How to cut foam the easy way

How to cut foam the easy way – 8 methods

Perhaps you have never thought about how many types of foam there are.  There are polyethylene foams, cross-linked polyethylene foam, polyurethane foam, reticulated polyurethane foam, and melamine foam.  Then you have latex foam, closed-cell foam, dry fast foam, charcoal foam, memory foam, high resilience foam, lux foam, and high-density foam.  We could go on and on, but you get the picture of how many different types of foam there are. 

If you have a project that involves foam, chances are you will need to cut it.  Perhaps your couch needs an extra layer of softness.  Or maybe you need to better insulate a room.  YOu might have to cut a styrofoam ball for a craft project.  Whatever it is, you may be faced with cutting a piece of foam a few times in your life.  

 There are many options when it comes to cutting foam.  Some are much easier than others.   Small cuts could involve using a simple tool while larger or harder cuts may need an electric device. 

Here we have supplied 8 methods on how to cut foam the easy way. 

Cutting foam manually

If you only have a few small cuts to make or the cut is super simple, you may not want to dig out an electric tool to assist you in cutting the foam. There are several cutting methods that can be manually done with a small tool that requires no electricity. 

Scissors

Scissors work great for cutting either straight or curved lines on foam.  They work best on flexible or thinner pieces of foam. We find that a pair of heavy duty scissors work the best for cutting foam.  If you use a cheap pair, they could easily break on you. 

Step 1:  Draw the line

Begin by laying your piece of foam on a hard surface.  With a ruler (if you are cutting a straight line) or a curved template, lightly draw where you wish to cut. A permanent marker works great for this. 

Step 2:  Cut with scissors

 With a sharp pair of scissors, cut on the line you have drawn in step one.  To avoid chopping edges, cut longer cuts instead of many small ones. 

Cookie Cutters

You may be astonished to know that cookie cutters can cut through the foam that is 1/2 inch thick or less.  

Step 1: Lay on a flat surface

Begin by laying your piece of foam on a flat surface.  

Step 2:  Select cookie cutter

Next, select your cookie cutter.  Set it on your foam, then press down gently so it goes the entire depth of the foam.  If the shape does not release, you may need to press against the thin sheet of foam to assist in the removal of it.  

Waxed Blade

Some individuals have luck with using a waxed blade for cutting straight lines.  Look through your drawers for an old knife, box cutter, or utility knife. This works best with thinner or soft foam. 

Step 1: Wax the blade.

Whatever blade you have decided to use, you will need to begin by waxing it.  Use a white candle and rub against the blade.

Step 2:  Cut.

Next, you will cut the line you have drawn on the foam.  Should the blade begin to stick, simply wipe it down again with the candle. 

Razor Blade

A large razor blade will also work to cut a piece of foam that is on the thicker side. 

Step 1:  Draw your line. 

Begin by drawing your line with a marker.  Flip the sheet over if it is thick and draw the same on the back.  

Step 2:   Slowly make the cut. 

Using the razor blade, slowly make the cut.  Once you have cut halfway through the foam, you can flip it over.  Carefully cut the other side of the foam so it cuts all the way through. 

Dental Floss

Dental floss is an easy method for cutting foam.  This is an easy method to use once you get the hang of it. 

Step 1:  Cut a strand of floss.

Begin by pulling out a long piece of dental floss.  Lay it down on your flat work surface. 

Step 2:  Lay your foam on top.

Next, lay the piece of foam on top of the dental floss.  Line the floss up with where you desire to cut. 

Step 3:  Pull dental floss through the foam. 

Gently pull the dental floss through the foam with one hand.  The other hand will need to be holding the foam in place.  

All of these manual cutting methods work great for thinner pieces of foam.  But what about if you have thicker foam?  Keep reading to find out how to cut thick foam with electric tools. 

Cutting foam using electric tools

There are times when cutting foam manually does not work.  Dragging out the power tools may be a necessity for larger jobs or thicker pieces of foam.  Here are some of the best ways we have found to cut a piece of foam using electric tools. 

When using an electric tool, you will need to protect yourself.  Wear safety glasses or goggles to protect the eyes and a face mask to ensure that you do not breathe in any foam particles that may be floating through the air. 

Foam Saw

A foam saw can be used for cutting a piece of foam into the desired shape you need.  Foam saws that are attached to a table will allow you to keep the saw steady while moving the foam around.  

Foam saws are a great tool to own if you cut foam several times a year.  

Step 1:  Set the saw on your workbench. 

First, make sure that the foam saw sits firmly on your workbench.  They generally have a base that will allow them to sit evenly on the bench.  

Step 2:  Place foam against the blade.

Next, you will need to place the foam against the blade.  Move the foam by pressing it into the blade to make the cut.  

If you would rather move the saw, look for one that has a removable base.  Without the base, you will have control over the saw instead of the piece of foam. 

Electric knife

A second method for using electric tools is to use an electric knife.  This works perfectly if you have stiff pieces of foam or ones that are thicker.  It will cut foam pieces that are up to 4 inches thick. 

Step 1:  Draw the shape or line.

Draw the shape or line you wish to cut on your foam.  

Step 2  Plug in the electric knife. 

Then, plug the electric knife in. 

Step 2:  Place the foam on a steady surface. 

Next, you will want to place the piece of foam you are cutting on a steady surface.  Place the electric knife on the foam and slowly guide the knife through the foam.  

Do not push down while you are cutting through the foam.  This can make it difficult to push the knife through the foam. 

Wirecutter

Another method that is often used for cutting foam is heating up a wire cutter.  The nice thing about this is that when you purchase the wirecutter, you can pick the blade size.  This will determine the thickness of the foam you can cut. This method is one of the fastest methods, as well as the easiest one we have found.  You can easily slice through various types of foams in a matter of minutes.  

Step 1:  Plug wire cutter in.

Begin by plugging the wirecutter into an outlet.  Wait until the wirecutter gets hot. 

Step 2:  Guide the foam. 

Next, guide the foam through the wirecutter.  Do not touch the wirecutter as it will be hot.  This type of cutter makes smooth straight lines.  

If you desire to cut wavy lines or more complex designs, you should consider purchasing a hot wire foam cutting table.  

Conclusion

If you are cutting foam, you have the choice of manually cutting it or using an electric tool.  Either will work fine if you take your time to make precise and clean cuts.  

We wish you the best of luck at cutting whatever foam you need to.  Remember that safety should be your number one priority, so take care to watch that you do not cut yourself.