Vinyl is a fantastic fencing and railing product for many reasons – it’s easy to install, affordable, flexible, low-maintenance, and beautiful – but one of its most impressive features is its strength. Did you know that vinyl is about five times stronger than wood? Plus, you will never have to worry about your vinyl railing decomposing or breaking down, and it won’t rust, blister, peel, or rot. Sounds perfect, right? Solid and strong: what could be better? But wait . . . Strength is well and good, but what if you need to cut your vinyl railing? Is that possible with such a well-made, long-lasting product? To put it simply: can you cut vinyl railing? Read on to find out.
Can You Cut Vinyl Railing?
So can you cut vinyl railing? The answer, you will be pleased to hear, is yes.
Vinyl railings are typically offered in several standard sizes. Despite the versatile selection, it isn’t unusual for a railing product to not fit a space exactly. In these situations, customers are advised to purchase vinyl railing that is slightly too large. Then, they can carefully cut the railing down to fit the dimensions of the space. With precise measurements and effective cutting tools, you can transform your railings into the perfect size.
How to Cut Vinyl Railings
For best results, hire a professional to install your new railing. You can rely on the pros’ experience and expertise, and you won’t have to worry about measuring or cutting the rails yourself. However, if you don’t have the resources to hire a professional contractor, you can easily cut vinyl on your own with the right tools and a few expert tips. In fact, some even liken installing a vinyl railing to putting together a child’s toy. The kit offers numerous instructions, the slots and brackets make placement a breeze, and you can cut the railing with an ordinary saw for a perfect fit.
Types of Saws
To begin the process of cutting vinyl railing, you will first need to get your hands on a saw. One of these three types of saws will work nicely:
Circular Saw: Power saws are mechanically-powered, making them quick and easy to use but also quite expensive. If they aren’t properly handled, they can be very dangerous. Circular saws are very effective but only if you feel comfortable handling them and know how to do so safely. Some companies create circular saw blades specifically designed to cut vinyl.
Hand Saw: A hand saw (also known as a panel saw or fish saw) includes one flat edge, one sharp and short flat edge, and one edge with a series of sharp points. Although a hand saw will require a bit more elbow grease and care (to make sure the line is straight), it is easily obtainable and many people already have one in their toolbox. Be sure that your hand saw is very sharp for best results.
Miter Box and Saw: Also called a chop saw, a miter box is handy for cutting railing because it guides your saw, helping you to make very precise and straight cuts. It works like a guillotine, cutting the vinyl with a rotating circular blade. The box will act as a guide, and the saw can be either mechanically-powered or a handsaw. When used correctly, the saw will create a clean and accurate cut.
Can you cut vinyl railing with other saws or tools? Definitely, but these are some of the most common choices. You might also want to check the directions that come with your vinyl railing, as they may specify a certain tool or technique for cutting down lengthy sections.
Once you have your saw, you will also need a tool to mark your cutting place on the fence. You could use a fine-point marker, tape, a Sharpie, or whatever else you’d like. Finally, grab a yard stick (or a tape measure), work gloves, and safety glasses.
Always follow safety protocol when cutting and installing a vinyl railing or fencing product. As you cut, small pieces of the vinyl product could fly into your eyes, potentially causing damage or obstructing your view. Wear safety glasses and protective clothing, including work gloves, to protect yourself.
In addition, be sure the blade of your saw is sharp. A sharp blade will create a clean, smooth cut; a dull blade, on the other hand, may create a rough and hazardous cut. Before you begin, check the condition of your saw to affirm its safety. Finally, if using a power saw for the first time, be patient, read the instructions carefully, and perhaps ask someone more experienced for help.
Measuring correctly is the most important part of the process (except, of course, actually cutting the railing). So measure the distance first using your yard stick or tape measure. Then, hold your measuring tool up to your railing and make a small dot about 1/8-inch past the desired spot (to be clear, you want to leave a tiny bit of excess length). After that, you should put on your work gloves and safety glasses for full protection. Then, simply saw off the unwanted section, following the directions of whichever saw you use. Wipe away the shavings and carry on with your railing installation!
So can you cut vinyl railing? Yes, but be sure to measure carefully beforehand and use a sharp saw. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of vinyl railing or you’re ready to purchase a vinyl railing product, check out MMC Fencing & Railing.
You might be interested in the PolyRail Vinyl Railing system, which is distinctive, versatile, and virtually maintenance-free. Amongst the many available styles, you’re sure to find one that fits your home’s style and your personal preferences. If PolyRail doesn’t charm you, take a look at the TRX Vinyl Railing system. The styles are classic, simple, and airy, and they’re also available in a number of different colors and design variations. For more railing options, please check out the MMC Fencing & Railing online store or give us a call at 1-866-931-5002.