What Tools to Use to Cut Plastic

Quick Tip: One can use any wood working tools to cut acrylic. However, it is very important to take it slow so that the blade doesn't crack the material. 


Cutting plastic may seem like a straightforward task, but the right tools can make a significant difference in achieving precise and clean results. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast, a hobbyist, or involved in industrial applications, selecting the appropriate tool for the job is crucial. In this guide, we'll explore a variety of tools tailored to different plastic-cutting needs.

Things to Consider When Choosing Tools  

Type of Plastic

Different plastics have varying properties and cutting requirements. Some plastics may melt, chip, or crack more easily than others. Identify the type of plastic you're working with and choose a cutting tool suitable for that specific material.

Plastic Thickness 

Choose the right tool for the job based on the type and thickness of the plastic. Consider using a utility knife for thin and flexible plastics, a saw for thicker sheets or pipes, and specialized tools like laser cutters for precision work.

Cutting Precision Needed 
When it comes to cutting plastics, the level of accuracy required depends on the specific application or project. The accuracy of your cuts can greatly impact the overall quality and functionality of your project. Choose the right tools and techniques that align with your specific cutting needs to achieve the desired level of accuracy.

Tools for Thin Plastics 

Utility Knife/Box Cutter

Offers precise cutting with a sharp, replaceable blade. Easy to handle and suitable for straight cuts.

Rotary Cutter

Provides a rotary blade for smooth and accurate cutting. Excellent for straight lines and curves in materials like vinyl.

Craft Knife/X-Acto Knife

Great for detailed and intricate cuts in thin plastic. The thin, pointed blade allows for precise cutting in small areas.

Laser Cutter
Computer-controlled laser beam ensures accurate and detailed cuts. Commonly used in manufacturing and prototyping.
Dremel Rotary Tool
Great for detailed work and small projects in thin plastic. Versatile attachments for cutting, grinding, and shaping make it perfect for intricate designs.

Tools for Thick Plastics

Table Saw
A table saw is a powerful tool that excels at cutting through thicker plastic pipes or blocks. It is especially useful for straight cuts on larger plastic pieces. 
A jigsaw is a versatile tool that can cut through thicker pieces of plastic, such as piping. It provides more flexibility for cutting complex shapes and curves. When using a jigsaw, it is important to use a thin jigsaw blade specifically designed for cutting plastic.
Fine-Toothed Saw

A fine-toothed saw is best for precision cutting of thick plastic. It is particularly useful for making multiple non-linear cuts and yields a smooth finish. This type of saw is recommended for cutting hard plastic.

Utility Knife

For thin sheets of plastic (up to 1/8 inch thick), a simple utility knife can be used. Secure the sheet to a large work surface with a clamp, then use the utility knife to make a straight cut 


Selecting the right tool for cutting plastic is crucial to achieving accurate and clean results. Consider the type and thickness of the plastic, as well as the desired precision of the cut. 

If you're looking for precision and quality cuts, Clearly Plastic is an ideal choice. Choosing us ensures that you will have access to a wide range of high-quality plastic materials tailored to your specific requirement. Choosing us will also give you access to our expert guidance and affords you the advantage of our precision cut-to-size services ensuring that you receive your materials tailored to the exact dimensions you require, enhancing convenience and efficiency for your projects.





  1. Lizl Kruger, Manager Clearly Plastic
  2. OpenAI. (2024). Chat GPT (March 14). https://chat.openai.omc/chat
  3. Salesforce. (2024). YOU. https://you.com/search?q=tools%20for%20cutting%20thick%20plastic&fromSearchBar=true&tbm=youchat
  4. Good Tools. (n.d.). Plastic Cutting Tools. Good Tools Industrial Co., Ltd |Pliers. Retrieved January 17, 2024, from http://www.goodtoolstw.com/category-Plastic-Cutting-pliers-Plastic-Cutting-pliers.html
  5. Vila, B. (2021, January 4). How to Cut Plastic - 3 Ways. Bob Vila. Retrieved January 17, 2024, from https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-cut-plastic/

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