How to Cut Vinyl Siding and Which Tools You’ll Need

Cutting vinyl siding requires the right tools, just like any DIY job. Using ones you have lying around can sometimes ‘cut it’ if you’re only doing a small job — but to complete a bigger project, you need specialist equipment! 

There are many reasons you might need to cut vinyl siding, but one of the most common ones is to apply it as exterior protection to your home or building. Vinyl siding has both a functional and aesthetic use. It will weather-proof your home or building and can mimic the look of wood and other materials. Luckily, if you’ve decided to cover your home in vinyl siding, there are a few different tools you can use to do a great job. 

Naturally, you need to be precise when measuring and fitting vinyl siding to reap the benefits for your home. With this handy guide, you will learn the best tools to cut vinyl siding and how to use them, so that you can do the best job possible on your house or building. 

Vinyl siding cutting tools
For effective work you will need effective tools !

How To Cut Vinyl Siding? You Will Need The Best Tools!

First, decide on which tool(s) you’ll be using . Here are our suggestions for the best tools to cut vinyl siding:

Safety Goggles & Gloves:

The first thing you always need with any DIY job is personal protective equipment. Gloves are necessary to protect your hands when using saws, knives, and other sharp tools.

Safety goggles are integral for keeping your eyes protected from sparks, dust, debris, and other results of DIY projects. There’s also a practical consideration to wearing safety goggles. It allows you to focus properly on your work without the worry of injury distracting you. Where needed, you can get in closer to your work, safe in the knowledge that your eyes are properly protected. 

Vinyl Siding Cutter

Obviously, if you want to do the best job possible, get yourself specialist equipment for the job you’re undertaking. Thankfully, there is such a tool as a vinyl siding cutter!

These handy machines look like paper guillotines but work to cut vinyl siding cleanly and evenly – even more so than a saw. They’re also quieter than power saws as they don’t use electricity, so if you’re worried about noise, one of these tools is perfect for you. 

Power Saw

If you don’t own a vinyl siding cutter or can’t get your hands on one, your best bet is to use a power saw like a circular saw rather than a manual one, which takes longer and allows for more mistakes. Power tools save you time and energy during what is quite a tricky job — you need to retain your energy to concentrate throughout.

Utility Knife

Because vinyl is so pliable and thin, you can work well using a utility knife, particularly when you are trying to be precise and clean. When you are cutting, make sure you have a straight edge to hand to score the knife along the straight edge as you cut the vinyl. Keep it face up, and only apply moderate force as you score. These are best used for horizontal cuts.

When removing previous vinyl siding from your house, a utility knife is best to use over a saw so that you don’t risk damaging the building’s surface underneath the siding. 

Tin Snips

These are craftsman’s scissors. They are simple and easy to use — similar to hand shears you might use in the garden. These slice through vinyl very easily and are particularly useful if you need to cut any edges that aren’t straight. Don’t close the snips too tight when you are using them, otherwise they can get stuck and won’t cut the vinyl cleanly. 

Read more about the best vinyl siding tools for effective operation.

Tips for Cutting Vinyl Siding

Once you’ve decided on your tools and got your materials, it’s time to start cutting. Follow these tips for clean lines and even siding every time!

  • Technically, if all you have is a utility knife or a pair of snips, you can get the job done fine! Just be sure to precisely measure and level your materials to ensure you get straight lines, or you’ll produce an uneven job that won’t adequately protect your house. 
  • For the cleanest cuts when using snips, don’t close the blade the whole way. 
  • When using a utility knife, score the vinyl using medium pressure. Then, snap the vinyl across the score. If it doesn’t snap easily, bend the vinyl backwards and forwards to weaken it until it breaks. 
  • Always use a carpenter’s square when using knives or snips to ensure you cut straight lines and clean right-angles. Use a pencil to mark the lines onto your material before you start cutting.
  • If using a circular power saw, put the blade in backwards – this means that when it turns, the teeth don’t grab as badly and produce a jagged edge to the siding. 
  • Using a vinyl siding cutter is likely the fastest and cleanest way to get your job done. Simply line up your vinyl siding under the blade, pull the handle, and you’re left with the exact cuts you need. 
  • Never start your job without wearing goggles and gloves!

Final Thoughts

Cutting vinyl siding isn’t difficult if you buy the right tools for the job. The best tools to cut vinyl siding will make sure you get the precise measurements you need; however, you might need to practice if you’ve never used them before. 

We recommend saving your budget and using tools you might have lying around, like a utility knife or tin snips, if you’re only cutting a small amount of siding. This is ideal for jobs like repairing a portion of your existing siding. If you’re planning an entire home siding renovation, you’re best off using a power saw, like a circular saw, or investing in a vinyl siding cutter. Getting yourself a siding cutter will shave a whole lot of time and effort off your project.

If you’re about to do a job where you need to cut vinyl siding, choose your tool and start cutting today!

My name is Donald and I am the main author of this little page. I love working around the houses during the day and writing articles about house improvement in the evening. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments! If you need professional siding services use the form.


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