Our Guide To Cutting Acrylic With a Scroll Saw
Scrolls saws operate with a powerful fine blade for cutting materials, they are typically used for a wood type of material but they can also be used to cut plastic and metal.
A scroll saw can be used to cut acrylic as long as you are using a crown tooth blade which is lubricated as they often heat up fast with the friction of the plastic. The types of plastic you can cut are acrylic, Plexiglas and Corian.
We have composed a short guide below which will take you through the type of blade you need for cutting acrylic, other kinds of material a scroll saw can cut as well as some essential tips for cutting acrylic with a scroll saw.
Which Kind Of Scroll Saw Blade Do I Need For Cutting Acrylic?
Before you start to cut any plastic with your scroll saw you have to ensure that your scroll saw is fitted with the right kind of blade for a smooth finish.
The best kind of blade you can have on your scroll saw for cutting acrylic is a crown tooth blade as their spaced out teeth keep the blade cool and prevent the plastic from melting and sticking back together while cutting.
A crown-toothed blade can be used either way on your material thanks to its teeth on either side of the blade. We would suggest avoiding typical blades which are standard to cut acrylic as they will heat up much faster due to their number of teeth.
We have listed some other kinds of blades you can use for cutting acrylic below.
- Skip-tooth blade - Skip tooth blades have a tooth missing in every part of their blade to reduce their speed.
- Double-tooth blade - This kind of tooth setup keeps the blade cool as it leaves a space in between every two teeth to reduce friction while cutting.
- Precision ground blade - These blades have smaller teeth that are grounded for durability and do cut fast, they are not recommended for beginners.
- Reverse skip tooth blade - Reverse skips tooth blades have sharp blade teeth on each side and the two-way cut blades are great to prevent shattering in the material.
Essential Tips For Cutting Acrylic With a Scroll Saw
Cutting plastic with a scroll saw is a little harder than using a scroll saw to cut wood. You have to make sure are taking the necessary steps to keep your blade cool as well as using the right kind of speed and blade.
We've bullet-pointed some of our important tips for cutting acrylic with your scroll saw down below.
- Use lubrication - Keeping your blade lubricated will not make it cooler but it will also last longer, a good lubrication to use is WD-40.
- Try an air compressor - Having an air compressor on your blade while you cut acrylic is a great way to try and keep the blade cool.
- Go at a slow speed - Going at a slow speed while cutting acrylic will stop your blade from overheating and melting the plastic.
- Put masking tape - Putting some masking underneath your cut line while cutting acrylic will help to absorb and dissipate some of the heat as you are cutting.
- Allow it to cool - Working in flashes and allowing the blade to cool each time can help to stop it from overheating rather than cutting the whole acrylic in one go.
Overall, you can cut acrylic with your scroll saw as long as you have a crown-blade fitted to your power tool and keep the blade cool by using our essential tips above. Remember to take breaks to stop the plastic from melting now and then and lubricate the blade for a better cut and durability.