You can use a Dremel to cut a wide range of materials, including fiberglass and plexiglass. This powerful tool allows you to make high-quality cuts and achieve an incredibly fine finish. It’s quick, efficient and cuts at extremely high speeds.
The best way to cut plexiglass with a Dremel is with a 561 cutting bit. Insert the cutting bit into the tool, mark all the areas on the plexiglass you want to cut, and then make the cut at a 45-degree angle. After cutting, sand the edges of the material until they’re completely smooth.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly a Dremel is, how you can use it to cut plexiglass, and which Dremel bit is best for cutting the material, so that you can cut your plexiglass into whichever shapes you want.
What Is a Dremel?
The Dremel brand designs a range of portable power tools, which can optimally grind, sand, cut, carve, clean, and polish several different materials.
Whether you’re working with plexiglass, fiberglass, wood, or metals, the Dremel rotary tools (on Amazon) are able to complete the job quickly and efficiently.
They cut all materials at incredibly high speeds (between 10,000 and 35,000 RPMs), ensuring a high-quality cut and a fine finish every single time.
They’re incredibly easy to use as well; you only need a marker and a steady hand to cut straight lines and complex shapes into the material.
Which Materials Can You Cut With a Dremel?
Dremel power tools are popular because of their incredible versatility. These tools come with several different accessories that allow you to cut a wide range of materials, including plexiglass. These accessories include:
- Dremel router bits
- Dremel cutting wheel
- Dremel cutting bits
- Dremel cutting disc
With the help of these accessories, you can easily cut metals, plastic, hardwood, fiberglass, and plexiglass into the shapes you want.
How to Use a Dremel to Cut Plexiglass
Also known as acrylic, plexiglass is a type of plastic that’s more durable than glass, but serves almost the same purpose. Because of their similarity to glass, plexiglass sheets are ideal for use in several architectural, industrial, and engineering applications.
So, if you’re planning on using plexiglass for your next DIY project, here’s how you can cut it with a Dremel:
Step 1: Wear Protective Gear and Prep the Workspace
Remember that safety should always be your first priority when using a power tool. Make sure you put on a pair of protective gloves (on Amazon) and goggles (also on Amazon) to protect your hands and eyes, or you might end up with serious injuries.
It’s advisable to read your Dremel instruction manual as well and follow all of the safety precautions listed in it. Check the electric cord and make sure it’s long enough to allow for easy cutting.
Make sure you also clear your work area before using the tool. It’s important that you have enough room to easily move around. It’s best to use a workbench for the cutting process, but if you don’t have one, then any flat, stable surface works as well.
Step 2: Insert the Cutting Bit
If you’ve plugged in your Dremel rotary tool, unplug it. Loosen the collet, insert a 561 cutting bit, and then use a wrench to tighten the collet. Plug your Dremel back into a power socket and set it aside.
Step 3: Mark the Plexiglass
Use a dry-erase marker (on Amazon) to mark all the areas where you want to cut the plexiglass. If you’re planning on making straight cuts, then make sure you use a straightedge and clamp it to the plexiglass so that it doesn’t move.
If you’re planning on cutting the material freehand, then you don’t need to use any cutting guides.
Step 4: Make the Cut
Turn on your Dremel to 6 or 8 and start making the cut along the marked line. It’s best to hold the tool at a 45-degree angle, as this will ensure maximum blade exposure to the plexiglass.
Keep in mind that the power tool could overheat while cutting, so it’s best to pour water on your Dremel as you make your cut. Adding water will make the entire cutting process smoother as well. Complete your cut as needed.
Step 5: Clean the Dremel and Sand the Plexiglass
Switch off the Dremel, remove the 561 cutting bit, and use an air compressor to blow away any plexiglass cuttings that may be stuck on the tool. Make sure you also sand the edges of your cut plexiglass until they’re completely smooth.
Which Dremel Bit Is Best for Cutting Plexiglass?
It’s best to use a 561 bit (on Amazon) with your Dremel to cut plexiglass. This high-speed, multipurpose cutter smoothly cuts through several different materials, including plexiglass, fiberglass, wood, and plastic. It’s designed with high-quality steel and comes fitted with a ⅛” steel shank.
The 561 bit works best with the Dremel 565 multipurpose cutting attachment. It also helps maintain depth during cutting and supports the blade as it moves beyond the plexiglass.
However, make sure you don’t run your Dremel too fast with this bit, as it could tear up the plexiglass and cause chips and cracks.
In fact, it’s best to keep the Dremel’s speed between 6 and 8, and don’t exceed 30,000 RPM when using this bit.
How to Properly Use a Dremel Bit
It’s important to note that Dremel bits can be used for several different purposes, including sanding, polishing, cleaning, cutting, and more. So, for each purpose, there’s a different Dremel bit you’ll have to use.
To help ensure you’re using the right bit, here are a few tips:
- Determine what you’re going to do and then select the right bit for the task. For instance, if you’re planning on cutting a material, choose a cutting bit.
- Make sure your Dremel is switched off, and then insert the bit for the job you’re planning on doing.
- The Dremel is designed with a collet that helps make it easier to attach bits. Make sure your bit is firmly attached to the Dremel’s collet and that there’s no wiggle room before proceeding further.
- Switch on your Dremel and set the right speed. It’s better to start at a lower speed and then increase as needed.
- Remove the bit after use and thoroughly clean it before storing it away safely.
Tips for a Clean Cut
A Dremel allows you to cut through plexiglass quickly, precisely, and conveniently, making it the perfect tool for homeowners who want to renovate their houses themselves.
While cutting plexiglass with a Dremel is a relatively simple process, there are still a few tips you should keep in mind for a clean cut:
- Make sure you’ve firmly mounted the cutting attachment.
- Use water while cutting.
- Replace the battery if you have a cordless Dremel.
- Check if the bit is sharp.
- Check the tightness of the bits after long cuts.
- Set the Dremel at a high speed and move it through the plexiglass slowly.
- Start cutting the plexiglass at a 45-degree angle, and then slowly bring the blade to a 90-degree angle.
- Don’t use the tip of the cutting bit. Instead, use the sides for a smoother, cleaner cut.