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Old 23-09-2016, 19:50   #1
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Favorite Cutting Tool or Method

all right all you electricians whats everyones favorite cutting tool for say cutting out a panel be it lexan wood whatever. i used a jigsaw on an open panel and a dremel on a panel thats already loaded. dremel works but not the neatest cut. wondering what others are using for making precise openings in a tight panel.
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Old 23-09-2016, 20:02   #2
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

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all right all you electricians whats everyones favorite cutting tool for say cutting out a panel be it lexan wood whatever. i used a jigsaw on an open panel and a dremel on a panel thats already loaded. dremel works but not the neatest cut. wondering what others are using for making precise openings in a tight panel.
Multimaster (or generic equivalent).

One problem with a jigsaw is that you can cut what ever is behind the panel, including wires.
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Old 23-09-2016, 20:23   #3
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

thanks thinwater i havent tried the multimaster yet will look into this.
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Old 23-09-2016, 20:50   #4
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

I recently had to cut a square opening in Starboard. I drilled holes in each corner of where I wanted to make the opening. I then connected the holes with a Multimaster like tool. It worked pretty good but I'm glad the hole is hidden by the panel overlap. It's far from a finished hole.
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Old 23-09-2016, 21:08   #5
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

Dremel with a circle gauge or quide works well. Freehanding one, not so much.
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Old 23-09-2016, 22:14   #6
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

To cut a perfectly finished rectangular hole with a Multimaster...

  1. Mask the hole instead of marking it. The line will be easier to follow with dust flying.( If you use a saber saw this is VITAL to avoid scratching)
  2. Brace off the surface with a finger or wrist and make a plunge cut near the center of one of the lines.
  3. Gradually increasing the depth, work your way back and forth and into the corners.
No drilling. No chipping. No need to cut through any deeper than the material. Pure delight when there might be wires back there. Done in a minute or so.

And yes, there are also sorts of other combinations. Holes saws a great of the corners are rounded. Sabersaws are good for thick material. It just depends.




These tools will do a lot of things, but THIS is the thing they are golden for. No substitute, once you've worked it out.
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Old 24-09-2016, 09:49   #7
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

What is the difference between a "sabre" and "jig" saw?
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Old 24-09-2016, 09:59   #8
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

Thanks Thinwater. Masking the cut line will be a help next time I need to make a cut like that.
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Old 24-09-2016, 09:59   #9
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

For many jobs i relies on my Dremil.....so many cutter choices and easy storage. I keep two on board. One wired and the other wireless.
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Old 24-09-2016, 10:06   #10
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

You can rough cut the holes with whatever then trim with a small router, piloted trim bit and straightedge or other appropriate guide.
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Old 24-09-2016, 10:17   #11
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

Drilling the corners, then using a Router or Multimaster covers 99% of my panel cutout projects.
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Old 24-09-2016, 10:27   #12
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Re: favorite cutting tool or method

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Multimaster (or generic equivalent).

One problem with a jigsaw is that you can cut what ever is behind the panel, including wires.
This. I use poster ink (bright) on the blade to see depth. It wipes off with alcohol afterward.
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Old 24-09-2016, 12:18   #13
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Re: Favorite Cutting Tool or Method

If you are cutting a circular hole for a gauge in Lexan, us a fly cutter at low speed.
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Old 24-09-2016, 12:58   #14
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Re: Favorite Cutting Tool or Method

Someone's favorite tool is not what you want. Each size/shape hole will tell you which tool is best, depending on material, thickness, working space, etc.

If you have something specific in mind, be specific.
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Old 24-09-2016, 13:02   #15
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Re: Favorite Cutting Tool or Method

Dremel for metals, Ryobi multi-tool for everything else.
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