How to Cut Laminate on a Table Saw

The difficulty of cutting laminate is a thing of the past.

Years ago, contractors would cut laminate using a razor knife or handsaw. However, a table saw can make the process easier and quicker and will even make the cut cleaner. The average do-it-yourselfer can cut laminate using a table saw by following a few tried and true construction methods. This task can be completed in 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Remove the original blade from your table saw and replace it with a fine-cutting blade with 90 or more teeth. You can find these blades at most hardware stores, and many of them are designed for cutting paneling or vinyl. This is the best blade to use for this project.

Place your laminate sheet onto a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood, aligning the edges with the edges of the plywood. Tape the sheet to the plywood using masking tape. Don't be afraid to use large amounts of tape. The object is to hold the sheet of laminate securely to the solid sheet of plywood. Using the plywood as a base will ensure that the laminate sheet, which is 4-by-8 feet and less than 1/8-inch thick, won't fold or crease during the cutting process.

Measure the width that you wish to cut, and place marks on both ends of the laminate. Place one piece of masking tape on the laminate, connecting the marks. This will prevent the laminate from chipping during the cutting process. Place two more strips of masking tape, one on each side of the first strip, and make sure the tap is securely attached to the laminate by running your hand across the tape and forcing it into the material.

Set the rip fence on the table saw to the measurement that corresponds with the marks placed on the laminate sheet. Gently slide the plywood, with the laminate attached, across the saw blade. Do not force the plywood into the blade; rather, allow the plywood and laminate to slowly slide across the surface. The blade will pull the plywood slightly, so just allow the plywood to move at the blade's force. Use an out-feed table connected to your table saw. Allowing the plywood to drop off of the table will cause the end to split and will damage the laminate.

Things You Will Need

  • Saw blade with 90 teeth
  • Table saw
  • Masking tape
  • Tape measure
  • 3/4-inch plywood

About the Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.