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How to Cut Ridge Caps From Shingles

How to Cut Ridge Caps From Shingles. The roof on any home is one of the most important parts of the home. Water leaks caused by a poorly installed roof can quickly cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to the home and its contents.

Ridge caps are an important part of the roof because they are the starting point for protecting the home against water damage. While you can buy ridge caps matching your shingles, it is easy to cut ridge caps from the shingles. You will also save money when you cut ridge caps yourself.

  1. Hold the three-tab shingle by one of the tabs with the tabs facing your body.

  2. Set the utility knife at the edge of the tab where the solid piece of the shingle meets the tab. Position the knife so the blade faces away from your body.

  3. Cut the tab off the shingle at approximately a 30-degree angle from the outside of the tab to the inner side of the resulting piece. You should have the straight line from the tab to the point you cut and then an angle. The part of the shingle opposite the tab should be narrower than the tab.

  4. Cut the solid part of the shingle off the opposite side of the tab at a 30-degree angle. You should be holding a single tab roughly in the shape of a home plate from a baseball field.

  5. Repeat the process of cutting the shingles to make all of the ridge caps you need. You should get three ridge caps per full shingle.

  6. Create the starter ridge cap for each line of caps by cutting the line straight from the tab to the end instead of at an angle. Cut off the tab and throw it away. You use the piece of the shingle with tar on the bottom.


When installing ridge caps, think about the direction most storms come from as they approach your property and the wind direction. Place ridge caps so driving rain goes along the caps and isn't blown up under the ridge caps. Put the starter ridge cap down first and use roofing cement to secure it in place. Nail the starter ridge cap down to hold it in place as the cement dries. Use one nail on either side of the ridge to secure each ridge cap in place. Nails go on the angled side of the ridge cap. Use the leftover shingle scraps to make roof caps as long as you have a full tab.


Nails should never be exposed in ridge caps or there could be water leaks.