Reported by Cassandra Darwin
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!
The 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.
The 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.
I 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.
At 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.
The next step was attaching the Kinkajou tool to score a line on the bottle. I re-read the instructions and dove in.
The 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.
This 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?
So 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.
And 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.
Sure 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.
Now I am left with something that is just about the size of a drinking glass, and I need to sand the sharp edges.
The 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.
And 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.
- 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
- 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.