Mosaic Tile Nipper

Mosaic Tile Nipper

The Mosaic Tile Nipper is our recommended hand tool for cutting glazed ceramic tile up to 3/8-inch thick and can also be used for cutting most varieties of stone, porcelain, and dinnerware. However, the tile nipper should not be used for glass tile because it crushes and splinters more glass than it cuts. For cutting glass mosaic tile, you should use a Mosaic Glass Cutter, which has wheel-shaped blades and cuts more cleanly.

Cutting Unbreakable Dinnerware and Hard Stone?

This tile nipper is fine for cutting most types of stone and dinnerware. However, some varieties of modern dinnerware are extremely hard. In fact, some of the “unbreakable” plates found at thrift stores are made from some of the hardest engineered materials known to science. We generally avoid a plate if it is particularly difficult and move on to the next piece unless it has a pattern we like. Keep in mind that a plate that is extremely hard tends to break into pieces with extremely sharp edges. If you do need to cut extremely hard materials, then use the Compound Tile Nipper, which has a force multiplier built into its mechanism.

Safety and Cutting Tile

  • Always wear safety glasses with side shields when using tile nippers.
  • Make sure that you don’t cut glass around people not wearing safety glasses. Flying chips could potentially hit their eyes as easily as yours.
  • Be aware that cutting tile of any type can produce sharp edges.
  • Crumbs from cutting can be extremely sharp. Never sweep off a work surface with your bare hand. Use a vacuum or counter brush.

Efficient Cutting

It is much easier to cut up four or five pieces of tile and choose the one that fits best than it is to try to trim one piece to a certain shape or size. It is quicker too. Keep your rejects in a small pile and pay attention to the shapes that are in it. If you don’t use a certain size or shape as often, try to cut fewer pieces like that. This is much more effective than trimming a piece down to what you need, and it is a lot less tedious.

Replacement Springs

We now carry replacement springs, but no, your nippers are NOT defective or useless if the spring falls off. The springs tend to fall off all hand tools eventually, even the most expensive brands. They can still be used efficiently without the spring: Keep your pinky fingers inside the handle instead of outside with the rest of your fingers and use your pinky to open the tool. This is basic shop/studio practice for using any type of plier tool, most of which do not come with springs in the first place, at least not back in the day.

How To Make Mosaic Art

For more advice on designing your mosaic project or mounting, cutting, and grouting tile, please see our page of Mosaic Frequently Asked Questions or our Mosaic Information Guide, which lists instructional pages described by topic. We also post new articles about making mosaics at our How to Mosaic Blog.

Mosaic Starter Kit with Compound Nipper (7 Item Kit)

Mosaic Art Starter Kit with Compound Nipper

Our Mosaic Starter Kit with Compound Nipper is the same as our regular Mosaic Starter Kit, but it includes the Compound Tile Nipper for hard porcelain and stone instead of the regular Mosaic Tile Nipper. The Compound Tile Nipper has a force multiplier which allows you to cut hard ceramics and stone with much less effort. The kit includes professional tools, adhesive, grout, 300 glass mosaic tiles, and access to our online mosaic instructions.

Although the kit was designed with beginners in mind, it includes the same tools and materials used by full-time mosaic artists and professional architectural installers. Notice that we didn’t include ordinary household items like plastic trays for mixing like most craft kits do. Our kit is made of only essential items like tile, grout, glue, and hand tools. Also note that we didn’t include small sample-sized amounts. The mosaic tile grout and glue in this kit are the standard size we sell, and the tools are the same as those used by professionals when installing murals. The kit was designed by our resident mosaic artist and are packed right in our shop. Don’t expect a lot of shrink-wrapping and labels and custom packaging -just value!

Compound Nipper Mosaic Art Starter Kit Components

Our Compound Nipper Mosaic Art Starter Kit includes:

How To Make Mosaic Art

For more advice on designing your mosaic project or mounting, cutting, and grouting tile, please see our page of Mosaic Frequently Asked Questions or our Mosaic Information Guide, which lists instructional pages described by topic. We also post new articles about making mosaics at our How to Mosaic Blog.

Compound Nipper Hard-Tile Cutting Tool

Compound Tile Nipper

The Compound Nipper is our recommended tool for cutting extremely hard tile such as dinnerware, porcelain and certain varieties of stone. This nipper has a compound lever mechanism which multiplies the mechanical force of your hand three times more than conventional tile nippers, which enables you to cut harder materials with much less effort.

The nipper should not be used for glass tile because it crushes and splinters more glass than it cuts. For cutting glass mosaic tile, you should use the Mosaic Glass Cutter, which has special wheel-shaped blades.

Compound Nipper Hard-Tile Cutting Tool

  • Tungsten Carbide cutting tips
  • 3x force multiplier
  • Rubberized grip for comfort
  • Cuts porcelain, ceramic, dinnerware, stone
  • Safety latch for storage

Cutting Unbreakable Dinnerware

Traditional porcelain can be very hard, but some varieties of modern dinnerware are even harder. In fact, some of the “unbreakable” plates found at thrift stores are made from some of the hardest engineered materials known to science. The Compound Nipper is the tool for cutting this type of dinnerware, but keep in mind that these extremely hard materials have some special safety considerations. First, the extra force required for cutting them means that pieces are more likely to fly out when the cut is snapped. Second, some of the razor edges produced can be exceptionally sharp. A tile file or rubbing stone can smooth these sharp edges, but our recommendation is to avoid any piece of dinnerware that seems particularly difficult and move on to the next plate. Most dinnerware is fairly easy to cut, so there is no reason to struggle with a difficult plate unless you really like the pattern.

Safety and Cutting Tile

  • Always wear safety glasses with side shields when using the cutters.
  • Make sure that you don’t cut tile around people who are not wearing safety glasses. Flying chips could potentially hit their eyes as easily as yours.
  • Be aware that cutting tile of any type can produce sharp edges.
  • Crumbs from cutting can be extremely sharp. Never sweep off a work surface with your bare hand. Use a vacuum or counter brush.

Efficient Cutting

It is much easier to cut up four or five pieces of tile and choose the one that fits best than it is to try to trim one piece to a certain shape or size. It is quicker too. Keep your rejects in a small pile and pay attention to the shapes that are in it. If you don’t use a certain size or shape as often, try to cut fewer pieces like that. This is much more effective than trimming a piece down to what you need, and it is a lot less tedious.

How To Make Mosaics

For more advice on designing your mosaic project or mounting, cutting, and grouting tile, please see our page of Mosaic Frequently Asked Questions or our Mosaic Information Guide, which lists instructional pages described by topic. We also post new articles about making mosaics at our How to Mosaic Blog.