Last Updated On February 10, 2023
Plexiglass is lightweight, and flexible making it a bit challenging to cut without cracking or chipping. And it’ll be way too difficult if you need to make rounded cuts. But we’ll tell you exactly how to cut plexiglass with circular saw and get any shape precisely.
All you need to do is to measure the piece of plexiglass, mark it, set a 60 teeth blade to the circular saw, and start cutting at a steady pace. In addition, you’ll need to wear goggles, gloves, and a dust mask while cutting.
We’ll enlighten you extensively on how to cut plexiglass with circular saw in this write-up underneath. So, keep reading.
Proper Environment for Cutting
Before you’re using tools, it’s of utmost necessity to ensure a workplace that’s bright as well as has proper ventilation. Because working with tools can make the environment suffocate without enough ventilation if you’re working indoors.
Besides, you’ll feel more energetic and healthier if you manage to make your workspace well-ventilated and well-lit. That way it’ll be easier for you to make cuts more precisely.
How to Cut Plexiglass with Circular Saw
Now we’ll comprehensively explain all the steps you’ll need to follow before and after using a circular saw to cut plexiglass. So, let’s start now —
Before cutting plexiglass, ensure you have the right tools for the job. Proper preparation will help you make a clean, precise cut and reduce the risk of accidents or damage to you and your equipment. The things you’ll need:
- A Ruler or Straight Edge
- Scoring Knife or Marker
- A few scrap pieces of MDF
- Safety Googles
The Steps To Cut Plexiglass Using Circular Saw
1. Marking the Cut Line
Get a clear idea of where you want to make your cut on your plexiglass before you start cutting. You can mark your cutting line using a ruler and a scoring knife. Also, you can put some tape on it.
It’s better to leave an extra inch of the material so that you can polish later on. Keep in mind that you can cut once only, so it’d be best to make the measurement accurate.
However, errors can happen while marking. In that case, use rubbing alcohol to erase the mark and re-mark the plexiglass again.
2. Setting Up the Circular Saw
Though you can use any metal cutting blade with carbide tips, some blades are specifically designed for acrylic. That being said, it’s crucial that you utilize at least 60 teeth blade when making your cuts; otherwise, the material is likely to crack.
Plus, you must check the teeth of the blade to ensure that they’re placed evenly without any rake and similar in shape and height. Aside from that, it’s a good idea to make cuts at a minimum ½ inch deeper than the thickness of the material.
3. Cutting the Plexiglass
To ensure that your cuts are smooth and even, it’s best to take your time and cut at a slow and steady pace. If you try to force the saw through the plexiglass too quickly, you may end up chipping the edge or causing other damage to the sheet.
Additionally, start cutting from one side and stop midway. Then start from another side and meet in the middle. Don’t cut all the way through the plastic, as the edges may tend to chip as you exit the cut.
Moreover, clamp a scrap piece of MDF tightly to the plastic and use it as a guide for your saw. This will help you achieve a precise and clean, especially if you need to create a circle or a rounded edge.
After you’ve done the cutting it’s time to smooth out the edges. In that case, you’ll get better results through wet-sanding manually, though a power sander can also do the trick.
Take a 120 or 180-grit waterproof sandpaper as well as a sanding block to give your plexiglass a polished and smooth finish. Then, transit to finer grits of sandpaper gradually until you 600-grit.
Once you’re satisfied with the appearance of the edge, buff it to a perfect shine with an electric drill and some plastic polishing compound.
In case you want to know, How to cut PVC with a circular saw? Here’s our complete guide to help you out.
Video On How To Cut Plexiglass With A Circular Saw
Here is a visual presentation of cutting plexiglass with a circular saw, in case you find watching instead of reading more convenient, or if you want a better understanding of the process.
Some Important Things to Keep in Mind
Now that you know the whole process of cutting plexiglass, you must keep the following things in mind. That way, you’ll surely end up with optimum results and zero regrets.
- Remember to keep the protective film on your plexiglass sheet until you’re finished with your project. This will keep it looking shiny and scratch-free.
- To avoid overheating, apply a coolant spray on the blade of your circular saw prior to cutting thick sheets of plexiglass ½ inch and higher.
- If you feel your blade becoming too hot, stop for a moment and shut off the saw to let it cool. You can also use a small amount of soapy water to lubricate the surface and make cutting simpler.
- Finally, before you begin sawing through the plexiglass, make sure the saw is running at full speed about 3450 RPM. Thus, it’ll be easier for you to get a smooth and exact cut.
Can I use a circular saw to cut irregular shapes in plexiglass?
You won’t be able to cut irregular shapes using a circular saw as it’s best suitable for getting straight cuts on thin and thick materials.
How can I minimize dust and debris when cutting plexiglass with a circular saw?
When cutting plexiglass, a blade having fewer teeth will produce less dust and debris. Additionally, there are specialized blades like 60-tooth bimetallic blades designed exclusively for cutting plexiglass.
You can get a precise, clean-cut perfect for your project by marking the plexiglass, using a fine-tooth blade, and making multiple steady passes with the saw. Also, it’d be best for you to wear protective eyewear, a dust mask, and a shoe to protect yourself from any debris and threat.With this knowledge of how to cut plexiglass with circular saw, you can complete your project with confidence.
This is Ahmed Shuvo, an enthusiastic tool enthusiast with a passion for saws, especially circular saws and miter saws. I have written blog posts and conducted research on the proper use and maintenance of these tools. I am also a DIYer who enjoys making wooden projects and always striving to improve my skills. I am confident in my expertise and eager to contribute to the growth of this industry through my writing.