3 Simple Methods on How to Cut Shingles

When installing shingles on your roof, you’ll inevitably need to cut them to specific shapes or sizes. This might involve straightforward straight cuts to align with the roof’s edge or more intricate cuts for complex roof designs.

No matter the type of cut required, various tools and techniques can be employed to achieve the desired result. If you’re new to cutting shingles, this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Read also: How to Cut Metal Roofing on Your Own

How to Cut Shingles

There are other methods to cut shingles, but this section is specifically dedicated to cut shingles with a utility blade. The tools for this job often include utility knives with removable or extendable blades, allowing you to adjust the length as needed for different cuts.

How to Cut Shingles

Below is the step-by-step on cutting shingles with a utility knife:  

  1. Turn the shingle upside down by putting the side of which you want to cut. In this step, you only need to flip the shingle from right to left or flip it upside down.
  2. Line up the point of the edge you want to cut and the side you intend not to trim. Now, cut the end of the shingle that presses against the other point of the shingle.
  3. Feel free to use tape or square measurements to give a mark. This may be required to provide a little mark according to where you plan the cut to finish.
  4. Put the side of the shingle you have to the edge.
  5. The end of the shingle should now be in line. If you want to, you can cut more. But please take your time to decide how you want to cut your shingles before you start cutting the edge. This is just another method of how to cut roof shingles. However, different type of shingles may also require different techniques and tools.

Read also: How to Cut Tin Roofing with Three Best Methods

How to Cut Architectural Shingles for Ridge Cap

Architectural shingles are asphalt shingles with a base much heavier than regular ones. There is no need to call a professional to cut and install architectural shingles for the ridge cap.

How to Cut Architectural Shingles for Ridge Cap

Here is how to cut shingles that manufacturers make.

  1. Line up the architectural shingles over the previous shingles.
  2. Lay a row of shingles by placing the bottom left corner of the shingles first. This line should extend about half an inch on top of the eaves. As you go along, pin down the shingles with nails and a hammer. Lay another row of shingles right over the first row.
  3. Cut around 6 inches from the initial shingle in the left corner with a utility knife when placing the other shingles for the upper section. Lay a new shingle next to it.
  4. Continue placing the shingles and nail them down in the same manner. Trim off 6 inches more from the previous row of shingles. It ensures the earlier shingles won’t align with the current ones in a new row.
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Read also: Can You Put a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

Cutting Shingles with Circular Saw

There are several methods in how to cut roof shingles. Sometimes, a circular can cut a stack of shingles in straight lines. This usually occurs when you must cut the edge of multiple shingles simultaneously. For example, when you downsize all the sections around the roof’s edge.

Cutting Shingles with Circular Saw

You will have to use a circular saw with strong teeth just like the one specifically made for cutting old nails, or else it will wear down even before you finish cutting through the stack of shingles. Consider using a pencil line to mark the position you intend to cut. Then, use the circular saw to cut the shingle, as you usually would cut a stack of shingles at once.

Work quickly, as the saw will get too hot while cutting through the shingles, and it will start melting the surface and make it useless. Aside from using a circular saw, you can also use tin ships, and very sharp scissors, for cutting metal.

That is the tutorial on how to cut shingles. If you think you cannot do it alone, you better call a professional to do it for you.

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Roofing Expert is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair.