How to Cut Foam Board Insulation? [5 Easy Steps]

In the art world, foam board insulation is used as a flexible backing for decorations and mosaics. Foam board insulation is perfect for insulating a small area while reducing humidity and dampness.

You can generally use a utility knife when there are slighter cutting requirements of foam board insulation. If you need several cuts, you can use a circular, jigsaw, or table saw to save time and effort.

By cutting foam board insulation carefully and with the right tools, you can make a perfect artery in rigid insulation foam.

If a utility knife is the best tool for cutting thin boards, a saw is the best tool for cutting foam board insulation. You can use a circular saw blade or a grinder for cutting rigid board insulation to ensure smooth and firmly cutting. In this context, I will give you proper guidelines about how to cut foam board insulation.

Related: How to Build an Insulated Exterior Door? [Step by Step Guide]

What Is Foam Board Insulation?

Rigid foam board insulation is excellent insulation, commonly found in tropical areas, especially in hot regions. It is moisture-resistant and is easy to put in place. Rigid sheets of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, or polyurethane insulation make up foam board insulation.

You can use foam board insulation to insulate every exposed cavity in your home from top to bottom, including walls. You can also use it while remodeling and the drywall are down. It’s even possible to mount it in your pole barn’s open cavities.
Foam board insulation has a high thermal resistance and minimizes heat transfer by structural elements like wood and steel studs.

What Is Best Tool for Cutting Foam Insulation Board?

  • Utility knife
  • Worktable
  • Felt-tip marker
  • Circular saw
  • Safety goggles
  • Jigsaw
  • Metal cutting or all-purpose jigsaw blade
  • Old steel circular saw blade
  • Vise
  • Tape measure
  • Grinder
  • Dust mask

Cutting Foam Board Insulation (Step by Step Guide)

Step-1: Preparation of the cut process

Place rigid foam on a flat surface to begin. If you hold the board flat while you work, it will be easier to cut precisely. If you don’t have a work table, find a flat and smooth surface to cut your foam insulation.

Ensure you have a protective shield in place, such as a knife barrier, when cutting rigid foam insulation on decorative tables. You could scratch the table if you do this. You can use straps to adhere all sides of the insulation to the work surface. To make a perfect artery, align the string line with the cutting line.

Step-2: Measure your cut

Measure the length and width of the rigid foam you’ll need for a particular project before you cut it. To make sure your rigid foam insulation is long and wide enough, compare these measurements to the length and width that it currently has. Check the length and width of the item 2-3 times to ensure accuracy.

Step-3: Mark your cutting line

For doing this, you need to draw a cutting line on the foam. You can then take a straightedge ruler on the rigid foam to make the sign you can follow for cutting the foam. Draw a line down the side of your straightedge with your pencil. Then double-check the marking to ensure it’s accurate.

The straightedge should be installed across the cutting line to help you make a perfect alignment. This will prevent the rigid foam insulation from dropping or collapsing when being cut.

Step-4: Choose 1 of 6 Different Cutting Method

Method-1: Cut Thin Sheets with Utility Knife

To do so, use a segmented blade to cut your insulated foam. You should use this type of utility knife because they are more efficient than other options at cutting rigid insulation foam. You can buy them on the internet or in most hardware stores. Now, you may follow these steps.

  1. 1

    First, use your utility knife to score the insulated foam. This is the best way to cut foam board insulation with a utility knife.

  2. 2

    Then, as near as possible, pass the utility knife through the straightedge’s edge. Suppose you want to avoid removing too much foam, cut closer to the line’s outer edge.

  3. 3

    To complete the incision, make a second cut. Most of the time, I was rating the insulation foam once would not be enough to clear it entirely.

  4. 4

    To isolate the line from the rest of the insulation piece, run the utility knife through it again.

  5. 5

    Finally, take out the clamps and inspect the foam portion. If the cut is uneven or too wide, draw another line, use straps, lock the foam piece, and split it again. Your rigid foam insulation is prepared to use if you like the way the cutting looks.

Method 2: Cutting Rigid Foam with a Circular Saw

When you’re insulating a house, you’ll need to cut many sheets and the best way for cutting foam insulation board with a circular saw.

Suppose you’re using 2-inch foam for optimum insulating benefit. Now I’ll show you how to cut rigid form insulation with a circular saw in the easiest way possible.

  1. 1

    A circular saw can effortlessly slice through 2-inch foam sheets. First, mark the cut line on the backing and support the sheet so that nothing falls underneath the line.

  2. 2

    To shield your eyes from falling foam fragments, you’ll need to wear goggles.

  3. 3

    Then, with the blade set to full cutting depth, you can cut away.

  4. 4

    If you want to avoid chipping while cutting the insulation board with a circular saw, use a metal cutting blade. By using this metal cutting blade, you can cut the rigid form with maximum force.

  5. 5

    Finally, you can remove the circular saw and collect the rigid form insulation pieces.

Method-3: Cutting with a Drywall Saw

A drywall saw works well for cutting rigid foam insulation sheets. It is effortless to cut through. And if you need to cut a small amount of material, say a couple of inches, this is likely the most straightforward method. You can follow the below steps.

  1. 1

    To begin, draw a line on the board, then stand it up and sew along the line as closely as possible. It’s not difficult, but it will take a few minutes if you have to cut foam board insulation.

  2. 2

    The polystyrene shavings draw static electricity, which is why they stick to the broom or vacuum cleaner so well. If you need to make a small cutout, this is the most efficient method.

  3. 3

    Don’t worry if you’re having trouble determining the cutting length. You can solve this issue by first cutting with a utility knife.

  4. 4

    Now, you can finish the cut again with the drywall saw.

Method-4: Cutting Foam Insulation Board with a Table Saw

If you need the rigid foam insulation to match exact specifications, a table saw is an effective cutting tool. Table saws, on the other hand, are a more expensive choice. While most table saws can cut foam, a specialized foam cutting saw can be purchased online or at several home improvement stores. Now, you can follow the below process for cutting with the table saw.

  1. 1

    Before using the saw, you can first put on protective clothing. Flyaway foam can be protected with safety goggles, glasses, or a face mask. Wear a dust mask or respirator when working to keep the lungs safe from foam dust.

  2. 2

    Long sleeve shirts, hats, jewelry, and loose-fitting clothing should be avoided using the saw. When using a table saw, you can never use gloves. Gloves are insufficient protection against a saw’s blade, and fabric may become entangled in the machinery.

  3. 3

    Then, with the saw blade running through the indicated line, you’re ready to go. If you’re using a handheld saw, direct the blade along the line while keeping it steady in your hands. When using a table saw, force the foam through the blade rather than clamping it.

  4. 4

    You need to always keep your hands at least 6 inches away from the blade at all times. You may need to read your table saw’s instructions before using the saw to make sure you use it safely.

  5. 5

    Make another cut with your table saw if the insulation either appears to be too broad or the cut appears irregular.

  6. 6

    Finally, brush off any remaining foam dust and apply the project’s cut insulation foam.

Method-5: Cutting Foam Insulation Board with a JigSaw

To find the right jigsaw blade for your project, start by looking at the different types of rigid foam blades available. Decide on the type of cut you require: perfect, swift, scroll, or clean. This will assist you in determining which blade is best for you. After selecting the suitable types of cutting blades, you can follow the below steps.

  1. 1

    At first, you need to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hand.

  2. 2

    Then, take a 2″ thick piece of insulation board.

  3. 3

    Place it on the floor or workbench on top of your workpiece. Your workpiece will not sway and will be protected on both sides of the cutting line.

  4. 4

    To cut even thin materials, use a standard-length jigsaw blade to cut through the 2″ foam surface.

  5. 5

    Replace and remove the workbench, as well as the jigsaw, after cutting smoothly. As a result, the insulation board will last for a long time before needing to be replaced.

Method-6: Cutting Foam Insulation Board with a Dremel

A Dremel is not so practical for cutting rigid foam board insulation in accurate size, so you can use it to create intricate foam patterns. You may need a lot of leverage over the result. It can be challenging to use this method without shredding the foam’s edge you’re working on by mistake. This is why it only has a few submissions and isn’t the most appropriate tool for the job. If you want to use this for cutting foam insulation boards, you can follow the below steps.

  1. 1

    First, you must put on all necessary safety equipment, such as safety goggles, jackets, and gloves.

  2. 2

    As Dremel can’t get the foam insulation so quickly and it consumes a lot of time so the edges of your rigid foam will be untidy, and you’ll have to face a big mess to clean up. As a result, you must use a Dremel to remove the foam slowly.

  3. 3

    When cutting foam with a Dremel, you can face friction when you try to push the foam’s edge to cut and extract it rather than heat. It will slice right via the foam with minimal impact.

  4. 4

    After that, you must consider the differences and be prepared using this method in an environment where you can quickly clean up your mess.

  5. 5

    Finally, after trimming perfectly and smoothly all the edges, you can remove the board and the Dremel.

Step-5: Clean the area

Now, after finishing the cutting of the rigid form, you need to clean the whole area. You must have to carefully remove all the cutting accessories and rigid form away to a safe distance. You should clean the entire area with disinfecting liquid.

Watch the below video to know the easy way for cutting foam board:

Final Words

The rigid foam board is an easy-to-manage insulated solution that will help you save money on your utility bills. Sculptors and construction workers alike use a range of foam-cutting methods to make figures out of rigid foam. Cutting foam insulation and padding is most dangerous by using a cutting-foam method. Consequently, you must choose a cutting instrument with extreme care, and you must also follow the steps described above.

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