If you are seeking for ways to cut Styrofoam, you will probably seem for ways to do it artistically. Styrofoam is straightforward to cut, but it’s not straightforward to reduce with precision, and some instruments can develop huge quantities of static. Whether you are searching to minimize Styrofoam swiftly or do it with no generating a mess, we’re going to seem at a variety of strategies you can use to obtain your preferred influence.
We checked with all our sources and found 9 ways to cut Styrofoam. Join us even though we appear at each and every a single and go over the execs and cons.
Styrofoam Cutting Methods
1. A Hot Knife – Preferred Method
The very hot knife is our favored approach of cutting Styrofoam. It has the edge in excess of other knives because the heat seals the Styrofoam as it cuts. When you seal a lower, there is less opportunity of making the little Styrofoam beads that can frequently accompany slicing. The hot knife is also effortless to handle and position where you need it to make comprehensive cuts.
The draw back to the hot knife is that there is the likelihood of acquiring burned if you unintentionally contact the heating element. You could also accidentally capture anything on fire by inadvertently positioning it on a flammable surface area. It will call for electrical power, so you are relatively minimal to in which you can use it, and you will want to look for out a brand that gives satisfactory warmth and functions you desire. If you obtained an inferior model, you may well not have a great knowledge making use of it.
2. A Hot Wire Cutter
The sizzling wire cutter is quite equivalent to the scorching knife and has all the exact same pros and downsides but is usually quite a bit bigger. It can minimize and seal the foam with no mess, and you can use it to create sculptures. Its huge measurements are typically used in professional purposes to cut huge sheets of Styrofoam.
The downside to the hot wire cutter is, after once again, the possible for burns. These products have a extended wire that receives crimson very hot and can effortlessly burn up you if you are not careful. It will also need electrical energy, and these products are usually quite expensive.
3. A Long Blade Utility Knife
A prolonged blade utility knife is the 1 you can snap off the blade as it gets boring to keep a sharp edge. This device is excellent for cutting Styrofoam simply because the blade is both long and sharp, and it will stay in the open position even though you use it. It is affordable, conveniently accessible at most handy merchants, and permits for pretty intricate slicing.
The draw back to the extended blade utility knife is that it does not seal the Styrofoam as it cuts, which implies there is a increased chance of creating very small Styrofoam beads, and you may generate a small quantity of static even though you are chopping. Regrettably, the long blade utility knife is nowhere near as fast as the scorching equipment.
4. X-Acto Knife
The X-Acto knife is extremely similar to a lengthy blade utility knife but is not as prolonged, and the blades do not snap off. It makes really in depth cuts and is for precision operate exactly where highest manage above the device is required. With the X-Acto knife, you can develop a few-dimensional houses in Styrofoam.
The draw back is the reducing blade is very little, so it’s only suitable for surface area work. It also does not seal the foam as it cuts and can produce static electric power.
5. Dental Floss
You may not imagine it, but dental floss (waxed) can quickly lower by way of large blocks of Styrofoam, and a lot of times it tends to make less static electricity than metal equipment. It’s also 1 of the minimum costly solutions on this checklist.
The draw back to dental floss is that it does not seal the foam, so you nevertheless get small beads, and you cannot make precise cuts like you can with the long blade utility knife or X-Acto.
6. Guitar String
Guitar strings are very related to dental floss and can be similarly as effective at reducing by way of Styrofoam. The metal strings are a lot more tough than floss and can take care of more strain. Some strings have yet another string close to them, which generates a tough floor you can use to observed by means of the foam.
Sadly, guitar strings also do not seal the foam, and they are really minimal in dimension compared to dental floss, which comes on a massive spool. When employed to observed via the Styrofoam, guitar strings can generate a huge volume of little foam particles and a lot of static electricity.
7. Cookie Cutter
If you have a little volume of foam to minimize up, you can use a cookie cutter to generate little foam ornaments and decorations. These decorations are lightweight, and you can paint them any way you want.
The downside to cookie cutters is that it is only ideal for a little sum of foam and is normally only deemed practical for small assignments.
8. Electric Knife
If you have an electric knife like they sometimes use to cut Thanksgiving turkeys, you can use that to make short operate of chopping by way of your Styrofoam. These products have far more than enough electrical power to lower by means of foam even more quickly than the sizzling knife.
The draw back to the electric knife is that there is no likelihood of making use of the foam for creative purposes, and you’ll be locating small foam pellets for several years soon after you use this instrument.
9. Cut Underwater
If your principal objective is to decrease mess when you minimize the foam, you can consider chopping underwater. The water will get rid of the static and capture the foam particles ahead of they can escape into the air and your home.
Unfortunately, Styrofoam does not like to go underwater, so it will be a wrestle to reduce and usually leads to a mess, but you don’t need to maintain it submerged to get the positive aspects.
Buyer’s Guide – Picks the Best Way to Cut Styrofoam
Let’s take a look at a couple of factors you ought to take into account before cutting Styrofoam.
What is Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is petroleum-primarily based polystyrene and about ninety five% air. It is really light-weight but rigid sufficient to kind cups and foods containers and has numerous other employs as nicely. Although it is quite beneficial, it’s bad for the environment and contains numerous elements that can hurt your health, specifically when you lower it.
Eyes, Lung, and Skin Irritation
The dust designed when cutting Styrofoam with a dry tool can irritate the eyes, lungs, and skin. A lot of people create itchy skin from ongoing exposure, but there are also reports that some men and women create difficulty respiratory.
Nervous System Damage
Heating and burning can release damaging chemical compounds into the air. Some of the substances include fragrant hydrocarbons, styrene, ethylbenzene, hydrogen bromide, chloride, and fluoride. Some of these chemicals can have an effect on the anxious system and manifest in numerous indicators including headaches, exhaustion, weak point, and even despair.
May Cause Cancer
Besides affecting the anxious technique, some of the chemical compounds introduced into the air may have most cancers-creating properties. Especially hazardous are hydrocarbons, benzene, and styrene.
If you need to have to cut Styrofoam, we extremely advocate selecting a place with plenty of air flow. You may possibly even decide to use an exhaust method or a moveable admirer to immediate dust and harmful gases away from your situation, but there are a few more items you must buy as well.
While Styrofoam is a gentle substance, the dust is an irritant. If the dust is airborne, it can get into the eyes and irritate them. Basic safety goggles with aspect defense can aid to maintain the dust out of your eyes although you operate.
A dust mask is vital when slicing Styrofoam. Regardless of whether you are making use of a sizzling knife or dry cutting, you will want to protect your nose and mouth to boost the air top quality heading into your lungs. We suggest a higher-conclude mask to assist reduce the risks offered by equally dust and fumes.
The closing piece of basic safety equipment that you should put on although cutting Styrofoam is hefty-responsibility work gloves. These gloves will safeguard your hands from cuts and burns even though you work, and they will also assist shield your skin from getting to be irritated by the dust developed.
Relevant Read: How to Cut Retaining Wall Blocks in five Basic Steps
As you can see, there are several methods to reduce styrofoam at your disposal. If you have a little sum of Styrofoam you require to lower up, we suggest the lengthy blade utility knife or submerging it in drinking water. If you have a big volume of foam to cut up speedily, we advise the electric powered knife. If you want to cut foam often, we suggest the very hot knife or sizzling wire cutter.
We hope you have appreciated studying over this guidebook and have discovered the responses you came to get. If you have located it educational and you should share these 9 ideal techniques to reduce Styrofoam on Facebook and Twitter.