How To Cut Hard Plastic Without Breaking It | Easy Explanation

how to cut hard plastic without breaking it

Have you ever thought about which material is difficult to cut, Plastic or Wood?

The right answer is Plastic. Why?

Plastic is too slippery to touch. So, handling this material requires extreme care and skills. Unlike wood, it can break easily. Beginners should do practice to become proficient cutting masters. Let’s see how you can cut hard plastic without any hazel.

How to cut hard plastic without breaking it?

There are several modern as well as old techniques for cutting plastic. You can cut hard plastic sheets using a saw, drill, hot knife, and thread. Tools like a jigsaw, circular saw, and hacksaw are very effective for this purpose. Drilling ensures a smooth cut without any deterioration. Threading is effective for pipe slicing.

How to cut plastic?

Nowadays plastic material is widely used in the manufacturing of Pipes, PVC doors, toys, and many more. It comes in different types, shapes, and sizes. Let’s see the step by step  details of all cutting techniques one by one;

how to cut hard plastic without breaking it

Top 4 Techniques For Cutting Hard Plastic

There are several techniques for cutting hard plastic. Some of these are the latest while few are old. Let’s see the details of each technique one by one –

  1. Cutting plastic through the saw
  2. Cutting Plastic through Drill
  3. Cutting Plastic through Hot Knife
  4. Using thread or String as Plastic Cutter.

1. Cutting Plastic Through Saw

Though Using handy tools for cutting purposes is an old technique but still very popular. If done properly, it always gives the best results with a smooth finish. Different types and sizes of saw are available in markets. You can choose any that fits well with your project requirement. Let’s see the details of three types of these tools one by one –

  • Cutting Plastic using a hacksaw
  • Cutting Plastic through the fine-toothed saw
  • Cutting plastic using a jigsaw
  • Cutting Plastic with a circular saw.

Let’s see on you can do your task using these tools

How To Cut Plastic Using Hacksaw

Using a hacksaw for cutting plastic is probably one of the oldest and cheapest ways to cut this material. If you can’t afford a power cutter saw you can easily go with it. However, the quality of cutting depends on how you handle it. Follow the steps below for a smooth finish –

  • Step 2: Tighten your plastic through clamps along the edges of the table.
  • Step 3: Start cutting material.

Beginners should learn how to use hacksaw first.


  • Handel saw carefully as it can slip easily through the plastic.
  • Always start slowly for the first swing then increase speed gradually.

Cutting Plastic Through The Fine-Toothed Saw

Beginners feel difficulty in handling hacksaws. Only experts can use it comfortably. If you can’t use a hacksaw, you may switch to a toothed saw. It looks like a knife and gives the same results as other handy tools. You can buy these easily from online or hardware stores.

Important notes

  • Always use sharp tooth saw for plastic
  • Clamp the material tightly before cutting.

How To Cut Plastic Using A Jigsaw

Jigsaw cutters come in a variety of sizes. They are both handy and power-operated tools.

The jigsaw technique is one of the easiest techniques for cutting plastic. Let’s see how –

  • Step 1: Change the sharper jigsaw blade for plastic
  • Step 2: Clamp the material to cut tightly
  • Step 3: Start jigsaw machine and wait
  • Step 4: Start cutting when blades start moving.

Things to Remember

Cutting Plastic Through The Circular Saw

A Circular saw is an effective power saw that lets you cut a variety of materials effectively. However, for cutting plastic you should use plastic cutting sharp blades. Always choose a blade according to your circular saw blade size. Follow the given steps –

  • Step 1: Don’t forget to change the wood cutting blade with new plaster cutting blades.
  • Step 2: Clamp the plastic sheet on the table
  • Step 3: Plugin the saw and wait until it speeds up.t
  • Step 4: Start cutting gently when it gets to a high-speed limit.

Things to remember

  • Don’t start right after plugging
  • Always choose blade size according to the size of your machine

2. Cutting Plastic Through Drill

As you know well that drills can’t cut material, it can only make holes in the surface. Here drilling does not mean cutting plastic by using a drill machine. It means you can use drill techniques for making holes and then finally cutting material along the holes. Drill machines solely will not do this task. You need the help of the following tools for this job.

  1. Cord Drill or cordless drill machine
  2. Drill bit of small circumference
  3. Pocket Utility sharp knife

Cutting Plastic Through Drill Step by Step Process:

  • Step 1: Mark the workplace with a pencil.
  • Step 2: Draw circles for drilling holes along the marked area
  • Step 3: Attach drill bit of smallest diameter to drill
  • Step 4: Plugin the socket of drill
  • Step 4: Follow marked circles to make holes.
  • Step 5: Now connect holes with a pencil
  • Step 6: Cut the area from one hole to other with the help of the knife

Things to remember

  • Always put on safety gloves before using a knife as plastic is slippery
  • Don’t use drill bill of more than ⅛ inch diameter

3. Cutting Plastic Through Hot Knife

You can turn the soldering iron tool into a hot knife plastic cutter at home. Through this technique, you can cut PVC as well as acrylic. To make a hot knife, you need the following tools

  1. Soldering Iron
  2. Paper cutter blades or utility knife blades.
  3. M5 screws measured by digital vernier caliper

Cutting Plastic Through Hot Knife Step by Step Process:

  • Step 1: Unscrew the tip of solid iron tool
  • Step 2: Cut the blade of the paper cutter as shown in the video.
  • Step 3: Put M5 screw inside the empty mouth of the soldering iron tool and mark the screw-top according to the size of the blade.
  • Step 4: By using a handy saw, deepen the mark of the knife on the top of the screw about half-inch deep.
  • Step 5: Insert cut portion of the blade inside the deeper area of the screw
  • Step 6: Put screw with the blade in soldering iron tool and tighten its screws with screw gauge.
  • Step 7: Plugin the soldering iron and wait to get hot
  • Step 8: A hot knife is ready to cut hard plastic

Watch this video to follow instructions properly. This technique is time-consuming

Things to remember

  • Always put on safety gloves before cutting blades.

4.Using Thread For Cutting Plastic

One of the oldest and simplest ways of cutting plastic is through string or thread. This technique works well for slicing PVC pipes and toys. About 2 feet long Nylon or Polyester thread is best to do this job. Follow these simple steps below

  • Step 1: Test the strength of thread by pulling both ends in the opposite direction. If it does not break then it has the ability to slice plastic.
  • Step 2: Mark the area or piece of plastic material you want to cut or if it is a circular pipe then tape it.
  • Step 3: Make a hole with the help of hot needle somewhere on the area you want to cut
  • Step 4: Pass the thread along the hole and start moving it back and forth gently.
  • Step 5: The hole will gradually become deeper and deer
  • Step 6: Finally, Piece will be cut into two pieces.

Watch this video for more guidance.

Things to Remember

Threading is a safe process. To ensure further safety, take the following measures

  • Thread or strings should be strong enough to bear pressure
  • Tape your fingers or put on safety gloves.

Related: If you’re interested in finding more information about the wood painting, read How Long Does Wood Glue Take to Dry, It’s got tons of helpful information

Tips To Avoid Breakage During Cutting

The breakage ratio is relatively higher in thin pieces than in thick pieces. Even during sawing, low-quality plastic can crack. Follow these tips to avoid any breakup.

  • Sawing is the best for cutting pipes.
  • For longer pieces of plastic use drilling.
  • For thin plastic sheets, go on threading and hot knife techniques.
  • Don’t put extra pressure on plastic, it may beak.

What is the easiest way to cut hard plastic?

The easiest way to cut thick plastic is by using tools such as a fine-toothed saw, jigsaw, or table saw, circular saw, and hot knife.

How do you cut plastic without cracking it?

To avoid cracking, use a sharp-toothed saw or blades. Start with clamping.

How do you cut hard plastic containers?

You can cut hard plastic containers using a jigsaw, sharp teeth saw, circular saw, and hot knife.

What Dremel bit do I use to cut plastic?

The Dremel 561 is a speedy cutter with 1/8 inch steel blades. It can be used for different materials like plastic, wood, and glass.

Final Verdict

All the techniques above on How to cut plastic hard plastic without breaking are practical. Whatever you select, you will get fine cuts. I would prefer a jigsaw for small-piece piercing and a circular saw for longer dense sheets. For household cutting, go on for the hot knife option whereas pipe slicing prefers threading. Remember to take safety measures to avoid any harm. I hope you will get the advantage of these techniques in your projects.

John Garner

Welcome from Woody Man Garner. A passionate wood craftsman and carpenter. Woodhunger is my dream site to explore whatever I did in my research projects on different types of woods. Let's be a part of my dream job!

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