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The Best Way to Cut EPS Insulation

If you’re an EWI installer, you’ll know that cutting EPS can be a pain. EPS is a kind of polystyrene insulation, so as you can imagine as soon as you bring a knife to it the result is a messy, jagged cut with bits of polystyrene all over the place. This really isn’t ideal, especially for works like EWI where gaps between boards can cause thermal bridging and decrease the efficiency of the system.

Many of our installers stick to the old fashioned method of a plain old knife or saw. However for those who install EPS regularly and are fed up with the mess, we have a couple of solutions that could save you a lot of time and hassle on-site!

Using the hot wire cutter on EPS insulation

We’re all about making life easier for installers, which is why we really recommend investing in hot wire cutters. This little bit of machinery totally eliminates the ongoing issue of EPS offcuts blowing about everywhere; the hot wire cutter is incredibly precise and is adjustable to fit full-size insulation boards.

As the name suggests, it uses heat to melt the insulation, slicing through the boards to provide a perfect cut. This means that you can get perfectly straight lines for corners and detailed areas. Using a hot wire cutter is also massively time-saving. The EPS slides straight through the hot wire like a knife through butter. Installers who use this tool find a massive reduction in time spent cutting boards, as well as significantly less wastage of EPS!

Some forms of this product are portable whilst some are fixed and similar to work surfaces. The portable machines (styrobows) are useful for making angled or curved cuts whilst already working near the substrate. As they are usually made from aluminium, they are easy to manoeuvre and handle. The fixed units tend to have a setting to set a fixed angle for cutting, resulting in very precise cuts. Along with usual operation, wire cutters are particularly great for cutting out of window soffits or pipe breakthrough passages.

This is an incredibly useful piece of machinery that all seasoned installers rave about!

Precision cutting: the hot knife cutter

The hot knife cutter is based on the same premise as the hot wire cutter; it uses heat to melt the insulation. The slight difference here is that with the hot knife cutter you angle the blade by hand. Therefore, you have a level of mobility that allows you to cut certain shapes that the hot wire cutter restricts.

The hot knife cutter possibly requires a little bit more skill during use, however, it enables installers to cut with a level of precision and versatility. We recommend that the hot knife cutter is perfect for cutting EPS insulation boards to fit around fixtures and pipes etc.

The benefit of using a hot knife cutter for EPS cuts is the availability of various shapes of blades. Blades can be U-shaped for more basic cut outs, or highly specific as in the case of plug socket attachment blades. You can also attach guide sleds to hot knife cutters to promote more accurate cuts.

Coming to EWI Store

We are always keen to expand our range of products. As EPS is our most popular insulation board, it’s crucial that we offer all the tools possible to make work on site much easier. We have a new range of hot wire and knife cutting products on their way from our supplier.

Styrobow II – Battery powered, freehand cuts

HDS-200 Hot Wire Cutter Measuring table for precise angled cuts

Styrocutter DY (Continuous Operation) Mobile and vented to allow for continuous operation

Styrocutter Basic (Intermittent) Mobile and intermittent, best used as a complement to wire cutters to make short, quick cuts

These products will soon be available in our store! You can also call our sales team to discuss the options.


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