View Full Version : How to Cut PCB

04-16-2008, 05:07 PM
I've never seen this anywhere so I tried it. This is .030 2 oz copper board. Take a little pressure but cuts like a dream.

04-16-2008, 06:58 PM
The big pcb production places use gilloteens as well..

I have a radial arm sawbench, i use that with a thin high teeth count blade, and it makes a good job as well.

The other way, is simply to score the board with a knife resonably deeply on both sides, and snap it off.. Works Most times! though sometimes it doesnt.

Brad Riley
04-16-2008, 10:26 PM
I've never seen this anywhere so I tried it. This is .030 2 oz copper board. Take a little pressure but cuts like a dream.


I tried this recently and ruined 3 pcb's. I'm not sure why. I have cut smaller greenish colored boards with no problem. The board that shattered was tan or beige in color.
I use positive etch pre-sensitized boards.


04-16-2008, 10:41 PM
I used to use a paper chopper too until mine broke (ironicly while cutting paper). Ever since I've been using a Formica knife to cut PCB's. It has a carbide-tipped blade and is designed score Formica for snapping. I usually clamp the board in a vice, and then score it along the top of the jaws of the vice, on both sides of the board, and then snap it. If I want to make it extra pretty, I dress the edges with a belt sander.

04-17-2008, 07:47 AM
I have used a carbide ceramic tile blade in a jig saw. I drilled a hole in a piece of plywood that was faced with melamine. I then mounted the jigsaw to the bottom of the board with the blade sticking through the hole. Clamp it to a workbench and it works like a table saw for pcbs. The only issue with using anything besides a guillotine type cutter is the dust. The dust from pcbs is a carcinogen.

04-17-2008, 01:32 PM
You only need to score one side, snap it on the edge of a sharp cornered table, flip it over and snap the other side.

If the rough edge bothers you then after you snap the first side, stand it up and bent the still attached side to something less than 90 degrees and slice the copper with a knife. This is the same way that you cut sheetrock.

Brad Riley
04-17-2008, 03:53 PM
Thanks Brian. I'm going to try that this week-end.


04-18-2008, 02:47 AM

The board you are describing sounds like SRBP (resin/paper) and not resin/glass board material. The resin/paper board will shatter easily and lift the copper if you apply a lot of force. From past experience when I have used this type of board it should be deeply scored on both sides. And even then it still might chip. I only use resin/glass boards now.

Note: SRBP stands for synthetic Resin bonded paper