How to Cut Plexiglass at Home: Best 2 Methods
For using plexiglass efficiently we need to know how to cut plexiglass in a proper way? Plexiglass is very useful material. It is cheap and durable. Plexiglass also is known as acrylic plastic sheets. It is made of rigid plastics. It is lightweight, inexpensive and lasts for a long time. It is a very popular substitute for glass. It looks like glass but it does not break easily as glass.
Plexiglass is a very versatile tool that can be used in many ways like craft activities, window replacement, picture frames, tabletops and many more. Also, it is used a lot as a shatterproof substitute for glass. It is very useful because you can cut it very easily in any shape with common workshop tools and measurements.
The only drawback according to us is that plexiglass does scratch very easily. That is why it comes wrapped with a thin protective paper. Do not remove the paper as long as possible.
You need to cut and handle of plexiglass with care to avoid scratch. There is various kind of plexiglass cutting tool available in the market. You can cut a thin sheet of plexiglass with a knife or scoring tool. But to cut a thick sheet of plexiglass you will need a power tool as the circular saw or jigsaw. You can cut straight lines with a circular saw. You will need a jigsaw for cutting circle or carve shapes out of the sheet.
How to cut plexiglass sheets:
How to Cut Thin plexiglass:
1. Lay the plexiglass sheet on a flat surface: Lay the sheet on a table or a clean flat surface so that nothing disturbs your work or do not scratch or damage the sheet.
2.Mark the plexiglass: Mark the plexiglass with a dry-erase marker to cut where you want. Use a ruler as a guide and make a straight line where you want to cut.
[Note: Use a removable marker so that you can remove the mark after cutting the sheet.]
3. Score the plexiglass with a sharp knife or glass cutter through the mark: Score through the line with a knife at least 5-10 times until you make a deep groove. You can use this highly recommended plexiglass scoring knife blade.
4. Turn over the plexiglass sheet and score the other side: Flip over the plexiglass and score it in the same manner through the line.
5.Set the scored part to the edge of the work surface: After scoring both the sides, move the plexiglass to the edge of the work surface.it will give you a comfortable position to snap off the scored section.
The portion of the plexiglass that you want to snap off, should be hanging at the edge of the work surface.
6. Hold the plexiglass with a clamp and break the plexiglass through the scored line: use a clamp to hold both parts of the plexiglass. Then apply a sharp downward pressure to the hanging portion and break the plexiglass smoothly. The cut should be clean through the scoring line.
Cutting a thick sheet of plexiglass:
As the thickness of plexiglass can vary according to your job requirement. If you want to cut thick plexiglasses or more complex shapes, you will need power saw. You can use power saw like a circular saw, table saw, jigsaw, etc. With a circular saw, you can cut straight lines.
you can cut both straight and rounded or any specific shape with a jigsaw. A jigsaw is very much capable to cut 1/4 inch plexiglass sheet with a jigsaw blade that specially designed for cutting plexiglass. Whichever the saw you are using, the blade is the most important factor for your work. You should use the right blade for the job.
You need to use the blade which is specifically designed for acrylic sheet or designed for cutting copper or aluminium. Before changing the blade, You need to recheck the teeth of the blade.
The blade’s teeth should be evenly spaced with the same height.
How to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw:
When you own a jigsaw, think you have the grand master of cutting intricate shapes. From lumber to plexiglass, this versatile tool can cut everything with ease. The way you cut lumber with a jigsaw, you cannot do the same for plexiglass.
Since plexiglass is very fragile, you need to do it carefully and properly. You can use a different power saw to cut plexiglass. Jigsaw is the best choice among all if your project requires cutting plexiglass in non-liner shapes. You must know the proper way to cut plexiglass to ensure accurate cuts. Read on to know more.
Best Plexiglass jigsaw Blade:
Preparation and Tools
- At first, choose a jigsaw that is designed for cutting plexiglass.
- Choose the right jigsaw blade for plexiglass. Use an uncoated blade with fine teeth. Also, keep some extra plexiglass jigsaw blade nearby for an emergency.
- Take a clamp-on guide to keep the plexiglass in place.
- Use a ruler and marker to draw the line and printer’s tape or masking tape to prevent splintering.
- Put on your safety glass, earplug, mask, and gloves and closed-toe boots to avoid any unwanted incidents.
- Cutting plexiglass with jigsaw requires skill, so it is better to practice on few scarp pieces of plexiglass.
Cutting Plexiglass with A Jigsaw Step By Step
So, you have all the tools in your hand. It’s time to follow the simple process. Follow the steps to learn more;
Step 1: Set the Plexiglass on a Stable Surface
First and foremost, choose a stable surface that supports the plexiglass while cutting. Make sure the plexiglass doesn’t fall. If you are cutting edge of plexiglass, use a workbench or table as a workstation. Or for cutting in the middle, use sawhorse as a workstation.
Then, lie your plexiglass over the workstation. Secure the plexiglass with a clamp-on guide along with the workstation. Make sure the plexiglass doesn’t slide or wobble.
Step 2: Mark the Cutting Line
Take a ruler to measure the line you are going to cut roughly. Now mark along the line with a marker. It is better to use a dry-erase marker as you can erase the line later. In case of curved shape, use a round or stencil to mark as you want.
When you mark over the plexiglass, you basically mark on a brown film paper. This paper comes with each plexiglass to protect the glass from scratching. However, make sure to draw the line accurately.
Step 3: Safety Preparation
Remember, plexiglass can easily chip when you cut. Make sure that the small pieces don’t harm you. So, wear safety glasses, masks, leather gloves, and earplugs before you start. For more safety, you can use masking tape over the cutting line.
Step 4: Start Cutting
Before you start the tool, make sure to plug the saw into an extension cord or wat outlet.
- Cutting Straight line
At first, hold the trigger down and the guide plate against the surface of plexiglass. For cutting straight lines, start cutting slowly from the edge. After you cross the centimetres, the blade will begin to heat up.
Now you can cut more easily. Don’t start with high speed initially. It may break the plexiglass and your jigsaw, as well. When you see the blade begins to pull away from the cutting line, simply turn off the jigsaw. Start again slowly and then increase the speed.
- Cutting Curved line
If you plan to cut shapes with twists and turns, start by drilling a hole. Use a drill bit that is compatible with the glass. For cutting the curved line, you will need a sturdier plexiglass jigsaw blade. Otherwise, the jigsaw blade cannot take the twist and turns.
After making a hole, insert the blade into the hole. You must start the jigsaw at full speed from the beginning. Elsewise, the blade may bend or damage. With the full speed in the blade, use steady pressure to cut throughout the sheet. Follow the cutting line. Make sure the jigsaw doesn’t jump off the sheet.
Step 5: Turn Off the Jigsaw and Clean Up Edges
Once you are done with cutting plexiglass with the jigsaw, turn off the machine. Remove the brown film paper and masking tape from the plexiglass. Now, if you see any rough edges, sand the edges with a fine-grit paper. Finally, your plexiglass is ready for use as you wanted.
How To Cut Plexiglass With A Circular Saw
Cutting plexiglass with a circular saw is a very easy process. But it can be tricky if you do not have the right knowledge. So please follow the process carefully. Circular saw is a very wise choice to cut straight thick plexiglass sheet. Cutting with a circular saw is the easiest way to cut plexiglass. Circular saw gives a smooth edge. You can get a clean and fine cut by using plexiglass. That is way circular saw is very popular among construction workers.
Preparation and tools
- plexiglass sheet
- dry-erase marker
- A flat and straight piece of wood
- A scale
- Eye protector
Warning: Please wear eye protection at the time of working. Because even a small piece of plexiglass can be very deadly for your eyes.
Warning: You need to be very careful with the speed while cutting a plexiglass sheet with a circular saw.you should run the saw with a slow and steady speed. Because the friction of plexiglass and blade generates heat which can damage the plexiglass by melting it.
Note: Choosing the right blade is the most important factor in the process. Please make sure that the bade you are using is very sharp and no broken teeth to avoid kickback.
The teeth of the blade have to be evenly spaced with the same size and shape to avoid the damage of edge. You can use a metal cutting blade for cutting the plexiglass sheet.
Note: You need to feed the saw while cutting because the edge of the plexiglass can be melt by the heat and stick to the blade.
Step By Step
- First of all, put on the safety gear because safety is the first priority. Also, a small piece of plexiglass dust can damage your eyes so nothing is important than your eyes.
- Set the plexiglass sheet on a flat straight sawhorse and make sure that it is safe and secure
- Now you need to clamp the sheet with the working surface so that it does not shake while cutting.
- use a marker and a ruler to make a straight line on both sides where you want to cut the plexiglass.
- Then you need to align the circular saw with the line that marked to cut through. You will find a viewer or slot to see exactly where the saw is set to cut. You need to make sure that the saw is line up with the marked line.
- Switch on the saw and bring it to full speed before contacting with the sheet. Do not cut the plexiglass before the saw is reache3d to full speed. The ideal speed for cutting plexiglass is 3450 RPM.
- Please push the saw very slow and steady motion. It is a very important facet of a fine cut.if you run the saw too fast through the plexiglass, it will damage large pieces of sheet and the edges will be very rough. Push the saw very slowly and let the blade cut smoothly. Finally, make sure that the 2 halves are well settled on the sawhorse so that they don’t fall after cutting.
Best Blade For Cutting Plexiglass
I have asked a very experienced plexiglass contractor to suggest me the best blade for cutting plexiglass. He suggested me to use Concord Blade WCB1000T080HP 10-Inch 80 Teeth TCT. After using this blade I can say that this the best blade to cut plexiglass so I am recommending this blade to cut plexiglass.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Q: How to avoid the melting while cutting plexiglass with a jigsaw?
A: Since the plexiglass is plastic-made, so it is prone to melting from blade friction. To avoid the plexiglass from melting, you must cut steadily. Also, don’t pause in a while cutting.
Q: What is the best jigsaw blade for plexiglass?
A: As we mentioned before, any uncoated blade with fine teeth works better for cutting plexiglass. Also, the carbide-tipped blade endures smooth edge and no-melt.
Q: How to prevent any plexiglass breakage?
A: Another big issue is that plexiglass tends to break easily. Even after being durable, it is somewhat fragile. So, experts suggest using a cooling lubricant or water or masking tape. It protects the plexiglass even after the high speed of jigsaw.
Q: What is the easiest way of cutting plexiglass?
A: Though jigsaw works too well, it is better to cut plexiglass with hand using wheel scope. For any basic cutting shape, scoring, and then snapping is easier.
Q: How to cut plexiglass that is already bent or wrapped?
A: You can still cut the plexiglass, even though it is bent or wrapped. If it is thin, simply score and snap the plexiglass. Or else, for thicker glass, you can use a circular saw or jigsaw.
Q: How to cut plexiglass circle?
A: You can cut a plexiglass circle with a jigsaw very easily. We have described it in the jigsaw section.
Q: What is the best way to cut plexiglass?
A: It depends on the types of cut you want to give. If you want to cut a straight line, a circular saw is the best way to go. But if you want to cut carves, a jigsaw is the right choice for you.
Q: How to polish plexiglass edges?
Finally, we think the jigsaw is one of the finest tools for cutting plexiglass. Learning how to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw seems overwhelming for beginners. Luckily, with these simple and easy-to-follow steps, you can easily make clean and customized cuts. It’s time to make your favourite crafts, tabletop, and a picture frame with your DIY knowledge. Also, you need a good jigsaw and right jigsaw blade to cut plexiglass.
Author John G. Anderson is a carpenter & workshop owner for 30 years. His passion for life is dealing with all kind of power tools and saws. He has a great experience in power tools like nobody else.