How Do You Cut Acrylic Sheets Without Cracking Them?

acrylic glass processing

How Do You Cut Acrylic Sheets Without Cracking Them? Actually, processing the acrylic sheets without cracking is easier than you think. You just need the right tools and the right methods. By the way, cast acrylic is much easier to work with than extruded. The risk of breaking or tearing is simply lower. So, especially if you want to process larger quantities, the cast version is the better choice. This does not mean that extruded acrylic cannot be machined. You just have to be much more careful when doing so. Acrylic sheets can be milled, drilled, sawed, sanded and polished. Enclosed are the most important points for processing acrylic glass:

Processing acrylic glass – you will need:

  1. An HSS drill bit of increasing diameter. Pre-drill with a small drill bit. This must have at least the diameter of the next larger drill core.
  2. A drill with variable speed
  3. Possibly a pillar drilling machine
  4. Grip pliers or screw clamps
  5. A surface on which the drill can emerge

Drilling acrylic glass

To drill acrylic, you will need a variable speed drill and a high-speed steel (HSS) drill bit. Before you start drilling, the acrylic glass must lie on a flat surface so that the drill can exit. A wooden board can be used for this purpose. A tip: If you clamp a few strips with screw clamps next to the planned drill hole, you will provide “helpful pressure” that will prevent the plate from cracking or breaking during drilling. Another recommendation: do not draw the drill hole directly on the protective film. It is much better to put a strip of tape (painter’s tape) on the desired location. This will prevent the scriber from scratching the acrylic. Set the drill to 75 percent of maximum speed. When drilling, apply only light pressure. This is the best way to chip the acrylic without causing the drill to “snap” shut. It also prevents the material from becoming hot or sticking together.


Sawing acrylic glass

You can use both a circular saw and a jigsaw to saw acrylic. In both cases, you will need a saw blade with fine teeth. Do you want to mark the cutting line? In that case, we recommend masking the area on the top and bottom with a strip of painter’s tape. Make sure that the tape is wide enough for the sliding sole of the jigsaw. This will prevent you from damaging the surface.

If you’re using a circular saw, you’ll need an interchangeable tooth saw blade with lots of teeth, such as Widia teeth. While you can only use a jigsaw to cut cast acrylic, a circular saw can be used for both extruded and cast acrylic. It is important that you use a special saw blade for plastic with the circular saw. With the jigsaw, a saw blade for non-ferrous metal will do. To prevent the panel from breaking on the surface, the pendulum stroke must be turned off on the jigsaw. Work at 40 percent of the maximum saw speed without forcing the saw. It’s important to let the saw do its work on its own. So let it glide through the material quietly and without strain, and you’ll be on the safe side. We have dedicated a complete article to sawing acrylic. There you will find everything you need in terms of information.


Finishing the saw cut

After sawing, saw marks will remain. Before you work them off, you need to sand away the deep grooves. To do this, you’ll need 80 grit, so sand the edges until they’re nice and smooth and straight. Then repeat the sanding with a finer grit. Increase from 80 to 200, and finish with 800 grit. For more tips on polishing, see our article “Polishing Acrylics.” If you would also like to bend your acrylic glass, you will find all the important information on this in our article “Bending acrylic glass”.

acrylic polish rag drill

Have you learned how to cut acrylic sheets without cracking them? If you want to more information about our products and production method, please visit our website

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