Nipping Tips

Offset Nippers

  • Offset Nippers are best suited for ceramic based tiles and china, not glass.

  • Tile nippers do not cut tile, they crack it. The line of cracking will generally be a straight line across the tile in the direction of the jaws.

  • To get a straight across crack, place the jaws a at right angle to the edge.

  • To get an angled crack, place the jaws at an angle to the edge.

  • Only place the jaws over the tile approximately 1/4 inch (see the right way in figure A).

  • Placing more of the jaws over the tile will make it VERY difficult to cut (see the wrong way in figure B).

  • Be sure to hold the nippers with the flat side of the jaws facing away from your hand.   (Figure A). The handles should be held as near the end of the handles as possible.  This gives the most leverage.  A gentle squeeze produces high pressure in the jaws.

Figure A - good position  

Figure B - bad position

  • ALWAYS wear safety goggles when nipping.

  • Until you are adept at holding the tile so that both pieces are still in your grip after the cut is made, (and all your fingertips are still attached to your hand) I suggest placing a towel over the nippers while cutting to keep the pieces from flying about.

  • You can also place your hand with the nippers holding the tile in a paper bag. 

  • Nipping gets easier and more accurate with practice.   Practice dividing tiles into four smaller squares by first halving one square then halve each remaining one.

  • Circular shapes can be achieved by nibbling away at the corners of your tile.

Wheeled Mosaic Cutters

  • Leponitt Wheeled Nippers may be used on stained glass, vitreous tile, ceramic, (glazed and unglazed) and china.
  • Wheeled Mosaic Cutters are basically used the in the same way except that they will cut, not crack, the tile so you should place the cutter in the center of the tile where you want to cut (see Figure C, below).
  • If the nippers are not held at a right angle to the tile, a curved cut may result.

Figure C - good wheeled cutter position

Miscellaneous Nipping Tips

  • When cutting glass mosaic tile, Make your first cut perpendicular to the ridges.  This results in a straighter cut with a better edge.

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