Introduction: Make a Hot Knife Using a Soldering Iron

About: ––––––––––––––––––––––– "Energy cannot be created nor destroyed…

Are you having trouble cutting plastics with an ordinary x-acto knife? Then here is a simple tool mod you can do, turn an old soldering iron and a x-acto blade into a Hot Knife!

This hot knife idea isn't really mine, I found this idea made by somebody from MAKE:, I can't remember who made it. And so I decide to make one for my self to make my life of cutting hard plastic easier.

Disclaimer: This is a fairly dangerous work tool, it can burn and/or cut you if you misuse it. And I am not responsible what ever happens to you with this tool mod.

Step 1: What You Will Need...

You will need:
  • Any soldering iron will do - the higher the wattage, the better
  • A nasty old soldering iron bit you don't want to use.
  • A spare x-acto blade

Because I don't have a welder which is most recommended for this mod, I will have to use a different technique to attach the blade to the soldering iron bit...

My idea is to cut a groove into the soldering iron bit with my dremel with a cutting head. Then put the blade into the groove and squeeze the soldering iron bit onto the blade using the vice.

Step 2: Cut Out a Groove

Cut out a groove onto the bit!
You will need something to hold the bit tightly while you cut out a groove with the dremel. I used my vice to hold the bit. I wrapped the thread part of the bit in cloth to prevent damage to it.

Step 3: Squeeze It!

After you cut out a groove, make sure the blade can fit okay into the groove. Cut a bit more if necessarily. Then squeeze the bit onto the blade tightly with the vice, but be careful not to squeeze it too much otherwise the bit or the blade might break.

Before you squeeze the bit onto the blade, it is a good idea to add a little bit of glue to hold the blade at the right angle,

Step 4: And You're Done!

Thats it!

I tried to cut some plastics with my hot knife, but it did not work out quite well, my soldering iron wattage is too low (15 watt)... Or it might be the cold weather. :-)

Be careful not to burn and cut your self with it!

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