Last Updated on July 18, 2022 by Lisa D. Marsh
So you have a regular LEGO baseplate that you’d like to cut or shave down to use in your MOCs?
Sometimes you’ll feel guilty when trying to modify your LEGO parts and might even feel like it’s a sin to cut down LEGO bricks, especially those rare pieces.
However, they belong to you, and you can do anything you want with them. But the question is, can LEGO be cut?
The answer is Yes, LEGO pieces are made from plastics and can be cut or modified to build a customized LEGO set. However, care should be taken when cutting LEGO pieces because you might damage the piece or even end up hurting yourself.
One thing you’ll have to worry about is participating in contests as most LEGO contests, official or fan run, don’t allow using modified LEGO parts.
Part of the LEGO system rules is that you may only use parts from the system but with key exceptions like stickers and sometimes third-party stuff like BrickArms, strings, and rubber bands.
With that being said, if you want to go ahead and cut your LEGO bricks, it’s not advisable to use any object like a circular saw because they might destroy the bricks and make them not useful anymore.
So in this article, I’m going to show you how to cut your LEGO pieces and some of the tools you can use to get the most out of them
Let’s dive in.
Tools You Can Use to Cut Your LEGO Bricks
Below are some tools you can use to cut your LEGO bricks without damaging or destroying them in the process:
- Stanley knife (thin-bladed craft knife): Good for thin parts and straight or curved cuts.
- Bench grinder: Good for larger parts where you want a flat surface.
- Dremel-type sander with a small circular head for smaller parts where you want a curved surface.
- Dremel cutter: Good for cutting off the excess, a few millimeters away from the final surface to be finished with sandpaper/grinder
- Hotwire cutter (thin tensioned wire with an electrical current running through it to heat it): Perfect for getting concave straight and angular holes/grooves. You can get perfect 90-degree cutouts, which is often difficult with other tools.
- Friction: You can use a bench grinder or sander for this. It sits in its own place, leaving your hands free to manipulate the brick as you cut it. This will help prevent you from injuring yourself while in the process. By cutting with friction, you are melting away the plastic, so you’re left with a semi-smooth cut that you just buffed out with a cloth wheel. This will make it look almost new in the area you cut if you buff it well.
- Exacto knife
How Do You Cut A LEGO Piece In Half?
One of the easiest ways to cut a LEGO baseplate is to score it with a straightedge and knife (Exacto, Stanley). After you’ve made a deep enough cut, you’ll be able to bend and break the baseplate where you scored it. You can then sand the edge of the plate to clean it up a bit.
Here’s a step-by-step process on how to do it.
Step 1: Create a Cutting Mark
Use a steel ruler as a guide to creating a cutting mark with a sharp cutter like a knife in the place you want to cut. You might need to repeat this step to ensure that the cutting mark is deep enough.
Step 2: Bend and Flex the Plate
Once you’ve cut it deep enough, carefully bend both parts of the baseplate. You can repeat step 1 if you find it hard to bend both plate parts.
Step 3: Move Back and Forth
Then move back and forth until you can separate both parts of the plate. You might need to pull them apart in order to separate them once the cut gets too thin.
Step 4: Smooth Each End
Once you’ve successfully separated the parts, you should file each end with sandpaper or cutter to make it very smooth.
That’s it. You’re ready to use your cut LEGO baseplate.
What Can You Do With Broken LEGOs?
If your LEGO brick or Minifigure is broken and you don’t want to throw it away, there are certain things you can do with it. These includes:
Modify It: A creative way to use your broken LEGO is to modify it and create a customized set. You can do this by either cutting it, adding a new sticker, etc. You need to get creative.
Donate: If you can not use the broken pieces, you can donate them to someone who you think will find it useful and build something unique with it.
Recycle: If the brick is damaged and can no longer be used, your best bet is to recycle it since you’ll not need it anymore. Check our article on recycling LEGO bricks to learn how to recycle your LEGO pieces properly.
Final Thoughts – Can You Cut LEGO?
While it’s okay to cut your LEGO bricks, there are certain objects like circular saws that can end up damaging your pieces.
Using objects like a Stanley knife, Exacto knife, bench grinder, Dremel cutter, and hot wire, among others, will help ensure a good cut and avoid damaging your LEGO pieces.
You should keep in mind that cutting or modifying your LEGO can prevent you from participating in contests as they mostly don’t allow using modified LEGO parts.