outside. It just wouldn’t crack! Finally I started to wail on it a bit- and, well, force didn’t help.

Lastly, I had a pickle jar. It was much harder to get it set up, because you have to position the part that usually goes IN the bottle on the opposite side of the mouth of the jar, and it kept slipping. This actually was really frustrating! But I got it set up, scored the best line I could, and then did my dunking. This time,  dunked back and forth 3 times, and then let it rest in the ice water a bit longer to see if cold glass broke better.

Um, no. The crack went everywhere!

So there I was. I had 5 bottles to try, and all 5 were failures. I followed the instructions, I watched the video- and I know I heard a few of them crack! But no nice edges for me.

I’m willing to chalk this one up to my being a craft test DUMMY. But if I got these results, I wonder if “average jane crafter” would get much better. (?)

So folks, this one has me stumped. I obviously cannot recommend it, and I can’t help you if you are having problems. I’ll do some research and see if the Royal “we” can’t figure it out and get back to you at a later date! Suggestions welcome…

Disclosure: sample provided for review purposes.

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

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23 Responses to “Craft Tool Review: G2 Generation Green Bottle Cutter”

  1. thezenofmaking Says:

    The scoring looks really even (unlike my attempts by hand). I bet it would work perfectly if you used a candle to “burn” around the glass a few times where it’s scored, then dunk it into a sink filled with cold water, tapping it a bit on the bottom. A few of my more stubborn bottles needed the candle/cold water treatment twice.

  2. Sara Says:

    I have a tip for you and this should resolve the issue you are having. What I am finding works and I was able to cut 9 bottles out of 12. (one of the 9 has a little higher edge, BUT I am hoping sand paper will do the trick.)

    Boil water, I have a tea kettle I was using. Once the water is boiling, get a funnel, insert it into the top of the bottle and pour in the hot water past the score line. (Make sure you have this in a bowl as well.) Next step, grab a cube of ice and run it along the score line. The bottle may be very hot, so I used my ove glove to hold the top and twist it in a circle and I moved the ice as I went along to back and forth. NOW if you hold the ice for too long, it may create a crack to go in a different direction.

    I had a few break cleany from the edge without much pressure once the crack line was in place. I noticed green bottles, I didn’t have much success with versus clear and brown. BUT it could have been the thickness of the glass as well.

    But hope this helps you. ;)

  3. michelle short Says:

    I am using this same tool this morning for the first time with only slightly better results. I’m optimistic like you, surely I just need practice! Thanks for blogging about this!

  4. larry-go-lucky Says:

    Hi there!
    Thanks for your review. I came across it while trying to locate a tool comparable to the one used in this video by GreenPowerScience (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFXngPx3w3M&feature=youtube_gdata_player) It’s totally inspired me and I want to get started straight away to make decorations for my best friend’s wedding… I think I’ll try purchasing the G2, but following the method used in the video…. Fingers crossed!
    Thank you!

  5. kathy Says:

    hmmmm. thank you for your review. it looks like you have a nice straight score line. so, I’m not totally convinced the problem lies with the tool. ??? but I don’t know. I’ve been struggling with trying to score bottles with only a glass cutter and some oddball improved techniques (none of which aren’t worth mentioning, believe me!). I do generally have good results with breaking the bottle using the hot water/cold water method though. Except like Sara I use a tea kettle. Once the water is boiling, I drizzle a stream of hot water on the score line for a short bit. Then I turn on the cold tap water and give it a shot of that. And then I go back to the hot water. Usually cracks at that point!

  6. meee Says:

    can you only cut horizontal, or also a little oval upwards?

  7. Jenny Says:

    Meee- the instructions said to keep the blade at a 90-degree angle to the glass, and the tool only allows for straight cuts. AND I couldn’t get it to work properly following those instructions. So there you go.

  8. Ashley Says:

    I have a G2 and it works GREAT!!!!! I found that it’s all about the difference in temperature of the water. You have to use boiling water. As in still on the stove bubbling away. And the cold water needs to be as much ice as water. It litterally falls off clean smooth cut. No problems. I only had to dip the bottles once in boiling and once in ice water and they came out PERFECT!

  9. Crafting again Says:

    I just bought this last night.
    It worked fine, if your water is not ice cold or boiling hot,it will work just takes longer.
    just remember to only score once.
    I did a pint mikes bottle.

  10. NZ Says:

    I was just given a G2 as a gift today s took to the kitchen to try it out. Luckily we have a lot of old wine and beer bottles so I had a good number of “test dummy” bottle to hone my technique on.

    It took me 5 unevenly cracked bottles but then I started getting surprisingly smooth, straight results consistently.

    Obviously after one night I’m not a pro, but things I would say definitely made a difference are:

    1) Make sure you really only put the bare minimum amount of pressure on to get a quiet squeak (sign of a shallow score) – this seemed to be the most crucial part of the whole process. Turning the bottle as smoothly as possible(no stops and starts) was also clearly key. It definitely took a few tries to adjust and learn to control the pressure of my hand; it was much easier to get a smooth turn with a smaller diameter bottle first and then move up to wine and fatter beer bottles.

    2) As others have said – it seemed to be the extremity of just boiled hot water and iced cold water that made a straight break possible.
    I started by trying to poor just boiled water from the tea kettle over the score while holding the bottle horizontal in a sink and then plunging the bottle into a pot filled with cold water from a tap. It was taking about 5 hot/cold cycles for it to break. But then I added ice cubes to the cold water and the bottles were breaking in 1 or 2 hot/cold cycles. Again, I haven’t done enough bottles to be sure, but it seemed like the fewer cycles the cleaner the break (though it could just be that better score equals faster and cleaner break). I also tried with a candle and the ice water, rotating the bottle with the score line in the flame for approx 1 minute and then plunging in the cold water, but the flame didn’t heat the bottle enough, so then I went to a mix of heating the score line in the candle to try and concentrate heat on this part of the bottle, then pouring just boiled water out of tea kettle to raise the bottle temperature more (though with the heat less precisely applied to the score line) and then plunged it in ice water. This was probably the most consistent for dead straight breaking with no running cracks, though again, it may have just been that I tried this method last and my scoring pressure was getting better by then too.

    Hope this helps. All in all I would highly recommend this product for good fun, and I think it definitely works, you just have to be prepared for a few messy breaks while you hone your skill.

  11. MegaD Says:

    Super stoked about the g2! Have had mixed success rate. My biggest issue is getting wavy crack lines. Thanks for the tip NZ, going to try less pressure and more extreme temperatures differences. Thanks!

  12. Erin Says:

    Hi Jenny! Wanted to start by saying I LOVE the name of your site!!

    I got the G2 glass cutter for Christmas. First night we poured the hot water into a bucket with one of ice water next to it, didn’t work once. Keep the almost boiling water on the stove over heat and the other bucket needs a ton of ice. Very important to keep oiling your cutter as well as making sure your glass rotation while cutting was generally smooth and not too aggressive. Certainly worked better when it was done light.

    The next day I tried it with the almost boiling water it broke even almost every time. The technique just took longer to get a hold of.

    Good luck with your other craft test dummies!!! :)

  13. JBF Says:

    Great tutorial! The g2 Bottle Cutter from Diamond Tech is the best bottle cutter imo (considering price and ease-of-use).

    However, I’ve also had a good experience with the $30 Armour Bottle Cutter which is more expensive but is also a bit sturdier/easier to handle while cutting your bottles.

    Hope this info helps :)

  14. Paula Says:

    here’s another tip: you shouldn’t use the tapper every time, it is a last resort for a bottle that won’t break on it’s own using the hot/cold water. I’ve cut all my glasses without using the tapper at all. Just keep pouring hot water as close to directly on score line as possible, then dunk in cold… repeat repeat repeat.

  15. cindy Says:

    I broke my first one, then came out perfectly clean on the second, thinking I had it all figured out I just busted up #3, #4 and #5 Now I have to go drink more. I guess if I don’t get the next one right I won’t care. :)

  16. Nick Says:

    I was so upset with this product a went ahead and made a video response on YouTube. This is what they came back with.

    Response from GREENPOWERSCIENCE on YouTube:

    Hi Nick,
    The G2 does not work well as it uses a standard $3 glass cutting wheel designed for flat glass. It does not score properly for cylindrical shapes making separation very difficult to impossible. The wheel we use is a $23 carbide engineered cutting edge designed specifically for cylindrical cutting. It also lasts well over 1000 scores. The cost difference is the wheel.

  17. Dar Says:

    The first 5 I did were perfect. The next 7 cracked every which way. I’m convinced it has something to do with the scoring. It has to be ‘just right’. The trouble is wine bottles are hard to come by so every time one is screwed up, you have to find more and I can’t afford that. Maybe I had beginners luck but I can’t seem to figure out what makes it work and what doesn’t, or how you know to score it just right. Also each bottle glass is different. Some are thick and some are thinner. I don’t think it has to do with the water temperature.

  18. Tara Says:

    Hey I had the same problem when I first stared I’ll share a couple of tips I discovered just doing it so much. 1. Put a large pot of boiling water on the stove keep it simmering 2. ICE WATER!!! This is the mistake that most people make it has to be ice water if it is just cold you will run into problems. 3 I score all my bottles first. 4 I use a ladle to pour the water over the line as I turn the bottle about 5 times around then QUICKLY podur cold water over it you will here it crack and Gentley pull it apart . If you don’t have a clean break don’t submerge it again lightly pour hot water over just the spot and it will pop. Hope you have better luck just takes practice :)

  19. Vincent McGrath Says:

    Seems impossible to get the cutting blades for the G2 bottle cutter. You are directed to
    buy the handtool which includes the blades. Where can I buy the replacement blades
    without including the holding blade tool cutter. Need just the small round scoring blades.

  20. Steve Says:

    I have been up-cycling glass bottles for a few years now. I started with the old ‘rope burn’ cutting method, then moved on to the ‘water soak’ method and even built my own glass cutting jig which I have been using ever since.

    Yesterday I decided to try the G2 cutter and I am surprised at how many complaints there are with this little tool. I have been able to recreate perfect cuts with little to no defects.

    Hopefully this will help:

    1) As mentioned in the instructions, and in other sources, the line which you are scoring needs to be free of any labels or residue. You do not necessarily have to remove all of the labels, as long as you do not try to score over them.

    2) When scoring the bottle, use constant pressure and try not to stop. I know this is the hardest part, but every time you stop and start again, it creates little ‘chips’ in the score line which cause the bottle to crack unevenly and chip along the score line.

    IMPORTANT: DO NOT SCORE OVER THE SAME LINE. THE VERY INSTANT YOU HEAR THE SOUND CHANGE TO A GRAVELY PITCH, STOP!

    3) Using the tapping tool, I just line the head of the bar against the score line on the inside of the glass and barely tap the glass while rotating it. The subtle vibrations over and over will cause the glass to stress and eventually separate.

    All of this said, I can cut a case of wine bottles in 10 minutes.

    Another point to remember is that all glasses are made differently. You may find some with thicker and thinner walls and so you have to be careful with the amount of tapping force used.

    Hope it helps!

  21. Melbot Says:

    I got this a few days ago. Tried it out last night with just boiling and cold tap water. No result. Bought a bag of ice today and things started moving quickly! My problem is the uneven scoring, I just can’t seem to get it turning evenly without stopping. Will try again tomorrow with the methods in the comments. Didn’t need to use the tapper for the rings to come apart either.

  22. cregan Says:

    i have been at it all morning and after 20 failed attempt i know have the knack and every one i do is coming out great. dont worry about the tapper, just keep dunking it into boiling water and into the ice water. just make sure the boiling water line is above the score to get an even temp differential. if you dont the glass is at different temps and it will crack

  23. jsnapp Says:

    I have one of these. I have used it once and the result was a very clean line. The key is to be very patient, and do not use the tapping tool. Instead of dunking the bottle I used a glass of cold water and ran the (extremely) hot water from my kitchen sink. After you go around the bottle ONCE with the cutter, alternate between running the score mark under the hot water and pouring the cold water on it. It will take a few times of switching back and forth but it falls right apart.

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