How to Cut Styrofoam

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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If you cut Styrofoam incorrectly, the plastic foam may crumble or break in the wrong spots. Try these cutting methods the next time you work with a piece of Styrofoam.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Countertops
  • Small Or Large Hot-wire Styrofoam Cutters
  • Styrofoam
  • Candles
  • Plastic Foam
  • Tables
  • Butter Knives
  • Serrated Knives
  • Credit Cards And Loans
  • Saws
  • Craft Knife

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  1. 1

    Use a waxed serrated knife, saw, floral knife or other craft knife to cut Styrofoam sheets and shapes. Draw the knife's blade over a plain candle to wax it thoroughly and then cut Styrofoam with long, sawlike motions.

  2. 2

    Score a Styrofoam sheet along the desired cutting line. Use a butter knife, credit card or any thin, sharp-edged item to make cuts at intervals along the cutting line. Penetrate the entire thickness of the foam. Gently break the sheet over a countertop or table and use a knife to cut off any excess foam.

  3. 3

    Invest in a hot-wire Styrofoam cutter if you work with Styrofoam on a regular basis. These are devices that use a heated wire to slice through the Styrofoam. Detailed shapes can be cut easily with these tools.

  4. 4

    Cut Styrofoam for small craft projects with an inexpensive ($50) cutter. This type is ideal for home crafting and is available at both online and local craft stores.

  5. 5

    Consider a larger, more durable Styrofoam cutter if you do a lot of projects that involve large amounts of Styrofoam. These are more expensive than the smaller, craft model but are well worth the price if you use it on a regular basis. This tool starts at approximately $200.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a small piece of Styrofoam to smooth the rough edges on another piece of Styrofoam. Rub area until rough edges disappear.

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