How to Cut Acrylic With a Dremel

Written by alexander callos
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A Dremel is commonly used for many applications, including cutting glass. Acrylic is a clear plastic also commonly called plexiglass. It is much stronger than glass and serves the same purpose. Common uses include to replace window panes in house and car windows. Acrylic is slightly flexible depending on its thickness. There are many different ways to cut acrylic. Using a Dremel is one of the best options when cutting acrylic, and it's an easy enough task for most homeowner to take on.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • T-square
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Water
  • Respirator
  • Marker
  • Sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Measure the size of the piece of acrylic you want to cut. Use a tape measure to determine the height of the piece of acrylic. Mark the measurements on the acrylic with a black marker. Make a mark on each end and line up a T-square. Draw a straight line from one mark to the other along the T-square for a perfectly straight cut.

  2. 2

    Insert a 561 bit into the Dremel. This bit is used specifically for acrylic and for other applications. Set the Dremel speed to six or eight. Any faster and the blade will go too fast and tear up the acrylic, causing it to chip or crack.

  3. 3

    Clamp the acrylic down so it does not move or sway while you cut. This will ensure that you make a straight and steady cut. Turn on the Dremel and begin cutting along the mark made on the acrylic. Move slowly so you don't chip the acrylic. Pour water over the Dremel when cutting so it does not overheat. This will also smooth out the acrylic and make the cutting process much easier. Continue along the line until you have made the entire cut.

  4. 4

    Measure the width of the piece and mark on the acrylic in the same manner as the first step. Draw a line with a marker using a T-square and repeat the same process when making the second cut.

  5. 5

    Turn off the Dremel and sand the edges of the acrylic where you made the cuts. Use fine grade sandpaper. Sand until the edges are smooth.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to always add water when cutting the acrylic to ensure you make the proper cut.
  • Be sure to wear gloves, goggles and a respirator when cutting acrylic as particles can fly around and you shouldn't inhale them.

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