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Review | Kinkajou Bottle Cutter

With the holiday gifting season upon us, I am needing to think of DIY gifts for family, friends, neighbors, and everyone else on the list.  I jumped at the chance to review the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter because I had seen so many great gift giving ideas with bottles on Pinterest.  The package said it would have everything I needed to get started bottle cutting!

Kinkajou Bottle CutterThe main piece in the package is a tool to score your bottles – it scores a line rather than cuts the bottle.  More on that in a bit.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterThe back of the package has a bit more info about the company. There is a pretty neat back story that involves a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds in order to produce the Kinkahou bottle cutter after the initial prototype was invented by Patrick Lehoux. Now he and his wife run a thriving company and are updating the designs of their products based on customer feedback.

Kinkajou Bottle Cutter - ContentsI opened the package and read through the instructions. It sounds so simple, even I can do this! First step is to gather safety equipment (safety glasses and gloves) as well as the bottles you want to cut.  The instructions let you know what kind of gloves to use, but I decided to improvise and use some snowboarding gloves that I had handy.  They have rubber fingertips that are much stronger than kitchen gloves. I also spread out some newspapers to catch any glass or other mess from the project.

Kinkajou Bottle Cutter - Extra SuppliesAt this point I realized that the bottles I had intended to cut wouldn’t work because they aren’t round – Mason jars with a rounded square body. So I gathered up a few round beer bottles (the big 20 oz. size) instead.

Kinkajou Bottle Cutter - Bottle ShapesThe next step was attaching the Kinkajou tool to score a line on the bottle. I re-read the instructions and dove in.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterThe line scored, but the start and end point didn’t match up perfectly. There’s no re-do’s with bottle scoring, because the tool can be damaged if you go over the score line more than once. So I had to go on to the next bottle.

Kinkajou Bottle Cutter Separation RingsThis time the score line matched up perfectly, so I went to the next steps. There’s one thing you should know about the separation rings used in these steps: the instructions say that you will receive 6 rings (3 sizes) but my package only included 2 rings (1 size).  It was fine because I was able to stretch them over the bottle, but it would be a REALLY snug fit on a wine bottle.

After you put the rings on your scored bottle, you alternate using really hot and cold water to cause the score line to crack and break. But it didn’t break. I tried for a really long time. And then I noticed that there was a tool in the package that is not referenced in the instructions.  Did I miss something?

Kinkajou Bottle Cutter PartsSo I finally broke down and watched all the instructional videos online (which the instructions tell you to do, but I wanted to just get started). I learned what the tool was but I still thought I had done everything right. So my husband had to take one for the Craft Critique team and go out and get another beer so I could conquer the Kinkajou cutter.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterAnd this time I had him do the score line for me because I felt like I couldn’t get a very good grip on both sides of the tool at once. He had no issue since his fingers are longer than mine, and he was able to apply a bit more pressure from the scoring roller (above) by squeezing the two sizes together a bit.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterSure enough, it worked! It took many more times alternating hot and cold water than the videos demonstrate – it was 8 or 9 rather than 2 or 3 of each hot/cold cycle. And there was one point on break where it didn’t follow the score line (see below), but overall I was happy that it actually worked.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterNow I am left with something that is just about the size of a drinking glass, and I need to sand the sharp edges.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterThe bottle cutter comes with some rough sandpaper to gets rid of sharp edges fairly quickly. But you will need some finer grit sandpaper to smooth out the glass and make it shiny afterwards.

Kinkajou Bottle CutterAnd that completes my first adventure in bottle cutting! I am glad I got to test it early, so that I have some time to practice before gift giving projects. When I read this in the instructions, it made me laugh: “When you first get started it’s best to practice on bottles that you don’t consider too valuable.” But it really is true! Do a few test runs before you start cutting your $300 champagne bottles. I really am happy to have a new option for DIY gifts, and can’t wait to test the Kinkajou bottle cutter on all kinds of different bottle colors and sizes. Next up I’m going to try a smaller bottle for a candle holder.

PROS:

  • Offers the possibility of creating unique DIY home decor and gifts
  • All in one kit to get started that is much easier and safer than other bottle cutting instructions I have seen (they involve fire)
  • Relatively easy to use and not very time consuming – could complete one bottle cut in less than 10 minutes

CONS:

  • Learning curve is steep and not much margin for error – make sure your recycling bin is full of practice bottles before you get started
  • A little more dangerous than most crafts (safety equipment required and glass dust cleanup necessary after sanding)
  • Expensive upfront investment

The Kinkajou Bottle Cutter can be purchased online, starting at $49.99.

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Cassandra has been scrapbooking and stamping for more than 15 years. Paper is her passion, and she says that she grew up wanting to own a stationery shop. She describes herself as "crafty" and enjoys projects ranging from card making and photography to quilting and crafts for kids. She was previously in corporate marketing but now spends her days at home with her young daughter. You can read more about Cassandra's adventures in crafting at the fresh crafts blog.

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2 Responses to Review | Kinkajou Bottle Cutter

  1. Shauna November 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Thanks for the great and in depth review. I have cut glass before for projects and it’s easy but with bottles it’s a matter of needing to keep the line even – thus the need for a special tool for this purpose. I have seen 2 newer bottle cutting devices lately and was wondering about them. From the reviews and info I’ve read (yours and others) on the various bottle cutters it sounds to me like the old one at Michael’s and other craft stores for years would be the best by far! It sounds much easier and is usually cheaper to begin with plus you can use a 40% coupon and then get it much cheaper. I don’t know if I can say the brand name here so I won’t but it is the one we’ve seen in the craft stores for years and years. Some things are just easier the more basic you keep them I think. I appreciate all your effort in this review. I don’t think I would have had the patience you did – especially with all that hot, cold water business. I’d not seen one where you had to do that.

  2. Nick May 15, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Excellent review and very well photographed. I’ve spent time trying to cut bottles with other devices and all I really ended up with was a bunch of broken glass. The results with the Kinkajou were much more reliable.
    There was a learning curve. I even went so far and watched the videos that they provided. Once I got the hang of it, the process seemed more natural.
    My rubber rings didn’t last very long. The whole breaking process still works without them.