Serving all Illinois and Wisconsin

Can You Cut Tempered Glass?

Updated: 05/31/2024

The allure of tempered glass lies in its remarkable strength and safety features, making it a staple in modern construction and design. From sleek storefronts to robust phone screens, its ability to withstand considerable force has earned it widespread admiration.

Yet, despite its reputation for resilience, a common query persists: Can tempered glass be cut? At Apex Tempered Glass, our dedicated team will shed light on the intricacies of tempered glass. As one of Chicago’s leading manufacturers in this field, we pride ourselves on sharing valuable insights with our community. In this blog post, let’s explore the answer to this prevalent question.

What Is Tempered Glass?

What Is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that undergoes a specialized manufacturing process to enhance its strength and durability. During production, the glass is heated to high temperatures and then rapidly cooled using a process called quenching. This rapid cooling creates internal stresses, resulting in increased strength and resilience compared to standard glass.

Characteristics and Advantages of Tempered Glass

  • Exceptional strength, making it resistant to impacts and thermal stress.
  • Breaks into small, blunt pieces upon impact, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Enhanced resistance to scratches, thermal shock, and chemical damage.
  • Ideal for various applications, from architectural structures to consumer electronics.

Can You Cut Tempered Glass at Home?

Can You Cut Tempered Glass at Home?

If you’ve ever wondered whether you can tackle tempered glass cutting as a DIY project, you’re not alone. It’s a common question among homeowners looking to customize their spaces or embark on home improvement ventures. But before you break out the tools and start cutting, it’s important that you understand the complexities and risks involved.

Tempered or toughened glass is renowned for its strength and safety features. It undergoes a specialized tempering process to enhance its durability and make it resistant to breakage. However, this very strength also poses a challenge when it comes to cutting it.

While it’s technically possible to cut tempered glass, it’s not advisable to attempt it at home. Unlike regular annealed glass, tempered glass requires specialized equipment and techniques to cut safely and accurately. Without the proper tools and expertise, DIY attempts can lead to disastrous outcomes, including glass breakage, injury, or even shattering into dangerous glass shards.

How to Cut Tempered Glass

Cutting and customizing tempered glass can only be accomplished using specialized laser cutters, a process that cannot be replicated at home. Homeowners should always prioritize seeking professional assistance if they need tempered glass to be cut and customized without compromising its strength and durability. Our team at Apex Tempered Glass is only a phone call away!

Professional Tempered Glass Cutting

While cutting tempered glass at home isn’t advisable due to its complex nature, there are professional online companies that offer specialized tempered glass cutting and customization services.

These companies utilize special laser cutters to ensure that the tempered glass retains its strength, durability, and safety characteristics throughout the cutting process. Seeking assistance from professionals offers numerous benefits, including convenience, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

Exploring Alternatives to Cutting Tempered Glass: Tips and Solutions

1. Pre-Planning and Measurements

One of the most effective alternatives to cutting tempered glass is meticulous pre-planning and precise measurements. By carefully assessing your project needs and dimensions beforehand, you can minimize the need for extensive cutting and reduce the risk of errors.

Be sure to take accurate measurements and plan out your design layout to ensure that you’re working with the right glass sizes and shapes from the start. This approach not only saves time and effort but also minimizes waste and potential hazards associated with cutting tempered glass.

2. Custom Order Options

Another viable alternative to DIY tempered glass cutting is to explore custom order options offered by professional glass manufacturers. Many reputable companies, like ours at Apex Tempered Glass, specialize in providing customized glass solutions tailored to your specific requirements.

Whether you need unique shapes, sizes, or finishes, custom ordering allows you to access a wide range of design possibilities without the hassle of cutting tempered glass yourself. Plus, you can benefit from expert advice and guidance throughout the process to ensure optimal results that meet your expectations.


Can tempered glass be cut with regular glass cutting tools?

No, tempered glass cannot be cut with ordinary glass cutting tools. The tempering process increases the glass’s strength and resilience, making it difficult to cut with conventional methods. Attempting to cut tempered glass with regular tools will likely result in breakage or shattering.

What happens if you try to cut tempered glass with a glass cutter?

If you try to cut tempered glass with a glass cutter, the glass will resist the scoring process due to its increased strength. Instead of creating a clean score line, the cutter may simply slide across the surface without making a mark. Ultimately, the tempered glass won’t be successfully cut using this method.

Is it possible to cut tempered glass without shattering it?

It’s extremely difficult to cut tempered glass without shattering it due to its high tensile strength and internal stresses. While there are specialized methods and equipment for cutting tempered glass, even professionals may encounter challenges in achieving clean cuts without breakage.

What are the risks of attempting to cut tempered glass at home?

Attempting to cut tempered glass at home poses several risks, including:

  • Breakage or shattering of the glass, leading to potential injuries from sharp shards.
  • Compromising the structural integrity and safety features of the glass, rendering it ineffective for its intended purpose.
  • Violating legal and safety regulations regarding tempered glass cutting, which could result in legal liabilities and penalties.
  • Wasting time, effort, and resources on unsuccessful DIY attempts, leading to frustration and disappointment.

The Bottom Line

While we don’t advise cutting tempered glass at home, there are plenty of alternative approaches that allow you to achieve your desired outcomes safely and effectively. Whether it’s through careful planning, custom ordering, or utilizing specialized tools, there’s a solution that you can utilize. By prioritizing safety, quality, and expertise, you can embark on your glass projects with confidence and peace of mind.

At Apex Tempered Glass, we specialize in manufacturing custom tempered and laminated glass for any project. Reach out to us today to discuss your requirements and let us help you bring your vision to life.

Nina Tsoy

Finance And Operations

Nina leads Apex Tempered Glass, a company specializing in manufacturing all types of glass. Known for her strategic expertise and exceptional operational performance, Nina is committed to providing innovative solutions for any glass-related issue.


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*We serve Illinois and Milwaukee area