Proper blade choice cutting plexiglass

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Forum topic by mtenterprises posted 02-14-2016 02:31 PM 1060 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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933 posts in 2688 days

02-14-2016 02:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question scroll saw scrollworking plexiglass lexon

It is not often I come on here seeking advice but i am considering doing some scrollsawing in colored plexiglass or lexon. So I was wondering what might be the best blade for doing this? I know that scrollsaw speed is a major factor because you maybe doing more melting than cutting and I also know there are tricks to keep this from happening but I’m talking here about what might be a good blade to start. Other considerations to take into account; material thickness – let’s say 1/8” to 1/4”. I have 2 scrollsaws – #1 single speed 18” runs at 1720 rpm/spm not variable and #2 is an old spring tension “C” frame model that runs at less than 1720 rpm/spm right now. This one I can change the pulley on to lower the rpm/spm. So does anyone out there have any suggestions for blades, the most important thing? I’ll also take any tips you have to offer since I’m not omnipotent in this area.


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7 replies so far

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 2268 days

#1 posted 02-14-2016 02:48 PM

My cutting of plexiglass was done with the same blades I use for wood. Changed the size depending on the type of cut. For fairly straight cuts a #7. I use mostly reverse tooth blades and had no problem. The one thing I did do was put masking tape on before drawing the cut lines to prevent the meltback. Most of my cutting was done on either 1/8 or 1/4” plexi.

-- Kepy

View CharleyL's profile


222 posts in 3359 days

#2 posted 02-26-2016 04:10 AM

I agree with Kepy on the blade choice, but would add to cut it slow enough that the blade friction doesn’t melt the cut. It takes time to cut with a scroll saw and get good results. If you want clear edges, experimenting with waving a propane torch over the edge. It will melt the edge surface and turn it clear. This is tricky and takes quite a bit of practice to learn how fast the torch needs to be moved. Don’t try this on your project until you have mastered it on scrap. A little to slow and you will destroy the piece, but do it right and the result is beautiful.


View BonPacific's profile


20 posts in 850 days

#3 posted 02-26-2016 07:01 AM

I’ve heard reports that cutting slower can increase the heat generated, since the blade is in contact with the plastic much longer. I usually cut my plexi on the band saw, a lot less heat in general, even with a dull blade, and it does a nice job on the cut.

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1415 days

#4 posted 02-26-2016 03:58 PM

From one scroll sawyer to another, I would use a #3 polar blade. Slow your speed down some. I’ve have better luck w/blue painters tape on both sides of the cut. Use the 1 1/2” tape. It gives ya more support on both sides, & helps to prevent cracking of the Plexiglas in the thinner material. Remember, the faster your blade speed will just melt the Plexiglas, & too slow will crack it. Practice on some scrap to adjust your speed.

-- Sawdust703

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2688 days

#5 posted 02-26-2016 08:27 PM

Ahhh, interesting information. Thanks guys.

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View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 03-11-2016 08:45 PM

Thought I’d try tinkering with cutting some plexiglass today so I dug out some scraps. I had a used Olson #9 double skip tooth blade om the old “C” frame saw. The first try was without tape, of course I knew what would happen and it did, it melted back together. Then I put one layer of tape on each side and that was the best I have ever cut plexiglass. No melting, which I knew would happen with the tape, but the edge was very smooth. I did this in both 1/4” and 1/8” and despite the broad spaced teeth they both cut very well. Next try will be with a finer tooth blade. I’d have posted pictures but clear plexiglass doesn’t photograph well. Thanks for the advice guys!

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View rick1955's profile


264 posts in 1426 days

#7 posted 03-17-2016 12:53 AM
Olson sells several blades for plastic and acrylic.
Open the link and search the page for the terms plastic and acrylic.

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