How to Cut Plastic

There are different types of plastics and specific ways and tools which need to be used to cut plastic.
HomeQuicks Staff
Plastic, there are so many things around us that are made of plastic; water bottles - plastic, toys - plastic, grocery bags - plastic. With so many things around us made of plastic, there are ways to reuse this environmentally harmful, but multipurpose material.
Scribing Knife
This method is used to cut sheets made of acrylic. Take a scribing knife to score a 3/16 inch piece of acrylic plastic. Drag this knife across a straight line on the plastic. Then hang the scribe marked piece of plastic at the end of the table and use clamps to hold it steady. Pull down the edge which is hanging outside the table to break it into two pieces. Scrape the edges of plastic with a hacksaw blade to give it a finished edge.
Nylon String
This method of cutting PVC pipe is quite easy and works fast. Instead of digging a big hole to cut the PVC pipe in the ground, just dig around the pipe and a bit beneath it. Then take a piece of nylon string whose ends are attached to wooden handles. Hold the handles in both your hands, use a back and forth motion to cut through the pipe with the help of the string.
Hot Knife
This method works for almost all types of plastic and allows to cut plastic smoothly. Get a soldering iron tip and hold it with the help of the screw-in end of the pliers to keep your palm safe. Wear safety goggles to shield your eyes against any flying debris. Place the soldering iron tip on the top of a work surface and beat the tip flat by using a hammer or mallet. Use a hard work surface, for example, something like stone, disposable wooden plank, or metal when beating the tip flat. Screw this new cutting tip into your soldering iron and cut the plastic object using it.
Specialty Scissors
There are power scissors available in big home improvement stores. These scissors are cordless and can be used to cut through almost any type of material including plastic. The manufacturers claim that it can even cut a penny.
Hand Saw
Hand saws can also be used to cut plastic. Though, finishing of the edges with a hacksaw blade will be needed. This is a tedious process, but it works fine. Make sure you clamp the acrylic sheets properly to prevent any flexing problem. Power saws fitted with blades to cut acrylic can also be used. A hack saw can also be used if you are looking for cutting plastic light covers, but make sure you use clamps to secure the plastic.
So according to the tools you have, you can select any of the above ways for cutting plastic. However, safer and easier ways like power scissors and hot knives seem to work better, and not just for acrylic but for most other types of plastic. No matter which method you use, make sure you follow safety measures properly like covering your eyes with goggles and clamping the material to prevent any flexing.
Blue Scissors
Nylon String