The Compound Nipper is our recommended tool for cutting extremely hard tile such as thick 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
Not for Eggshell Pique Assette
If you are looking for a tool to cut thin eggshell china such as thin teacups and saucers, this isn’t it. Like most mosaic cutters, this tool will not close sufficiently to cut the material. This tool was made for hard stuff. For cutting eggshell china, I always used a non-mosaic tool: a generic pair of diagonal cutting pliers.
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.
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.