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It doesn’t matter if you’re cutting a laminate sheet for a countertop or laminate flooring – the wrong blade will be a nightmare for chipping. Figuring out what jigsaw blade to use for laminate can be challenging with so many options available, and this guide is here to help.
- What Jigsaw Blade to Use for Laminate
- The Best Jigsaw Blades for Laminate
- Tips and Tricks for Preventing Chipping
- The Benefits of Using a Jigsaw
What Jigsaw Blade to Use for Laminate
Seemingly small differences between jigsaw blades can have a large impact on the quality of your laminate cuts.
For the lowest risk of chipping, these are the features that you should look for:
- At least 20 TPI
- Ground teeth
- Reverse-tooth design
- Carbide-tipped or bi-metal teeth
- Blade length
- Thick vs thin
Number of Teeth
When cutting laminate, you want a tooth count that would impress a shark.
A higher TPI (teeth per inch) means a smoother cut and less chipping, so aim for around 20 TPI.
Granted, not all blades that are designed for cutting laminate are going to have that high of a TPI.
Having said that, if you’re looking at two blades side-by-side and you’re stuck on which one to get, go for the one with more teeth.
If you look closely at most jigsaw blades you’ll see that the teeth aren’t lined up straight – they alternate directions. This is called a set alignment.
Ground teeth, on the other hand, are all lined up facing the same direction. This results in a cleaner cut through the laminate with less tearing, and therefore less chipping.
While set teeth will work fine for your countertop’s sink cutout where the edge will be hidden from view, you’re going to want ground teeth for any visible edges.
Jigsaw blade teeth are generally pointing upwards, meaning they bite into the bottom side of your workpiece first.
Because they’re pushing through the laminate on top, this means that the top side is much more prone to chipping.
This is easily fixed by flipping over the laminate so that the side you want to stay prettiest is on the bottom, but that’s not always possible.
If you need to make a cutout in a countertop that’s already installed for example, you’re going to want a reverse-tooth blade.
Most blades designed for laminate are going to be bi-metal or carbide-tipped.
While carbide-tipped blades will probably give you the smoothest cut of the two, these blades are more expensive. Bi-metal blades will work great as well.
Some manufacturers coat/paint their blades to match their brand. It’s not likely to hurt too much with your cut, but an uncoated blade would be better for thicker cuts.
If you really like how that red and white DIABLO blade cuts, however, the paint isn’t a deal-breaker for thin cuts where there’s less risk for transfer.
You could have the most perfect, ideal laminate blade in the world but it won’t do you any good if your workpiece is thicker than the blade.
Make sure your blade has at least a quarter inch of clearance on the bottom.
While the rest of the parameters depend on what you’re cutting, this one depends on how you’re cutting it.
- For straight and true cuts, a thicker blade is going to provide more stability and accuracy.
- For curved cuts, a thinner blade is going to follow the curve better and be less likely to bind.
Many multipacks come with blades of different thicknesses so you’re covered no matter what your project entails.
The Best Jigsaw Blades for Laminate
What jigsaw blade to use for laminate depends on a number of factors as you’ve learned, but now let’s see which ones on the market are the highest recommended:
1. Bosch T128BHM3
While 14 TPI might seem low, those teeth are carbide-tipped, ground, and reverse-facing.
The blade length is also over 3 and a half inches which should be plenty long for your laminate materials.
Overall this jigsaw blade is designed to give you smooth, clean cuts in your laminate workpiece.
- Made specifically for laminate flooring
- Carbide-tipped teeth
- Reverse-tooth style
2. Bosch T503
If you don’t want to break the bank on the T128BHM3 blades, Bosch has options for you. The Bosch T503s have 20 TPI with ground, bi-metal teeth.
They are marketed to flooring installers so you can still get a professional-grade finish, and they are more budget-friendly.
- Made for laminate flooring
- Bi-metal teeth
- 20 TPI
- Good value
- Not a true reverse-tooth blade
3. DEWALT DW3762H2
There’s one thing you can count on with DEWALT’s tools – a one year warranty at least.
Their jigsaw blades are no different, so you can rest easy knowing that if anything happens to your blade they have you covered.
As far as the specs go, these blades have 10 TPI with ground teeth that are reverse-facing.
While the TPI is low, as long as you maintain control of the saw’s speed and your cutting speed as you go you can still get clean cuts.
- One year warranty
- Deep gullets – cuts faster and clears debris better
- Reverse-tooth design
- Low TPI
Tips and Tricks for Preventing Chipping
Your blade is going to do most of the work when it comes to preventing chipping, but there’s some other things that you can help it out:
- Tape over your cut line on both sides of the laminate
- Score your cut line first with a utility knife
- Don’t rush the cut
- Make sure you use a medium-low saw speed
- Make sure the saw’s settings match the cut you’re doing
- Use a zero-clearance jig
The Benefits of Using a Jigsaw
There are multiple different power tools that you could reach for to cut laminate, but jigsaws offer several advantages.
To start, jigsaws are one of the only saws that can make interior cuts on pieces that have already been installed.
What jigsaw blade to use for laminate depends partially on what kind of cut you want to make.
No matter how you’re cutting, you’re going to want to look for a ground blade with a high tooth count, a reverse-tooth orientation, and the right thickness for your project.