Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

Cutting PCBs with a Dremel....

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Hi all,

Trying to cut a multi layer pcb. Want a straight cut, thinking I will use a Dremel. Last time I used a Dremel to cut it was difficult to prevent the jitter from interfering, although that was metal.

So has anyone had experience trying this ? Is there a better way ?

Which Dremel unit is the best for this type of work ?
What Dremel head works best on PCBs ?
Does high speed give a more precise cut or is low speed preferable ?
Is there some type of extension for the Dremel that insures straight cuts ?
And also what is the best size g-clamp to hold the pcb down ?

Thanks !

High speed will burn the pcb edge leaving a black mark. It will also create whiskers of fiberglass on the edge.
But you can tidy it up with a file afterwards.

I've used a dremel with PCBs before, and it's really not a great way of doing things. I just used one of the emery cutoff wheels.

If you really want a straight, nicely cut edge, either:
a) Score and snap, then use a file.
b) Hacksaw along it (ie. long, but shallow cut), then use a file.
c) Go to the trouble of making some sort of mini-table saw arrangement (using a dremel or otherwise) with a rip fence.

A rotary tool doesn't lend itself well to a straight edge unless it's configured as a table saw, table router or milling machine.

I bought a mini table saw years ago and it works wonders for PCBs, but I can't stress enough how much better the lowly hacksaw is than a handheld dremel.

I've got a Dremel but I've never tried cutting PCB with it.  I use either sheet metal cutters or a tiny little table saw (which isn't good for much else.)

I'm sure a Dremel tool will work fine.  Cutting a straight edge will be a trick, however.  I saw a video on You Tube where a guy turned his Dremel into a table saw using something like a step stool (if I remember correctly.)  He basically cut a slit in the surface and then mounted the Dremel underneath.

I did see that video but can't find a suitable table. Not really into the idea, too many things can go wrong. Hacksaw won't fit. Not confident scoring, its tricky the board has components installed.

Considering a wet tile saw..... $50, but its going to take up space, so might end up throwing it after just one use.



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