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Cutting Polycarbonate: The Simple Guide

Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is commonly used for architectur, greenhouse, Skylights, Advertising, Sound Barrier, Riot shields and so on . 

It almost always comes in sheets, and is very easy to cut. Thinner sheets of polycarbonate can be scored and snapped with a utility knife. You can use a circular saw to make straight cuts on thicker sheets. If you want to cut angles or odd shapes into your polycarbonate, you can use a jigsaw. 

Thanks to the properties of this material, polycarbonate won't crack or splinter around the cut. 

Polycarbonate is also relatively insensitive to heat developed during the cutting process, whatever the cutting speed or the speed the saw is set at. But to get the best cut, it's important to select the right tool and to pay close attention to the throughput and speed.

Remember to always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and earmuffs when working with power tools.

Step 1: Preparations for cutting polycarbonate

Before cutting polycarbonate, prepare some supplies. Make sure you’re using a saw with a variable speed. It’s also important to have a board that can support the polycarbonate sheet during sawing. We also recommend that you wear safety goggles when cutting to prevent any small chips of polycarbonate from getting into your eyes.

Step 2: Mark the cutting line on the polycarbonate

We can’t recommend it too strongly: when cutting polycarbonate, leave the protective film in place and stick some masking tape where the cutting line will be. Mark the cutting line on this. These tips will help to avoid any scratches. If you’re going to cut polycarbonate with a circular saw, go on to step 3. If you prefer to cut your polycarbonate with a jigsaw, please go to step 4.

Step 3: Sawing polycarbonate sheet with a circular saw

When everything’s prepared, set up the saw. For a circular saw, take a fine tooth saw blade. When using a standard-sized saw blade (250 – 300 millimetres) we recommend a speed of 4,000 revolutions per minute. This combination will give you a nice, smooth cut. The saw determines the cutting speed and therefore the throughput speed – this is around 8 m per minute or 10 to 15 cms per second.

Step 4: Cutting polycarbonate sheet with a jigsaw

If you’re using a jigsaw, use a saw blade with a fine tooth, for example, a saw blade for non-ferrous metals. Run the saw at medium speed and let the saw move smoothly through the polycarbonate sheet. Don’t put too much pressure on the saw but rather let the saw do the work and control the throughput. Ensure that the sole of the jigsaw remains flat on the polycarbonate sheet.

How to cut polycarbonate yourself

Although we'll saw your polycarbonate sheets for free, you might sometimes want to cut polycarbonate sheets yourself. For example, to shorten a length or when you want to cut your polycarbonate at an angle for a patio roof or greenhouse. Follow the tips in this guid to be sure of getting the best cut.

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