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

When you are doing any type of roofing, you may come to a point where you have to cut shingles. What are the best tools for doing this and how do you do it properly?

The best tool to use for cutting shingles is a roofing knife. It is similar to a utility blade but it has a hook on the blade and you pull it across the shingle to cut it rather than pushing it down. If you don’t have a hook blade, a regular utility knife can be used.

Tools to cut shingles

When cutting with a regular utility knife, you will cut from the back of the shingle. Cutting from the front of the shingle will not work as well and it will actually dull the blade very quickly.

In addition, when you use a hooked blade, you need to pull it so that the blade is cutting at the hook. You are pushing down on the blade like a utility knife unless you are trying to work against some flashing or something similar to lift the shingle while you’re cutting it.

You may also want to look for a special type of roof knife that has an extra-long handle. It will make it more comfortable for you to cut shingles all day long and it will save your knuckles from scraping against the shingles as you do so.

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

There are a number of things that need to be kept in mind when you are cutting shingles. You want to make sure that you protect your hands when doing so, but there are a lot of dangers associated with this type of job.

Perhaps the first thing to consider is the way that you use your tools and the PPE that you wear. For this type of job, you want to ensure that your knife is always as sharp as possible so you will have to change out the blades on a regular basis. It is also beneficial to buy high-quality blades so they last longer.

The gloves that you work with can be a huge protection for you. Cutlass gloves are beneficial but don’t get overconfident because it is still possible to cut through them.

Other PPE that you should be wearing includes long sleeve shirts, hearing protection when using any type of power tool, and always safety glasses. If you are going to be working on the roof, you should wear fall protection and know how to work properly.

Another issue that is commonly associated with this type of work is heat exhaustion. Not far behind is dehydration. It is important to drink water on a regular basis and even more so when the temperature is hot.

Generally speaking, you should be drinking a small cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This will go a long way in helping you to avoid the possibility of getting overheated and dehydrated.

We already discussed the primary tools that you will use for cutting shingles but it’s also important to recognize that they are not the only tools that are available for the job. In the article below, we will discuss many different tools that can be used for that purpose. We will also discuss some tools that should not be used.

Cutting shingles is not necessarily rocket science. With a little bit of know-how and the right tool in your hand, you can cut shingles safely and accurately all day long.

Can You Cut Shingles With Angle Grinder?

Tools to cut shingles

Angle grinders are one of the tools we commonly use on construction projects. Are they also good for cutting shingles?

As long as you use an angle grinder equipped with a diamond blade you can cut shingles easily. You don’t want to use a blade with teeth, because they will quickly get gummed up and ruined.

Angle grinders can be used for quickly cutting the edge off of shingles at the edge of a roof or you can stack multiple shingles and cut through them easily. It’s a good tool to have around for this purpose.

Can You Cut Shingles With Circular Saw?

Tools to cut shingles

Shingles are usually cut with a knife but can you use a circular saw to cut them?

Circular saws are a great tool to have around if you need to cut multiple shingles at the same time. As long as you secure them properly, you can use a circular saw for cutting through them and making them all the same size.

This is something that should be used with caution. Although it is something that can speed up the work considerably, it is also something that can expose you to a hazard. Make sure that everything is set up properly before using a circular saw to cut asphalt shingles.

Can You Cut Shingles With Jigsaw?

Tools to cut shingles

A jigsaw is a tool that is sometimes used for cutting unusual shapes in various materials. Can it also be used for a similar purpose when cutting asphalt shingles?

You can use a jigsaw equipped with a diamond blade to cut shingles. It’s a good way to cut an unusual shape out of a shingle when you have the room to do so. It can also damage the shingle if you are not careful because it is a powerful tool.

Jigsaws have their place in construction. Some people are able to use them successfully for cutting shingles but other people find that it does not work as well as they would like.

If you set things up properly and have the work secured, you can use a jigsaw with caution.

Can You Cut Shingles With Miter Saw?

Tools to cut shingles

You may have used a miter saw to cut through wood quickly and easily. Can it also be used for cutting shingles?

You can use a miter saw to cut shingles but you have to secure the shingles properly so they don’t move while you are using the saw. You also need to use a diamond blade rather than a blade with teeth so it continues to cut for a long time.

Typically, you would only use a miter saw for cutting shingles when you are cutting a stack of them at one time. Cutting individual shingles is better done with a roofing knife.

Can You Cut Shingles With Oscillating Multi Tool?

Tools to cut shingles

Oscillating multi-tools are often used for a wide variety of tasks. Can you use them for cutting asphalt shingles as well?

An oscillating tool is an excellent option to have available when cutting shingles. It does not necessarily replace the need for a utility knife or roofing knife, but it can work when you need something in a situation where you have to cut it quickly and cleanly.

If you are going to use an oscillating multi-tool for cutting shingles, you have to use the right type of blade. Choose one that is compatible with the work you are doing and it will last for a long time.

Can You Cut Shingles With Tin Snips?

Tools to cut shingles

If you have a pair of tin snips, can they be used for cutting shingles? Will it ruin the tool or make the cut?

Tin Snips are a great tool to have available when putting down shingles. You can use them for cutting around objects, such as vent pipes and they work very well at detailed work.

If you are going to use tin snips for this purpose, make sure that you are using a good pair that is sharp. You will be using the entire snip for cutting through a shingle but you will be using the tips to cut out the shapes.

Can You Cut Shingles With Sawzall?

Tools to cut shingles

A Sawzall (reciprocating saw) is commonly used for cutting material on a construction project. Can it also be used for cutting shingles?

You can use a reciprocating saw for cutting shingles in place but it is not typically used for cutting loose shingles. You also need to be careful when cutting shingles in place because of the other material you might be cutting along with it.

For the most part, a Sawzall is better left for other types of jobs. It can work in a pinch but it is not the best choice.

Can You Cut Shingles With Hook Blade?

Tools to cut shingles

A hook blade is a very specific type of tool. Is this the proper type of blade for cutting shingles?

A hook blade is one of the best types of blades used for cutting shingles. It is best if you use a hook blade specific for that purpose and work with an extra long handle so you aren’t scraping your knuckles on the shingle as you cut it.

A hook blade works well because it is pulled across the shingle to cut it without having to put a lot of downward pressure on the shingle. It can work on shingles that are either loose or already attached in place.

Make sure you keep plenty of extra blades on-hand and change them regularly. Remember, a dull blade is much more likely to cut you than a sharp blade.

Can You Cut Shingles With Bandsaw?

Tools to cut shingles

We know that a bandsaw can cut through material quickly and easily. Is it also a good choice for cutting shingles?

Generally speaking, you would not use a bandsaw for cutting shingles. The blade will quickly gum up and would not last long before you have to replace it.

It is much better to cut a shingle manually using a blade, such as a roofing (hook) blade.

How To Cut Shingles Properly

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Now that we have discussed some of the different tools that can be used for this purpose, let’s take a look at how to cut shingles properly. You might be surprised to learn that there are a number of different methods, but let’s consider some that can be used in almost all circumstances.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on December 25, 2022.

For the purpose of this article, we are discussing cutting shingles that are asphalt shingles. We recognize that there are shingles made of wood and stone, but they are cut in different ways and are not as common as the asphalt shingles that are used on many roofs.

One thing that we can say before we begin to show the steps of how to cut shingles properly is the fact that shingles cut a lot better when they are warm. When you try to cut shingles cold, you will have to work a lot harder on them. That is why it is best if you cut them on the roof or at least in an area where some sun exposure has taken place.

Here are the steps necessary for cutting shingles properly:

1. Tool Choice – As you read down through this article, you likely recognize that there are many different tools that can be used for cutting shingles. These include everything from a utility knife to a circular saw. For the purpose of this article, however, we are going to focus on blades that are similar to a utility knife.

A standard utility knife can work well for cutting shingles, but it is better to upgrade to a hook blade or roofing knife if at all possible. It will help you to get the job done better, faster, and even safer.

Regardless of whether you choose a roofing knife or utility knife, it’s best to use one that is comfortable to hold so you can work with it all day long. It should also be of high quality. Avoid the temptation of only spending a few dollars on this necessary tool.

2. Measure and Mark – At this step in the process, you have to fit the shingle into the proper space. This would require that you measure the shingle and then mark it in such a way that you can come back and cut it.

In some cases, this is going to be done for you, such as if you are cutting shingles on the edge of the roof. At other times, however, you will have to mark the shingle and cut it before you put it in place.

For the most part, you don’t have to worry about cutting the shingle extremely accurately. Many people are able to eyeball the cut, especially one that is going to be going under some flashing. On the other hand, if you are cutting around an obstruction, you need to consider accuracy.

3. Make the Cut – This is where the rubber meets the road. You are actually going to be cutting the shingle, but the way you do it is different, depending on the tool you chose.

Straight Blade – If you are using a standard utility knife, you will be cutting from the bottom of the asphalt shingle. You don’t want to cut from the top of the shingle unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.

Mark the shingle, flip it over and make the cut. You should also never put the cut edge of the shingle against the straight edge of another shingle. The cut edge will always sit on its own.

The purpose is not to cut the entire way through the shingle with a utility knife. You are simply scoring the shingle and then the waste part will tear away easily.

Roofing Knife (Hook Blade) – If you decided to use a hook blade, you will be cutting from the top of the shingle. Cutting with a hook blade is different than cutting with a utility knife.

With a utility knife, you put a lot of downward pressure on the shingle but with a hook blade, you are pulling the hook along the area where you cut the shingle.

If you are cutting the shingle with multiple layers, you may need to cut each layer individually. This isn’t difficult to do, but it does require a degree of accuracy.

Your personal safety is an important part of the process. You need to pay attention to the location of your hand, especially the hand that is not used for cutting. You should also avoid cutting toward you if at all possible.

After making the cut with a utility knife or roofing knife, you need to tear away the waste. It should fall away easily.

4. Trimming around Obstacles – One other type of cut that may need to be made on most roof jobs is cutting around an obstacle, such as a vent. You can use a hook blade or utility knife for this purpose but it is easier to use tin snips

Mark the area that will need trimmed and then carefully cut it with the tips of the snips to remove any waste material. If you take your time, tin snips work very well and will leave a nice area for the obstacle.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on December 25, 2022.

Many tools can be used for cutting shingles but a roofing knife with a hooked blade is the best choice. As you pull the knife along the shingle, it will cut it without cutting the shingle below it.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 25, 2022.

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