Tools for Cutting Acrylic

saw image by Stanislav Pepeliaev from

Any home improvement store can seem confusing and intimidating when you're looking for specialized tools for cutting pieces of acrylic. When selecting an acrylic cutting tool, consider the amount of use you will get out of it, and how often you see yourself using it, before investing in expensive equipment.

Router and Router Bits

Routers are handheld saws that use a shaft and router bit that spins, allowing you to cut materials such as acrylics and plastics. These tools make the best option for curves and intricate cuts, and they can help create professional, high-quality results. Use high-quality router bits to avoid dulling them quickly; invest in carbide-tipped router bits rather than the traditional steel variety to increase the bits' lifespan and prolong your ability to make quality cuts.

Scoring Tool

A scoring tool, your least expensive option when cutting acrylic pieces, can also give you the most creativity. Run this tool's blade across the acrylic in your desired pattern, and repeat this motion a few times with continued pressure to create a score mark, which will allow you to bend the acrylic easily and snap apart the two separate pieces. Do not use scoring tools for larger projects or on acrylic pieces more than 1/4 inch thick.

Saber Saw Blades

Saber saw blades are a more expensive alternative to creating straight cuts out of acrylic pieces. These blades, which you can purchase straight from acrylic suppliers, have special teeth that can easily and quickly cut acrylic pieces while giving a high-quality cut and look to the finished pieces.

Band Saws and Table Saws

Band and table saws are options for cutting acrylic if you cannot purchase tools made specifically for acrylic cutting. You may already have these tools on hand, and as long as you get higher-quality blades for them, you may find them an ideal way to cut acrylic pieces. As acrylic cutting can dull steel blades, you may want to invest in carbide blades at your local hardware store to ensure clean, quality cuts over time.