How To Cut Shingles
Shingles are responsible for keeping your inclined rooftop from the impacts of the snow, hail or rain. They also bring a very interesting and pretty look for the top of your house. You can buy shingles from any supply store that are cut into smaller pieces for you to lay on the rooftop. Alternatively, you can cut shingles by yourself.
It is not hard at all to learn how to cut shingles. Read on and I will show you the steps to cut shingles and the right tools for this job.
1. To Cut Three Tab Asphalt Shingles
Three tab asphalt shingles are among the most common and popular materials for rooftop in America. They are cheap and very durable, requiring less maintenance over the years.
Three tab asphalt shingles are also very easy to handle, cut and install. In order to cut these materials, all you need to have is a utility knife and a customized working station.
The best blade that you should use with the utility knife is the fixed blade. Choose the one that you feel comfortable holding while allowing you to have a convenient angle for cutting as well. Besides that, you need to pay attention to the types of fixed blades- which are hook blade and straight blade. The straight blade is for cutting on the front face of the shingles and the hook blade is for cutting on the back of the shingles.
No matter which type of blade you have in hand, make sure it is as sharp as possible.
Here are a few reasons why you need to make a unique working station for cutting three tab asphalt shingles:
- When you cut the three tab asphalt shingles with utility knife, the knife might cause damage to the area underneath the layer shingles.
- In addition, a working station will help to secure the shingles so that you will have a more stable cut. Also keep in mind that you might need to apply several cuts for the knife to cut through shingles completely. Hence, securing the piece of shingles onto the working station will ensure you can apply cuts on the same place over and over again.
How to make a little working station for you to cut three tab asphalt shingles:
- Prepare two strips of plywood, the ones that you don’t mind to see scratches on. One strip is wider, about twice as wide, than the other.
- Place the narrow strip of wood on top of the wider one. They should be parallel so that you have a long and straight line in the middle for cutting.
- Drill various holes on one side of these strips and then form some hinges from plastic cable ties. You now have a small working station for cutting three tab asphalt shingles.
Steps by steps on how to cut three tab asphalt shingles:
Step 1: First, draw on the piece of shingles the line that you want to cut shingles into.
Step 2: Place the layer of shingles upside down if you use a straight blade. On the other hand, if you cut the shingles with the hook blade, place the piece of shingle with its face up. Then place it in between these two pieces of plywood. Make sure that the drawn line aligns with the outer edge of the upper piece of plywood.
Step 3: Hold the utility knife against the edge of the upper piece of wood and use this edge as the guide line for you to cut the shingles.
Step 4: Press on the utility knife so that the blade can cut onto the shingles. Repeat the step so that it can cut through this piece.
2. To Cut Architectural Or Laminate Shingles
Architectural shingles are thicker and hence, hard to deal with in comparison with the three tab asphalt shingles. In order to cut this type of shingles, you can use a pair of snips.
Snips are also known as aviation snips or tint snips, which are useful for cutting tin metal sheets. Since, the blade of this tool will be sharp enough to cut through shingles. In addition, it has a long pair of handles, allowing you to have a great amount of leverage for cutting tough shingles as well.
Not to mention that there are 3 types of tin snips for your consideration. The straight snips are used for cutting straight lines. Moreover, there are left tin snips and right tin snips for cutting curves in both directions.
Here are the steps on cutting shingles with tin snips:
Step 1: Lay the layer of shingles on a flat surface.
Step 2: Draw on the layer of the shingles the line you want to cut them into.
Step 3: Bring the layer under the blade of the tin snips and cut like when you use an ordinary pair of paper scissors.
3. To Cut All Types Of Shears
If you often have to work with a wide range of shingles of different thickness and hardness, go for shears. A pair of shears is also effective if you have to cut a huge amount of shingles in the shortest amount of time. You can also cut straight lines, square cuts and circles in shingles using this tool.
Using this tool is just like using other tools to cut shingles. First, you need to draw the line that you want to cut the shingles onto the surface. Then place this layer under the blade of the shears and proceed to cut in a steady pace.
These are some of the most popular and effective way you can apply to cut shingles. Overall, you can use a utility knife, tin snips and special shears to cut shingles. It doesn’t need a complicated tool in order to work with this piece of material. With practice and effort, you would be able to cut shingles quickly and efficiently.