Luca Bottle Cutter review

I saw this cutter on indiegogo, and it looked interesting, so I backed it, and the first model came some months later. It certainly was a good looking piece of kit, but what was most interesting to look forward to was the hand-held aspect of it, which going by the pretty decent videos seemed to allow the user to cut curved lines as well as straight. Luca The initial package was an cardboard box, with the kit to assemble inside, giving it an air of a craft industry tool.  The plywood kit was of a good quality, with laser-machined parts for accuracy. Instructions were basic, but assembly was fairly straight forward after viewing all the videos on the net. The first thing I did was throw away the micro screwdriver supplied, which was a total waste of space. The strength required to screw the bolts into the machined ply was quite high, and needed a better screwdriver. It immediately became apparent that, though aesthetically pleasing, the plywood would not be up to long-term use. Parts once assembled were going to have to stay together, as you are screwing into bare wood. It will not stand too many assembly and disassembly cycles, and frustratingly, the box is too small to fit the fully assembled kit back into it.

The parts Luca assembledthat are design to adjust the position of the cutter are large thumb turning screws, but these two are screwing into bare wood slots, so will suffer from the same problem as the other screws. It will soon start wearing out and losing grip, and unfortunately the assembly needs to be put together tightly and strongly as there is a quite a lot of flex in the body when you are pushing a bottle down onto it, or against it in the vertical position. In operation, the cut itself was instinctively Luca wheelquite light and good, and initial accuracy and cut alignment was fairly reasonable, not leaving too much work to do in finishing. The big plus of this cutter, which is best demonstrated by viewing the videos online , is the cutting of curves on the bottles. This is not quite so easy in practise, but it does work in a fashion, and with practise will improve. It certainly gives another option instead of trying to hand cut with a traditional hand-held glass cutter. Luca4

 The biggest problem with this cutter though is the flex in the main body when using to perform standard straight bottle cuts, which, though it performs in basically the same way as the classic Ephrems Bottle cutter, is much too flexible compared to the metal bodied alternative cutter. I still got a good, clean cut from it, just from having a lot of experience cutting bottles, but I’m not sure it would be particularly good for a novice. Combining that, with the inevitable wear and tear on the screws and slots, then on balance, it’s significantly flawed, which is a shame, as it’s great looking, and has an unusual and stand-alone option that other bottle cutters don’t have.

UPDATE:  I see now on the main site , that a new version of the main body design is supplied, which has been substantially changed and looks much more solid, and likely somewhat addresses my issues including flexing and wear and tear by adding a thumb-turning disc to reduce the pressure at screw points. This could very much improve my opinion on the cutter’s weak points, though I can only judge the new model from the video, it’s certainly looks a step in the right direction from my initial review. Until I get a revised model, the review summary below is on the original design, which is now sold out.

Pros: Reasonably priced, ability to cut curves, clean score line, great videos.

Cons: Too flexible in use, longer term wear and tear issues, limited bottle size capability.

OVERALL RATING: 6/10