How to Cut Acoustic Panels


The best way to cut acoustic panels depends on the type of acoustic panel you are working with. Acoustic foam panels are cut better with an electric carving knife meanwhile polyester acoustic panels should be cut with a CNC oscillator knife common to commercial acoustic panel cutting machines. However, polyester acoustic panels can also be cut at home with a razor or utility knife.

Cutting acoustic panels accurately is crucial for clean and aesthetically pleasing acoustic panel installations. By mastering the techniques outlined in this article, you will be able to tailor the panel size to fit your specific installation.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cutting two types of acoustic panels: acoustic foam panels and polyester acoustic panels. Let’s explore each section to understand how to cut acoustic panels effectively.

How to cut acoustic foam panels

The ideal tool for cutting acoustic foam panels is an electric carving knife, which provides the cleanest and most professional results, however they are soft and malleable enough to be cut with scissors or a utility knife at the expense of rugged or uneven edges.

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

Before you begin cutting your acoustic foam panels, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Acoustic foam panel
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Marker or pen
  • Electric carving knife, scissors or a utility knife

Step 2: Measure and mark the final dimensions

Using a measuring tape or ruler, determine the dimensions you need. Mark these measurements on the foam panel using a marker or pen. Make sure your marks are clear and visible.

Step 3: Cutting the Acoustic Panel

With your dimensions marked it’s time to cut your acoustic panel to size. The instructions will vary depending on the cutting tool you’re using

Cutting acoustic foam panels with an Electric Carving Knife

  • Hold the acoustic foam panel tightly in the air or on the edge of a flat surface
  • Turn on the electric carving knife
  • Steadily cut the panel along the marked lines

Cutting acoustic foam panels with scissors

  • Position the foam panel on a flat and stable surface.
  • Align the blades of the scissors with the marked lines
  • Begin cutting through the foam using firm, steady pressure.
  • It will be easy to make uneven cuts, so take your time and carefully follow the marked lines as accurately as possible.

Cutting with a utility knife

  • Hold the foam panel in place on a stable surface.
  • Align the blade of the utility knife with the marked lines
  • Carefully score the foam along the lines, applying even pressure.
  • Repeat the scoring process several times until you have cut through the foam panel.
  • Be cautious not to cut too deep or apply excessive pressure, as this can result in jagged edges.

Step 4: Finishing touches

After you have completed the cuts, inspect the edges of the foam panel. If there are any rough or uneven sections, you can carefully trim them using scissors or a utility knife to achieve a neater appearance.

Remember, while cutting acoustic foam panels with scissors or a utility knife is possible, it may not provide the same level of precision and cleanliness as an electric carving knife. If you have the opportunity to use an electric carving knife, we highly recommend doing so for the best results.

How to cut polyester acoustic panels

While the recommended tool is a numerical control oscillating knife cutting machine, we acknowledge that access to such machinery may be limited. In those cases, DIY methods include using a razor, utility knife or even a saw.

Using a Numerical Control Oscillating Knife Cutting Machine:

  • Import dimensions and processing data to the machine as per interior design requirements
  • Place panels on the machine
  • Turn on and follow machine instructions to cut panels

Benefits of using a numerical control oscillating knife cutting machine

  • Flexibility and design freedom, no moulds required.
  • Over 10% of material saving compared to manual cutting.
  • Precise cuts with 0.02mm control precision and smooth edges.
  • Fast cutting speed of up to 2000mm/s
  • Simple operation requires minimal skills and only one operator
  • Streamlined process allows cutting, punching, and slotting in a single operation.

DIY Solutions: Razor or Utility Knife

  • Line up the cut with a plaster t-square (or equivalent)
  • Score the panel along the cutting lines with a sharp knife, applying even, moderate pressure. Make multiple passes.
  • As you go through the material, lighten the pressure on the razer to avoid tearing the last section of the panel.

How to install acoustic panels on a wall

Acoustic panel installation depends on the type of acoustic panel you’re installing. Peel and stick acoustic panels only require removing the back peel and sticking them in place.

However, installing acoustic panels that aren’t peel and stick includes a longer installation process:

  • Gathering the necessary materials: Acoustic panels, mounting brackets, screws, a drill, a level, and a tape measure.
  • Measure and mark the desired placement of the panels on the wall.
  • Measure and mark the position of the wall bracket. Use a pencil to mark the locations for drilling pilot holes.
  • Use a level to ensure that the marked positions are straight and even.
  • Use a drill to create pilot holes at the marked locations.
  • Attach the mounting brackets to the wall
  • Attach the other mounting brackets to the back of each acoustic panel (unless the manufacturer already placed them for you)
  • Hold the panel back against the wall, aligning it with the pilot holes. Insert the screws through the mounting brackets and into the pilot holes. Tighten them securely with a screwdriver or a drill.
  • Repeat the same process for the remaining panels, ensuring proper spacing and alignment between each one.

Once all panels are securely installed, step back and double-check their alignment and levelness. Make any necessary adjustments as needed.