Vinyl siding is an excellent option for homeowners who are looking to get rid of the old, worn-out wood or brick in their house. Vinyl siding is a natural solution. It’s durable and easy to install, but there are also some essential things you need to know when it comes to cutting vinyl siding.

In this article, we will discuss the following:

  • The tools you need
  • How to do short vertical cuts
  • How to do long vertical cuts
  • How to do horizontal cuts

Before you start, grab your pen and paper to ensure you have the tools you need.

Tools You Will Need

For projects like these where precision matters, but there is only so much space available for various types of equipment to clutter up the workspace, having all of the right tools handy will ensure safety and guarantee a faster and better result!

  • Circular saw
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife
  • Safety goggles
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Straightedge
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

Using the right tool for your cuts can make a world of difference. Whether you’re making short, vertical cuts or long, horizontal ones, it is key to know which tool is best for each type of project.

Now that we have listed out the required tools, let’s discuss how to cut your vinyl sidings long, horizontally, and vertically.

Long Vertical Cuts

Cutting tool: Tin snips

A long vertical cut is much easier to make with tin snips than a circular saw. It’s also safe and more precise! A circular saw can be difficult to use, as it is too large or bulky to smoothly maneuver over the vinyl sidings.

Why not try using our state-of-the-art metal shears instead? Tin snips will give you greater precision when cutting your lines straight through thick materials like plywood boards or wood sheets in order to achieve bigger cuts that are otherwise impossible with most other methods.

How To Do Long Vertical Cuts

  1. You will need to make a mark at the point where you want to be able to start cutting. Use your measuring tape to determine where you want to cut your vinyl siding, then mark the siding on its underside.
  2. Line up the place you want to cut with the edge of your table and use a carpenter’s square, which will ensure that when you make one clean straight line all around it that won’t be jagged.
  3. Hold the vinyl siding steady with one hand to make sure it doesn’t move around. Use your other hand, and make a long cut that starts on either side of the mark you made. Make sure not to close the tin snips all the way, but leave about ⅔ of the shears open for more accurate cuts that won’t crush or bend the material in any way!
  4. Snip through the siding until the end.

As you snip through the siding, always be sure to leave at least two inches of overlap on each tab. This will give your panels a seamless look when they are installed and help prevent drafts from coming indoors during colder months.

With every piece that you cut out, take note of how much material there is leftover so that once all pieces have been removed, it can easily be measured for replacement materials if necessary later down the road

Horizontal Cuts

Cutting tool: Utility knife

When you need to trim vinyl, it can be hard if the cuts are horizontal since tin snips might not work in this scenario. That’s why a regular utility knife is perfect for making these types of cuts!

  1. With your measuring tape, measure where the siding needs to be cut so that it can easily slide over. You need two marks on each end of the side panel – one as a starting place and another as an endpoint.
  2. Use a straightedge on your siding to mark where you want to cut it.
  3. Cut along the straightedge with your knife. Score it by pressing down on the blade and drag to create a line, but don’t cut all of the way through.
  4. Once you score the siding, it should snap along the line for a clean break.
  5. Repeat the process.

Short Vertical Cuts

Cutting tool: Circular saw

Circular saws are great when it comes to cutting vinyl siding because they cut cleanly and quickly in straight lines without leaving any frayed edges behind on the material. It is important to avoid such damage because, if not dealt with properly by resealing them before installation, frayed edges could lead to more damage later down the line.

  1. Save yourself a few steps and time by using your tape measure to calculate the right length for each piece of siding. Then, mark them with a black marker, so you know which way they are facing when installed, as well as any additional details like “Top” or “Bottom.”
  2. Use a fine-toothed plywood-cutting blade that is installed backward for the cleanest cuts.
  3. For a clean-cut, make sure to line up the place you want to cut on your siding with your blade. 
  4. Remember to put on your safety goggles, and then carefully use the guides to line everything up correctly before cutting it all off!
  5. Using your table as a guide, slowly saw off the excess siding to make it even more accurate. You can put a carpenter’s square under the strip of siding if you want an extra-accurate cut!
  6. Repeat the process.

A few other shortcuts might be possible depending on what type of saw you have access to, but using our technique will give you clean, crisp lines every time, so don’t worry about it too much if this is all new territory for you. All in all, cutting vinyl sliding doesn’t take very long at all, just three simple steps, as we’ve shown here today.

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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