Machine Blown Glass  Vs.  Hand Blown Glass:

These two techniques are very different and require different machinery and knowledge to produce glass products. With these two techniques any type of glass can be manufactured, wine, beer, shot glasses and many more.

The most common technique is machine blown glass as it can produce items in volumes for mass production. Although these two techniques are very different they are both referred to as press and blow glass manufacturing.

The machine blow process is for cost effective mass production whereas the hand blow process is more appropriate for unique glass pieces, small production runs or for glassware with extremely complex specifications.


Machine Blown Glass Manufacturing:

Drinking Glass Factory

This manufacturing process is best applied for mass production of any type of glasses, wine, beer or shot glasses. This process is done using a machine that automatizes the process of glass manufacturing.

It is less expensive then Hand Blown Manufacturing since there is no need for manual labor. Machine Blown Glass manufacturing was initiated in the later part of the 19th century.

Example of Drinking Glass Mould

With improvements made over the years, machine blown glass has been able to allow more and more customized mass produced glasses thanks to increased technology in the customization of the mould.

These glasses have a much thicker wall than hand blown glasses to ensure better durability and will be less likely to shatter.

Another issue with Machined Glass is that a The main differences that stand out between both processes is the thickness of the wall, the durability and detailed customization of the glass.

Final key difference between both processes is the presence of a thin line running down the side of the glass. The line is made when the two pieces of the mould come together to form one piece of glass. The line will never disappear it is a characteristic of using moulds but sometimes it is very thin and hardly noticeable.

The entire process of manufacturing of glasses is fully explained in the previous blog entitled “Manufacturing Custom Promo drinks glasses”.

Please also note our upcoming blog on the sampling process for Machined Glasses.


Hand Blown Glass Manufacturing:

The Hand Blown Glass process dates back to around 50B.C, it is widely believed that the Phoenicians invented the process. It is an ancient art form which was used to make glass jars, vases and glass ornaments. This technique was used from 50 B.C up until the 19th century. It was replaced by Machine Blown because of the limitation of volume units that could be produced. Since the mid 1960’s the hand blown technique has been re-introduced more and more by artisans and glass enthusiasts.

Glass blowing is a technique used to give molten glass a specific shape and characteristics, it is much more precise then machine blown glass . The manufacturing steps are the same as for those stated in the previous blog, up until molten part where it is in the furnace – then the glassblower performs his task. When he is done blowing the glass product to perfection he places the product into the annealing lehr.

The molten glass is inflated into a bubble or parison, the glassblower uses a blowpipe in order to achieve this. This process requires a skillful glass blower, thus it is a much more costly procedure as manual labor is required throughout the manufacturing process. Hand blown manufacturing is the best way to produce unique glassware and the most efficient way to obtain customized specifications. Much more detail and tailored specification can be obtained with this process rather then Machine Blown glass. The wall of the glass can be very thin thus producing a much lighter but also a more fragile glass.

Please see previous blog entitled “Manufacturing Custom Promo drinks glasses”, for more information on manufacturing process.

Hand blown glass will always have a certain degree of imperfections. There are also variations in the shape of the glass, it is almost impossible to make two identical glass pieces. Some very skillful glassblowers can make symmetrical glass pieces but there will always be a slight variation. The most common imperfections are wavy marks on the wall of the glass or slight variation in the hight or width of glass piece. Machine blown glass pieces are able to produce more identical glass products during the course of each production because of the repeated manufacturing process and the use of automated production process that detects and makes correction in order to avoid repeated defaults.

Hand Blown glasses are seamless, meaning that there are no lines running down the glass such as in pieces that are made using the machine blown process. The reason there is no line is because a hand blown glass piece is one continuous piece of glass. There is no mark that indicates where the two pieces of glass joined together during the mold process. The inside of the hand blown glass will not be as smooth at the outside. Also at the bottom of the glass there will be a tiny  mark or bulge that is found at the bottom. It is known as the rod mark, the point where the blowing device touched the glass, this mark is made when the blowing device is removed at the end of the blowing phase. Bubbles are common to find in the wall of the glass. This is due to air getting caught in the wall during the blowing phase of the process. Some pieces have a very few amounts of bubbles whereas other pieces can have hundreds of bubbles, the more skillful the glassblower the less bubbles (les imperfections).


Why we think a free glass with purchase is beneficial for your company:

  • Brand Exposure: Enhancing your brand exposure beyond the shop floor. Glasses, an everyday use item, are a great way of expanding your brand name.


  • The glass compliments your own item (if beverage company). What better way to enjoy your beverage than out of a customized branded glass?


  • Boost your Sales: If customers are getting something for free, they are more likely to purchase your product. This is particularly effective if you set a minimum purchase for the gift redemption, meaning customers would buy more of your product than they necessarily would if there wasn’t a free gift.


  • Customer loyalty: your customers will feel a sense of loyalty if you provide them with a complimentary product from time to time. They will feel like they are getting something more than the product itself when purchasing from your company. This will increase their satisfaction and consequently their loyalty to your brand.


See here how Guinness, by simply offering a free glass, has boosted sales:



Could glassware as a promotional product enhance your business? Is so, contact the ODM Group for assistance on the production, customization, labeling and packaging of your glass products. Make sure to choose the adequate manufacturing process and labeling technique to ensure a durable and visible item for your next promotional product campaign.


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