How to Cut Terra-cotta Pots

Updated February 21, 2017

Terra-cotta plant pots are made of red clay that is baked at high temperature until it hardens. One negative characteristic of terra-cotta pots is that they crack easily if dropped or if you attempt to cut them using common methods. If you are doing a craft project with terra-cotta pots, or if you simply want to cut down some large pots, you must use a special technique to prevent cracking.

Set the terra-cotta pot on a flat surface with the open end facing upward, and use a pencil to mark where you want to cut.

Fill the inside of the pot with sand to just below the area you will cut. Tap the pot on the surface two to three times to pack the sand down tightly.

Install a ceramic cutting disk into an angle grinder, and plug its cord into a electrical socket.

Put on safety glasses and turn the angle cutter on. Lower the cutting disk toward the pencil line until it begins to cut into the terra cotta. Allow the blade to pull itself through the terra cotta. Do not push down or apply pressure. Continue until you reach the end of the pencil line.

Turn off the angle grinder and unplug it. Remove your safety glasses and pour the sand out of the terra cotta pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Sand
  • Safety glasses
  • Angle grinder
  • Ceramic cutting disk
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.