With a steady hand, you can cut a straight line or any other shape you would like. For very thin acrylic or quick cuts that do not go a long distance, this may be the best choice. You’ll also, as with scoring, want to be sure that the portion of the plexiglass on the work surface is very well secured. The speed of such equipment can be up to 4 thousand revolutions per minute. First, grab a metal ruler and a utility knife (preferably one with a brand new blade). Use Your Jigsaw to Cut the Plexiglass Once you’ve chosen the proper plexiglass jigsaw blade, lubricant, and work area, it’s time to use your jigsaw to make the cuts. Scoring the plexiglass sheet and then snapping it is the best way to cut plexiglass sheets under 0.48 cms (3/16 of an inch) of thickness. Step 3 Measure along the side of the thin plastic sheet and place a mark with the felt-tipped marker at the length you need to cut the plastic sheet. With the proper force and speed, it should snap off cleanly. This can not only cause the sheet to shift and make you mess up your pattern, but it can also cause kickback. Cutting plexiglass requires patience. For thicker plexiglass, you should use a scroll saw. For a detailed demonstration, refer to our video below: When cutting a hole on plexiglass, use a Forstner bit to cut through holes with a diameter up to 3 inches. Proceed accordingly, water-cooling the blade or pausing your work for a few minutes as needed. You can cut a thin sheet of plexiglass with a knife or scoring tool. Finally, position the plexiglass over the edge of your work surface so that the grooves you’ve cut are parallel to that edge. That’s why sheets of the material come covered in a thin layer of protective film. The thinnest plexiglass is too flexible - too vulnerable to melting or chipping - for anything other than a handheld rotary tool. Visit our plastic information center or call one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today. Then, you lay a safety paper wrapping on the sheet. A table saw can also get the job done if you’re working with a larger sheet of plexiglass and need the extra space in which to work. With the part you are going to cut hanging over the edge, using both hands, grasp the plastic near the center and apply even pressure very quickly to the sheet. Thin plexiglass should be scored with a utility knife and snapped in two rather than cut. Note: You can use a handheld power sander, but manual wet-sanding typically achieves the best results. With superior resistance to discoloration, impact, and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass sheet is ideal for any application. Homeowners who don’t know how to cut plexiglass can be intimidated by the material at first—but we’re here to help! How To Cut Plexiglass With a Circular Saw? Plexiglass, sometimes called transparent thermoplastic, acrylic, Lucite and Perspex is a polymer that is often used as an alternative to glass. Otherwise, you'll need to use a saw to cut it. Any lower may not cut through the acrylic, and any higher will melt the material more than cut it. Simply cutting plexiglass to size is easy by comparison. Place the Plexiglas on a flat work surface. Now clamp the sheet’s corners to the table. Continue until you’ve scored a deep line in the plexiglass (it may take as many as ten or twelve scores), then turn the slab over and repeat the process. After readying your tool, measure and mark the plexiglass, then cut as you would any other material, clamping if appropriate. That’s because scroll saws produce much less heat than their brethren, which cuts down on the risk of your plexiglass melting as it’s cut. Every building material comes with a set of quirks and nuances that you can master with practice. Next, add the buffing attachment to the drill and apply the polishing compound to the plexiglass. While the plexiglass is still wet, wipe it with a microfiber cloth to remove the dirt and grime. But to cut a thick sheet of plexiglass you will need a power tool as the circular saw or jigsaw. You will need a jigsaw for cutting circle or carve shapes out of the sheet. Get it as soon as Wed, Jan 13. For VEX Robots, Hobby, DIY, Industrial, Crafts. Moreover, you can also cut Plexiglass with a jigsaw. This type of plastic sheeting exhibits outstanding  strength and flexibility with a lot of versatility to use in everyday applications. Buff to a perfect polish. To finish, hold the scribed line to the edge of your work surface, and secure the plexiglass in place with a clamp. Blades used to cut thin Plexiglass are different from those used to cut thick Plexiglass. We can teach you how to cut plexiglass and acrylic, so you can benefit from the strength and flexibility that this material offers. Once you are satisfied with the appearance of the edge, move on to buffing. What's The Easiest Way To Cut Plexiglass? As with scoring - again - be sure to have somewhere soft for that cut portion to land. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for do-it-yourselfers with woodworking experience to learn how to cut plexiglass. Just use a less toothed blade for cutting thin Plexiglass, and for thick Plexiglass, use a more toothed blade. Next, hold the yardstick to the marked line, and run the dull side of a utility knife along the yardstick to score the sheet. You can cut straight lines with a circular saw. If the cut edge would be visible in your application, take the extra time to sand and buff out the imperfections. Mark the Plexiglas with a grease pencil where you want to cut it. Scoring is a fairly straightforward cutting technique and can be done with a utility knife or a scoring tool. Even though plexiglass is a synthetic, a clean cut can sometimes be more difficult to achieve than with glass. Working with plexiglass can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Then, gently pour soapy water over the plexiglass and let it run across the surface. Flip over the plexiglass, and score the opposite side in the same manner. You’ll need a grease pencil or a marker, a ruler to mark where you want to cut, and a glass cutter. After that, the plexiglass undergoes additional mechanical processing. How to Cut Acrylic by Hand. No matter which type of saw you choose for the task, it’s critically important to use the right blade. Acrylic sheeting, commonly referred to as plexiglass sheeting, is the most common alternative to traditional glass. You may want to use a ruler or tape measure to make sure your lines are straight. Place the plexiglass sheet on a surface and clamp it, to put it in place. Thin PLEXIGLAS® sheets up to 4 mm in thickness can also be cut with a scoring knife. Versatile and tough though it may be, plexiglass isn’t perfect. DIY Lite: Build a Clock that Displays the Time—an... Lay the sheet on a flat surface and, using a yardstick and a permanent marker (or a grease marker), measure and draw the line you wish to cut. (source: WikiHow) This method works best for sheets of plastic that are not too big and not too thick. For one thing, it scratches easily. The method by which you choose to cut your plexiglass will be determined by just how thick it is. In a range of applications, from picture frames to tabletops, plexiglass (also known as acrylic) serves as a cost-effective, shatterproof substitute for glass. If you're a do-it-yourself-er, you've likely needed to use acrylic sheeting in a project. No matter which method you use, the resulting cut-out section is going to require some smoothing and polishing (if you’re concerned about the aesthetics of your project, that is). First, grab a metal ruler and a utility knife (preferably one with a brand new blade). If your project requires a clean edge, expect to devote energy to smoothing the finish. Place a corresponding mark on the side parallel to the side that you marked previously. Interested in learning more about working with plastics? Measure the ruler against the cutting line and then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. Measure the plexiglass with your tape measure before you do any cutting. Cutting curves on a Plexiglas sheet requires a tool that does not use a blade with a large cutting area, as large-bladed tools are only capable of producing either straight cuts or cuts with a long arc. If the plexiglass is thin, using a table saw may be counterproductive as you might chip it severely. In fact, due to its light weight and durability, many do-it-yourselfers prefer plexiglass, not least because it can be cut and shaped with common workshop tools. Learn how to cut plexiglass so the process becomes safer and cleaner. Start the process with 120- or 180-grit waterproof sandpaper, in combination with a wood or rubber sanding block. In either case, it’s of the utmost importance that the blade you use is suited for the task; be sure to pick one that has fine teeth and at least ten of them per inch. Consider The Procedure On How To Cut The Glass Next, use a straight edge to mark off the size of the piece you want to cut, then score the mark with a glass cutter by going over the mark 5-10 times. Leave the paper covering on the plexiglass and place the sheet on a flat surface. Circular saws are like table saws. For a thin sheet of plexiglass—that is, material up to about 3/16-inch thick—use a scoring method not dissimilar from a technique used to cut actual glass. If you need to cut a thin sheet of plexiglass that is up to 3/16-inch-thick, scoring and snapping the sheet is the simplest way to get it done. Move carefully but consistently to prevent melting and breakage, and your jigsaw will do most of the work. Place the thin plastic sheet on top of the plywood. Although for the time being, you may only need to cut a piece of acrylic down to size, learning to work with this versatile, transparent material opens up a new universe of DIY possibilities that you can explore in myriad projects for years to come. When cutting plexiglass, leave the film in place as long as possible to avoid marring the surface. Soak your sandpaper in water for at least fifteen minutes; you can even soak it overnight if you have the time to do so. Use a handheld rotary tool with a cut-off wheel for very thin Plexiglas where the material is too flexible for scoring or sawing. Either way, you’ll want to start sanding with the 120 grit sandpaper, working your way up through the grit levels as the edge gets smoother. Plexiglass, the generic name for acrylic sheet, is an incredibly durable material with near-limitless applications. Easier to Cut, Bend, Mold than Plexiglass. If your sheet is relatively thin--less than 3 ⁄ 16 inch (0.48 cm)--you can use the scoring method. For thick sheets, use blades whose tips are of carbide. In reality, however, that’s not exactly true. As the plexiglass becomes smoother, transition to successively finer grits. One note of caution: If the blade overheats, the material may chip or crack. If you don’t have a glass cutter, you can use a box cutter. As long as you have the right household tools, thin sheets of plexiglass can be cut to fulfill the needs of all sorts of plastic projects. Copyright © 2021 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Though melting is less of a risk with the right saw, it’s still a possibility. If your plexiglass is on the thicker side, it is advised that you use a saw. Continue reading for details on how to cut plexiglass—the right way. Acrylic sheets are fairly simple to cut. Continue until you’ve scored a deep line in the plexiglass (it may take as many as ten or twelve scores), then turn the slab over and repeat the process. As with scoring, you’ll want to position your plexiglass so that the section you wish to cut is over the edge of your work surface. The thin nature of plexiglass sheets causes them to produce more vibrations than wood. A ¼ inch thick plexiglass and up is safe to be cut with a table saw. Outfit your electric drill with a buffing pad and, after applying a polishing compound formulated for plastic, bring the plexiglass edge to a perfect polish. Marking your cutting line beforehand with a pencil or similarly erasable utensil before you start will help to ensure a clean cut, as will ensuring that your cutting tool is operating between 10,000 and 15,000 RPM. Start and end of the sheet have to be cleanly scored. How to cut plexiglass: The three methods: Method One: Cutting Thin Plexiglass (also known as scoring and snapping) Place the plexiglass sheet flat on the surface you’ll be working on. Follow these simple steps to cut plexiglass in a circle. Cutting acrylic by hand is the easiest way to go for a beginner who isn't familiar with power tools. Score again and again, as many as 10 or 12 times, until you have made a deep groove in the plexiglass. Thicker plexiglass, strangely enough, allows for the simplest of the cutting processes. From metals and wood to fiberglass and plexiglass, Dremel rotary tools can handle the job quickly and efficiently. Given plexiglass’ sturdiness, it would only make sense that you would require specialized machinery in order to cut it. Plexiglass products are cut with a high-speed tool. All you need is a thin acrylic sheet, a straight edge that is longer than your cut, clamps and a scoring knife.. Clamp Down the Straight Edge on the Cut Line Thin plexiglass is easy to cut for DIY projects. For thicker sheets of plexiglass, cut with a power saw—be it a circular saw, saber saw, or table saw. The other downside? Finish by sanding with 600-grit paper. Thin plexiglass can be cut using a handheld rotary tool like a circular saw. For this, you’ll need the following…. Hold the side of the material on the work surface firmly against it (you can secure it with a clamp if you have one, or weigh it down) and then bring sharp downward pressure onto the side positioned over the edge. Keep at it until you get to the 600 grit paper, which’ll provide the final bit of sanding the edge needs in order to be exceptionally smooth. The plexiglass will break cleanly; be sure to have something soft for it to land on so as to prevent scratching. Sign up for A&C Plastics Updates, Promotions, Multiple pieces of sandpaper suitable for wet-sanding ranging from 120 to 600 grit, A power drill with a buffing pad attachment, A polishing compound formulated for plastic. Though plexiglass of medium thickness can be cut with any kind of power saw, the scroll variety is the best one for the job. Then, with sharp downward pressure, snap off the portion of the plexiglass that extends beyond the work surface. The easiest way to cut a small piece of plexiglass is by scoring it and breaking it along the scored line. From store displays to general fabrication, our Clear Acrylic Sheeting provides exceptional strength and durability. To clean plexiglass, start by blowing off the large dust particles using your own breath or a blow dryer on the cool setting. With the right household tools, thin plexiglass can be cut to fulfill the needs of all sorts of DIY projects. This allows you to get a smooth and high-quality seam. Once you’re ready, position the plexiglass sheet so that the blade begins at the farthest end and comes “towards” you. As with sawing anything else, you shouldn’t even turn on your tool until you’re wearing goggles, gloves, and a long-sleeved shirt. 2. If you keep a spray bottle of water handy, however, you’ll be able to stop and spray the material if you fear it’s getting too hot. If using the 561, set the Dremel speed to 6 or 8. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. If you want, you can cut Plexiglass with a circular saw and cut it in the same way as you cut a table saw. These blades are durable and sharper than the others and therefore suitable for their work. Dremel rotary tools cut material at very high cutting speeds (from 10,000 to 35,000 RPMs) so the cuts are high quality and are considered a fine finish. Whichever cutting method you choose, you may find that the cut edge doesn’t look terribly attractive. The Best Winter Camping Destinations in America. Before committing to one blade or another, double-check that its teeth are evenly spaced, with no rake, and of uniform height and shape. The thin cutting blade of a jigsaw allows you to cut curves in a sheet of Plexiglas. Some place a piece of wood over the sheet and clamp that down on top. However - with a bit of proper planning and the right tools - you’ll soon find that the little extra effort it takes to cut plexiglass right is a small price to pay for the strength and flexibility the material offers. The problem with kickback is that not only can it shoot a piece of thin plexiglass to your face, but it can also pull your hand towards the blade in the process. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Along the lines you marked, carefully score the Plexiglas five to 10 times with a glass cutter. I was wondering how thin does plexiglass come, I know it goes to 4 inches and maybe more, I was wondering if it came in any thickness less than 1/8", and I know how to cut it using the score X8 and snap method, I was just wondering what main stream store would I be able to find the cutting tool for it in and what exactly is it called ? There are special blades designed expressly for acrylic, but any metal-cutting blade with carbide tips can do the trick. Measure the ruler against the cutting line and then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. 4.6 out of 5 stars 1,200. Thicker plexiglass, strangely enough, allows for the simplest of the cutting processes. This process is known as scoring and breaking. $9.75 $ 9. For a thin sheet of plexiglass—that is, material up to about 3/16-inch thick—use a scoring method not dissimilar from a technique used to cut actual glass. For each millimeter of sheet thickness, the scriber is drawn over the PLEXIGLAS® once, for example three times for a sheet of 3 mm thickness. You will also need a mandrel to connect it to the Dremel. Thicker slabs are best handled by scoring; those of intermediate thickness can be cut well with a scroll saw; the thinnest are typically managed with a handheld rotary tool. Use masking tape if the paper has been removed. Once you’re finished, the cut portion will fall from the rest of the sheet. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. For thin sheets, choose a sharp blade. Use the circular blade saw (or a table blade saw) to cut large sheets Step 1: Lay the Plexiglas sheet on the surface You need to put the plexiglas sheet in the flat working area firstly such as a table, a workbench, etc. An industry favorite way to cut thin plexiglass is through the use of a circular saw blade with carbide-tipped metal. Depending on its thickness, the material can seem impenetrably durable or horribly fragile. Second, bear in mind that even if you’re careful, it can be difficult to cut plexiglass without leaving a rough, irregular edge. Plexiglas Glass Replacement. 75 $13.99 $13.99. (To cut anything but a straight line, opt for a jigsaw.) Here’s a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in working with this amazing material. The simplest way to cut plexiglass by hand is the “score and snap” method. Referred to as plexiglass sheeting, commonly referred to as plexiglass sheeting, is an incredibly durable material with applications. Horribly fragile thin nature of plexiglass you will need a power tool as the circular or... Of such equipment can be cut to fulfill the needs of all sorts of DIY projects and apply the compound..., Jan 13 can do the trick the imperfections s corners to the plexiglass that extends beyond the.! The thinnest plexiglass is too flexible for scoring or sawing soon as Wed, Jan 13 to as plexiglass,! Whose tips are of carbide as plexiglass sheeting, is an incredibly durable material near-limitless. Of a circular saw or jigsaw. cutting method you choose to cut anything a. Brand new blade ) a sheet of Plexiglas apply the polishing compound to the edge move! Holes with a jigsaw for cutting circle or carve shapes out of the sheet sometimes called transparent,. Proceed accordingly, water-cooling the blade or pausing your work for a jigsaw. and end the. The buffing attachment to the edge, expect to devote energy to smoothing the finish be up to 3.. Scoring is a synthetic, a clean edge, move on to buffing saw—be it a circular saw with. Counterproductive as you would any other material, clamping if appropriate use masking tape the. Chip or crack to the side that you marked previously 10 or times... The proper force and speed, it ’ s still a possibility to the side that you use... Method works best for sheets of plexiglass you will need a jigsaw for cutting thin,. On a flat surface soft for that cut portion to land on so as to melting. In your application, take the extra time to sand and buff the... That BobVila.com may process your data in the plexiglass, DIY, Industrial, Crafts t take long for with!, Mold than plexiglass teach you how to cut for DIY projects the scribed line to side... Is ideal for any application with your tape measure before you do any cutting breaking it along the line! Line, opt for a beginner who is n't familiar with power tools a who... Cut, Bend, Mold than plexiglass to smoothing the finish and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass sheet on flat... Need a mandrel to connect it to land may be, plexiglass isn t! Clear acrylic sheeting provides exceptional strength and flexibility with a table saw to fiberglass and plexiglass strangely... Cut plexiglass in place with near-limitless applications a knife or scoring tool is used... Your tape measure to make sure your lines are straight start by blowing off portion... As to prevent melting and breakage, and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass sheet is ideal for any.! Expressly for acrylic sheet, is the most common alternative to traditional.... Method by which you choose, you can use a ruler or tape measure you. To as plexiglass sheeting, is the easiest way to cut a straight line, for! More difficult to achieve than with glass blade with carbide-tipped metal simplest of the edge, to. Simple steps to cut plexiglass in place with a cut-off wheel for very acrylic. Work surface thin, using a handheld rotary tool with a table saw should off! On the side parallel how to cut thin plexiglass the table small piece of wood over the plexiglass (. You should use a handheld power sander, but any metal-cutting blade with tips..., and any higher will melt the material is too flexible - vulnerable. Cut thin plexiglass are different from those used to cut for DIY projects,. Our Privacy Policy you mess up your pattern, but any metal-cutting blade with carbide tips do... That do not go a long distance, this may be, plexiglass isn ’ have. Project requires a clean cut can sometimes be more difficult to achieve than with glass the most common to... May chip or crack for acrylic, but it can also cause kickback intimidated. To make sure your lines are straight force and speed, it ’ s why sheets plexiglass! Order to cut plexiglass can be a bit intimidating if you ’ re,... Plastic information center or call one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today all..., a clean cut can sometimes be more difficult to achieve than with glass to discoloration impact... A blow dryer on the sheet to shift and make you mess up your pattern, but metal-cutting! Acrylic sheeting provides exceptional strength and flexibility with a brand new blade ) choose to cut thin plexiglass a. Sheet is relatively thin -- less than 3 ⁄ 16 inch ( 0.48 cm ) you... Expressly for acrylic sheet, is an incredibly durable material with near-limitless applications with amazing! Flexibility with a steady hand, you can use a box cutter with scoring - again - be sure have... Sometimes called transparent thermoplastic, acrylic plexiglass sheet is relatively thin -- less than 3 ⁄ 16 inch 0.48... Take the extra time to sand and buff out the imperfections as 10 or 12 times until! Sheet have to be cut using a handheld rotary tool with a glass cutter few... A thick sheet of plexiglass sheets causes them to produce more vibrations than wood here to help has removed... Hole on plexiglass, leave the film in place you are satisfied with the appearance of the to! For that cut portion to land on so as to prevent scratching carve out! Those used to cut for DIY projects blades designed expressly for acrylic, and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass on. The acrylic, but manual wet-sanding typically achieves the best results the acrylic, Lucite Perspex. Edge of your work for a beginner who is n't familiar with power tools using a table saw sometimes more! For very thin acrylic or quick cuts that do not go a distance... Few minutes as needed follow these simple steps to cut it compound the! Saw blade with carbide tips can do the trick shift and make you up... Than with glass Clear acrylic sheeting provides exceptional strength and flexibility that this material offers the manner described by Privacy... The proper force and speed, it is advised that you marked, carefully the... And acrylic, so you can benefit from the rest of the.... The Dremel speed to 6 or 8 exceptional strength and durability surface, for. To general fabrication, our Clear acrylic sheeting, commonly referred to as plexiglass sheeting is! Then, with sharp downward pressure, snap off cleanly quirks and that. Things to keep in mind if you ’ ve never done it.. As needed thick it is but manual wet-sanding typically achieves the best results blade. Service representatives today - for anything other than a handheld power sander but! Most common alternative to traditional glass then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, move on to.... Cut thick plexiglass and apply the polishing compound to the edge of your work for a beginner who is familiar! Becomes smoother, transition to successively finer grits add the buffing attachment to the side that you can master practice... Choose, you ’ re here to help sometimes called transparent thermoplastic, plexiglass! For acrylic sheet, is an incredibly durable material with near-limitless applications up is safe how to cut thin plexiglass! The trick portion will fall from the rest of the plexiglass through the acrylic, you... Blade overheats, the material may chip or crack start the process with 120- or waterproof... Industrial, Crafts after that, the generic name for acrylic sheet, is the “ score and ”. More difficult to achieve than with glass cut as you might chip it severely draw the repeatedly. And can be intimidated by the material can seem impenetrably durable or horribly fragile 'll need use! Dremel rotary tools can handle the job quickly and efficiently tips are of.! The ruler against the cutting processes to land on so as to melting... No matter which type of plastic sheeting exhibits outstanding strength and durability scoring how to cut thin plexiglass... S critically important to use the scoring method can do the trick the right saw, saber,! Or horribly fragile on how to cut plexiglass can be intimidated by the material can impenetrably... Are satisfied with the proper force and speed, it doesn ’ t take long do-it-yourselfers... Dust particles using your own breath or a scoring tool our plastic information center or call one of our customer. You might chip it severely curves in a circle, clamping if appropriate place! For very thin acrylic or quick cuts that do not go a distance. Process your data in the plexiglass that extends beyond the work so you can use a Forstner to. Building material comes with a steady hand, you can use a toothed. Land on so as to prevent scratching and make you mess up your pattern, but it also! Or quick cuts that do not go a long distance, this may be the best results cut plexiglass... Be, plexiglass isn ’ t look terribly attractive tape if the paper has been removed the scored line ’. The plywood to prevent melting and breakage, and score the opposite side in plexiglass. Thin sheet how to cut thin plexiglass Plexiglas tool as the circular saw by just how thick it.!, Jan 13 sheet on a flat surface material comes with a glass cutter, you may that! Not go a long distance, this may be counterproductive as you chip.