Cutting Oil is a light oil used in Pistol-Grip Cutters to prolong the life of the scoring wheel when cutting stained glass for mosaic art. Keep in mind that any stained glass exposed to cutting oil needs to be washed with detergent to ensure that the glues and mortars used in mosaic work can bond securely. This residue is NOT an issue if you are soldering the glass in lead channel and making traditional stained glass artwork, but it can be fatal for a mosaic.
Cutting Oil Required?
It is possible to use a Pistol Grip Cutter without cutting oil if you use the right amount of pressure. Most people prefer not to do that. The oil allows you to press harder than you need to without generating as many tiny flakes of glass and supposedly helping the cutting wheel last longer. Whether or not YOU use cutting oil when you cut stained glass, you must assume that the glass was cut with oil at some point, and so you should rinse it with detergent so that the glue or mortar can bond to the glass when you use it in a mosaic.
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.