How to Cut Acrylic Rods

By Amrita Chuasiriporn
A rotary tool, acrylic rods
rotary tool image by CraterValley Photo from

Whether you are modifying a computer case or working with models, knowing how to cut acrylic rods may come in handy. Acrylic rods can be slightly deceptive, because small ones look as though you might be able to cut them with shears. Unfortunately, this does not work. However, cutting acrylic rods is quite simple when you have the right tools. Chances are excellent that if you are working with models or modding computers, you may already have the tools you need in your house.

Attach the plastic cut-off wheel to your rotary tool. Make sure it is mounted securely.

Double-check that you know exactly where you want to cut your acrylic rod. Remember, you can measure and remeasure as much as you like, but you will have to get a new rod if you cut off too much. Mark where you want to cut with masking tape. You can remove it after you have finished cutting.

Cut the acrylic rod using the rotary tool at a moderate speed. Do not go too quickly, as the heat from the tool may melt the plastic and ruin your cut. Wear safety goggles or a mask while cutting to avoid injury.

Scrape the edges of your cut piece with a sharp razor blade to remove roughness and plastic "hairs." Do not smooth the cut rod with sandpaper---it does not work on acrylic.