How to Cut Formica Laminate

Formica is a durable, heat-resistant, plastic laminate most commonly used on countertops. It is easy to clean and affordable, with a broad range of styles available. It is possible to cut Formica with power tools such as a circular saw, jigsaw or table saw, but it is best to use a simple utility knife for a clean, straight cut that won't scratch the surface.

Step 1

Place the Formica sheet on a solid work table. 

Step 2

Measure and mark the cut lines, using a tape measure and pencil. 

Step 3

Place a straight edge along the cut line on the side of the line that has the longer section of Formica. 

Step 4

Clamp the straight edge and the Formica to the tabletop at both ends with C-clamps. 

Step 5

Remove the casing screw from a utility knife with a flat-head screwdriver.  Open the casing and insert a plastic/laminate blade into the slot.

Screw the casing back together. 

Step 6

Run the blade along the straight edge to score the cut line.  Use firm pressure and work slowly and carefully to keep from running off the cut line.

Score the cut line twice. 

Step 7

Lift up on the shorter side of the Formica until it snaps apart.  Smooth the Formica edge with sandpaper or a file, if necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • 2 C-clamps
  • Utility knife with plastic/laminate blade
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Sandpaper or file (optional)

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.