Many people worry about cutting vinyl panels. This is the most difficult moment when laying panels. Vinyl panels are an easy-to-process material, but to achieve a satisfactory effect especially for rigid vinyl click planks, you must strictly adhere to the basic rules. The first point is choosing the right tool for cutting popular vinyls.
What tools can be used to cut vinyl panels?
Ordinary technical knife (blade cutter)
Technical knives and blades are the basic work tools when performing numerous assembly, home renovation and service activities. And it's a tool that's great for cutting vinyl planks. If you are wondering what to cut panels with, and you do not want to invest in expensive, space-consuming equipment, a technical knife will be the perfect choice. Cutting knives and replaceable technical blades are used wherever there is a need to cut materials or open security stickers or straps. Perfect for cutting foil, tape, cardboard, paper and specialized chemical and glass fibres. Blade cutters, thanks to their universal application, will also be useful after the panel assembly is completed.
A very useful tool that is also perfect for cutting panels. It has a wider application, so every DIY enthusiast should get it.
The saw, both manual and table saw, will cope with cutting very well. On tabletop models, it is easiest to cut, because it is easy to draw the cut line. The long feeding table and the possibility of setting the cutting angles give enormous possibilities and allow you to carry out difficult projects even without great experience. It is worth buying a rail for the saw, which greatly facilitates the work and allows for precise cutting. However, it is worth realizing a few limitations here. First, they are quite expensive tools. Secondly - they take up a lot of space, and thirdly, they are used to cut out simple shapes.
A jigsaw for cutting panels works very well as long as the operator can guide it straight. Then even more complicated patterns can be cut out. The width of the blade is small and allows for smooth changes in the direction of vinyl panel processing. Exactly this feature becomes a problem in inexperienced hands - too light guidance makes it easy to deviate from the predetermined line of cutting. Jigsaws are relatively cheap and quite versatile. However, it is still an additional device at home, which it is not certain if it will ever be useful again.
Many people believe that grinders are suitable for cutting vinyl panels. Indeed, by properly selecting the discs with a grinder, you can cut almost any material. However, it is worth remembering that the cut line will never be perfectly even. In addition, the size of the grinder disc makes it unlikely to be suitable for cutting more complex shapes. Even if it is not a common problem when cutting vinyl panels, the main disadvantage of this tool is the difficulty in achieving an even cut line. If we are pedantic, this tool should not be the first choice. It will also probably leave lot of dust from the panel material.
Guillotine for vinyl and laminate panels
There are specialized devices for cutting panels on the market. The guillotine is a tool designed specifically for panel processing, it will cut them perfectly. The edges will be smooth and even, it is not possible to deviate from the designated cutting line. Unfortunately, this is exactly the most serious disadvantage of the guillotine - it can only cut in a straight line, which means that in some special cases you will have to use another tool, for example, to cut semi-circular holes. This is exactly the same problem faced by grinder users, but those who use the guillotine need not worry about the difficulty of guiding the blade. In this respect, the guillotine is even better than a saw, although it is definitely less universal.
Miter saws are designed to make precise cuts in wood and materials such as vinyl panels. With the use of appropriate discs, they are also perfect for machining aluminium. Thanks to the mounting of the saw blade on a tripod, you can cut in either direction, which is an extremely useful function, especially when processing materials with a non-standard shape. It is a professional tool that we do not recommend to amateurs.
How to cut vinyl planks?
The basic principle of cutting panels is as follows: panels are cut from the top - i.e. from the layer with the decor. Cutting the panels from the bottom is the most common mistake and the surface of the panels can be frayed and even damaged.
The basic issue is the proper preparation of the room and tools. What will you need to arrange the panels? Underlay, panels and finishing materials such as profiles and skirting boards. When it comes to tools, you will need a sharp knife or other cutting tool, a ruler, a pencil and a square. For more difficult places to cut, a wrench will also come in handy. You can use purchased wedges to make dilatation or use cut-off pieces of panels.
Cutting panels perpendicular - on the shorter side.
This simpler cut on the shorter side can be easily performed by any amateur. We need a square thanks to which we will have absolute control over the cutting line. After dynamic cutting from the top of the panel, we need to create a lever - it is best to put the panels on a roller and, pressing on both sides with your hands, break the panel in the cutting line.
Cutting panels longitudinally - on the long side
This is a bit more complicated because the cut line is longer and it harder to create enough of a lever. In order for our cutting line to be perfectly even, we need to use an angle-marking tool that will be at least as long as our panel. A spirit level will be perfect here.
The cut must be precise. Then we put the panel on a sufficiently long platform (it can be a package with panels) and, as in the case of perpendicular cutting, press the panel on both sides, generating a force that will break the panel at the cut. When cutting vinyl panels on the long side, we must perform this operation several times, gradually "breaking" the panel in the place designated by us.
Cutting panels in more demanding places
If we need to cut more sophisticated patterns at angles, we should ensure a stable position of the panels. First, mark the places you want to cut directly on the top layer of the panel. Most often, we cut straight angles in panels that will be near the door frames or stairs. We make the cutting lines with a square and a knife, exactly as in the case of cutting on the shorter side. In order to "break" the unwanted part of the panel, it is best to use a wrench, which will precisely remove the unnecessary part of the vinyl panel step by step. It is important that the panel is stable when removing an unnecessary element.
As you can see, cutting vinyl panels is not difficult and does not require specialist knowledge, tools or skills.
Check how professionals cut floor panels
How to lay panels you can found out from many video tutorials. All you need to do is enter any assembly-related slogan on YouTube, eg "laying floor panels" or even "how to lay panels", and we will get back hundreds of films prepared by producers, professionals, but also home-grown installers. Some of them are too general, they only show the simplest things, like laying in perfectly rectangular rooms. Some of them contain really serious mistakes that could void your floor warranty! So let's see not just one and compare the knowledge to pick only the valuable ones, which will show you how to lay and cut floor panels step by step. It is important not only how to start laying, but also the door finish, cutting methods or combination with other floor coverings.