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Best ways to cut formica

Updated on January 1, 2012

Formica is a plastic, paper or fabric laminate protected by melamine resin. It is commonly used in various parts of buildings – on countertops, kitchens, bathrooms and even walls.

The best ways to cut formica depend on its thickness. Thin sheets are best cut using the score-and-snap method, while formica countertops are best cut with power tools.

Score-and-snap method

The score-and-snap method is used for cutting formica sheets. The sheets are thin enough to be rolled. However, when cutting, you must ensure that they remain flat.

Use weight at the ends of the sheet if necessary. Once you measure and mark the area you need to cut, you must protect the areas to be cut with masking tape.

The masking tape prevents the formica from splintering. Remark the lines above the masking tape before you cut. Ensure that the sheet is well supported on either side of the cut. Then, you should cut them using a straight edge to guide the sharp utility knife.

Once the sheet is cut, gently lift the part of the sheet that you do not need; it should snap leaving a clean cut. To finish the edges, you can use formica blades or a flat metal file.

How to Cut Formica Countertops

Formica countertops require a bit more work than formica sheets. Power saws are the best tools for cutting formica countertops and a sawhorse is a handy platform for cutting such material.A circular power saw with 40 teeth is ideal for cutting the main portion of the countertop, since it gives a more accurate cut. A jig saw with a laminate cutting blade or router power tool should be used for a closer, better finish.

Just as with cutting formica sheets, the part of the countertop to be cut should be covered with masking tape to prevent disintegration of the edges. The rip fence is recommended for use with your power saw, since it facilitates straighter lines. After using the circular saw, a router tool or jigsaw should be utilized once the countertop is on the designated surface. If the electric jigsaw is used, a belt sander can be used for the final finish. A router power tool provides the smooth finish, so it could be a good alternative.


Laser cutting is another alternative method for cutting formica sheets, but is not practical for most persons. Ultimately, higher tooth counts are vital for cutting formica countertops – just as sharpness is critical for slicing formica sheets.


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