Cut Circuit Boards With a Paper Cutter

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About: 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 understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

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.

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    19 Discussions

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    KendallA1

    1 year ago

    I use the same process. I bought an old paper cutter like they used in schools on eBay for $30. I use it to cut paper, pcbs, I even cut some mica sheets for replacing some mission style lampshades. The blade still cuts single sheets of paper cleanly after all the abuse I've heaped upon it. Great 'able, great info...

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    47degreesnorth

    3 years ago

    Works great!! Thanks for the tip

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    gussmith001

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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

    5 years ago on Introduction

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

    Thanks for posting.

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    juse

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply
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    devynfarrjuse

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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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    crummett

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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?

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    jeff-o

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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. :)

    5 replies
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    frollardjeff-o

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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!

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    jeff-ofrollard

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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...

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    frollardjeff-o

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    awang8

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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...

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    Plasmana

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

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    Scubabubba

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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 . . .

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    gmjhowe

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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!