How to Cut Asbestos Siding? [2 Simple Methods]

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Cutting asbestos siding might seem a bit difficult for you. To be honest, it isn’t easy if you aren’t experienced enough. However, beginners can still give it a try.

How to cut asbestos siding properly?

You can use a utility knife/blade paper cutter to cut the siding. It’s the safest way. However, you might lack the time and energy. So, in that case, use a circular saw. Because the tool isn’t that heavy and it’s time-efficient.

Now, using a utility knife or a circular saw can be dangerous. That’s why you need proper guidance on this. So, we’ve mentioned the step-by-step process for using both tools. 

Therefore, continue reading! 

2 Ways to Cut Asbestos Siding 

Dealing with asbestos siding can be pretty hard. Because asbestos siding is known to be hazardous

Thus, you’ve to cut it in the safest way possible. Otherwise, things might end up badly. 

To help you out, we’ve mentioned the proper ways to cut the siding- 

Method 1: Using A Blade Paper Cutter or Utility Knife

Using a blade paper cutter or a utility knife can be a good option. Because there won’t be much dust while you’re cutting the asbestos.

Get the Essential Tools

Now, the very first thing you need to do is grab the tools. Because without them it’s impossible to work.  

We suggest getting these tools:

  • Blade paper cutter/utility knife
  • Respirator 
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Pencil 
  • Straight edge 
  • Water

So, hurry up and grab these!

Wear the Safety Gear

As we’ve mentioned cutting asbestos siding is not easy. Because you’ll encounter dust while doing the work. Which can be quite harmful to your health. 

That’s why it’s best to wear safety gear that’ll prevent you from inhaling the dust. This way you can even put new siding over asbestos siding safely

Put on your goggles, gloves, and most importantly respirator quickly! 

We recommend you use a respirator that’s equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air filter. Or shortly known as HEPA.  

To help you, we’ve suggested our favorite respirators:

Product 1

Product 2

Product 3

Therefore, grab the important stuff quickly!

Place the Siding on Your Work Table / Bench

For this, you’ll need a workbench. So, put the siding on the bench. And if you don’t have one, we suggest you buy one. 

Therefore, here are some of our top picked workbenches:

Product 1

Product 2

Now, it’s best to place a sheet on it first. That’s how you can ease your pain a bit while cleaning up. 

Once you’ve placed the sheet, put your asbestos siding on it. 

Mark the Lines for Cutting 

Now, grab a pencil and mark the places that you’ll be cutting.  

Be extra careful with marking the siding. Because the cutting will get easier if you do it properly. 

Score the Siding and Snap it off

After you’re done marking the siding, it’s time to score it. Yup, you can’t just cut the siding like how ductwork is cut with a jigsaw. The process isn’t that easy.

Begin with wetting the asbestos siding with 1 cup of water first. This will help you avoid dust. 

Next, you’ve to place a straight edge along those marked lines. And score the siding with a utility knife or blade paper cutter. 

Score the same line a few times. Maybe 3-4 times. This will make it easy for you to snap off the siding.

And there you have it! You’ve cut your asbestos siding without causing any damage! 

Method 2: Cutting with a Circular Saw

Now, this method is appropriate for the asbestos sidings that aren’t old-style. Because they’re harder to cut and work it. 

So, let’s take a look at the steps, shall we?

Prepare the Necessary Tools

Well, using a circular saw to cut the asbestos siding will produce lots of dust. That’s why you need safety tools along with the cutting equipment. And these are:

  • Circular saw
  • Respirator
  • Gloves 
  • Goggles
  • Straight edge or level
  • Pencil or marker 
  • Water and liquid dish soap

Also, you’ll need another helping hand. Otherwise, the process will be harder. 

Put the Siding on Table and Mark the Cutting Lines

Now, you can’t use a circular saw by placing the siding on the ground. That’s why placing it on your working bench or table is important.

But before that, put a sheet on that very table/bench. Now, once the siding is on the table, start marking it. 

However, only mark the places that you need to cut. We suggest using a marker or pencil for this. 

Wet the Siding and Cut It 

So, you’re done marking the asbestos siding. What to do now? 

Well, it’s time to use the liquid dish soap and water. But you’ve to mix the two properly:

  • 1 cup of water and 
  • 3 drops of liquid dish soap

Now, stir the mixture and apply it to the siding. This way, you’ll get less dust. 

Next, you’ve to get the circular saw. But make sure you’ve plugged it in a GFCI outlet. Or you’re using a cordless circular saw. 

Why? 

Using electrical tools on wet surfaces is harmful, my friend. 

Take the saw and position it on the marked lines. Then simply just cut it! 

However, make sure the person that’s helping you has a water source ready. For example, a garden hose. 

Because the siding needs to stay wet while you cut it. Otherwise, your surroundings will get dusty. 

That’s all you’ve to do to cut asbestos siding!

But if you aren’t comfortable with cutting it yourself- 

Ask an expert to do it for you. Just how you can nail into asbestos siding with the help of a professional.  

FAQs

Question: How to safely cut asbestos siding?
Answer: Well, first of all, you’ve to avoid heavy tools. Because those can seriously damage the siding or you. Thus, we suggest using a utility knife to cut your asbestos siding.

Question: What can I use to cut asbestos siding?
Answer: You can cut the siding by using either a utility knife or circular saw. Both are pretty easy to work with. If you’ve got an old-style asbestos siding, go for the utility knife or blade paper cutter. And use the circular saw for cutting the newer ones. 

Question: What is the best way to cut the asbestos siding?
Answer: Well, asbestos siding is basically a kind of cement board. Thus, it’s best if you wet the siding first. Then mark the cutting lines and score those lines. Lastly, snap the siding off. 

Take Away

So, dear friend, that’s all you need to know about how to cut asbestos siding. By the way, you can use a plastic cutter instead of a utility knife too. 

So, how did you cut your asbestos siding? 

Best of luck cutting the siding!

Scott Kelly