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PCB Half Holes vs V-Cut: Two Methods to De-Panel PCBs

V-cut, PCB half hole
PCBONLINE Team Thur, Feb 17, 2022

PCB V-cuts and half holes are two main methods to de-panel PCBs from the large panelization board. This post introduces the two PCB split ways PCB half holes and V-cuts from the below content.

Part1: Why Do We De-Panel PCBs

PCBs are not manufactured piece by piece. For production efficiency, several PCBs are grouped on a big board to manufacture, and this is called PCB panelization. After PCBs are manufactured and assembled, they are split into single PCBs so that they can be used in devices or systems.

We de-panel PCBs after the surface-mount assembly (SMT), through-hole assembly (THT), or in-circuit testing (ICT). PCBs can be split by a routing machine, V-cut machine, or laser. V-cut and half holes are two popular ways to split PCBs from the panelized board, and the PCBONLINE editor gives a guide to PCB V-cuts and half holes, including the pros and cons, what they are, and when to use them.

Part 2: What is PCB V-Cut

  • Pros of PCB V-cut: cheapest; PCBs can be de-panelized by hand, electrically, or pneumatically
  • Cons of PCB V-cut: lines must be straight; has PCB thickness limit

PCB V-cuts are the V-shape grooves on the PCB edges that are cut by the scoring machine from both sides. Usually, the remaining thickness of the V-cuts is one-third (1/3) of the PCB board thickness, and the remaining thickness falls between 0.35mm to 0.8mm. The angles of the V-cuts include 30°, 45°, 60°, and 45°is the most common V-cut angle.

When do you use V-cuts for your PCB boards? If your PCBs have a finished thickness of more than 1mm, you can use V-cuts to de-panel PCBs.

Please note that we don't recommend to de-panel V-cut PCBs by hand. Spitting PCBs by hand may cause electronic components to fall off the PCB or harm the board's electricity.

Example of PCB V-Cuts: V-cuts aluminum PCBs produced by PCBONLINE

PCB V-cut

Part 3: What is PCB Half Hole

  • Pros of PCB half holes: applicable to unconventional-shape boards and advanced PCBs; provide PCB mechanical connection with another PCB board
  • Cons of PCB half holes: require PCBs to place no components within 1mm from half holes; take up areas on PCB boards

PCB half holes are the lines of half holes at the edges of PCB boards that are used for soldering with another PCB. On the large panelization board, there are extra board positions on the edges of PCBs with copper-plated-through holes. We cut the plated-through holes in half with a milling tool. If there are glitches on the half holes, we remove them.

Usually, the aperture range of PCB half holes is 0.5mm to 1.2mm, and the center-to-center distance range between adjacent half holes is 0.75mm to 1.27mm. Half-hole PCBs' surface finish is usually hard gold plating.

How many half-holes are allowed on a PCB edge? At least 3. More half-holes mean more manufacturing difficulty, thus higher PCB costs.

Example of PCB half holes: half-hole HDI PCBs produced by PCBONLINE

PCB half holes

This is a panelization HDI board with half holes. The light yellow pads' surface finish is 2μ" hard gold plating (ENIG); the dark yellow pads' surface finish is organic solderability preservatives (OSP).

Part 4: PCB V-Cuts vs PCB Half-Hole

Though PCB V-cuts and half holes are both methods to de-panel PCBs, they have quite some differences.

  • Different functions: V-cuts only serve to de-panel PCBs; half holes mainly serve to solder other PCBs, and PCBs on the panelization board are connected not by half holes but by extra materials between PCBs.
  • Different applications: V-cuts are the most popular method to de-panel PCBs; half holes are used for unconventional-shape boards or advanced boards that will solder to a module or main PCB. Different prices: if you require V-cuts in PCB manufacturing, the fee is low; half holes are more expensive.

Besides V-cuts and half holes, the other PCB edge treatments include gold fingers, but they are used for electrical connection rather than de-paneling or soldering. And you can learn about PCB gold fingers.

For rounded ceramic PCBs, the PCB depaneling method is laser depaneling.

PCBONLINE - If You Have PCB Manufacturing V-Cuts and Half Holes Requests

If your PCBs are designed with V-cuts or half holes and need manufacturing, PCBONLINE is one of the best quality and cost-effective PCB manufacturers. Founded in 1999, owning two advanced PCB manufacturing bases and one PCB assembly factory, PCBONLINE can easily meet your PCB V-cuts and half-hole requirements.

Here are reasons for you to consider PCBONLINE to manufacture PCBs for you:

    • PCB half-holes and gold fingers are one of our PCB manufacturing advantages.
    • We can do PCB V-cuts with the angle of 30°, 45°, or 60°.
    • Our PCB and PCBA quality management are ISO 9001, IATF 16949, UL, RoHS, and REACH-certified.
    • One-stop manufacturing from PCB prototypes to bulk production, with no minimum order limit.
    • Free one-on-one engineering/design support for your PCB/PCBA project, free samples for bulk orders.

Please feel free to send your Gerber to PCBONLINE by email at info@pcbonline.com if you have PCB manufacturing needs with V-cuts and half holes. If you want engineering assistance, our professional experts can offer help, too.


PCB V-cuts are a normal method to de-panel PCBs from the large panelized board, and half holes are used for unconventional-shape PCBs and advanced PCBs to solder with another PCB or module. If you have V-cuts, half holes, or gold fingers in your PCB designs and need PCB manufacturing and assembly, PCBONLINE is a reliable PCB manufacturer for you.


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