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Band Saw Vs. Scroll Saw: What Should You Buy?

A band saw or a scroll saw is one of the most popular stationary power tools. They all help you to cut curves smoothly and accurately. Still, they have different features, pros, and cons. In case you are looking for such a tool to cut curves, which one should you buy? A band saw vs scroll saw. It is essential that you know about the main differences between these tools as well as your specific needs and preferences.

Check out our article below to see what separate a band saw from a scroll saw and their advantages and disadvantages.

The Main Difference Between A Scroll Saw And A Band Saw

The main similarity between two types of saws is that they can be used to cut curves. However, they are quite different, in their overall sizes, the sizes of the blades, the powers and the capacities.

  • In general, a band saw is a bigger type of saw in comparison with a scroll saw.
  • The blades of the band saw are longer than the blades of the scroll saw. The blades of the band saw are also thicker. Typically, they are 3/8 inches or more in width. On the other hand, the width of the scroll saws is about 0.25 inches. In addition, a typical scroll saw’s blade is about 5 to 6 inches in height while a typical band saw’s blade is  6 to 12 inches in height.
  • These types of saws are also different in the movement of the saw blades. The blades of the scroll saw move up and down to cut while the blades of the band saw rotate around the rubber wheels to cut.
  • In term of power, the scroll saw is not as powerful as the band saw. The band saw can make much more vigorous cuts. Hence, these cuts would be rougher than and not as smooth as the cuts made from the scroll saw.
  • Prices can vary a great deal among different models of band saws and scroll saws. However, an average band saw along with its accessories is more expensive than an average scroll saw and its accessories.
  • Since the power that a scroll saw consumes will be less than the level of a band saw, the scroll saw is more energy efficient.
  • A scroll saw is also known as a specialty saw while a band saw is known as a versatile saw.

Scroll Saw

Pros

  • A scroll saw can help you cut small curves- some can even help you cut the curves as small as the head of a pin. Not only that, a scroll saw can help to cut thin pieces of material, which are about 1.5 inches in thickness.
  • Delicate patterns including turns or twists are easier to make on a piece of wood using a scroll saw.
  • In addition, a scroll saw can produce smooth and thin edges without losing a lot of bits of materials. Think about making a set of puzzle, this ability of the scroll saw makes it easier for you to make a puzzle.
  • It is the best when it comes to having tight cuts so that you don’t have to sand the edges of the cut pieces.
  • Another advantage of a scroll saw that a band saw couldn’t do is that it can help you cut a shape right in the middle of a piece of plywood. A band saw will cut right through it. However, with a scroll saw, you can drill the holes first before threading the scroll saw along the shape you want to cut, making internal cuts possible. As a result, you can make an inner circle easily. There is no entry and exit cut- which a band saw couldn’t do.
  • Last but not least, thanks to the foot pedal, you can operate the saw without using your hands. Your hands are free to handle the material safely and securely.

Cons

  • Even the most powerful scroll saw has a narrow saw blade. As a result, it couldn’t make much neat straight long cuts like what a band saw can do.
  • It can only cut a piece of material which is less than 0.75 inches in thickness.
  • In addition, a typical scroll saw can cut much smaller and tighter circles than a band saw can.
  • It cut can pieces of wood more slowly than the band saw can cut.

Band Saw

Unlike the scroll saw, the band saw is more suitable for cutting a thick piece of plywood or so.

There are several types of band saws and each of which is made to do different things. These types of band saws include benchtop band saws, stationary band saw, and resaw band saws.

Pros

  • Benchtop band saw: This type of saw is the smallest and most portable type of band saw. You can consider buying this one if you want a band saw that you can easily bring it to your work site. If you don’t have much room in your working station, a benchtop band saw would be compact enough. It can help you cut big curves on many thick pieces of materials such as plywood or solid wood.
  • Stationary band saw: If you need to cut thicker and harder pieces of wood than a piece of plywood (such as the oak, pecan, and hickory). In addition, if your woodworking project has a lot of rip cuts instead of the tight curve cuts, this kind of band saw will provide the best cuts.
  • Resaw band saw: This is the biggest and most powerful type of band saws. It can make straight cuts as efficiently as curved cuts.

With a wide range of types of band saws and the sizes of the blades for you to choose from, this type of saw is universal and versatile. It helps you cut pieces of materials of different thickness.

Last but not least, you can modify the band saw to make it operate like a table saw by clamping a fence to the working station.

Cons

  • Overall, all types of band saws couldn’t cut cleaner and smoother cuts. Hence, they are not suitable for any project that requires the precision in the small details.
  • Since the blades of the band saw are fixed, it couldn’t cut on the inside of a piece of material.
  • With a large radius, a band saw’s blade couldn’t turn as sharp as the scroll saw. Hence, the details made with the band saw are not as sharp.

How To Decide On Which Tool To Buy?

After you know about the differences between a band saw and scroll saw, you need to think about your preferences as well as the nature of your projects in order to choose the best stationary power tool.

Think about your project: Do you often work with big projects like curved furniture, cabinets, or molding? Or do you often work with small projects like making puzzles or doing a craft project that need precision for small details?

If you often work with big projects and thick pieces of material, a band saw is the better option for you. On the other hand, if you need a tool for cutting small and thin pieces of material, a scroll saw is a suitable choice. If most of your woodworking project are crafting, you should consider buying a scroll saw instead of a band saw.

Since both tools are quite opposite in capacities, many professional woodworkers use both tools for different projects. However, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on buying many tools that you are going to use just for a few times, think about what you need more.

For many DIY hobbyists, when they start working on their projects, they decide to buy a scroll saw first. First of all, a scroll saw can do an internal cut while the band saw couldn’t. Second of all, most of us tend to work with smaller projects first to gain more skills and experience before we move on. When they start gaining more skills, they move on to bigger projects. And they decide to purchase a band saw after all.

Conclusion

I hope that this small article helps to answer your question: “Should I buy a scroll saw or a band saw? Overall, they have different features and different capabilities. The scroll saw is better if you often work with small pieces of materials and the band saw is better if you work with much better pieces of equipment. If you work with both, you need to trade one off for the one that you will need more.

Sidewinder Vs Worm Drive – What Type Of Circular Saw You Should Choose

The circular saw is undoubtedly one of the most popular power tools that any home or commercial workshop has. When you start building your own workshop, the first tool that you need to think about is, of course, the circular saw. In order to choose one, there are a lot of things that you need to choose from including the type of the circular saw or the blade size, to name just a few.

I have seen many people being confused about worm drive vs. circular saw while in fact; the worm drive saw is just a type of circular saw.  Let’s learn more about the worm drive and the other type of handheld circular saw as well as the most important features you need to consider when choosing a circular saw.


The Difference between the Sidewinder and the Worm Drive Circular Saw

As I mentioned above, there are 2 main types of handheld circular saws which are the sidewinder and the worm drive type. They are mainly different in the mechanism and the design of the motor.

  • A sidewinder circular saw can have the motor on the right side or the left side of the blade.
  • On the other hand, a worm drive circular saw has a motor which is situated behind the blade. The first model of the worm drive circular saw was invented in 192 and the most popular brand of the worm drive is the Skil Model. The brand is so popular that many people mistake it as the Skil saw and consider it one of the types of saw that you can buy on the market.

With the information about the design of the motor in mind, we will discuss in more details about other differences between the sidewinder and the worm drive circular saw.

1. Weight and design:

With the motor which is placed behind the blade, the worm drive saw is typically heavier than the sidewinder saw. The sidewinder saw is generally lighter and generally more compact in size. However, such worm drive saw would be narrower in size when compared with other sidewinder saws.

2. The speed of the blade: 

Normally, the worm drive saw can spin at about 4000 to 4400 rpm. The sidewinder saw will spin at about 6000 to 6200 rpm, slightly faster than the worm drive saw. This is because the motor of the sidewinder circular saw is in line with the spinning blade. With the faster speed, you would have less torque for tougher cuts.

3. Right Hand Or Left Hand Option: 

The worm drive saw only has 1 single choice of design while the sidewinder circular saw has 2 options- with the motor on the left and the motor on the right. Hence, if you are a left-handed carpenter, you might find the sidewinder circular saw with the motor on either side of the blade much easier to use and control. It is also worth noting that for many carpenters, the motor which is located on either side of the blade of the circular saw will make it much harder to see the line that you want to cut. Hence, if your dominant hand is the right hand, you will want to buy a sidewinder circular saw with the motor situated on the left hand side of the blade. On the other hand, if your dominant hand is the left hand, it would be easier for you to use the sidewinder circular saw with the motor situated on the right hand of the blade.

4. Safety: 

There are many factors that contribute to the safety of a type of circular saw. First of all is the weight of the tool itself. A lighter and more compact tool would make it easier for you to control, hence, would make it safer for you to use. In this case, the sidewinder circular saw would be considered safer, especially when you need to work overhead. Second of all, you need to ensure that your hands are kept at the safe distance when you operate the tool. With this in mind, when you handle the sidewinder circular saw, you would be able to keep your hands far away from the motor and the blade, making it also safer for you to use this type of power saw.



Other Factors That You Need to Consider When Choosing a Circular Saw

1.The Bade Size:

The size of the blade of a circular saw refers to the diameter of the blade. If you are looking for a versatile circular saw that can cut through most of the materials, go for the blade with the size of 7 inches and more. Not to mention that with the average size of 7 to 7.25 inches, you would be able to find many types of blades as well.

2. The Types Of The Blade:

Besides the size of the blade, you also need to consider the design of the blade as well. One of the most common designs is the one with the carbide tipped teeth. That design makes the blade very versatile and functional of cutting many types of materials. On the other hand, if you know exactly what types of materials that you often work with, including wood, metal, or title, you can buy the one which is made specifically for cutting these types of materials. The number of the teeth is also one thing that you need to consider as well. Basically, the more teeth a blade of a circular saw has, the cleaner the cuts you would have. You can plan on buying a few blades as changing them for your own needs and requirements will not take you a lot of time.

3. The Power:

You would know how powerful a circular is by looking at the amperage specification of this tool. For the handheld circular saw, including the sidewinder and the worm drive type, the most common amperage is from 10 to 15. The more powerful the circular saw is, the better it is to work with different types of materials and the more efficient it is when you need to cut a lot of materials.

4. The Corded Or Cordless Option:

Last but not least, you should also consider if you want to buy a cordless circular saw or a corded one.  They have their own pros and cons for your consideration. For a cordless circular saw, you don’t have to worry about finding a power source to make the tool work. You can bring it around to anywhere you want to. However, a cordless circular saw is quite expensive. If you have a workshop and work mostly inside it, you don’t have to spend extra bucks of money for a cordless circular saw. Some corded circular saws come with very long cords as well for your convenience. However, they will never be as convenient and portable as the cordless circular saws. Another thing to consider is the power of the cordless or corded circular saw. Cordless circular saws might have limited power due to the limited batteries. Hence, you should use the cordless circular saws if you want to cut wood only.

5. Price:

If you have little experience in choosing any power tool in general, not to say the circular saw, maybe one of the most reliable factors you can use to choose a circular saw on the market is the price of the model that you want to buy. In general, the price of a sidewinder circular saw with a decent quality could range from around 100 dollars to 150 dollars. A sidewinder circular saw which is less than 100 dollars could be not so durable or powerful enough. On the other hand, the worm drive circular saw will be more expensive in general. You should expect to pay at least 200 dollars for a high quality worn drive circular saw.

6. Safety Features: 

Furthermore, you need to ensure that the circular saw that you are going to buy has a safety switch and the blade guard.

7. Other Things: 

Different types of circular saws on the market come with different weights and sizes. It is the best that you can experience each of the tools yourself. Check if the handles of these tools are comfortable in your hand. You also need to check if you are comfortable with the weight and the way the circular saw balance itself. A tool is suitable for you only when you feel comfortable handling it.


Conclusion

So as you can see, the sidewinder circular saw is lighter and capable of spinning faster than the sidewinder circular saw. In addition, it is also cheaper. Hence, if you are thinking about buying a circular saw for your workshop at home, you should consider a sidewinder circular saw first. Also, if most of your work requires working overhead, you can consider buying a sidewinder circular saw.

Here are just a few basic things that you need to know about the sidewinder and the worm drive circular saw. I hope that with all of the information above, you would be able to understand a bit more about the circular saw as well as the most important factors that you need to consider including the blade size and the power of the circular saw. With such information in mind and careful consideration, I am sure that you would be able to find the most suitable circular saw for all of your own needs and requirements.

Jigsaw Or Circular Saw – Which Is The Right Tool For You?

Undoubtedly, the jigsaw and the circular saw are among the most popular power tools that you can find in workshops and garages. They are both powerful tools which you can use to perform a lot of different tasks. If you are searching for the first tool to buy, many people would recommend the circular saw. Some would recommend the jigsaw. So what tool is the right tool for you, jigsaw vs circular saw?

Check our guide below for the features of the jigsaw and the circular saw. Also, learn about what they can do and the main differences between these tools in order to decide whether they are the right tool for you.

When Will You Need To Use The Jigsaw?

The jigsaw, which is also called the saber saw, is made with a motor and a reciprocating saw blade. The blade of the jigsaw is thin and narrow which moves up and down in order to cut through a piece of material. Overall, the jigsaw is a handheld type of saw.


Here is the list of what you can do with a jigsaw:

  • The jigsaw is a very versatile power tool. With this tool, you can do a lot of cuts- from straight cuts, to curves and circles. In comparison with the circular saw, the jigsaw is a better tool for you if you want to have curved cuts.
  • You can also perform inner cuts with the jigsaw, provided that there is a pre-drilled hole.
  • It can work on a wide variety of materials- from wood, metal, to foam and plastic. There are many choices of blades for you to choose on the market and different blades can be used to cut different types of materials precisely and efficiently.
  • It is small and portable, which allows you to carry the tool around without any difficulty. It also helps you with overhead work. And you can easily store the tool in your garage even if you have limited working station.
  • You can also mount this tool to a platform. This will help you to balance the materials throughout the cutting process in order to have smoother and more precise cuts.

What are the Main Drawbacks of the Jigsaw?

  • The jigsaw is not the right tool for you if you are looking for a tool for smooth and precise cuts.  If your project requires you to cut to the highest level of precision as possible, the jigsaw, which can only produce rough cuts, will not be able to deliver the job perfectly.
  • This tool is also not the suitable tool for finishing tasks.
  • Since it is a handheld tool, how much stable your cutting process is or how smooth your cuts are will depend largely on your skills, your experience, as well as your steady hands.
  • Last but not least, keep in mind that the jigsaw tends to bounce over. As a result, it is even more difficult for an amateur carpenter to move the blade along the line that you want to cut - as steadily and evenly as you might want.

When Will You Need To Use The Circular Saw?

There are several things that the jigsaw and the circular saw both have. Both of the saw are handheld and operate using power. However, while the jigsaw has a thin and narrow blade, the circular saw has a circular blade. As you can see, the designs of the circular saw and the jigsaw are totally different. Hence, it would be easy for you to tell these two tools apart just by looking at them. However, they share some similar characteristics, which might confuse you.

What are the benefits of using the circular saw?

  • Like the jigsaw, the circular saw is one of the most popular and versatile tools. It can perform a lot of cuts, especially straight cuts, and angled cuts quickly and efficiently. It can also be used o make rough rips and bevel cuts.
  • In addition, the circular saw can help you cut through a wide range of materials from wood, to tiles, metal, masonry, and pipes. Of course, it would depend on the blades that you have in hand.
  • You can use the circular saw for most of the DIY home projects such as making toolbox, masonry work, and roofing.
  • Many choices of blades of the circular saws that you can find on the market have more than 50 teeth. As a result, you would be able to have many smooth and clean cuts.
  • There are many choices of blades for you to choose from with a circular saw. For example, you can go with a big blade with fewer teeth if you want to have fast cuts. On the other hand, you can go with a blade with a lot of teeth in order to have smoother and cleaner cuts.
  • Last but not least, the circular saw is also a very compact and portable handheld saw. As a result, it is easy for you to carry the circular around as well as storing it in your small garage.

What are the main drawbacks of the circular saw?

  • The circular saw is the powerful tool only when you know which jigs you should use. For example, if you want to have the perfect 90-degree cut, you might need to use some extra tools for the task. It requires knowledge and experience.
  • It can lead to rough edges on the sides of the cut pieces of material.
  • It is not as good as the jigsaw in term of making curved cuts. The curved cuts made with the circular saw might not be as accurate and clean.

Which Is The Right Tool For You?

The choice of which tool- the circular saw or the jigsaw that you should buy as the first tool for your workshop depends on your personal needs and preferences. Both of the tools are the most popular and versatile tools that can help you deal with a lot of projects. If you can afford it, it is the best that you can buy these 2 tools that you will use a lot in the future. The reason is, while both of the tools are so versatile, there are some tasks and projects that the circular saw is a more suitable tool to use rather than the jigsaw and vice versa. For example, the jigsaw is a better tool for plunge cuts rather than the circular saw. In addition, cutting curves can be better done with the help of a jigsaw rather than the circular saw. On the other hand, in term of cutting straight cuts, no other tool is better than the circular saw.

So think about your projects and what cuts you would often have to make more. If your projects require a lot of straight cuts, you might consider buying the circular saw. On the other hand, the jigsaw would be the better choice for you if your projects require a lot of curved cuts and plunge cuts.

However, keep in mind that the circular saw or the jigsaw alone will not help you much with all of the tasks and projects. You need to have the right blades, the right jigs as well as a lot of experience in order to have the best cuts.

You might end up owing only 1 type of saw. However, if you know how to make use of other jigs and accessories, I am sure that you would still be able to make the most out of the tool that you have. As I have mentioned above, the circular saw is a better tool for you to make straight cuts rather than the jigsaw. However, if you have the jigsaw, you can still make use of the straightedge cutting guides. And you can still have curved cuts with the circular saw if you have the right jigs and knowledge for the needed tricks.


Final Verdict

No tool is better than the other tool. So the choice of which type of saw- the jigsaw or the circular saw to buy depends much on your personal preferences and requirements.

Still, no matter what tool that you are going to buy, you need to choose the one with a decent quality. It needs to be powerful enough for the projects that you want to do. And it needs to be durable and long-lasting so that your initial investment can last for a long time. There are many other things that you need to consider including the size of the blade, the size of the saw, the power of the saw, as well as the safety features of the tools.  As long as you spend enough time researching, I am sure that you would be able to find the most suitable tool for your projects in the future.

As you can see, both of the circular saw and the jigsaw are the most powerful and versatile tool. Still, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. The circular saw is better for some types of projects and the jigsaw is better for some others. They are not the same and definitely not interchangeable. I hope that with all of the information above, you would be able to choose the right tool for your specific needs and requirements. With the most suitable tools, I am sure that you would be able finish many woodworking projects and other projects in the future.

Jigsaw Or Circular Saw – Which Is The Right Tool For You?

Undoubtedly, the jigsaw and the circular saw are among the most popular power tools that you can find in workshops and garages. They are both powerful tools which you can use to perform a lot of different tasks.

If you are searching for the first tool to buy, many people would recommend the circular saw. Some would recommend the jigsaw. So what tool is the right tool for you, jigsaw vs circular saw?

Check our guide below for the features of the jigsaw and the circular saw. Also, learn about what they can do and the main differences between these tools in order to decide whether they are the right tool for you.

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Chop Saw Vs Miter Saw – Which One Should You Use?

For many people, the chop saw and the miter saw are basically the same things. People get confused because these two tools look quite familiar. However, that is not true. While these two power tools have some of the same functions, they are two entirely different units. Each of your specific needs might be more suitable with different power tools.

That is the reason why you need to understand the key features of the miter saw and the chop saw in order to choose the best tool. Take a look at this article below for the comparison of the chop saw vs miter saw as well as the pros and cons of each of the tools. Hopefully, at the end of the article, you would be able to decide on which tool- the miter saw or the chop saw- that you should buy.

How To Cut Steel Pipe

For a thin sheet of pipe, you can easily use a pair of compound snips or a nibbler to cut through it. However, it will be more difficult if you want to cut a steel pipe. It is thicker; hence, it would need different types of tools for this job. For cutting steel pipe, you would need some kinds of saws including hacksaw and power say. Torches can also be used in order to cut steel pipe.

Let’s check out the guide below for more details.

Tools for cutting steel pipes such as the power saws and torches are quite dangerous; follow these safety precautions to ensure your safety:

  • When you cut steel pipes, sparks will occur. It is a potential fire hazard. Hence, you should wear protective gloves, goggles, and jacket. They should be in the shade ranging from number 7 to number 9. Wear comfortable clothes. You should wear clothes made of natural fibers as they are easy to catch fire.
  • You should cut steel pipes outside. Or choose a room with good air ventilation as cutting steel pipes can create gasses and small particles of dirt.
  • Make sure there is nothing flammable within the working range.
  • Only work with a high-powered tool if you have prior training and knowledge.

Here are steps of cutting steel pipe with common tools:

Step 1: First, you need to measure the point at which you want to cut the steel pipe. Use the measuring tape to measure the length of the steel pipe you need. Then use a marker to mark that point.

Step 2: Place the steel pipe on a stable surface or a working station. You can place the pipe on a steady table. Make sure that the part which you want to cut the steel pipe is over the edge.

Step 3: Use clamps to secure the steep pipe and prevent it from moving when you cut it. You can also use a cloth and wrap around the part at which you will clamp the steel pipe down. It will help to prevent the pipe from slipping.

Step 4: Then use the proper tool to cut the steel pipe. Below are some of the most common tools:

  • For a thin steel pipe, you can use a steel pipe tubing cutter to cut it. First, you need to tighten the cutter and let the blade of the cutter score the steel pipe. Then rotate the cutter around the steel pipe for the blade to cut through it.
  • You can use the hacksaw to cut the steel pipe of small and medium thickness. Point of the blade of the hacksaw on top of the marked point and then use the swing motion to cut through the steel. Apply a firm and strong pressure as well. Make sure your hands are steady. Remember not to push down the saw. It can slip on the surface of the steel pipe, making it snap. Or worse, it can cause damage to you.
  • A high-powered saw you can use to cut steel pipes is the cold saw. A cold saw is an expensive tool but it is among the most effective tools for cutting steel pipes. Place the steel pipe under the cold saw so that the mark you want to cut is under the blade of the cold saw and turn on the machine. With a lot of teeth on the blade, a cold saw might move slowly but it will make its cuts very quickly.

Step 5: Continue step 4 until the steel pipe is thoroughly cut.

Tips:

  • Before you cut steel pipes with a hacksaw, you should rub the blades of the saw with the rubbing wax.
  • If you use the cold saw to cut steel pipes, before you turn on the machine, remember to apply a coolant on the blade of the cold saw. It would help to prevent the steel pipes from being overheated. After the steel pipes are cut, remember to wipe off any coolant remaining on the steel pipes.
  • Each of the tools I mentioned above is for different steel pipes of different thickness. Some tools are quite easy to use such as the pipe cutters. However, some other tools are high-powered tools. Only use them if you have prior training.
  • With all types of saws that you are going to use to cut steel pipes, make sure that they are used for metal-cutting. These blades should be made of carbon steel or bimetal.
  • In term of choosing the tooth patterns, for cutting a thin steel pipe, go for a blade with the wave tooth pattern. On the other hand, go for a rake patterned blade to cut thick steel pipes.

Here are steps of cutting steel pipe with torches:

There are 2 main types of torches which you can use to cut a steel pipe. They are the plasma torch and oxy-acetylene torches.

Before you use these torches to cut the steel pipe, follow all of the precaution steps and measuring steps just like what you do when you use the steel pipe cutter and the saws.

A plasma torch is a high-powered tool which uses thermal to cut through the steel pipe which is not thicker than 1 inch. On the other hand, the oxy-acetylene torch is used to cut any steel pipe which is thicker than 1 inch.

Step 1: First, you need to set the plasma torch or the oxy-acetylene at the right power level. If you want to move the torch slowly, you should set the low power level. On the other hand, if you move the torch quickly, you should set the high power level. In addition, the thicker the steel pipe is the higher power level you should set for the plasma torch.

Step 2: Connect the torch to the power tank. Keep the power tank in the upright position. Make sure the vales on the torch are securely shut.

Step 3: Ignite the flame on the torch by holding the striker and squeezing on the handle of the torch.

Step 4: Move the flame into the mark you have drawn on the steel pipe. Make sure that you use the middle of the flame inside of the tip of the flame to cut the pipe.

Step 5: After the steel pipe is cut, wait for it to cool down before you touch the cut parts.

Cutting a steel pipe is no different from cutting other metal pipes. You can use many kinds of saw or torches. For small and thin steel pipes, you can use both of the handsaw and the powered saw. You can use both of the plasma torch and the oxy-acetylene torch for cutting thick steel pipes. The latter is suitable for cutting very thick steel pipe (which is more than 2.5 inches in thickness.

They are dangerous tools so make sure you know how to handle them. Follow all of the safety precautions as well. With this guide above, you will be able to cut steel pipes without any difficulty at all.

How To Bend And Cut Rebar

Rebar is a form of steel concrete reinforcing bars which are widely used in constructing and forming building structure. It can also be used for reinforcing concrete work. While the rebar is tough, it can be easily bent for it to be used in landscaping as well as other art projects.

There are several types of rebar with different sizes. One of the most common types of rebar which is used by DIY hobbyists is the #4 rebar. It is ½ inch in diameter. With this rebar, you can use a hacksaw to cut. On the other hand, with a bigger rebar, possibly the one that is used in industrial concrete work, you would have to use hydraulic shears or benders for the job. A cutting and bending machine is also a great choice for you if you want to cut a lot of rebar in a short amount of time.

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The Ultimate Guide On How To Cut Formica

Formica is a form of a plastic laminate. Many DIY hobbyists like to work with this type of material as it is versatile. In addition, it offers a huge selection of colors, textures, and finishes. Whatever color and texture that you need for your project, you would be able to find it in Formica. Moreover, this material is easy to work with thanks to its durability. You can choose a jigsaw, a circular saw or a laminate router for cutting Formica, depending on different needs. For a thinner sheet of Formica, you can use a utility knife for the project.

Nevertheless, if it is the first time that you have to deal with Formica, you might get into some common problems such as getting cracks and flakes when you try to cut this material. Follow this guide below for how to cut formica without having to encounter such problems.

Tools that you would need for the project:

  • A pen
  • A tape measure
  • A ruler
  • A masking tape
  • A circular saw
  • A router with laminate trimming bit
  • A jigsaw
  • A utility knife
  • A belt sander or a metal file.

Note about choosing the right tool: As you can see, there are different tool listed here for cutting Formica. A jigsaw is used to have curved cuts. On the other hand, a circular saw is for cutting straight cuts. A router with laminate trimming bit is the tool that you would need when you want to cut finer and smoother cuts. Last but not least, for a thinner piece of Formica, you can use a utility knife for cutting.

The best blade to use is the plywood cutting one or the metal cutting one. They should have a lot of teeth to prevent the Formica from chipping while being cut.

Step by step of cutting Formica with a circular saw

Step 1: First of all, you need to measure the place where you want to install the Formica using a tape measure. Note down the dimensions.

Step 2: Place the Formica on a flat and stable working surface, ideally a working table. Be prepared to have a damaged surface of the working table afterward as the saw can cut through. You can consider placing a piece of plywood underneath the Formica to prevent the table from getting damaged.

Avoid putting the Formica on top of cement.

Step 3: Measure on the Formica which parts you want to cut it. Then use a pen to mark the cutting lines.

Step 4: Use a masking tape to cover the cutting line. This will help to prevent vibrations and make the cuts on the Formica as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Add an extra layer of masking tape on the starting edge of the line which you have drawn. In case when you cover the drawn line with the masking tape and couldn’t see the line, just take the measure again. Remark the point and line which you want to cut right on the masking tape.

Step 6: Use the circular saw or laminate shears for cutting straight cuts. Guide the blades of the tools towards the lines that you have drawn on the Formica and turn on the tool for cutting. Follow a steady speed. Slowing down the tool when you see smoke coming out from the cut.

Step 7: Place the cut Formica on the place that you want to install it to.

Step 8: Then use a jigsaw to trim the Formica. The jigsaw is also used for you to make curved cuts as well. Guide the jigsaw towards the edges of the Formica and turn the machine on. Move the blade slowly so you can cut the Formica accurately.

Step 9: Finally, use a belt sander for sanding the cut edges of the Formica. You can also choose a small metal file for sanding as this tool is smaller and easier to handle.

Step by step of cutting Formica with a router

Step 1: As I mentioned above, a router is used to trim Formica for finer corners. Hence, you should consider cutting big pieces of Formica with a circular saw first before using the router.

Step 2: After you finish cutting a big chunk of Formica, remove any remaining masking tape.

Step 3: Install the Formica onto its place.

Step 4: Use the trim router with a laminate cutting bit to trim the edges of the Formica to the shape that you want. Guide the leading edge of the bit towards the Formica.

Step 5: After that, use a belt sander or a metal file to sand off the rough cut edges of the Formica.

Step by step in cutting Formica with a utility knife

Step 1: First, you need to lay down the sheet of Formica onto a flat surface. Place that Formica sheet on top of a piece of plywood. If you do so, when you cut the Formica with a utility knife, you wouldn’t damage the surface of the working table.

Step 2: Use things with weight to keep the corners of the Formica’s sheet laying flat. Books will work well.

Step 3: Measure the place where you want to cut the Formica and mark it with a pencil. Use a ruler in order to draw a straight line.

Step 4: Use the masking tape to cover the lines which you have drawn on the Formica sheet. You should measure and draw another line on the masking tape if you don’t see the one you have drawn.

Step 5: Place the ruler along the line you have drawn and use it as the guide for you to cut the Formica. Guide the blade of the utility knife along the side of the ruler. Score the blade onto the drawn line for several times.

Step 6: After that, take the sheet of Formica up slightly. Slightly bend both sides and the sheet of Formica is cut nicely.

Notes for safety while you cut Formica:

  • Make sure that the blades that you are working with are sharp. Using dull blade is harder and less efficient. In addition, if you use a dull blade for cutting, you can get yourself into unwanted accidents.
  • In case you work with piece of powered machinery, make sure that you read the instructions on the manual books about how to operate them safely.
  • Last but not least, you should put on your personal protection equipment including your goggles and your ear protection to prevent dirt and debris from getting into your eyes

Generally, cutting Formica is one of the easiest tasks that you have encountered for any DIY project. Cracks and flakes can be easily avoided if you follow the proper steps for cutting Formica. You can use a circular saw or a laminate router in order to cut Formica, both of which have different steps and techniques. In order to cut curves or trim the piece of Formica for it to have smoother details, use a jigsaw. And for a thin sheet of Formica, you can use a utility knife to cut it. I hope that with all of the information above, you would be able to cut Formica without encountering any problem like chipping or cracking at all.

Easy Ways On How To Cut Lexan

Lexan is also known as Polycarbonate. It is a type of lightweight plastic that you can use for various DIY home projects, construction projects as well as backing board. You can also use Lexan as a layer to add extra insulation to a wide range of items, from your corrective lenses, protective windshields and bottles. Thanks to the nature of the plastic, it is quite easy to cut Lexan with various types of tools.

Today, we will show you how to cut Lexan with our step by step guide. Most importantly you need to think about the right tool for the project. The choice of which tool to uses depends on the thickness of a piece of Lexan, the patters you want to cut and the purpose of the project. Then you can follow the other steps on handling the chosen tool to cut Lexan nicely and smoothly.

What Are Lexan?

Lexan is a type of polycarbonate resin. This type of material is lightweight and durable as it is resistant against heat and electricity. It is even tougher than a cement board. It also has a high optical clarity. Last but not least, it can be easily bought from many stores with a very affordable price. That is the reason why this material is very popular among DIY hobbyists. If you learn how to cut it now, you will see that this will be really useful for your next projects in the future.

How To Choose The Right Tool?

First of all, you need to decide which tool that you would need in order to cut Lexan. The right tool will ensure that you can cut a piece of Lexan in a short time, resulting in clean and smooth cuts.

Here are 3 things that you need to consider when you choose the right tool- the softness of a piece of Lexan, its thickness and the pattern which you want to cut the piece of Lexan into.

  • Softness of Lexan: First of all, the best tool to handle of soft and fragile sheet of Lexan is a utility knife. And if it is tougher and stiffer, you can use other tools including hand shears or a circular saw.
  • Thickness of Lexan: In case a sheet of Lexan is thin and fragile, you should use a utility knife. For thicker Lexan, you can use a hand shears. For any piece of Lexan which is more than 0.125 inches, you can use a circular saw. In case of a sheet of Lexan which is more than 0.5 inches, you should use a table saw to cut the Lexan.
  • Pattern: For curved cuts on a piece of Lexan, you can use a jigsaw. This tool is also suitable for cutting other unique and original pattern. Provided that you want to cut only the middle of a sheet of Lexan, you can use table saw. This tool is able to reach for further areas without you having to cut through to it.​

What Are Other Things That You Need In Order To Cut Lexan?

Other things that you should prepare before cutting Lexan are pencil, ruler, duct tape and C-clamp. Pencil and ruler are used to measure and mark the cutting points and lines.. On the other hand, duct tape and C-clam are used for keeping the piece of Lexan stable and in place during the cutting process.

Steps To Take Before You Cut The Sheet Of Lexan With Different Tools:

These steps are applicable for all of the tools that you are going to use to cut Lexan.

Step 1: Lay the sheet of Lexan on a clean working surface. This surface should also be flat and stable. A stable working surface will ensure you have consistent cuts and avoid having edgy cuts as much as possible. You should also place another stable and flat board underneath the piece of Lexan if you don’t want the tool such as the utility knife to cut through the working table and cause scratches on the surface.

If you notice a thin layer of protective layer on the sheet of Lexan, don’t remove it. This piece of paper is there to protect the piece of Lexan and you should leave it there to have clean and smooth cuts.

Step 2: Use the ruler and pencil to mark the points or lines that you are going to cut. You should use a pencil instead of permanent marker as you can erase the marks later on. You can also use duct tape and place it on the sheet as an outline for your intended cut.

Step 3: In case you think that the working surface is quite slippery, you can use duct tape on the edges or cover the lines on the sheet of Lexan that you are going to cut. You can use C-clamps in case the sheet of Lexan is thicker to keep the sheet in place.

Note: Make sure when you use duct tape to fix the sheet of Lexan on the working surface, you don’t stretch the sheet too much. Otherwise, the cuts will be distorted.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Utility Knife:

Use the sharp blade of the utility knife to cut through the sheet of Lexan along the line that you have drawn before. Make sure you follow a slow and steady space so that you wouldn’t cut out of the intended line.

Check that you only a sharp blade. In case you use a blunt blade, not only will it take a longer time for you to cut, it also cause potential damages to yourself.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Pair Of Hand Spears:

Follow the lines that you have marked on the sheet of Lexan slowly and steadily to avoid wobbles and unclear cuts. For smoother cuts, instead of making two spears close completely, you should stop when they are just about to close.

Note: You can add extra drops of light machine oil on the blades as well as spears of your hand spears. This will help you to cut through a piece of Lexan quicker, having much smoother cuts as a result.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Circular Saw:

For a sheet which is thicker than 0.125 inches, you should use a circular saw for the best result. You should go for the blade with fine and even teeth. Make sure that the blade that you use is the sharpest.

Step 1: Turn on the circular saw and move it toward the sheet of Lexan.

Step 2: You don’t have to apply too much force. Instead, just let the saw cut the Lexan itself. Move it in a slow and steady speed.

Step 3: Stop the saw when you finally cut through the sheet of Lexan.

In case you don’t have a powered circular saw, you can also use a handsaw. This tool will take much effort and time for you to cut through the sheet of Lexan. Still, it is also very convenient and will be a great substitute. Also choose a fine tooth saw blade and follow the same steps as above.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Jig Saw:

You can cut Lexan with this tool using the similar steps that you would take when you cut with a circular saw.

The blade that you are going to use with this jig saw is a metal cutting blade. Make sure that the blade that you use is the sharpest. Also check if the sheet of Lexan can stay firmly and stably on the working station. Use C-clamps for extra stability.

Turn on the jig saw and guide it toward the mark that you have drawn on the sheet. Move the blade slowly and steadily. You don’t have to force or push down the saw at all. Complete all of the cutting before turning the jig saw off.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Table Saw:

Step 1: First of all, you have to mount the table saw on the working table. Raise the blade so that it is about 0.5 inches higher than the surface of the saw table.

Step 2: After that, you can push the sheet into the saw. When the sheet makes contact with the blade, follow a slow and steady space.

For other tools, you don’t have to press the blade too hard into the sheet of Lexan. However, you should apply a moderate amount of pressure. Too much or too little pressure will lead to the cracking of the sheet of Lexan.

Tip: Instead of drawing the cut line on the sheet of Lexan with a pencil, you should use duct tape to cover the line that you intend to cut. Duct tape will prevent the Lexan from chipping when you cut it under high speed and pressure.

Warning: To make sure that you stay safe and avoid accidents from happening when you cut through these pieces of Lexan using circular saw, jig saw and table saw, you need to put on your safety glasses and dust mask. You should only work in a well ventilated area and avoid breathing in the fumes that are coming out of the saw blade. Be aware of your surroundings to make sure that you will not hurt anyone that accidentally passes by.

If you notice smoke coming out when you are cutting the Lexan, you should slow down the sliding until the smoke stops and then continue pushing the sheet of Lexan forward.

After Cutting The Lexan

When you finish cutting, you can use medium grit to sand and make the edges of the cut pieces to become cleaner and smoother. Sanding also helps to remove the residual crumbs after the Lexan is cut.

As you can see, it is quite easy for you to handle and cut a piece of Lexan. The most difficult thing here maybe is about how to choose the right tool for the project. Pieces of Lexan with different thickness and softness will require different cutting tools. In addition, based on your need to have straight cuts or curved cuts, you also need to choose the tool accordingly.

I hope with all of the guides and useful tips above, you would be able to choose the most appropriate tool for your projects. Follow all of the steps on cutting Lexan for different tools and I am sure that you would be able to have very clean and smooth cuts from Lexan.

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