Introduction: Cut Circuit Boards With a Paper Cutter

You can cut printed circuit boards apart with a paper cutter. You'd think they would crack or splinter, but they don't! Plus, this method doesn't generate a bunch of toxic dust. Watch prank's technique in the photos.

Comments

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47degreesnorth (author)2016-02-08

Works great!! Thanks for the tip

author
gussmith001 (author)2014-12-28

Will these cut easily through double sided photo resist pcb that has a plastic film on it. I would like to cut a bigger pcb in smaller pieces before using it.

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dozer789 (author)2014-05-17

Awesome idea! I have wondered how to cut them good, and this should work!

Thanks for posting.

author
juse (author)2009-01-13

What thickness is your board material? My .062" was too thick for this technique.

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devynfarr (author)juse2011-07-15

I just cut a dozen 1.25 inch square boards. All 2oz copper on 0.062" fiberglass. No trouble. You have to mean it, a good sturdy CHOP all at once. No slow stuff or the board will bend at the end of the cut. I used the heavy old paper cutter in the library.

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petrino (author)2011-03-02

any way to cut copper boards?

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crummett (author)2010-06-16

This would work with a smaller, heavy bladed cutter. I tried it on my 24" and it really felt like it was doing some damage to the cutter. What's the best way to cut a board with components installed? That is, cutting the components as well. Any suggestions?

author
jeff-o (author)2008-11-04

GLEE!! I've never considered this before, but now it seems so obvious! Cutting PCBs has always been such a chore. I'm putting a paper cutter on my Christmas wish list now. :)

author
frollard (author)jeff-o2008-11-04

When I bought some from a guy on ebay - he used his home shop sheet-metal guillotine...I want to call it a 'brake' but thats the bender...Works on the same principle as this, with great results!

author
Davad (author)frollard2009-12-30

It's call a sheet metal shear.

author
jeff-o (author)frollard2008-11-05

No, I think you can use a press-brake to cut as well as bend. At the place where I work, they have both, but the guillotine is serious overkill for a small PCB! I wonder if I'd even be able to find the piece back there once it's cut off...

author
frollard (author)jeff-o2008-11-05

I was buying '360 square inches' of pcb...so I got it sliced into 10x 1x36" strips to make lighting strips. Definitely need a brake to cut something that big without sawing it.

author
jeff-o (author)frollard2008-11-05

Definitely. That, or a table saw if you're in a pinch.

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awang8 (author)2008-12-18

I've always used tinsnips and a hacksaw. I never expected a paper cutter to work! I know the easiest way is definitely a laser cutter. Oh how I wish I was a member back then...

author
zachninme (author)2008-11-06

That's quite awesome. Way better than score & snap!

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Plasmana (author)2008-11-05

Wow, I never thought of that! Thanks! And would cutting veroboard greatly wear down the cutter?

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Scubabubba (author)2008-11-05

Excellent! If you have an MDF papercutter (instead of a nice solid wood one like in the slideshow, or a metal one) you might want to reinforce it with some hardwood planks on the bottom and replace the anvil screws with longer ones that go into the planks. I killed an expensive Dahle trimmer when the screws pulled out of the fiberboard. Leverage can work against you sometimes . . .

author
gmjhowe (author)2008-11-05

Wow, thats really cool. I would try it, but i don't want to worry about ruining my only one.
If i ever want anything major cutting down (especially my books) i just get my colleague at work to cut it down on a industrial guillotine!

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Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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