3 Simple Methods on How to Cut Shingles

At some point, you will have to cut the shingles of your roof into a specific shape or size when you shingle your own roof. This may mean the shingle has to cut in a straight line to fit the roof’s line, or it requires more complicated cuts.

Regardless of the cut needed, many equipment and methods can be used to get the job done. If it’s your first-time to cut shingles, here is the tutorial on how to cut shingles, as mentioned in the following sections.

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. These tools include removable knives, which can be removed or extended to specific lengths based on the needs.

How to Cut Shingles

Below is the step-by-step on how to cut shingles with a utility knife:  

  1. Turn the shingle upside down by putting the side of which you want to cut. You only need to flip the shingle from right to left or flip it upside down in this step.
  2. Line up the point of the shingle’s edge you want to cut and the shingle’s 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 measurement 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, a different type of shingles may require different techniques and tools as well.

How to Cut Architectural Shingles for Ridge Cap

Architectural shingles are asphalt shingles with a base that is much heavier than regular asphalt shingles. 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. With a utility knife, cut around 6 inches from the initial shingle in the left corner 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 that the earlier shingles won’t line up with the current shingles in a new row.

Cutting Shingles with Circular Saw

There are several methods in how to cut roof shingles. In some cases, a circular can be utilized to cut a stack of shingles in straight lines. This is usually will occur when you have to cut the edge of more than one shingle 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 finished 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 them useless. Aside from using a circular saw, you can also use tin ships, known to be a very sharp scissor, for cutting metal.

That is the tutorial on how to cut shingles. If you think you are incapable of doing it on your own, you better call a professional to get it done for you.

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RoofLast 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