Vinyl siding is among the best ways to spruce up your home without too much effort. The results last for years, and they can add a considerable amount of value to your home.
Installation isn’t too demanding; however, cutting vinyl siding can take some time to get used to. Not every cut will be across the boards, and there are various tools and techniques you can use.
Here, in our guide, you can learn how to cut vinyl siding on the house, and by the end, you’ll have all the knowledge to carry out this weekend task with the best confidence. (Learn How To Give a Mobile Home Curb Appeal)
How Do You Cut Siding?
There are three methods for cutting vinyl siding, each of which is ideal for specific situations. If you’re cutting many vinyl strips and making short, vertical cuts, a circular saw is the fastest and cleanest way to go.
Using a pair of tin snips to cut a few vinyl strips and make vertical cuts is the easiest method. For the best control when cutting vinyl strips lengthwise, use a utility knife.
- Circular Saw: Use a saw with a fine-toothed plywood-cutting blade backward or a vinyl cutting blade. Slide the end of the siding off your table to where you plan to cut.
- Tin Snips: mark with your carpenter’s square and cut steady to make short vertical cuts
- Utility Knife: Score along the piece of siding with medium pressure for long cuts
What is the Best Tool to Cut Vinyl Siding?
When installing vinyl siding, you’ll need it to fit against trim or in J-channels. So it would help if you had accurate end cuts. Trimming the last piece of siding for your wall will comprise a longitudinal cut down the length rather than across the vinyl board.
Vinyl siding is easy to cut, and it doesn’t take many exotic tools. If you need to make lots of end cuts, then the best tool is a circular saw. You could find that tin snips or possibly a good hand saw are suitable for smaller cutting tasks.
For cutting down the length, there aren’t many better tools than your trusty utility knife. It is the best and easiest tool to cut along the length of a vinyl siding plank.
Simply score the material and snap it off as you would cut drywall. However, vinyl is less forgiving, so you need to measure and cut carefully.
How Do You Cut Siding On a Circular Saw?
The first technique for cutting vinyl siding is to use a circular saw. Because the circular saw creates clean incisions relatively quickly, this method is most suitable to cut lots of short or long vertical cuts.
To do this properly, you’ll need a fine-tooth plywood saw blade. Any circular saw blade will not suffice. This type of blade is necessary to keep cuts clean and neat, which influences the vinyl siding’s aesthetic or fits together with other sections. (Find the Best Metal Cutting Saw)
You will discover this is the best way to cut vinyl siding for a precise fit and ease of installation.
Mount your fine-toothed saw blade backward inside your circular saw. Taking your measurements and use a carpenter’s square and a pencil to mark your desired line.
The points of the teeth should be directed in the opposite direction of the spinning direction. This, once again, aids in the clean-cut of your vinyl siding.
Place the vinyl siding on a table or workbench that is flat. For obvious reasons, you should place the siding so that the cutting line hangs over the edge.
If you don’t do this, your circular saw will cut into the workbench or table underneath the siding.
*Be sure to wear safety goggles, especially since the saw blade is spinning backward.
With your circular saw, cut the line. Move the saw head slowly and steadily to avoid damaging the blade. Remember that any cut you make cannot be reversed, so taking your time is really a smart option.
To keep the vinyl siding from slipping around as the saw cuts, use your free hand to press down on the siding and keeping contact with the palm of your hand.
How Do You Cut Vinyl Siding On a House?
Here are the more conventional ways to cut your own vinyl siding. Cutting vinyl siding is easy to understand and carry out with some preparation.
As long as you are comfortable taking measurements and using a circular saw as above or the tools here, there is nothing to stop you from doing a professional install job on your home.
Here are basic methods, yet a circular saw can’t carry out every cut, so knowing how to cut vinyl effectively is essential. None of these methods is better than each other, but they are more suited to certain cutting scenarios than others.
Things You’ll Need
No matter which method you decide to go with, there are some materials you’ll need to collect beforehand. These are:
- Safety goggles and face mask for breathing
- A sturdy flat surface like a workbench
- A pencil or masking tape
- A carpenter’s square
- A measuring tape
- Tin snips
- Utility knife
No matter which method, measure your vinyl siding before cutting. Any DIY project or professional services rely on accurate measurements of where to cut.
Measure the length of the wall you will cover with vinyl siding with your measuring tape. Now, subtract the length from the length of your vinyl siding section if longer. The number is how much vinyl you need to cut off.
Mark a line where you need to cut with your pencil and carpenter’s square, so your lines are straight. If the vinyl siding is dark, you can use your masking tape.
Any cut needs the above, even if you need to cut the length, and you can find this is much more of a challenge.
Using Tin Snips
You can hold tin snips in one hand, and they offer great precision of your cuts as you inch your way along. If you only have a few pieces, then it is cheaper than coughing up for a circular saw. The downside with these is, the task will take you longer as it is manual, and you can only cut a couple of inches at once.
You will also use your tin snips only for vertical cuts, not horizontal cuts.
With the hand that’s not holding the tin snips, grasp the vinyl siding tightly. The tin snips should be held in your dominant hand to maintain control. To keep an even cutting line with tin snips, precision and stability are essential.
Next, carefully cut along the line you marked with your pencil or masking tape. Go slowly in this process as you can’t reverse a cut, and errors can happen more using tin snips and not a circular saw.
When cutting, don’t let the blades of the tin snips close and touch. This helps a cut remain without fraying or marring.
Use a Utility Knife
A utility knife is ideal to cut vinyl siding lengthwise or longer cuts. It is advisable to use a cutting template, as these can keep your scoring mark straight.
Besides, your utility knife should not cut all the way through the vinyl siding so that you can make accurate horizontal cuts of any length.
After taking your measurement and marking with your pencil, lay the vinyl siding on a flat surface. Take your cutting template and press down as you score your line. Snap off the vinyl once you have scored all the way along the piece.
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