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Unread 08-19-2017, 05:32 PM   #1
Respawning
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hot wire foam cutter/knife? anybody use one?

I've been toying with the idea of one of these for cutting foam but am unsure about their versatility. Are they only for styrofoam, or do they work with eva too? Are they easy to use, or not really worth the trouble? They almost seem to good to be true, like cutting butter with a hot knife!
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Unread 08-20-2017, 02:33 AM   #2
Midnight Dawn
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If it's styrofoam, then it really will cut like a hot knife through butter.

But for eva foam (polyurethane), here's an example of someone who has done it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n1D9gnSCo0. Yes it will cut. But it will only work a few times before you'll need to clean the wire as the foam would have melted/burned onto it.

I hope this helped.
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Unread 08-20-2017, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight Dawn View Post
If it's styrofoam, then it really will cut like a hot knife through butter.

But for eva foam (polyurethane), here's an example of someone who has done it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n1D9gnSCo0. Yes it will cut. But it will only work a few times before you'll need to clean the wire as the foam would have melted/burned onto it.

I hope this helped.
It did, thank you. I wonder if the table version is best, or the 2 prong one would be better? also, do you know if it can cut insulation foam/expanding foam?
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Unread 08-20-2017, 06:48 PM   #4
Midnight Dawn
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It should be able to cut I believe.

But if you're into some diy, you can make your own heat wire cutter in anyways you need as it's really just two things. Nichromium wire and a power source. Nichromium wire you can easily get from most heating appliances such as hair dryers or heaters. Getting a power sources should be manageable.

I hope this helped.
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Unread 08-24-2017, 09:39 AM   #5
loz64
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I have used a hot wire cutter with a mini table setup to cut insulation foam. My advice is that the shorter the wire, the easier it will be to cut through, and you need to be patient as the wire cuts through insulation foam like a hot knife through butter fresh out of the fridge (e.g., it's slow). You get more control with a table setup rather than a handheld one.

And please make sure you protect your lungs; the fumes that come off of burning foam are pretty nasty!
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Unread 08-24-2017, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loz64 View Post
I have used a hot wire cutter with a mini table setup to cut insulation foam. My advice is that the shorter the wire, the easier it will be to cut through, and you need to be patient as the wire cuts through insulation foam like a hot knife through butter fresh out of the fridge (e.g., it's slow). You get more control with a table setup rather than a handheld one.

And please make sure you protect your lungs; the fumes that come off of burning foam are pretty nasty!
Good to know, I've seen the table set up and was intrigued by it.


I think I will hold off (for now) as it sounds like they're best for styrofoam/insulation foam carving, so not really what I was planning on using it for. However, whenever I do a prop that needs those foams I think I will totally invest in one. Maybe it will be a Christmas gift to myself :P

Thanks for all the replies!
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Unread 10-01-2017, 01:15 PM   #7
Sweet Loretta
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A quick FYI inre to purchasing a tool. If you buy from the Hot Wire Foam Factory and ruin the wire element on the cutter they will replace it free. You have to let the hot wire do the work and not push it along like a knife. Gee I do wish it was a good tool for EVA, but it just is not.
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