Holes instead of v-groove


I need to order some 5 PCBs whose project was done using v-grooves. Unfortunately due to customs clearance trouble I had to change the PCB supplier and the new supplier doesn’t provides v-grooves. I thought instead of v-grooves I could place a line of small holes so that I could break the thing by twisting it.

Of course I could split the project into two separated PCBs but it will become more expensive. I am talking about a board with 160x66mm needed to be split into 2 boards.

Would it be feasible if I place a line of, say, simple 0.8mm diameter holes spaced by 1mm?

Could I have some opinion, please?

Thank you
H. Martins

The term is mouse-bites.
Here you can see a manufacturer’s take on this. Pretty typical for cheap prototype boards.


Boards are quite tough. Even line of holes will be hard to break. You will need a slot and tabs with mouse bites that hold the two boards together. That means you’ll have to allow more separation between the boards. Search with the terms panelization and mouse bites for pictures and tools.

As straubm wrote, mouse bites are probably the way to go.

These are very ieuw and mabye even nsfw:


These images are much safer for your sanity:

As an alternative, you can space your PCB’s apart by the distance of your circular saw, and then saw them from each other. This can leave straight lines without remnants of mouse bites. Sawing PCB material is a bit of an messy and itchy business though.

If you don’t like mice:

If you use 5 orders you don’t have to pay for the areas between boards. I’m curious why one order.

There are different ways to do this and the choice depends on who is doing it.

It’s been many years since I used a vendor to do my PCB’s (I mill my PCB’s).

Below example is how I’ve had vendors do it when the boards were within their spec for Max raw board size. It is also how I do it for milling my PCB’s.

The Gap between PCB’s = Kerf = Mill-Bit-Diam (or saw blade thickness).
Be sure to check with Vendor as, most likely, they will have requirements.
Example: JLPCB Scroll down to Panelization info

My approach

Aye, indeed.
some time ago (2 years?) there was someone on this forum with a similar problem. I think he had very small PCB’s and could not tolerate mouse bites. His final solution was to buy a CNC router for the sole purpose of de-paneling the PCB’s.

About de-paneling…
There are special pliers for that. Below a picture of a very simple (and affordable) handheld de-paneling tool. There are also more sophisticated versions that work on compressed air (or other?).

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