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What do I use to cut Acrylic?

What type of saw?

Typically, you would use an overhead panel saw, below table saw, or a table saw. For thinner sheets 0.177" or thinner, you can use a jigsaw, band saw, or scroll saw. You can use a band saw or jigsaw for thicker material, but the edges will be very rough. For thicker material, table and panel saws are best. Whatever saw you choose, there must be minimal vibration and enough power to make the required cuts.

What type of blade?

A carbide-tipped blade with a triple-chip design is best. This type of blade will give you the most uniform cuts. For the longevity of the blade, you should only use it when cutting acrylics.

What common blade diameters and tooth selections are used for cutting acrylic sheets?

  • 10" diameter, 60 and 80 teeth
  • 12" diameter, 60,80, and 100 teeth
  • 14" diameter, 60,80, and 100 teeth

Size and teeth per blade depend upon the thickness of the acrylic cut. Thinner sheets require more teeth than thicker sheets.

What are the main problems encountered when cutting acrylic sheet?

  • Chipping
  • Melting

Chipping

CausesSolutions
Feed rate to fastReduce feed rate
Incorrect number of teethChange blade, increasing number of teeth; the optimum number of teeth is 80 for a 25.4 cm ( 10 inch) blade
Improper bade designChange blade, use a triple chip No-Melt
Teeth out of alignmentCheck alignment, change blade
Blade or Arbor wobbleCheck run out, repair saw
Blade height incorrectAdjust blade setting; review comments in Section II for correct positioning

Melting

CausesSolutions
Feed Rate too slowCheck tip angle (60°)
Check rake angle (0° to 4°)
Incorrect number of teethChange blade, decrease the number of teeth from 80 to 60 for a 25.4 cm (10 inch) blade
Improper blade designChange blade, use triple chip No-Melt
Dull bladeChange blade
Insufficient coolingAdd water mist or air to cool blade
Title: What do I use to cut Acrylic?
Description: Questions and answers on cutting acrylic sheet.
Published: 10/31/2007
Last Edited: 1/16/2023
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