Imported SVG will only allow cutting on path(possibly solved)

I am trying to cut a basic Tele pickguard.
I’ve opened it in Inkscape, and tried it a couple differet ways. one, saving as an SVG and the choosing path>break apart then going in to combine the outline paths, then the paths in the pickup cutout…

every way I have tried has rendered me unable to cut anything other than “on path”

(Edit)(turns out I had some crummy PDF’S) I got one from another source and it worked fine

As an aside, when you guys are converting PDF’s in Inkscape, what resolution do you set it for import?