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The Best Way To Cut Foam Insulation And Acoustic Panels

Updated on March 18, 2016
Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass Insulation | Source

To get a professional quality job, use professional quality tools and methods. This is especially true when cutting foam insulation and acoustic panels. The homeowner doing a project involving foam insulation panels or acoustic panels needs the cuts to be clean and straight. Learning to use the correct tools is well worth the time and effort and is the best way to cut foam insulation and acoustic panels.


Before the homeowner starts any job, the correct tools should be assembled so the job will go smoothly. It wastes time to have to interrupt a project to go look for the next tool to use. When one is going to be cutting rigid foam board or acoustic panels there are tools to gather and steps to follow.

  • Gather tools. This job requires foam board insulation or acoustic panels, tape measure, a long straightedge, rubber clamps, a marking tool like a magic marker, Utility Blade such as the 7 inch Centerfire Insulation Blade, safety glasses and gloves.
  • Measuring. Measure the area the rigid foam insulation will go on. Then, transfer those measurements onto the insulation panel, marking the cutting line.
  • Preparations for cutting. The cutting line is a guide to clamp the long straight edge to the insulation board with the small rubber clamps. The clamps should be firmly attached so the straight edge will not move during cutting. Using a straight edge guide will assure a straight, even cut. Place the straight edge so that the cut will be on its outside edge away from the part to be used.
  • Cutting the board. The best way to cut foam insulation and acoustic panels is with a good cutting tool such as a Centerfire Knife or a Sawzall Blade. The 7-inch Centerfire Insulation Blade is a good choice for a job like this. Now, use the knife to score the foam board evenly along the whole cutting line. This etched line does not go all the way through the board. The cut should be on the outside or waste edge of the panel. Once the foam panel is scored, remove the clamps and straightedge. Lift the rigid foam insulation panel upright. Now, snap it along the scored cut from the back or uncut side. If the board was scored correctly, the waste will cleanly snap off, leaving the desired size of board to install.

See it in action! Skip to 0.35 seconds in the video

Recommended Tools

There are two options for the knives, a 3 inch and a 7 inch. I have personally only used the 7 inch and I love it. I have been tempted to try the 3 inch since it would be a really nice size for my reciprocating saw. I could just snap the 3 inch on and go a little faster when installing foam board.

3 inch Knife for utility blade or reciprocating saw

7 inch Knife for utility blade or reciprocating saw

What tools do you use?

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