Halloween Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
I play with dead people
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
I got the one from Michaels. It has a cord attached to it and a thin rod. They have another one which is cheeper that almost looks like a jig saw with a wire for the blade. You have to be carefull and not go too fast or the wire will break. I think it has a replacement wire with it. The one I have you can go a little faster but the rod will start to bend if you go to fast. It will also begin to cool off as your cutting but you can use a sawing motion to get to a hotter part of the rod. It does leave marks if you do it that way but I was able to sand mine down.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
For the record, I have also bought the battery-powered "hot-wire" styro cutter and the plug-in styro cutter wand from Michaels.

The battery-powered one is a great idea, but it runs through D sided batteries very quickly (you're lucky to get through one tombstone-sized project). The plug-in wand is nice, and does a great job on the pill styrofoam, but It's pretty slow going when it comes to cutting clean through an inch or more of styrofoam. The wand is great for detail work, and the fact that you don't have to worry about batteries is a HUGE plus.

If you're going to be doing a lot of styrofoam cutting, I would suggest you check onling for a more professional hot-wire styrofoam cutter. Even better, and a lot cheaper, follow the garage-of-evil's plans for their $20 variable power hot-wire styro cutter.

Hot-Wire Foam Pro Tools For Cheap!


 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Most of the time I just use a box cutter to sculpt my styrofoam, but I've been trying to do some research on good styrofoam hot-wire cutters.

The two that I have currently are very cheap and not very reliable. One is a $5 cutter that requires two "D" batteries to heat the wire. It's not bad for short bursts through thin sheets, but it runs through batteries pretty quick. The other is a cheap Michaels find hot-wire "wand" cutter. It worked pretty good -- until it broke the same afternoon I bought it!



I think the main problem with both of these cutters is they don't get hot enough.

I have found a cutter on eBay for $30 that claims to run at a cutting temperature of 428° F. I know this may be a stupid question, but is that a good temp for styrofoam cutting?

I know my wood burning iron runs at about 750° F and that's probably too hot for finer wire cutting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,073 Posts
Disclaimer- I don't work for or was paid for these comments.

I just recently purchased the Hotwire Foam factory kit (pro kit 4 tools, dvd, adjustable power supply) at Hauntcon in April. Do also own the Micheals craft foam cutting tool, & the scroll foam cutter from Hobby Lobby.

The Hotwire system can be purchased either online or any conventions they attend.

When I compared the Michaels wand foam cutter vs the similar HWFF wand, the Hot wire wand heated up quicker & cut through foam quicker too. Didn't like the design of the Michaels wand plug to the power supply. It's not permanently attached to it, & came unplugged a few times.

Hotwire Foam Factory
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Most of the time I just use a box cutter to sculpt my styrofoam, but I've been trying to do some research on good styrofoam hot-wire cutters.

The two that I have currently are very cheap and not very reliable. One is a $5 cutter that requires two "D" batteries to heat the wire. It's not bad for short bursts through thin sheets, but it runs through batteries pretty quick. The other is a cheap Michaels find hot-wire "wand" cutter. It worked pretty good -- until it broke the same afternoon I bought it!



I think the main problem with both of these cutters is they don't get hot enough.

I have found a cutter on eBay for $30 that claims to run at a cutting temperature of 428° F. I know this may be a stupid question, but is that a good temp for styrofoam cutting?

I know my wood burning iron runs at about 750° F and that's probably too hot for finer wire cutting.
I have a hot wire cutter from HL and I think its works fine....if its too hot it will make a bad cut.
 

·
Halloween Bad Girl
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I cut a lot of styrofoam, at different angles and using different sizes. I do want something that is going to last for some time. again I pretty hard on my equipment, I don't need one more thing I have to baby, because I have to hurry and get the job done.

Currently I am using a knife to cut through the styrofoam, and on my pink foam it is leaving very rough ends, which are not a straight cut. I am getting frustrated having to go back and repair the damaged areas.

Keep the ideas coming.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
I cut a lot of styrofoam, at different angles and using different sizes. I do want something that is going to last for some time. again I pretty hard on my equipment, I don't need one more thing I have to baby, because I have to hurry and get the job done.

Currently I am using a knife to cut through the styrofoam, and on my pink foam it is leaving very rough ends, which are not a straight cut. I am getting frustrated having to go back and repair the damaged areas.

Keep the ideas coming.
My suggestion, for the best price and best results, would be to build the Garage-of-Evil styrofoam hot-wire table. Purchasing the parts isn't too expensive, but being able to push sheets of styrofoam across a flat table to be cut by a perfectly verticle wire is definitely going to help you with those straight cuts. I realize it's not the perfect tool for everything, but the concept of the wire heating element can be adapted to a handheld tool as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,053 Posts
A couple years ago I bought the entire Hot Wire Foam Factory set...Everything but the pro knife- Sculpter,shaver,engraver,basic knife,3D router,4foot bow,both big boxes of indoor and outdoor foam coat and the biggest bottle of glue....I have since broke the basic hot wire knife from not cleaning the rod properly (When wiping the crud off the rod, I accidently pulled the rod out of the knife-NEVER PULL out on the rod because it CAN come out of the holder)...It was about a year old and I did tons off work with it but instead of replacing with another, I bought the one from Michaels....I honestly don't notice a difference on the speed it cuts the foam (about the same) but I definitely did notice not having the ability to dial in your temp...The Michaels has on ON-OFF switch and thats what you get...With the hot wire knife, I was able to set it at a lower temp for thinner foams and more detail work...You can't do that kind of work with the Michaels because it just eats away too much foam from too much heat, no dial....ZR
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top