How to Cut Silicone Rubber Sheets?

January 11, 2024

Silicone rubber sheets are a fantastic material. They’re incredibly resistant to high temperatures and are great for various applications. Making gaskets especially is extremely viable with silicone rubber. No matter your application, you’ll need to work with large sheets of silicone rubber, which means cutting them to size.

So, how do you cut it? This guide will discuss all you need to know about how to cut silicone rubber sheets. There are three ways to cut silicone rubber sheets. And if you’re using it for simple DIY projects, you can cut it with a sharp knife too.

Best Ways of Cutting Silicone Rubber Sheets

There are many ways of commercially cutting silicone rubber sheets. You need to choose the right method that works for you. Here are the most common ways: 

  • Silicone die cutting
  • Rotary die cutting
  • Water jet cutting

Silicone Die Cutting

One of the most versatile ways of cutting silicone rubber is silicone die cutting. You’ll love the ease of use and sheer number of shapes you can cut with this method. This method uses a die and a hydraulic press. The dies are mostly made from steel rules. You can check out this video if you’re curious about steel rules.

The silicone die-cutting process is surprisingly simple. But you’ll need specialized machinery. However, silicone die-cutting is the way to go if you need unmatched precision. Powerful hydraulics press the die against the materials and cut out different shapes.

You can practically cut any shape you need for the job. One of the biggest benefits of silicone die cutters is extremely clean edges. The final results are very high-quality cuts that look incredibly clean.

Silicone die cutters are a go-to choice if you’re in an industry that needs some of the highest precision cuts. There are many benefits of silicone die cutters that make this process one of the most versatile ways of cutting silicone rubber:

  • Long-lasting
  • Low tooling cost
  • High volume production
  • Suitable for tight design tolerances
  • Produces clean edges

Rotary Die Cutting

Then there’s rotary die cutting. This method uses a cylindrical shaped die to cut out silicone rubber. Like the previous method, you can use rotary die cutting to cut out various shapes.

Moreover, since rotary die cutters can cut identical shapes quickly, they’re perfect for large commercial applications. Silicone rubber sheets aren’t fragile materials. However, you do still need the right tool to make precise cuts.

Not only that, you also need to ensure you don’t damage the materials. Rotary die-cutters are the perfect solution for that. Rotary die cutters not only can cut rubber, but they can do all kinds of specialized cuts.

For example, these powerful cutters are perfect for perforating and scoring silicone rubber. And just like silicone die cutting, rotary die cutting also has a couple of benefits:

  • Cost-effective cutting
  • Efficiency and speed
  • Precision cuts
  • Different types of cuts

Water Jet Cutting

Another way of cutting a silicone rubber sheet is using water jets. Water jets are perfectly suited for cutting rubber because they don’t produce heat-affected zones. Which means your materials won’t get destroyed.

Most water jets also use an abrasive material, making the cutting easier. Additionally, you can get higher-quality cuts with water jets that use abrasive materials. Cutting rubber sheets with water jets has all the benefits of other methods:

  • Cost-effective
  • Low tooling cost
  • No heat-affected design
Water Jet Cutting

Can You DIY Cut Silicone Rubber Sheets?

Yes, you can cut silicone rubber sheets at home. However, you’ll need the right tools and techniques. Additionally, you won’t be cutting sheets that are too large. Here are the tools you’ll need to cut silicone rubber at home:

  • Sharp utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Masking tape
  • Soap water (you’ll see why)

Once you have gathered all your tools, here are the steps to cut silicone rubber at home:

Step 1: Lay The Sheet On a Flat Surface

Lay the sheet on a flat surface. The floor works perfectly for this. It’ll give you the most stability. Make sure the place isn’t dirty or too cramped. Otherwise, your sheet will pick up all kinds of nasty grime.

Additionally, if the space is too cramped, you won’t have enough mobility and be uncomfortable.

Step 2: Mark Where to Cut

Next, place your ruler and mark where you want to cut. This line will keep your cut straight and make it much easier. Silicone rubber is pretty tough. It’s easy to forget to keep your cut straight.

Step 3: Mark the Cutting Area

Don’t start cutting right away. Score the cutting area two or three times with your knife. It’ll make it easier to cut the silicone rubber sheet

Also, this is where the soapy water comes in. Dipping the knife in soapy water gives it some much-needed cushion. Don’t forget gloves when cutting rubber sheets, by the way.

Are Silicone Rubber Sheets Hard to Work With?

Silicone rubber sheets are extremely durable and tough. But they aren’t that difficult to work with. However, if you’re cutting silicone rubber sheets commercially, use commercial tools and techniques.

But if you want to use silicone rubber for smaller DIY projects, you can cut it without heavy machinery. One thing to keep in mind when cutting silicone rubber sheets is technique. Following proper technique ensures that you don’t damage the material.

Wrapping Up

Silicone rubber is a truly versatile material. Hopefully, now you know how to cut silicone rubber sheets. This versatile material can be used in various applications. Gaskets are the primary use cases.

Apart from that, silicone rubber is used in all kinds of industries. If you’re looking for a custom silicone manufacturer, then contact us! We have over 36 years of experience in the industry with many happy clients just like you.