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Toothless circular saw blade for foam Insulation

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by Moony8, 28 Aug 2019.

  1. Moony8

    Moony8

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    I use a toothless foam insulation saw for cutting rigid foam boards, but it's hard going. I did consider using a circular saw - but they create far too much dust.

    I then had a thought - do toothless circular saw blades exist? Turns out they do and specifically for this application.

    The problem is, they don't appear to be available in the UK. I have found versions of these in the US (CenterFire blades) and Germany (Kaindl Insucut), but cannot find an equivalent that is available in the UK.

    Does anyone know of anything similar that is available over here? Seems like a huge gap considering how much foam insulation now gets used.
     
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  3. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    One problem is that your saw will need to cut 4in (100mm) depth to handle a lot of insulation materials. I'm a carpenter and joiner and my biggest saw runs a 230mm (9in) blade and has a cutting depth of c.85mm, so unless you invest in a truly massive saw (at a truly massive price) you'll be limited in the thickness of material you can cut. Another major problem is dust. Cut any insulation with a power tool, especially one as aggressive as a circukar saw, and you'll generate substantial volumes of fine, cloying dust and fibres which are a known respiratory irritant. I've spent too many hot afternoons installing insulation over many years to want that ever again!

    If you want to cut smaller volumes of insulation and don't want to resort to an old saw (and really rough cuts), it is probably better to consider something like an insulation kniofe, such as the ones by Stubai or Hultafors, or possibly the Bahco insulation saw. I've had both the Stubai knife and the Sandvik saw for quite a few years and the Stubai is the most generally usable of the two, being capable of cutting both Cellotex and fibreous materials relatively cleanly and with fairly minimal dust/fibre release (you still need to wear a mask, though). It is faster and cuts fibrous insulations (e.g. mineral wool) far cleaner than the oft used cheap bread knife which makes it well worth the money IMHO
    Stubai 486728 stainless steel insulation knife 001_01.jpg
    Incidentally I've cut the insulation for entire restaurant ceilings, library ceilings, etc with the Stubai knife - sufficiently quick, fairly neat and accurate cut, minimal dust (and noise), low (relative) cost and no power required (often an issue where you install) - in any case far superior to either a rusty old hand saw or a bread knife

    If you need to mechanise cutting it is always possible to use specialist jig saw knives. Both Bosch and Festool sell similar blades. These are the Bosch ones:
    Bosch T313AW Insulatiuon Jigsaw Blade 001_01.jpg

    I've had occasion to use the Bosch ones to cut the "patterned" foam rubber sound insulation used in recording studios. They work OK, but the cut needs to be done from the back and you often need to support the base of the jigsaw on plywood to prevent it digging into the insulation

    Finally as you seem to be in the mood to spend money on machinery to cut deep insulation, there's always the Festool ISC240 insulation saw (240mm depth of cut), a snip at c.£480

    Personally, I don't see the need for circular saws to do this task, but then my needs might well be radically different to yours
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2019
  4. DIYnot Local

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