Cutting Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber Cement siding has become a very popular siding choice for new homes and remodeling jobs. One of the biggest complaints I hear though is how hard it is to cut the siding during installation. There are several ways to cut fiber cement siding and each method has it’s pros and cons.
The cleanest way to cut fiber cement siding is by using siding shears. Typically siding shears use air pressure to power them and they shear or cut the siding like a pair of scissors. I recommend the Turboshear TSF1A Fiber Cement Pnuematic if you’re looking to buy a pneumatic siding shear. Just hook this siding shear up to your air compressor and you’re ready cut the fiber cement.
You can use diamond cutting blades attached to your circular saw or sliding miter saw. Diamond blades are more expensive than carbide blades but they will last much longer cutting cement siding. No matter what type of saw blade you use you need to be very careful about the dust. Be sure to use safety glasses and dust masks. Be sure to check the arbor size on your saw blades before you buy a diamond one to be sure it will fit.
Carbide blades also work quite well. In fact, every time we’ve done a fiber cement siding job we use carbide blades and reverse the blade direction. Again be sure to wear dust masks and proper eye protection. The dust from fiber cement siding can cause serious health problems if you’re not careful.
Another great tool for cutting fiber cement siding is using a circular saw with a good dust collector. I really like the Makita 5057KB 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Dust Collector. This circular saw was built specifically for cutting fiber cement 5/16″ siding. It has a 13 amp motor to handle the tough siding and dust-proof bearings and switches to keep the saw running in a really harsh environment.