Skip to main content

How to Use Diamond & Straight Shears in Glassblowing

Learn how to use diamond and straight shears from glassblower Ed Donovan in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name's Ed Donovan, I'm here at DC Glass Works, you can find us at We are a public-access glass blowing facility. We also do metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing, it's an amazing substance. And today, I'm going to be talking to you about glass blowing. Straight shears and diamond shears are the tools that we have for cutting glass. Uh, the straight shears are much more similar to like a standard scissor that you would find in a household, uh, and then the diamond shears are going to be, uh, a shear that looks like a diamond blade and it constricts the glass. Uh, those are the two basic ideas. Uh, they're both, uh, very different in the way that they function, uh, and you, of course, are gonna choose the tool that's right for what your application is. The straight shears come in varying lengths on the blade, um, and depending on what you're working on, you're gonna choose the specific size of shear that you have. Typically, a bench is only gonna have one size shear on it for the basic set up, uh, but if you're a more advanced user, you're gonna be able to buy whatever size, uh, shear that you would like. Um, when you're handling the shears, you want to use just the ends of your fingertips cuz it's very important to get the shears all the way open and then closing them almost all the way closed. If you close them all the way closed, uh, it's really harder to get into kind of a nice, even rhythm with the shears so you want to make sure that you're just half-way closed or three quarters of the way closed and then wide open and just kind of moving through the glass. Remember, it's kind of a liquid and the hotter you have the glass, the easier it is to cut it, uh, so you wanna make sure that you're able to get through with a nice, even motion. You gotta keep that glass moving as you're cutting it, uh, or using the shears in what we call a color drop. Uh, whatever application you're using - a cookie fit on the marble, perhaps, uh, all of these different things requiring the use of either the diamond shear or the straight shear.

Popular Categories