Cutting polycarbonate is widely use in many applications like cutting acrylic. but cutting polycarbonate sheet is easy because it is very strong and also heat resistant, so no cracking happens when cutting polycarbonate. in this article, we will show you different methods and tips on how to cut polycarbonate sheet including using different jaws, Knife and CNC router.
Cut Polycarbonate with a Table Saw
For cutting thick polycarbonate sheets thank 0.5 inch (12.7mm) , a table saw is ideal. First, measure and mark your desired cut on the sheet. Edge that marking with masking tape to minimize chipping. Equip your table saw with a fine-toothed blade, perfect for polycarbonate. When cutting, push the sheet through the saw, similar to plywood, ensuring consistent pressure to avoid cracks. Complete the cut steadily for best results.
Plastic table saw used for cutting plastic sheets , tubes, rods
Cut Polycarbonate with a Circular Saw
Using a circular saw is the best approach to cut polycarbonate sheets from 0.125 inches to 0.5 inches, and especially longer sheets in length. Mark your cut line with masking tape for precision. When cutting, equip your circular saw with a fine-toothed blade to ensure a clean cut. Ideally, run your saw at aournd 5000 RPM for a smooth finish. The cutting speed, recommended at 8m per minute, is influenced by the saw’s speed, ensuring a quality cut.
Cut Polycarbonate with a Band Saw
A band saw is Perfect for cutting polycarbonate. it can handle any thickness of polycarbonate sheet. to get a clean cut, equip it with a fine-toothed blade, ideally having around 16 teeth per inch. Once the blade is mounted, adjust the saw’s speed to around 2500 RPM. Then, Steadly feed the polycarbonate into the saw by hand, and don’t stop until the entire cut is done.
Cut Polycarbonate with a Jigsaw
When you want to cut curves in polycarbonates sheet, a jigsaw is your best choice. First, place the polycarbonatet sheet on a suitable cutting surface. Position the jigsaw’s shoe onto the polycarbonate then start the motor and guide the blade. For curves, ensure a steady pace when the blade move to around corners and , so the blade cuts without wobbling and the motor doesn’t strain.
Cut Polycarbonate with a knife
For DIY projects at home, a knife can be a simple tool to cut thin polycarbonate sheets, especially those under 0.1 inch. Just score the desired line using a utility knife with a straight edge ruler . Align your straight edge with the marked line. Then, starting at the top, position the utility knife against the straight edge and, applying pressure, slide the knife at a 45-degree angle along the line to cut.
Cut Polycarbonate with CNC router
A CNC router, driven by CAD/CAM software, can cut plastic materials like polycarbonate precisely and more accurately than manual methods. you have understand CAD/CAM sofware to use this mothod. Once a CAD design is inputted, the CNC router can carve any shape on polycarbonate sheet. Once the software is set, secure the polycarbonate sheet on the table and let the router follow the computer’s directives.
Comparison tools for cutting polycarbonate
|Table Saw||> 0.5″(12.7mm)||Large||Moderate-High||High||Use fine-toothed blade|
|Circular Saw||< 0.5″||Moderate||Moderate-High||High||Set at 4000 RPM for smooth cuts|
|Band Saw||Various||Moderate||Moderate-High||High||Use fine-toothed blade|
|Jigsaw||< 0.5″||Moderate||Moderate||Moderate||Secure sheet to prevent movement|
|Utility Knife||< 0.1″||small||Low||Moderate||Score and snap for straight cuts|
|CNC Router||Various||Moderate||High||High||Precise and automated|
how to cut polycarbonate sheets Step by step
Step 1: Choose the Right Tools
Start by selecting the appropriate tools. For thick polycarbonate over 0.5inch, use a table with a fine-toothed blade. For Thin polycarbonate sheets can be cut with a jigsaw or Circular Saw, or plastic cutter knife if the thickness is less thank 0.1 inch. Make sure the blade is suitable for plastics to prevent cracking or chipping. You’ll also need a straightedge, tape measure, marker, and clamps to fix the polycarbonate sheet.
Step 2: Fix the Sheet
Prevent the sheet from moving during cutting by securing it to a stable work surface using clamps. Ensure the sheet lays flat for stability and to prevent blade wobbling.
Step 3: Measure and Mark the Sheet
Before cutting, measure and mark the sheet precisely where you want to cut. Use a tape measure to determine the length and width, then mark the cutting line with a marker. A straight and even line can help you get an accurate cut.
Step 4: Cut the Sheet
Once you chosse the proper tool , you can cut the sheet according to the tips above for different tools.
Step 5: Finishing the Edges
Once you finish the cutting , you will need finish the edges. Begin by sanding with 220-grit sandpaper, progressing to finer 600-grit for smoothness. Eliminate any lingering burrs using a deburring tool for a neat appearance. To enhance clarity, polish the edge of polycarbonate sheet using a plastic-specific polish and a soft cloth according to the polish guideline.
cutting polycarbonate sheets requires the right tools, the proper technique. Following these guides above, you can make it done at home. Remember always to wear safety goggles and gloves when cutting polycarbonate sheets, as small pieces of plastic can fly off during the cutting process.if you need a mass volume polycarbonate cutting service, please contact us.
FAQs about polycarbonate cutting
What is the best tool to cut thick polycarbonate?
Thick Polycarbonate sheets can be cut with a table saw or a Circular saw. A table saw is the best tool for cutting larger polycarbonate lengths. Thanks to the properties of this material, polycarbonate won’t crack or splinter around the cut.
What is the best way to cut polycarbonate tubing and rod?
Cutting polycarbonate rod/tube by horizontal lathe. A horizontal Lathe is the best tool to machine polycarbonate rod/tube. It can cut any plastic rods/tubes precisely and can tap them.
What is the best tool to cut polycarbonate roofing sheets with?
A jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade is your best bet. It offers precision and ease of use. While you can use various tools depending on what’s available, a jigsaw excels in aligning with marked cut lines and maintaining straight cuts. If you have a long guide rail, a circular saw is also a suitable choice, especially for longer cuts.
What is the best blade to cut polycarbonate?
Fine tooth hollow ground blades and triple chip carbide blades are best choices for producing a good and precise quality finish. For a thin gauge sheet 1/16” -3/32” thick use hollow ground panel blades with 10-12 teeth per inch.
how to cut Multiwall or Twinwall polycarbonate sheets?
Cutting solid polycarbonate sheets follows a similar method to cutting Multiwall and Twinwall Polycarbonate sheets, With both Multiwall and twinwall Polycarbonate Sheets you need to choose a fine toothed blade which ideally have upward cutting teeth. A coarse tooth blade will be very jumpy and create a rough uneven cut so always double check you have the appropriate blade before starting.