Simple Solutions

How to Cut Sheet Goods Without Tearing

By: Joe Truini
Joe Truini cutting rosin paper to prevent tearing.

Joe Truini cutting rosin paper to prevent tearing.

When cutting wide rolls of sheet goods, like rosin paper or felt paper, don’t start the cut at the top of the roll, since it will cause the roll to fold over and tear.

Instead, start the cut an inch or two down from the top of the roll so the cut piece will be supported and won’t tear. Once the cut is complete, cut or tear the top section off.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Joe Truini: I’m getting ready to paint this kitchen, and I thought I’d use this rosin paper I have left over from a flooring job to cover the floor here and the countertop just to protect it from paint spatters. So I’m going to show you a trick of how to cut this paper without it tearing on you.

First of all, you roll it out—roll out as much as you need—and then we’re going to use a utility knife to cut it. But rather than cutting it from the top edge down, which most people would do, we’re going to start an inch or two down from the top edge. Because if you cut from the very top edge, the paper will fold over and has a tendency to tear or block the paper so you can’t see where you’re cutting.

So we’re going to start, again, maybe an inch or two from the top and cut all the way down and straight through the bottom edge. There, just like that. I mean you see because we didn’t cut through, this top edge is held in place. Now, you just tear it away.

This technique works great for cutting anything that comes on a wide roll, including roll roofing, builder’s felt. And if you’ve ever installed a floating floor, you know that the underlayment comes in a really wide roll, sometimes as wide as five feet.

So, try this trick. I’m sure it’ll help you there.



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