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best knife for cutting holes in panels

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An example of this would be cutting a hole in a hood.  I know Tamiya has a number of implements for this purpose.  I don't necessarily want the thinnest blade.  I have a Tamiya kit of the Countach.  I'd like to cut holes in the rear deck to view the engine detailing I've done (plug wires and paint-detailing).  Thanks

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1) The rear deck should open to view the engine, just like it does on the real car.

2) Trying to cut holes on styrene with a "knife" isn't the way to go. It's a good way to hurt yourself too.

3) If you DON'T need to make panels that can be reinserted in the holes, start with a drill bit that's smaller than the hole you want, and open it the rest of the way with files.

4) If you DO want to be able to fit the panels you cut out back into the holes, your best bet is to repeatedly scribe the opening line with a suitable tool until you go all the way through.

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Not exactly sure what kind of holes you would be cutting.  If you are talking about cutting panel lines then Hasegawa/Tritool has a great set of photoetched saws that do a great job of cutting plastic. Image result for hasegawa trytool

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On this 1/24 Tamiya Countach kit, there are panels engraved, maybe 3 or 4.  I want to 'cut' these out and replace them with maybe clear acetate or clear styrene.  I think maybe I will start a new thread referencing specifically Tamiya products.  

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Use your Xacto knife upside down and scribe the panel lines until you work your way through.  Time consuming but the best way to achieve good results.  Then make new panels to fit the openings.  Same as scribing through door lines to remove them so that they can be hinged.

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1 hour ago, Chariots of Fire said:

Use your Xacto knife upside down and scribe the panel lines until you work your way through.  Time consuming but the best way to achieve good results.  Then make new panels to fit the openings.  Same as scribing through door lines to remove them so that they can be hinged.

This is how I do it, too. But, go slowly, as the Exacto blade might have a tendency to jump out of the panel line and leave a scratch where you don't want it. (I learned that the hard way.)

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16 hours ago, Bucky said:

This is how I do it, too. But, go slowly, as the Exacto blade might have a tendency to jump out of the panel line and leave a scratch where you don't want it. (I learned that the hard way.)

Yes, slowly is the secret.  A new sharp blade is best and many, many passes over the same area until you are through is best.  I had good results cutting open the doors on a '41 Chevy pickup but it was tedious work, that is for sure.

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Get a set of dedicated scribes and saw blades. X-acto blades are too thick to obtain a narrow cut. HQT Tools makes stainless scribe and saw sets.

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The kerf is only .3 mm, which will allow a precise, tight fit of the new panels. The sets are available from UMM-USA for seven bucks each. Unlike No. 11 blades, the scriber tips don't break off in the middle of a cut and don't get dull.

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Wow thanks for posting those tools ! I can see many uses for them where an exacto wouldn't hold up

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