How to cut polycarbonate?

Cutting polycarbonate is easy compared to cutting acrylic sheet and is a task that can be tackled even by a newbie DIYer. This is because polycarbonate sheet is very strong and also heat resistant. To get you started, we’ve created a guide with tips on how to cut polycarbonate sheet. Use a circular saw or a jigsaw for the best cut.

Requirements for cutting polycarbonate:

  • Circular saw or table saw with adjustable speed
  • Saw blade with fine teeth
  • Sheet material or wood slats for support
  • Glue clamps
  • Jigsaw with adjustable speed
  • Saw blade for non-ferrous metal
  • Masking tape for marking
  • Safety goggles

Cutting polycarbonate sheet with a circular saw or jigsaw

Polycarbonate sheets can be cut with either a circular saw or a jigsaw. A circular saw is the best tool for cutting larger polycarbonate lengths. 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 circular saw and to pay close attention to the throughput and speed.

If you’re using a jigsaw to cut polycarbonate sheets, it’s crucial to hold the sheets firmly in position while sawing to achieve a good cut. The sheet must not move up and down as you saw so place glue clamps along the cutting line.

Cutting polycarbonate

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.

Cutting polycarbonate with a circular saw

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 blog to be sure of getting the best cut.

Working with polycarbonate

Are you planning operations other than sawing? Check out our blogs about drilling polycarbonate, milling polycarbonate and glueing polycarbonate.

Plastic sheets cut to order

We’ll cut to size any of the plastic sheets available in our webshop free of charge. Of course, you can also saw them yourself. For tips and advice, check out our blogs about Sawing acrylic, Sawing Trespa®, Sawing Dibond® and Cutting and Sawing PVC. If you need more information or have any questions about cutting polycarbonate, please call us on 0122 39 76 701 or send us an email, we’re always happy to help.