How to Cut Formica Countertop With a Circular Saw

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People working in the kitchen or doing desk jobs often feel monotonous. A quick change in the countertop can help change the ambiance, and good ambiance is proven to boost productivity. In this article, we tell you how to cut a Formica Countertop with a circular saw so that you can make the change yourself.

How to Cut Formica Countertop With a Circular Saw

The process of cutting your Formica countertop can be cumbersome and tedious if not done properly. From choosing the proper blade to cutting the countertop, everything needs to be done systematically.

Materials Required

  • Measuring Tape
  • Carpenter’s Pencil
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Circular Saw
  • Work Table
  • Belt Sander ( with 220- Grit Sandpaper)
  • Jigsaw

Step #1: Choose the Right Blade

For cutting the laminate, choosing the right saw and blade is just as important as knowing the right technique.

Circular saw blades

Some popular blades for cutting the Formica countertop include:

  • Festool 496309 Laminate 48-Tooth Saw Blade: this is tailor-made for cutting laminates. It has 48 teeth, each tipped with carbide, making it more durable.
  • Concord Blades SLM1000TO80SP 10″ 80 Teeth: This is a state of the art blade that is ideal for precision cuts and comes with heat expansion slots
  • Dewalt DW3106P5 60-Teeth: This is a comparatively delicate blade but is perfectly suited to provide a great cutting experience to beginners.
  • Freud D12100X Saw Blade: Its parma-shield, coupled with advanced features like the no-stick coating and vents for stabilization, make it one of the best blades in the market.
  • Makita A 9368110:This blade has 80 teeth and provides the best possible quality at a reasonable price. It is small and compact, making it very handy.

Step #2: Make Measurements

Measuring precisely before cutting is perhaps the most important step in the entire process. One wrong measurement can throw off the viability of the project. Start by measuring the distance between the blade of the saw and the edge of its shoe.

This makes the use of a fence during cutting easier, and the sword can rest against the fence while cutting.

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It is advisable to add 1/16 of an inch to the measurements to provide adequate room for error. The extra parts can be chipped of later by using sandpaper.

These measurements form the basis of all further activities involved in the cutting of a Formica countertop.

Step #3: Cover Marking with Tapes

This is an essential preventive measure that should not be avoided. Cover all the cutting lines with masking tapes.

The tape will prevent chipping and other forms of damage when you cut through the countertop.

It is also quite probable to scratch the countertop while trying to cut it. Make sure you don’t place the blade on the countertop if you’re taking a break from cutting.

Moving the countertop away from the wall will give you more space to work, making the entire process less of a hassle. While disconnecting the plumbing can get taxing sometimes, the convenience it offers is worth the effort.

Step #4: Cut the Countertop Lengthwise

After all measurements and precautions are taken, you can begin with the cutting of the countertop:

  • Align the blade with the cutting lines.
  • Make a mark past the inside blade edge on the side of the saw guard. Then place a piece of 1 by 2 inch wood on the countertop. To make marking easier, you can use a carpenter’s square.
  • Align it with the mark indicating the edge of the saw guard. Carefully place the wood away from the area between the cut line and the guard mark.
  • Make a few cuts on areas that will eventually be cut away to get a feel of using the blade.
  • After finishing the practice stroke and gaining enough confidence, use the line as your guide and cut the countertop. Then lay the slab on the countertop to see if there is a slight overhang.
  • The slight overhang can be cut right now to the exact desired length or left for the end, where it can be chipped using sandpaper.

Step #5: Cut the Countertop Widthwise

After the countertop is cut to length, you have to place it on the actual countertop area to find the correct width measurement.

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Kitchen with formica countertop

You can do this easily by first taking a width measurement with the measuring tape. Then cut the width of the countertop slightly wider than the measured length.

Now place the slab on the countertop and use a pencil to scribe the width of the countertop. Cut along the scribe mark to get an exact fit.

Step #6: Make Any Necessary Cutouts

By this stage, your countertop should fit almost perfectly on the required countertop area. The final step involves making necessary cutouts for factors like sink openings.

Please take note that this step is more complicated than cutting along the length or width. Take time to complete this step and keep calm while completing it.

Make traces around any such openings to obtain an accurate template. Use your jigsaw to cut an opening accordingly.

Unlike the cuts along length and width, make this cut a little smaller to ensure a proper fit. Then make it fit perfectly by making additional cuts.

Step #7: Make Finishing Touches

As stated previously, while cutting the length and width, it is advisable to make longer cuts than measured.

After finishing with all the cuttings, you can use the 220- grit sandpaper to sand out the edges and rough surfaces to give your countertop a smooth finish.

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To give the countertop a perfect glaze and an eye-catching finish, you can use adhesives that Formica provides when buying the Formica countertop.

Apply the adhesives smoothly and uniformly. Then let the adhesive dry properly, if possible, under a fan.

Here’s a full video guide that illustrates the cutting process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Cut a Countertop Without Chipping?

You can cut a countertop without chipping by using masking tape along the cutline, then sawing through the tape and removing it once the cutting is done.

Can You Cut Formica with Scissors?

A Formica countertop is delicate and can be cut with scissors, although it is not advisable to do the same. It is a delicate process and needs to be done with great care.

What Is The Best Glue for Formica?

If you are starting from scratch or are remodeling an old countertop with the new Formica, you should use contact cement. We recommend avoiding the use of other glues.

Conclusion

The process of cutting a countertop isn’t very complicated. It requires practice, precision, and patience to master. But once you get the hang of it, you can use the acquired skills to remodel any other part of your house.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.