Can You Cut Shingles With A Circular Saw? (Yes, You Can Cut!)

Only a roofer can comprehend the need for a faster method to cut shingles with precision within the shortest time. If the construction is a big project where utility knivesfall short, roofers seek alternatives to cut shingles faster and smoother.

The circular saw is an excellent tool to cut shingles. You can cut them straight with a circular saw blade. You will need a strong-tipped blade to cut shingles.

Don’t know anything about shingles or circular saws? Keep reading on to learn more.

Can You Cut Shingles With A Circular Saw

Get the Job Done Faster: Cutting Shingles With A Circular Saw

A piece of shingle can be cut through various tools, but a utility knife, circular saw, and reciprocating saw are best of the best tools for accurate and precise cuts of shingles. The circular saw is more spectacular as it can cut the material in the shortest time and in the largest number.

You need to be mindful about choosing the right type of blade to cut the shingles. As shingles are made from asphalt, you can easily damage the material and the blade. A blade capable of cutting through an old nail is capable of cutting shingles.

You also have to be fast and quick while cutting the stack of shingles. As shingles generate an undue amount of heat, the blade will sustain permanent damage to the tooth and the material might begin to melt. If you can use the circular saw correctly on shingles, it can ease your work by ten times more.

When Should You Use A Circular Saw To Cut Shingles?

As mentioned earlier, you will get lots of options to cut shingles. Each of the tools has its unique attributes to cut and shape the pieces of shingles. So, how do you know what is the best situation to use circular saws to cut shingles? Let’s find out.

For Straight Cuts

Circular saw is best known for their accurate and simple straight cuts. So, obviously, the first choice for straight cuts on shingles should be the circular saw. As the shingles are made from asphalts, cutting straight from their pieces is rather tricky. But using a circular saw will make the task a lot easier.

Before you begin to make the cuts, don’t forget to measure the distance from the length and width and mark the position. You can use a speed square for better guidance. Placing a speed square on the base plate of the saw will fetch an accurate straight cut every time.

Trim The Edge

If you want to cut the edge of the panel without wasting the supporting material, you should use circular saws. It is the best tool for trimming the edges. Usually, when you are working on a very thin edge, your hand becomes shaky, and you often miss the cutline. However, as a circular saw is very secure to handle, you can use it to trim the shingles.

You need to know about the correct angle that will help you cut the panel edge straight. If you are using a cordless circular saw, you should use the left-blade saws.

You may wonder why you should use left-handed cordless circular saws? As the saws give you a more clear vision of the blade, you can trim the edge by following the cut-line and the blade’s position.

Stack Of Shingles

Usually, shingles come in great numbers, and processing them singularly might waste lots of time and manpower. Moreover, it will cause differences between the pieces which can create a gap while putting them together in a single layer. You can cut a stack of shingles in one go as long as the depth of the blade can cut through the shingles.

You need to mark both ends of the top piece of shingles. Place them securely on a table so that the pieces don’t move while cutting the stack. Also, you should be fast to cut the shingles as the heat produced by the material can wound the circular saw blade tooth.

Circular Saw Blades Suitable To Cut Shingles

The blade is the most crucial part of the circular saw. A correct blade can make your experience with a circular saw memorable, and an inappropriate blade can also make the experience memorable but in a different setting. So, don’t start cutting any material with your brand-new saw, and learn whether the blade and the material are compatible or not.

Diamond Blades

The diamond blade is one of the hardest blade options for a circular saw. The core of this blade is an alloy steel that is then coated with synthetic, lab-grown diamonds to make it extra hardy and tough. That is why the diamond blade has raised its name for cutting hard materials.

Not only asphalt, but also this blade can smoothly cut ceramic, bricks, hard stones, concrete, and even granite. Even with such heavy-duty, this blade is also known for its astounding longevity, subject to using the blade properly.

This blade is impeccable to expedite the experience of cutting shingles whether a single piece or a stack. Moreover, the dust generator quantity is significantly reduced due to their clean-cut technology. Although the blade doesn’t work in silence, the noise level is significantly subdued.

Masonry Blades

A masonry blade is not your typical circular saw blade that is used to cut wood or vinyl. You will recognize the difference between a masonry blade and a normal blade by the teeth’ position on the outer layer. There are different shapes of teeth on the surface of a normal blade, but, on the contrary, you will find no teeth on a masonry blade.

The external edge of this blade is layered with a layer of diamond components that is coated over any softer kind of metal. While a normal blade slices through the material, a masonry blade grinds through them. The shingles will not cut through but rather strip away the bond in connection with the masonry blade, leaving you with a precise and smooth cut.

Carbide-Tipped Blades

Carbide-tipped blades are the most popular option to cut any material, be it wood or ferrous metal. Not surprisingly, this blade works wonders in cutting shingles as well. However, there are wide varieties of carbide-tipped blades, and the teeth’ shape and number also vary depending upon the model.

To cut shingles, you will need a laser-cut carbide-tipped blade specifically made for roofers. These special blades are designed to cut rough materials as they are made with tungsten carbide under a triple-chip grind.

The blade is usually 7 ¼ inches in diameter and has 14-16 sharp teeth for a premium and swift professional cut. If you are interested, you can purchase this model No products found..

Some Tips To Remember

  • Do not use a wood-cutting blade to cut shingles, whether the tool is a circular saw or a reciprocating saw. As shingles are made from asphalt, you will need special blades.
  • After using it on shingles for a couple of times, check the blade’s sharpness with a magnifying glass. If the blade is not sharp enough, don’t use it without sharpening.
  • Make sure the blade you are using is heat-resistance. When you are cutting shingles, the amount of heat generated might melt the tip of the tooth on a regular blade.
  • Be mindful of the number of shingles you are stacking to cut at once. Better keep the blade and the stack side by side and check if the blade is capable of penetrating through the stack or not.

Frequently Asked Questions


How to cut shingles with a circular saw?

Cutting a piece o shingles with a circular saw is not a task for beginners. But a guideline will certainly help to achieve a perfect cut. You will have to measure the dimensions of the roof or window and draw the measurement of the shingles you are about to cut.

Next, mark both edges with a straight alignment. Also, mark both sides so that you can cut the exact amount. First, cut a thin amount on the top edge and follow the cutline mark to complete the task.

What are the tools you can use to cut shingles?

There are many tools used to cut shingles. The most commonly used is a utility knife. If you need to cut single pieces of shingles manually, the utility knife is the best option. Although the blades become blunt pretty easily and you need to wear a safety glove as you have to hold the shingles on your hand to cut them with a utility blade.

Tin snips are another tool best for cutting shingles. With a utility blade, your ability to make curves and directions is reserved. But tin snips work as scissors. It can cut through the shingles with any curves and cuts. And, of course, there are circular saws to make straight cuts as well.

How many times you can use a blade to cut shingles?

You can use a blade for 20 to 120 hours straight to cut shingles. After that, you need to either sharpen the blade or replace them. Your care and maintenance may lengthen the lifespan of the blade, but it will wear off eventually. So, better check the sharpness before using.

Final Words

Shingles are a product of asphalts and are a tough material mostly used by roofers. If you have to make a straight cut or cut a stack of shingles in one go, a circular saw can be an excellent option. However, be mindful of the blade you are using and always use a sharp and strong blade to complete your task.


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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