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What Can You Use To Cut Acrylic? (How To)

Acrylic sheets come in many different types, colors, finishes, and thicknesses. And by far the best way to cut acrylic is using a laser cutter.

But not everyone has access to a laser cutter.

So, what can you use to cut acrylic? We investigated a few different techniques to cut acrylic using easily available hand tools.

Selecting the best hand tool to cut acrylic depends on the material thickness. 1/8-inch acrylic is thin enough to score with a knife and then break by hand. Thicker acrylics are best cut with a jigsaw or circular saw. Use steel cutting blades and a low speed to achieve the best finish.

When cutting thin acrylic with a knife, it’s best to clamp the sheet to a worktable to achieve a clean break.

You can also cut slightly thicker acrylic with a knife, but you must score both sides of the sheet before making the break.

Keep the blade speed low and avoid using wood blades when cutting acrylic sheets with a jigsaw. The larger teeth on wood blades damage the acrylic and leave a very rough edge.

Due to their maneuverability, jigsaws are perfect for cutting radiuses and wavy lines.

Circular saws work very well and give clean, straight edges. To avoid heat build-up, adjust the blade so that you have the least depth-of-cut possible. If you have a table saw, then fitting a suitable blade allows you to cut acrylic cleanly and accurately.

Can You Cut Acrylic With Angle Grinder? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

It isn’t always feasible to carry multiple power tools around with you. While jigsaws and circular saws cut acrylic very well, there are other options that you can use.

Yes, using a thin cutting disk allows you to make clean cuts in your acrylic with an angle grinder. There is almost no thermal load when using an angle grinder, so long as you use a very thin disk. Mark up the acrylic and clamp it in place before cutting slowly and steadily along your marked line.

Cutting acrylic with an angle grinder is certainly possible, but it is not the best way to cut your material.

If you wish to shape acrylic washers or disks, then using an angle grinder makes perfect sense. Provided that the speed is not too high, your acrylic will not melt and you can achieve a reasonable quality finish.

Can You Cut Acrylic With a Router?

Tools cutting the arcylic

Finishing an acrylic project using a router adds a professional touch to your project.

Your router bits must be sharp and have no chips or irregularities which can mar the final appearance.

Using a router to cut and finish acrylic is perfectly acceptable. To avoid introducing stress into the material, ensure that the router bits are newly sharpened. When cutting grooves or shaping your acrylic, ensure that your router table is level and balanced.  

Using a push stick is advisable to keep your hands away from the router bit while cutting the acrylic.

If you don’t have a CNC cutter, then you can utilize template routing to cut shapes out of acrylics.

By taping MDF shapes to the underside of your pieces of acrylic, you can quickly and easily duplicate multiple shapes.  

To avoid the acrylic overheating, move the sheets at a slow, regular pace.

Can You Cut Acrylic With a Jigsaw?

Tools cutting the arcylic

Acrylic is used for various applications that require both accurate fit and aesthetic appeal.

One of the recommended tools for working with acrylics is a Jigsaw.

Jigsaws are great tools for cutting acrylic. The ability to vary the blade speed, type of blade, and maneuverability, make cutting acrylic with a jigsaw a pleasure. Metallic blades rather than wood blades are recommended. They avoid tearing up the acrylic or leaving chips in the material.

When cutting acrylic, heat build-up can cause the plastic to weld itself back together. For this reason, a slower speed and the use of metallic blades are the best options.

If your piece of acrylic requires complex curves, then using a jigsaw can achieve a desirable finish with very little additional sanding or shaping required.

Can You Cut Acrylic with Bandsaw? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

When deciding how you are going to cut your acrylic material, consider how the finished project will look and the level of finish you want to achieve.

Cutting long straight edges is best done with a table saw or circular saw.

A band saw is perfect for cutting out curved acrylic shapes. First, trace out the shape you want on your sheet. Then adjust your band saw to about a ¼ inch above the acrylic you are cutting. Using a firm, steady pressure, cut along the traced line. An acrylic pipe is also easily cut with a band saw.

When using a band saw to cut acrylic, avoid moving it too quickly as the heat that builds up can melt the material.

If required, you can spray a little oil onto the acrylic as you cut it. This lubricates the blade and lowers the temperature as the material moves past the blade.

Can You Cut Acrylic with Box Cutter?

Tools cutting the arcylic

It is possible to cut acrylic with a box cutter. Use a straight edge as a guide to cut into the acrylic sheet along a marked line. If the acrylic is thicker than 1/8-inch, turn the material over and score the other side. Clamp the material onto the table and break the acrylic along the cut line.

Do not use the sharp edge of the blade when scoring the acrylic. Rather use the top edge opposite the sharp blade and run it down the line you wish to cut.

While it does make an annoying sound, the resulting cut is exactly what you require to break the acrylic cleanly in half.

1/8 inch acrylic requires approximately 4 passes along the line. Then break the acrylic using your fingers. If the acrylic is thicker, you will have to score the other side as well.

Can You Cut Acrylic With Circular Saw? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

Everyone has their favorite method for cutting acrylic.

However, what you want is a clean cut with a smooth edge free of chips and imperfections.

You can cut acrylic perfectly with a circular saw. But the quality of the cut depends on the type of blade you use. A blade with a minimum of 60 teeth is recommended to avoid shattering the material or causing the edge to chip. Set the blade to a ½ inch more than the thickness of the acrylic sheet.

It is also beneficial to use clamps to hold the acrylic sheets in place while cutting them.

This avoids the material moving around, potentially causing your blade to wander off course or even cause you an injury.

Can You Cut Acrylic with Dremel? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

Rotary tools are becoming more and more popular. And with the variety of blades available, there are now many more options available for cutting sheets of acrylic.

Cutting acrylic with a Dremel tool is most reliably achieved using a Dremel EZ Lock metal disk. Using regular cut-off disks and diamond disks is also fine. Keep the speed down to avoid generating too much heat. Score a line first and then slowly work your way through the acrylic.

Due to the amount of dust generated, it’s recommended that you wear a dust mask as well as eye protection.

Can You Cut Acrylic with Laser? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

With the advances in technology and the reduction in prices, laser cutters are now widely available.

Laser cutters are the ideal tool for cutting acrylic shapes. Combining them with computer-aided design programs allows one to cut out complex shapes very easily. The size of the laser as well as its power output will determine if you can cut your piece of acrylic.

You’ll get a higher-quality finish using a laser cutter as opposed to using a CNC cutter or a router bit.

Can You Cut Acrylic With Hand Saw? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

Power tools are not always available or the best option for cutting acrylic.

You can cut acrylic with a hand saw. Attach a template to the acrylic and clamp it in a vice. Using a coping saw, cut carefully around the template until the shape is roughed out. Ensure that the blade is tight in the frame and cut the acrylic using the full length of the blade.

Small projects such as letters or numbers are best cut using a hand saw rather than a power tool.

When cutting small pieces, use the thumb and forefinger to support the acrylic.

Can You Cut Acrylic with Knife? 

Tools cutting the arcylic

It isn’t necessary to use power tools to cut your acrylic if you have a sharp knife available.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on March 17, 2022.

You can cut acrylic sheets with a sharp knife such as a box cutter. Mark a line on the acrylic with a sharpie and then use a straight edge to scribe a line with your knife. ¼ inch acrylic requires at least 4 cuts before you can break the acrylic. Cut thicker acrylic on both sides before breaking it.

How To Cut Acrylic Properly 

Confused worker man

There are many ways to successfully cut a sheet of acrylic.

You can use both power tools and hand tools, depending on the thickness of your acrylic sheet.

You can cut acrylic with a sharp knife, jigsaw or circular saw. Table saws work well for cutting larger sections of acrylic. For circles or radiused shapes, you can use a band saw or a router table. For complex shapes, a laser cutter is ideal, so long as the acrylic fits inside the machine.

Cutting acrylic is simpler than you think. If you’ve been wondering what can you use to cut acrylic or if you can cut acrylic with a particular tool, then you have numerous options?

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on March 17, 2022.

But you do not require power tools or complex machinery, as a sharp knife or hand saw can cut through acrylic very easily.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 17, 2022.

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