How To Cut Vinyl Siding (An Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

Posted on October 25, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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How To Cut Vinyl Siding (An Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

Vinyl siding does not always come pre-cut to the exact dimensions needed for your home. Instead, it is usually sold in long, continuous strips or panels, and it needs to be cut on-site to fit the dimensions of your structure. This also allows it to be custom fit around any obstacle, such as windows, doors, and corners. 

While vinyl siding is a durable and sturdy material, the fear of breaking vinyl while cutting it always remains a top concern. So, to cut it skilfully, you’ll need to educate yourself. Luckily, this blog post will equip you with all the knowledge you need to cut vinyl siding on your own. 

The Art Of Cutting Vinyl Siding

After choosing the vinyl siding you want, cutting it to fit your planned installation is the next step. The art of cutting vinyl siding requires you to choose the right tools, mark the sections, cut them with precision, and provide a final touch. We’ve provided a step-by-step method for you to follow. However, as accuracy is crucial, it’s always best to choose a professional who has experience cutting and fitting vinyl siding to specific building metrics.  

Choose The Right Vinyl Siding Cutting Tool

While there are many vinyl siding cutting tools available on the market, you will need at least one of them to successfully cut vinyl siding. 

Here is a list to help you pick the right one: 

a) Vinyl Siding Cutter

A vinyl siding cutter is specifically designed to cut through vinyl siding with ease. It provides clean, straight cuts and reduces the risk of cracking or damaging the material.

b) Circular Saw

A circular saw with a fine-toothed blade is an efficient tool for cutting vinyl siding, especially when longer or wider cuts are needed. Make sure the blade is mounted backward to prevent chipping or splintering.

Circular Saw

c) Tin Snips

Tin snips are versatile tools that can be used to cut vinyl siding, particularly for more intricate cuts around corners and edges. They provide greater control and precision.

d) Utility Knife

A utility knife with a hook blade is ideal for making straight edge cuts on vinyl siding. The hook blade allows for easy scoring and cutting without damaging the material.

e) Measuring Tape

Accurate measurements are crucial when cutting vinyl siding. A measuring tape will ensure you cut the siding to the correct size.

f) Carpenter’s Square

A carpenter’s square helps draw straight lines and ensures accurate cuts. It can be used as a guide when marking the vinyl siding.

g) Safety Equipment

Don’t forget to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from any potential hazards while cutting vinyl siding.

If your vinyl siding has been cracked, broken, or contains holes, you can refer to our blog post that’s dedicated to the topic: How To Repair Holes In Vinyl Siding. 

Tools For Cutting Vinyl Siding

The First Two Steps To Cutting Vinyl Siding

Now that you have the necessary tools, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cutting vinyl siding:

a) Practice Safety

Your safety is paramount. Always wear the necessary safety gear, including safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask. These will protect you from potential hazards when working with cutting tools and vinyl siding.

b) Measure and Mark

Now, start by measuring the length or height of the section of wall you’re covering with vinyl siding. Subtract this measurement from the length or height of the siding piece you’ll be cutting. This will give you the amount of siding you need to cut.

Using a pencil and a carpenter’s square, mark the cutting line on the vinyl siding. Make sure the line is dark and visible to ensure accuracy during the cutting process.

Below is the procedure on how to cut vinyl siding with your chosen tool. 

1. Cutting Vinyl Siding With A Vinyl Siding Cutter

If you have a vinyl siding cutter, this tool will provide the cleanest and most precise cuts. Follow these steps:

  • Position the vinyl siding cutter over the marked line on the siding.
  • Apply steady pressure and squeeze the handles of the cutter to make the cut.
  • Continue cutting along the marked line until you reach the end of the siding piece.

2. Cutting Vinyl Siding With A Circular Saw

If you’re using a circular saw to cut vinyl siding, follow these steps:

  • Ensure that the circular saw is equipped with a fine-toothed blade, mounted backward.
  • Set the depth of the saw blade to be slightly deeper than the thickness of the vinyl siding.
  • Align the circular saw with the marked line on the vinyl siding.
  • Hold the siding securely and guide the saw along the line, applying steady pressure.
  • Continue cutting until the piece of vinyl siding is cut through. 

3. How To Cut Vinyl Siding With Tin Snips

Tin snips are handy for making intricate cuts on vinyl siding. Here’s how to use them:

  • Position the tin snips along the marked line on the vinyl siding.
  • Apply steady pressure and cut along the line, making sure to follow the curve or angle as needed.
  • Use caution and take your time to ensure accurate and clean cuts.
  • Continue cutting until you reach the end of the piece of siding.

4. How To Cut Vinyl Siding With A Utility Knife

For straight edge cuts, a utility knife with a hook blade is the tool of choice. Follow these steps:

  • Score the vinyl siding along the marked line using the hook blade of the utility knife.
  • Apply firm pressure and make multiple passes along the scored line until it is deep enough.
  • Hold the siding firmly on each side of the scored line.
  • Bend the siding along the scored line until it snaps cleanly.

Cutting Vinyl Siding Around Corners, Windows, and Doors

Cutting vinyl siding around corners, windows, doors, and other obstacles requires special techniques and tools. Here’s how to cut vinyl siding in these specific areas:

1. Cutting Vinyl Siding Around Corners

When cutting vinyl siding around corners, it’s important to create miter cuts for a seamless and professional look. Use a miter saw or a circular saw with a miter guide to create precise angled cuts. Measure and mark the angle of the corner, and then cut the vinyl siding accordingly. Ensure the pieces fit tightly together for a secure installation.

2. Cutting Vinyl Siding Around Windows and Doors

To cut vinyl siding around windows and doors, measure the dimensions of the opening and mark the corresponding lines on the siding. Use tin snips or a utility knife to make the necessary cuts, ensuring a snug fit around the window or door frame. Be careful not to cut too much or too little, as it may affect the installation and appearance.

3. Cutting Vinyl Siding Around Obstacles

When cutting vinyl siding around obstacles such as pipes, vents, or electrical boxes, take precise measurements and mark the lines on the siding. Use tin snips or a utility knife to carefully cut out the necessary openings, ensuring a proper fit around the obstacles. Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines provided by the manufacturer for cutting around specific obstacles.

How To Cut Vinyl Siding Already Installed

If you need to cut vinyl siding already installed on your home, follow these additional tips:

1. Use a Jigsaw

A jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade can be used to cut already installed vinyl siding. Carefully mark the cutting line and guide the jigsaw along the line to make the cut.

2. Remove the Siding

In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the vinyl siding before cutting. Use a siding removal tool or pry bar to gently remove the siding panel, then cut it to the desired size using the appropriate tool. Reinstall the panel once it has been cut.

3. Take Precautions

When cutting vinyl siding that’s already been installed, be careful of anything sitting behind the siding that you’re unaware of. Take your time and make precise cuts to avoid damaging the siding or underlying structures.

Final Thoughts

Cutting vinyl siding doesn’t have to be a complicated task. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve clean, precise cuts for a professional-looking finish. Whether you’re replacing a damaged section or installing new siding, following the step-by-step guide and tips provided will help you cut vinyl siding with ease. 

However, as mentioned before, it’s always best to hire a professional who has experience and can ensure that your vinyl siding is cut and fit to your home or office with accuracy. 

Hire Professional Siding Installers In Pittsburgh

If you are considering installing vinyl siding, contact professional and skilled siding installers for your needs. McClellands Contracting and Roofing are Pittsburgh’s expert and experienced siding installers. Our professionals will assist you with installing siding on your home or office, along with any other exterior or roofing service you may need. Just give us a call today at (412)-353-5660

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