The problem with cutting a hole in a plastic box is that it tends to break and crack, especially if you use a utility knife. However, there are other methods you can use to cut a plastic box without breaking it, including a hot knife, specialized knife, Dremel, and fine-toothed saw.
Each method has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here are four ways you can cut plastic without cracking or breaking it.
The hot knife method works by melting the plastic along the cut line. It is an easy way to make a clean cut without breaking or cracking the plastic box.
For this method, you need:
This is a good method because it’s quick and easy, but it can be messy because it involves melting the plastic.
If you don't have a soldering iron, then you might want to consider the next option. Most beginner woodworkers have a jigsaw on hand.
An electric jigsaw can be used to cut plastic cleanly and without breaking it. Jigsaws are great because they are highly versatile, provided you have the right blade for the material.
This is a great method because it leaves a clean-cut and is quick and easy.
You can use a Dremel tool to cut plastic as well. And, as long as you use it correctly, you won't end up breaking the container or bin.
The Dremel can cut the plastic bin, but it will leave a slightly rough edge. You can clean up the edge with a file or sandpaper after you have made your cuts.
If you want to make a clean cut in your plastic box, you can use a hand saw with a fine blade. There are a few different kinds of hand saws that will work for this purpose. The important thing is to use a fine-toothed blade. You can use a hacksaw, hand jigsaw, or fine-toothed saw.
Although it will take some work and muscle power, a hand saw is perhaps the best way to get a clean cut without breaking, snapping, or melting your plastic. As with the electric jigsaw, you’ll need to create a pilot hole to feed the saw blade through to make your cut.
If you decide to use a jigsaw or hacksaw to cut your plastic box, you can use a heated drill bit or nail to make a series of holes along your cut line. It’s an extra step, but it will make the box easier to cut and the cut line easier to follow.
The metal does not need to be red hot, just hot enough to melt the plastic. A hot nail or drill bit cuts through plastic easily.
Cutting plastic without breaking it is not necessarily easy. But, with these five different methods, you'll have your choice of options, depending on what type of tools you have. Each makes it possible to cut through plastic bins and containers without chipping or breaking them.