Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

cutting a pcb

Status
Not open for further replies.

AXmichigan

New Member
hey guys
thanks for the help so far

i was wondering, what is the best way (AND cheapest!) to cut a PCB board

i saw things about a dremel, but that would be like 30+ for dremel + another 30 for saw attachment
i just need this for a couple times right now, and not really after

what do you guys suggest?
i was thinking like the miracle blade iii knife, i remember how easily that thing was supposed to cut through things
but i am not positive myself

thanks!
 

tunedwolf

Well-Known Member
If you are only needing to cut a couple of boards, just use a hacksaw with a bi-metal blade in a well ventillated area, and wear a dust mask and goggles. A quick file to size will get the job done. The blade will wear quickly, but will do a few boards without trouble.

No matter what you use, unless you are willing to spring for a guillotine, you will have loads of really fine particulate dust to contend with. This gets into your clothes, and settles everywhere, so wear something appropriate. The thought of using a dremel as a saw for PCB laminates conjures up thoughts of "lung trouble" to me. Plus you have stated that you only need to cut a couple of boards, so there's no financial benefit to buying anything specialised, including the dremel, unless you plan on using it for some other purpose.

I haven't used a miracle blade knife, so can't comment on the mileage of that, but generally speaking, any sort of blade held in the hand will most likely run off, and there's always the risk to the user to consider.

I'm sure there are loads of folk using various types of saws, I have in the past too, but the dust and noise produced when doing lots of boards, especially when I make boards overnight at home, forced me to find a better solution.

rgds
 

dougy83

Well-Known Member
You can also score the pcbs with a sharp instrument. The pcb can then snapped quite neatly.
 

marcbarker

New Member
If it's SRBP, score partly through and snap, like a kit-kat biscuit.


...in a well ventillated area, and wear a dust mask and goggles...

:) In an rs order I placed, I'd included a fibre tip permanent marker pen, nothing special, the sort you buy from wh smith or even tescos.

When I opened the package, there was the pen, along with a 'MSDS' sheet, which MUST be passed to my company's Health & Safety Officer immediately, before using it, in order to 'protect' me, myself and the supplier (from what?).

Get this: In the datasheet, it said that while using it, one should wear protective eyewear, gloves AND an apron. No word of a lie, that's what it said!!!
 

jbeng

Member
I hope the pen doesn't leak ... sounds like you'll have to call in a haz-mat cleanup team. :rolleyes:

Jeff
 

HarveyH42

Banned
I mostly us thin pcb and a paper cutter. Mostly because I'm a little lazy and sloppy in making boards (rather be soldering). Used a hacksaw before I found the thin board, sometimes breaking a sweat (dull blade). Been using the paper cutter for about 3 years, must be self sharpening, as it still cuts paper well. Have used it on thin aluminum stock, plastics, pretty much anything softer than steel, and about the thickness of a credit card.

Thin pcb material also drills so much easier. Broken only a few bits, mostly when changing bits, or adjusting the height of the press...
 

Dick Cappels

Active Member
You can also score the pcbs with a sharp instrument. The pcb can then snapped quite neatly.

The above should work with phenolic but will it work for fiberglass? (I would not think so).

I recommend using a hacksaw and a file, with the board held in a vice outdoors.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
It is spendy but it is the best tool I have found for cutting PCB stock. Nice clean ready to use edges.

You can also use it to make boxes if you are inclined to that sort of thing. It is heavy.


- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
8336-90757.gif

If I had to choose between this and my hot air rework I would keep this.

3v0
 
Last edited:

Hero999

Banned
I just use a hacksaw.

The cheap paper board is easier to cut than the fibreglass board.

I use paper board most of the time. I don't see the point in fibreglass unless you need to mount heavy components such as huge capacitors, heatsinks or transformers.
 

jimlovell777

New Member
I've seen tin snips used before with a high degree of success provided you don't try to cut an inside corner. As with most things your mileage may vary and I'm sure the substrate and cladding thickness plays a big role.
 

kchriste

New Member
Forum Supporter
I've used tin snips to cut PCBs. They do tend to curl the PCB material a bit. The hacksaw method is probably the most common and cheapest way.
 

Dick Cappels

Active Member
Now that we are confessing less-than-optimum methods, I usually cut real thin fiberglass board with a pair of scissors. It also curls it, but it can be flattened out easily.
 

jimlovell777

New Member
In the past I've used a utility knife to score the copper on both sides of a board and then snap it like mentioned above. Sometimes it worked great other times I really wished I used a Dremel or some alternate method.

Bottom line, it can work but won't always. If you have some scrap laying around try a few of the methods people have listed and see which works for you.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top