How to cut Plexi by hand?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
I did a search and did not come up with the answer to this question.

I have an oversize piece of plexi that won't fit on my 48" wall cutter - and I haven't cut by hand before.

How do you do it? Need a special tool?

I know someone will enlighten me and I appreciate that in advance!!


November 2001 and I'm still here :eek:

That June 2001 I was reading the date the way we present it in this part of the world…….4 years ago!!!!! :cool:

Good luck
Fletcher-Terry makes a hand tool to cut acrylic sheeting, which uses a tip similar to the one in your wall cutter. Most framing suppliers have this hand tool.

Mark your line on the masking paper/plastic film, and pull the cutter toward you on that line. If needed, use a straightedge to guide your cut. Leave the masking on until your are ready to finish the fitting.

You will need to score repeatedly, until the groove is about halfway through the thickness of the acrylic. Then place the scored line on the table edge, and knock the pieces apart by pushing with with your palm along the line.
Many thanks oh, enlightening ones!!! That answers more questions than I originally had!!

It is no wonder I can't do a search and come up with anything - I type in the wrong words!!!

Roz if I'm not mistaken that Plexi hand tool is one of the Fletcher-Terry FREE Gifts that was mentioned in another post. You just need to register and answer a few questions and one should be on it's way along with a point puller also. At least that is what I was offered..

Maybe they even send instructions along with it.What about it John?
If you have a local plastic supplier say "General Rubber and Plastic" you can go there and get the tool or buy a jigsaw blade specifically for plastic and cut it with a jigsaw.
Hello Grumblers!! I found my way back to the Grumble after a year of major life change.. Long story, but anyway I found my way back to the Grumble because I was looking for a used Fletcher 3000 wall machine. I am so so so tired of hand cutting plexi. I am getting lazy I guess.

I am a veteran plexi hand cutter. I dont use the masking tape technique because too often one can slip through the tape and then the plexi is trash.

I use a 1/2 inch thick clear piece of scrap plexi as my guide. I lean on it when I am scoring so that it does not slip. Then I use it to brace the score when the time comes to snap the plexi.

I have found that when it is time to snap the plexi it is best to have 2 people put pressure on the table side of the score so that the plexi snaps evenly.

If there is not adequate pressure along the full length of the score it WILL not snap evenly.

IF this is the case, hopefully the crawl is on the (other)side that you dont intend to keep. Then I grab a canvas stretcher and snap off the remaining plexi.

If the crawl is on the side you wish to keep. You have to start over with a NEW sheet. BAAAA!!!!!
Get a fletcher cutter as mentioned. I use a drywall T square. They are about $15 and the wide end keeps it from shifting during cutting. On a big sheet, move to the opposite side and finsh the score. The key is to make one groove. If the straight edge slips and you get multiple grooves, the acrylic will probably not break down the groove. I never have this problem with the drywall T.
An additional tidbit. I use a Stanley "Scoring knife blade" partno 11-942. Got it @ Home Depot.
It's designed to fit into a stanley boxcutter tool. Works great. I cut all my plexi with it & a large T-square mentioned in an earlier posting here. Good luck
My technique is mostly the same as everyone elses but I use a 48" aluminum rule CLAMPED to the top and bottom edge of the sheet with bulldog clips. The rule never moves!

I forgot to mention that I call this technique the Beverly Hillbillies Method - you know, you CLAMPIT!!!
Great techniques from all you G'ers... amongst them I did it... wound up with a couple of "crawls" fortunately on the scrap side!! And it was not that difficult... And after the fact, I realized... I just dove right in - didn't even practice with a small scrap! Phew... Thanks all!
I am always surprised when a framer has built work tables with no overhang--that is to say , the top board is the same size as the framework supporting it. The tables in your home all have this overhang, and if your worktable does too, you'll have a handy edge to which to clamp your straightedge and plexi with a big spring clamp.