The Tool Scout is a member of Amazon Associates. We may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Learn more.
Glass is a material that has been used by people for thousands of years, but with each and every passing year, one alternative is becoming more popular than glass. Yes, we are talking about plexiglass.
It is no secret that this material is used everywhere and on a daily basis, ranging from uses in TV screens to home decorations and kitchen counters. The reason? Plexiglass is cheaper and in some situations, sturdier than regular glass. And while it may not be as traditional and attractive as regular glass, plexiglass can improve the overall appearance of a certain space.
Bearing this in mind, plexiglass is used by carpenters and other handymen, especially when it comes to home decorations and similar applications. What this means is that there has to be a powerful tool used to cut through this material to achieve the perfect shape and size, and that is a circular saw.
The most convenient and affordable out of all cutting tools, a circular saw with the right blade attached can go through plexiglass without much effort. Still, there are certain things you need to consider to escape injury and ensure that you get optimal results.
With the intent of helping you, we have prepared a list of important precautions and tips on how to cut plexiglass with a circular saw. So, without further ado, let’s go ahead and take a look.
As we mentioned above, plexiglass is becoming more popular than glass and that is for a few reasons.
First of all, it is cheaper and lighter than the traditional product which is the main benefit that you are getting with it. Along with that, we all know that breaking glass is quite easy and once that happens, people around are at risk of cutting themselves and sustaining severe injuries. That is not the case with plexiglass as it is almost 50 times more resistant, featuring a longer life span and better flexibility that is critical for different applications.
At the end of the day, it offers great UV protection and maybe the most important point – it comes in a number of colors and designs which makes it great for home decoration. Hence, while it does have problems with temperature resistance, there are more than a few benefits making it a great alternative to traditional glass.
When it comes to cutting plexiglass, there are a number of tools that you can work with. Still, our personal recommendation is to use a circular saw due to the fact that it features a powerful blade that can ensure precise angular and straight cuts. Keep in mind that covering the plexiglass with a plastic film is essential so you don't damage the material and ensure that it will keep its current quality and appearance.
There are a variety of tools that you need to have in order for the process to go smoothly and without the risk of injury. First of all, you need to have a high-quality circular saw; it doesn’t have to feature huge power and too many rotations per minute because plexiglass is not a demanding material. On the other hand, you will need plastic film, clamps to fix it to the workbench, safety gear including goggles and gloves, and a marker to draw the cutting line.
Once you have prepared the equipment, it is time to fix the plexiglass sheet to the workbench, draw a precise cutting line, and protect it with plastic film or adhesive tape to ensure a smooth process throughout. A smart thing to do is to use a coolant spray and protect the plexiglass from overheating (we already mentioned that it is quite vulnerable when it comes to that).
Wait until the circular saw reaches the speed of around 3500 rpm and start cutting, pushing the saw slowly against the sheet. With regard to what blade should be used for cutting plexiglass, it all comes down to the circular saw that you have, but we recommend one that has 80 teeth or more.
If you need to cut plexiglass and you are trying to decide among multiple different power tools, we would recommend to go with a circular saw. If you are experienced with it and you have adequate safety equipment you will not have a problem. Plexiglass is a beautiful material to work with especially if you have a high-quality saw and a blade that will ensure precise cuts.
My name is Michael McDonnell, and I’m the creator of The Tool Scout. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. I started The Tool Scout because I love talking about everything DIY related and figured I could help others with the decision-making process when it comes to selecting the right tools for the right job.
Apart from being a blue-collar kinda guy on a relatively noble quest to help others, I’m also a serial entrepreneur and an obvious lifelong Lakers fan. 🏀