How to Cut Plexiglass with a Circular Saw

man working in a shop using circular saw

Introduction

Glass is a kind of substance that has been getting used for thousands of years by people worldwide. But as time is passing, there’s one alternative that has taken its place and is being liked by people even more than glass, and that is “Plexiglass.” 

Many people are now using Plexiglass everywhere daily. It is used in homes for decoration purposes, on kitchen counters, and also on TV screens. 

Plexiglass is becoming so popular with each passing day because it is quite cheap and sturdy compared to regular glass. It might not be as attractive and traditional as the standard glass, but it can enhance the overall look of a particular space.

Plexiglass is used mainly by other handymen and carpenters, especially when it comes to decorating houses. It means that there must be a powerful tool to cut the material through and attain a perfect size and shape. The device which has proved to be the best for cutting this glass is a Circular Saw.

A circular saw is considered one of the most affordable and convenient tools out there. It works best and effortlessly when used with the right kind of blade. However, there are still some things that you should consider to dodge the injury and to make sure that you get your desired results. 

Read the whole article below to find out the helpful guide on how to cut plexiglass with a circular saw!

Cutting Plexiglass with a Circular Saw

First off, make sure that all the necessary tools are there with you. It will save your energy and your time.

Arrange all the equipment that you will need to experiment. It will help you focus on the work rather than just moving from one spot to another to hunt for weapons and other necessities. 

To get the cut clean and clear, use a circular saw instead of a table saw or a hand saw. It’s considered best for cutting materials like plexiglass. Also, it is trendy among artisans and is quite affordable. Make sure to choose the best blade for the circular saw. A dimmer, for example, is a crucial requirement as it supervises the speed of the blade.

Required Instruments 

Here are all the instruments you will be needing when cutting plexiglass with a circular saw:

  • Measuring rulers
  • Fixing clamps
  • Safety goggles 
  • 10-inch blade of a circular saw along with 80 tooth carbide tipped 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Adhesive tape or Plastic film
  • Earmuffs
  • Coolant spray
  • Marker

Test the Tools

The first step should constantly be testing the tools to ensure that all the tools are working perfectly. It also helps in preventing the breakdown of the tools while working.

If some of your tools are not working, repair them to avoid accidents. And if you can’t fix the tool, grab a new one and don’t take risks. 

The next step includes sharpening all the instruments and making them strong enough to cut complex objects. A blade sharpener of a circular saw helps in sharpening the blades.

The lighting of the Room 

The lighting of the room plays an integral part in the cutting process. Proper lighting helps in reducing eye strain and fatigue. It can be harmful to carry out work in a room with dim lights as you can bang yourself on the machines. 

Moreover, you can work in a room with transparent roofs to have the natural light coming in.  

Clear the Working Place

The clearance of your working place is essential. While working, you do not need extra stuff lying around and distracting you. Hence, clear the area before starting the work. It will give you an easy time to work on the project. Also, always ensure that children can’t enter the place you’re working in as it can be pretty dangerous for them.

Put Your Protective Gear On

Before starting the process, put your safety gear on. Your safety should be your number one priority since cutting plexiglass with a circular saw can be pretty dangerous as well as noisy. So, protect your most sensitive and endangered areas like your ears and eyes. Wear safety goggles and earmuffs so that the glass particles don’t get into your eyes and your ears remain protected from the heavy noise. Also, to protect the most vulnerable part of your body i,e., your head, cover it with a hat. 

The injuries usually include deep cuts and sometimes scratches by a circular saw. The broken pieces of glass can also cause cuts to avoid meeting all such accidents, take precautions, and have your safety gears on.

Type of Blade Required 

For cutting the plexiglass, you need a kind of blade that doesn’t overheat. The reason behind this is that plexiglass tends to melt quickly as compared to other regular glasses. Hence, for good results, make sure to use a kind of blade that does not produce heat at a higher rate.

Check the Breadth of the Plexiglass Sheet 

Do check the thickness of the plexiglass sheet. It will help you find the right kind of blade for cutting the sheet since blades used for cutting thin plexiglass sheets are not the same as those used for cutting thick plexiglass sheets.

Measurements

When you have all the required pieces of equipment, and you’re sure that all the things are in place, keep the plexiglass on a table. Then make use of a clasp to keep it in its place. Then with the help of a marker, mark the spot you want to cut. After that, put on a plastic film or adhesive tape at the cutting line to prevent the fragments from flying everywhere. If you require a straight cut, grab a straight wood piece and keep it on the top as a reference when using the circular saw blade.

To shield the plexiglass from getting scratches, put on the protective film as it will be pretty easy to peel it off after getting done with the whole process.

Cutting the Glass

While cutting plexiglass with a circular saw, always make sure to use a coolant spray on the saw’s blade to prevent overheating. When cutting plexiglass that is half an inch thick, wait for the circular saw to get to its maximum (3400 to 3500) RPM, and then slowly and in a soft motion push it. Avoid using excessive force when cutting the sheet because the glass can get damaged.

On your plexiglass sheet, aim the circular saw and again wait till it gets to its full speed (3450 RPM is the best rpm rate for the cutting of plexiglass sheets).

It is crucial to push in the circular saw with smooth and slow motion. If you force the circular saw, the sheet can get damaged, causing the large plexiglass pieces to chip away.

Important Tips

  • Do not force the saw to be very fast as it can give you edges chipped. Also, make sure it’s not too slow because the heat generated will get increased causing the melting edges. Three inches per second is the accurate feeding rate.
  • Ensure that the blade you’re using is sharp and does not possess any broken or bent teeth.
  • Always keep the information of the blade’s rake angle that you will be using. The rake angle must be from 5 to 10 degrees (positive). 
  • Do not use a blade having teeth of bumpy height as it can cause damage to the edges.
  • Ensure that the depth of the blade is ½ inch beneath the sheet.
  • When you’re cutting with a circular saw, don’t stop the saw’s feeding since the plexiglass can heat up and stick to the blade. 
  • If you’re creating curve cuts, you can use a jigsaw for that as it is perfect for creating curve cuts. It allows you to cut plexiglass efficiently and quickly.

Ways of Avoiding Kickbacks 

First of all, make sure that you’re handling the saw tightly. Manage the rear and front gear accurately. If a kickback takes place, immediately release your finger from the trigger of the saw. Never stand at a backside place while cutting with the circular saw. It will prevent you from having injuries even if some sort of kickback occurs since the saw always moves directly at the back.

Tighten together the sheet piece and wood. Lose those sheet pieces that are at risk of some sort of kickbacks.

While cutting plexiglass, make sure to set it down on a smooth and flat surface. Also, check the circular saw’s blade and ensure that it does not possess any bend teeth and is sharp. Avoid overheating the blade, as that can be extremely dangerous.

According to the sheet’s thickness, adjust your blade. The blade must be tightly attached to the saw’s rotating shaft. Before starting the cutting process, ensure that your blade isn’t stiff on the sheet you’re cutting. Then leave your saw to achieve your desired speed.

On noticing something unusual or wrong, stop the cutting process immediately.

Final Words

Plexiglass is a fantastic material that carpenters around the world widely use. There are several ways to cut the plexiglass sheets. Although, in our opinion, the best course of cutting plexiglass is using a Circular saw as it always leads to a better outcome compared to other saws. Others may prefer using a jigsaw or a table saw.

The concept is almost the same. Just use the proper blade type and do not generate heat as its material is thermoplastic. Exposure of the material to heat can cause it to melt quickly. Then later, after cooling, it solidifies.

Scroll to Top