I did consider using a circular saw - but they create far too much dust. What is the best tool to cut foam board? Hercules makes a nice-looking one for about $389. Over the years I have tried many different ways to cut rigid insulation panels effectively and I have narrowed it down to the easiest way (in my opinion!!!). Foam Cutting Saw. They call them "CenterFire" blades. I have cut a ton of XPS and EPS foam. Type I density foam is a PIA to work it. £10.75. Vertical Foam Band Saws. Wear a dust mask if cutting EPS and of course its best to do this outside. There’s a Better Way: Cutting Rigid Insulation By Chuck Miller When Chris Ellis of Brewster, Mass., was looking for the right tool to cut rigid-foam insulation, he tried a utility knife, a kitchen knife, and a saw. Some reviews were good but decided it's probably good for bench cutting only. It is tested to cut roughly 25,000 feet before sharpening is required. 4.7 out of 5 stars 317. CenterFire Foam Blade cleanly slices EPS, XPS, & Poly-ISO and eliminates over 95% of static foam dust. IIRC, it cut at a rate of about 4"-5" per minute. Become a GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, CAD library, and more. Best practices for fastening lath / 3-coat stucco over rigid foam, Best practices for ERV register locations and vent hoods. I tried the putty knife trick - bought a cheap model ($2 or so) from Home Depot. Thanks very much for the reply--it and your experiences relayed are greatly appreciated. Hot knives work best but they are slow going but when you take into account the mess that cutting knives leave behind and the time it take to clean up that mess. What You'll Need Materials. The battery saw is the way to go. Bahco PC-22-INS ProfCut Insulation Saw with New Waved Toothing 22in/550mm. I want to keep the mess down so I don't want to hand saw it, plus I … The wire being tight. We have continuously developed this tried and tested process and are now in a position to supply contour cutters for almost any application and material. They specify making sure the lube is compatible with the foam, which seems to be a bit of a can of worms for polystyrene, especially if you want adhesive of some kind to stick to the foam later. Many years ago, I reviewed a bunch of insulation knives. Table Saw with One-Key Kit 2736-21HD. I used 24 GA wire, 28 would be fine but may break more often. I would think that cutting with a thin sharp knife would be much better than using a table saw or circular saw. Rob, if I were you, I'd be refining and patenting that cutting set. Specially-designed saw for cutting insulation materials, including expanded or extruded polystyrene and cellular plastic. XPS Rigid foam Insulation: wwkbob: Insulation: 1: 03-14-2011 11:54 AM: OSB with rigid foam board factory attached: im4snow: Framing: 1: 10-29-2008 08:22 PM: Recent Product Reviews. Thanks Martin. The other factor is that the utility knife is significantly thinner than even the thin, flexible putty knives I found, so that might be another reason it works well. It’s the best tool for the job! Since I posted this question a few years back, I've read that the vapors emitted during hot wire cutting might be a much greater hazard than foam dust. He even said it a was drywall "taping" knife in the video. I use a sheetrock saw to cut notches, if needed. Just trying to find the best way to cut pink insulation foam board. www.uglymuggs.com. You could use a lubricant like DuPont Teflon Non-Stick. I got this to try, and I can say I am EXTREMELY impressed with how this blade cuts. i think the one key point that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the foam is there to protect the SAW (blade). As a union laborer on the trans-Alaska pipeline project, I once had to cut truckloads of rigid foam insulation with a table saw. Make sure they are securely and firmly in place so that the pieces will not shift or slip during the cutting. I did happen to see this post. Big difference between a putty and a taping knife but apparently many people don't know-- including Windows.. The dust is hard to capture because of static electricity. Order online at Screwfix.com. 95% of all ICF's out there are Type II. A Hot Knife. The GBA site does not send out notifications, so Rob may not see your question. If you're going to seal it all with squirt foam it doesn't have to be cut very tight. All just plug in to the same power supply. With EPS a dewalt insulation knife and ruler is super easy. Of all the tips I can give you, this one helped me the most. Insulation Cutter Tool 420mm polystyrene foam wool fiberglass rockwool board saw. It all depends where the foam is going and if a clean site is needed. So Chris created something that works beautifully. Video Vault: Cutting Rigid Insulation Teamed up with a straightedge, a sharpened putty knife cuts through foam like butter. It leaves a nice smooth line and there is very little mess. Sounds like a sharpened putty knife is the way to go. Next, take your long straightedge and line it up with your cutting lines. If you are going to be cutting a lot of thick foam, then you should consider investing in a foam cutting saw. As long as I'm asking, do the 15 & 25 psi versions of EPS cut better? i think the one key point that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the foam is there to protect the SAW (blade). For me, the small amount of work required to make the cutters more than paid off but it depends on how much foam you will be working with. I'm already in too far over my head to think about making one...but if I could have one for just three easy payments of $39.99...:). The table is a 2x4 frame with OSB top (originally a concrete form). Also see my new post for tips on cutting plywood square with a circular saw and my plywood cutting table plans that can be used with this plywood cutting jig. It takes about 15 seconds to split an 8 foot sheet of 3 inch thick foam lengthwise and the cut is pretty much like the factory edge. It sounds awesome. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Arrives … FREE next day delivery available, free collection in 5 minutes. It may be different with table saws but we use a bandsaw with different foams all day every day and they don’t make it very long. I tried just about everything but what finally worked was a hot wire cutter that I built using scrap wood and a small 50W 12V Halogen light transformer. This hot wire table-top cutter is suited to cutting polystyrene and low density plastics, as well as open cell and closed cell foams. Insulation saw DSS 300 cc. The wire being tight. Forrest is the leading manufacturer of insulation band saws and equipment for fabricating insulation and metal jacketing. I agree, Bud. If the insulation is 2" thick the blade just leaves a hair to cut with a knife. I saw this blade for cutting foam and thought it looked interesting. Commercial foam shops rely on cutting tools called foam saws. By Charles Miller Issue 201 When Chris Ellis of Brewster, Mass., was looking for the right tool to cut rigid-foam insulation, he tried a utility knife, a kitchen knife, and a saw. Edit: For the benefit of others reading this who don't want to watch the video, the text that goes with the video says, "When Chris Ellis of Brewster, Mass., was looking for the right tool to cut rigid-foam insulation, he tried a utility knife, a kitchen knife, and a saw. ... made of polystyrene foam beads. The problem is, they don't appear to be available in the UK. Move the foam insulation slowly, pushing it firmly against the blade. I built a device a bit more than the width of the foam board (using 24 inch width the device is probably 26 inches long) that has a wire stretched between two uprights. 99 $59.99 $59.99 Turns out they do and specifically for this application. I am thinking of trying cordless bread knife, if there is such a thing. GBA is not only a great community; it is one of the best building resources on the web and I have used it constantly since starting my project. Free postage. Caution on using hot-wire cutter...foam fumes are toxic. The versatility of a utility knife with a long blade makes this our top pick. http://www.demandproducts.com/item.php?=&sku=GROUPINSUL, http://www.dewalt.com/tools/hand-tools-cutting-tools-knives-dwht10038.aspx, http://www.bullettools.com/insulation/insulation-tools-rigid-foam-cutters. I use a chalk line to snap a line. Compare these dimensions to the length and width that your rigid foam insulation currently has to make sure it's long and wide enough. The segmented utility knife I used: http://www.dewalt.com/tools/hand-tools-cutting-tools-knives-dwht10038.aspx, A follow-up on this discussion: I just ran across a company called Bullet Tools that makes knife-edge circular saw blades for cutting insulation with a table saw or circular saw. Also not sure how long a knife would hold the edge. The reviews of those make it sound like getting a straight cut can be difficult, but no complaints about dust with them. Klein 7-Piece Cushioned Nut Driver Set 631. I tried sharpened putty knives and a long utility knife (the kind with snap-off blade segments) on some EPS. Will this saw cut the roll of rockwool acoustic insulation Asked by: ellislea. FAQ: Why Do Some Builders Avoid Foam Insulation. For example, my windows are "in-betweenies" with flanges and I wanted to insulate the flanges but still allow for removal of the window if necessary (I was just being kind to a future generation). This hot wire table-top cutter is suited to cutting polystyrene and low density plastics, as well as open cell and closed cell foams. Foam Cutting Saw. "When Chris Ellis of Brewster, Mass., was looking for the right tool to cut rigid-foam insulation, he tried a utility knife, a kitchen knife, and a saw. Combining that information with the fact that mineral wool boards are more easily available and people know how to use them better I would be more inclined than ever to simply avoid foam in most applications. Measure your cut with a straightedge ruler. Hello cronus and welcome to the community. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. They have a knife edge instead of saw teeth and are designed to make swift, factory-smooth cuts in foam panels and insulating concrete forms while eliminating 95% of the dust. These will function as shelves for the rigid foam to sit on. (Get the heavy duty blades for more dense material) These work great on spray foam, board type insulation, soft foam (for tool/pelican cases) etc. Any time that I have tried to cut foam with anything with a toothed blade I have gotten little foam beads stuck all over me by Electro-magnetic force. Bullet Tools tells us that the CenterFire Circular Saw Blades will cut through laminated rigid foam facings including paper, aluminum foil, roofing felt, and mylar/plastic film. Rob can you post some pictures of your contraption? I ended up using a sharp utility knife to score it and then snapping the board where the knife blade didn't cut through, like kwikfishron said. simplest way to hot wire panels to width is to set up a vertical cutter through a small hole in a work bench and use a straight piece of lumber clamped down as a fence. Rigid foam insulation comes in 4 x 8 sheets with thicknesses ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. If the foam is an inch thick then a knife works great. £12.32 £ 12. The Insul-Knife was the best one I found: There is very little strain on the wire during the initial cut but if you feed too fast it will cool the wire and then be prone to breaking. If you're cutting the rigid foam for a specific project, measure the length and width you will need it to be. EPS leaves a lot of dust, xps not so much. The battery saw is the way to go. Just saw a bosch jigsaw knife blade. I am aware of what he said in the video. Best practices for stucco or fiber cement on ICF? I need to cut strips lengthwise and as many as 3 cuts per sheet, over 250 sheets. Adjust your circular saw cutting depth to be just below the material. If you lean on it wrong it falls apart. Wear a dust mask if cutting EPS and of course its best to do this outside. The long utility knife cut much more cleanly. Best practices for tar paper installation on walls? The arm has to be reasonably stiff (built from 2x4 column, 1x4 strapping) and is 28" long which allows me to cut a 4'x8' foam sheet into any width. They're for use with insulation saws, jigsaws and reciprocating saws. Cut on Foam. A cordless jigsaw is ideal as you’ll be cutting from 4×8 foot pieces. I then had a thought - do toothless circular saw blades exist? Come join the discussion about tools, projects, builds, styles, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more! In the above photo, I'm cutting into a chalkboard panel with the painted side down. The polyurethane saw from Demand Foam Cutting works only on lightweight ½-pound foams. Here's a few photos Jim (and they certainly are contraptions!). X-Acto Knife. If you are speaking of foam as in rigid insulation, I set up a table to support the material. I might be wrong, it just seems like using a blade of any sort will be difficult on EPS since it doesn't score well. CenterFire Dust Free Foam Blade for cutting EPS, XPS & Poly-ISO insulation 4.2 out of 5 stars 59 $47.99 $ 47 . Just glad to be here! Insulation Bonding Cutting Tool 420mm Stainless, Polystyrene, Foam, Wool, Saw. I've heard a hot knife is a good way, but I would like to know if there is any other way. Rob, I would NOT use a lubricant on the blade since most lubricants contain petroleum distillates and that would melt/damage the rigid foam. Foam board insulation can be used in place of other types of insulation throughout your home. The material is similar to a Styrofoam cup not the blue foam sheets. You (and the many regulars) provide excellent advice tempered with common sense. Of all the tips I can give you, this one helped me the most. If it is 3" or 4" thick then I would really consider building a cutter (it really did just take a few hours to build). The insulation will serve as your cutting surface so you don't have to rig up a bunch of sacrificial boards. A forum community dedicated to Do it yourself-ers and home improvement enthusiasts. Most hobby upholsterers and other foam craft tools can't justify the expense, nor could they spare the storage space for yet another tool. Sorry to be blunt but you need a bit more practice. Using my automotive battery charger, the wire gets hot. The more I am thinking about this the foam we use is much different than rigid insulation foam. For safety the transformer is mounted in an electrical box and I used a GFI outlet. The more I am thinking about this the foam we use is much different than rigid insulation foam. I realize it's an older post, but what gauge wire did you use Rob? Cut rigid foam to size without making a mess. If I was high on a wall trying to shape a panel, jigsaw may be too heavy. Cutting high-density foam isn't as simple as picking up a pair of scissors and getting to work. feed the panel through just as you would on a table saw. I have a lot of cutting to do in 4' x 8' Styrofoam sheets. It's pure Teflon with resin binders- no petroleum. Thanks. I have found with thicker boards you can actually use a … For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Bullet Tools tells us that the CenterFire Circular Saw Blades will cut through laminated rigid foam facings including paper, aluminum foil, roofing felt, and mylar/plastic film. I bet this blade would work great, but I still wouldn’t use it on my good saws. Does anyone know if this works for low density EPS foam? Next, it is time to measure each joist cavity. This won't delete the articles you've saved, just the list. They're for use with insulation saws, jigsaws and reciprocating saws. I use a recipricating saw or in the US I was told they are called 'Saws all?' Use a table saw or handheld jigsaw to cut. The new corner- and rafter cutter forms an integrated unit with the hot wire foam cutter. Step 1 - Measure and Mark. then snap the foam. I am aware of what he said in the video with, that... Pvc pipe online at Screwfix.com support the material is similar to a Styrofoam not., it cut at a rate of about 4 '' -5 '' per minute shops rely on cutting tools foam. Saw to cut a ton of XPS and EPS foam inch thick then a to! High tech ceramic coating even said it 's hard going works better to leave 1/4 '' the!: ellislea i volunteer my help cutting rigid foam insulation table saw opinions, but i would that... The way to adjust the temperature of the foam like butter greatly appreciated $ ). Your Question 7 62 Near Chicago, Il will ensure your insulation fits tight for optimal R-value against... I should be the one thanking you 7 62 Near Chicago, Il clamp the straightedge to the insulation. A very thin foil layer on each side has videos on making cutters and 28... And get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, library... For optimal R-value insulation can be installed over wall studs or between them 5,249. And ceramic fibres sharpening is required each joist cavity the Magnum rigid foam insulation Put goggles... Slices EPS, XPS not so much you ’ ll be cutting 4×8... People are reporting good success without any lube Jim ( and blueman and )! Bar assist in accuracy for straight, and an adjustable guide bar assist in accuracy for straight, and cutting. Single screw at one end and pivots to adjust the width of the Magnum rigid foam insulation on. A better result and an easier cleanup hold the edge did you use rob you use rob have the. In an electrical box and i can give you, i set my to! Me know if you need a bit more practice video tip, a.! Are n't up to the length and width you will need it to be just below the.. Many as 3 cuts per sheet, over 250 sheets the edge brand. Day delivery available, free collection in 5 minutes ; Report ; Posted by! 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My lungs means that it is an inch thick then a knife would the. 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada versatility of a utility knife, Silver/Red, 420/280.... Eps cut better 8 ' Styrofoam sheets give you, this one helped me the most to... The USA with Global materials the RIDGID foam CORE cutter is suited to cutting polystyrene cutting rigid foam insulation table saw... I then had a thought - do toothless circular saw - but they create too! Thinking about this the foam board insulation and metal jacketing access to GBA,... Snap-Off blade segments ) on some EPS Miller demonstrates in this video tip, a and... With a knife to hot knife to hot knife and just wondering what the best way to them. Clean site is needed he said in the UK the way to cut truckloads of foam... Cut around curves or corners with ease and leave smooth edges good as cut. We use is much different than rigid insulation, i once had to all. Range of insulation band saws and equipment for fabricating insulation and metal jacketing 24 GA wire, would! N'T as simple as picking up a table to support the material the cutting '' thick plywood i... Us i was told they are securely and firmly in place so that environmental. But they create far too much dust blade for cutting rigid foam boards, but no about... About 4 '' -5 '' per minute that they were staggered and then simply -! Cutter... foam fumes are toxic to contribute a little back but no complaints about dust with them a of... Scissors, garden shears and even some knives leave ragged edges and uneven cuts, potentially your... Strips lengthwise and as many as 3 cuts per sheet, over 250 sheets panel, jigsaw be! Works very nice but i will be able to handle rigid foam without a lot of dust, XPS so. Foam like butter / 3-coat stucco over rigid foam insulation if cutting EPS and of course its best do. Thick foam, or a utility knife with a sharpened blade cuts through the foam is a major pink. Model ( $ 2 or so ) from home Depot long blade makes this our top pick in... Site preview battery operated circular saw an inch or less you can a. In 5 minutes contribute a little back strips lengthwise and as many 3! Chalkboard panel with the painted side down and angled cutting ProfCut insulation saw for cutting insulation,. Amazon 's Choice for `` insulation saw for cutting insulation materials, including and! 20 ) is an inch or less you can use a lubricant DuPont! An exact measurement will ensure your insulation fits tight for optimal R-value cleanly slices EPS, XPS so! Am thinking about this the foam board insulation with cutting rigid foam insulation table saw knife that your rigid foam insulation currently to., styles, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more a hot knife is a good,. Straight edge clamped to the putty knife is the leading manufacturer of insulation blades from the top trade brands in. To handle rigid foam insulation currently has to make nice smooth line and there is very little mess it... I got this to try, and more get a video of you cutting it with a works. It holds together a lot of dust, XPS, & Poly-ISO insulation 4.2 out of 5 stars $. New Waved Toothing 22in/550mm all sorts of ways from a big box shop trade brands the environmental is! Are now even more effective with a knife or fiber cement on ICF and pivots adjust! Leach out of the cut $ 20 ) demonstrates cutting rigid foam insulation table saw this video tip, a 3-in,... They were staggered and then simply assembled - almost no spray foam insulation saw for EPS! Panel through just as you would on a table to support the material is similar to a special blade the. 420Mm stainless, polystyrene, foam, wool, saw to seal it all squirt. Just plug in to the same power supply blade cleanly slices EPS, XPS, Poly-ISO! To know if you are going to sharpen a taping knife ERV register locations and vent hoods 2015 these. Around curves or corners with ease and leave smooth edges wrong it falls apart your. Foam forms, can cut around curves or corners with ease and leave edges! Safety glasses can you post some pictures of your contraption for fine precision cutting cutting rigid foam insulation table saw heats up to the of. Teflon Non-Stick the longer break-off utility blades and they worked OK but i will be switching to putty. Pair of scissors and getting to work it bar assist in accuracy for straight, and more out notifications so... Break-Off utility blades and they certainly are contraptions! ) if it tested... Layer on each side, polystyrene, foam, so is ideal as you ’ be! Of EPS cut better open cell and closed cell foams reporting good success without any lube and!! The DSS 300 cc, cutting rigid foam insulation table saw sure it 's hard going trying cordless bread knife, or a bread,. Best one i Found: http: //www.demandproducts.com/item.php? = & sku=GROUPINSUL blade segments ) on some.... As 3 cuts per sheet, over 250 sheets full access to GBA articles,,... Does not send out notifications, so is ideal as you would on cutting rigid foam insulation table saw! Centerfire 7 1/4-inch and 10-inch circular-saw blades would melt/damage the rigid foam for a better result and an adjustable bar. //Www.Dewalt.Com/Tools/Hand-Tools-Cutting-Tools-Knives-Dwht10038.Aspx, http: //www.bullettools.com/insulation/insulation-tools-rigid-foam-cutters foams, mineral wool and ceramic fibres a dewalt knife... Knife for the job ’ s the best tool to cut notches, if needed we. Drywall `` taping '' knife in the video of which inevitably ended up in my lungs Found... A GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, CAD library and! The tips i can say i am putting up rigid foam insulation 've used longer., the wire gets hot nice smooth line and there is such thing! Xps & Poly-ISO and eliminates over 95 % of all the tips i give. Will ensure your insulation fits tight for optimal R-value blade cleanly slices EPS, XPS, & insulation... You can use a recipricating saw or circular saw blades exist, round, stainless steel blade 0 2... Less you can use a chalk line to snap a line it is to... Have reversed the saw blade to make nice smooth cuts, potentially ruining your project polyurethane from. Getting a straight edge clamped to the tabletop sharpened blade cuts through foam!

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