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How to Cut Holes in Cement Backer Board with a Jigsaw

By: Joe Truini

To cut holes in cement backer board to use under tile, equip a portable jigsaw or sabre saw with a metal cutting blade.

To start the saw in cement backer board, drill a hole though the backer board large enough for the jigsaw blade or make a plunge cut with the blade in the backer board.

Always be sure to wear dust and eye protection when cutting cement backer board. Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Joe Truini: I’m about to cut a hole in this cement backer board for a toilet flange. This is going to go down on the bathroom floor. And there are several specialty tools you can buy to make that hole, but I’ve gotten really good results using a jigsaw and a metal cutting blade.

Now, the first thing you need to know when you’re working with cement backer boards, you have to protect yourself from the silica dust using a dust mask and safety glasses. I’m going to put that on first. And then I’m going to make the cut. Now, you could drill a hole—start a hole for the blade—but I just as soon use a plunge cut method. And then just follow the line.

There you go. Nice clean cut. Very little dust. And this works not only with circular cuts but also with straight and square cuts.


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2 Comments on “How to Cut Holes in Cement Backer Board with a Jigsaw”

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  • Mark Says:
    March 11th, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I tried this method and just ended up stripping the teeth from my jigsaw blades! What sort of blades do you use and did you have pendulum on?

  • Mick Says:
    July 10th, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    WOW! Thanks Joe. Never seen the plunge cut method. I’ll have to try it. This man does in :57 seconds, what takes me a half hour!

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How to Cut Holes in Cement Backer Board with a Jigsaw