How to Saw Kitchen Worktops

If you’ve read our article on choosing kitchen cupboard handles then rejuvenating your kitchen cupboards and replacing your chrome door handles is hopefully complete. Now it’s time to take on the dreaded job of sawing the kitchen worktop to size, which seems to worry most DIY enthusiasts and even kitchen fitters more so than other jobs. Perhaps this is because of the cost of kitchen worktops or maybe because worktops are so visible that even the slightest of mistakes will show, but as long as you have the correct tools to hand, measure and check your measurements and mark lines at least twice before cutting, then sawing a kitchen worktop will be a breeze.


The best tool for the job, which is almost impossible to do without, is a circular saw. As long as the blade is suitable for fine cuts and sharp then it shall cut through laminated chipboard or hardwood kitchen worktops like a hot knife through butter. There are a however a couple of areas for thought when using a circular saw though, along with ensuring you’re wearing the appropriate work wear, safety goggles, earplugs and dust mask.


Read on for some tips and ideas on how to avoid chips when sawing laminated type kitchen worktops and improve results.


Tip 1 IconAvoid Chips

Some people suggest that using masking tape on the laminated surface of kitchen worktops during cutting and others would recommend sawing the worktop from the underside due to the teeth on circular saw blades only cutting on their way up, we say the combination of both methods works best and significantly reduces the chance of chips occurring.


Tip 2 IconStraight Cut

Another tip to improve results and end up with a clean straight cut, is once everything is measured, checked and marked out, use a perfectly straight edge that is clamped down to the worktop along the cut line using several G-clamps so that you can push up against it as a guide.


Tip 3 IconImprove the Cut

Ensuring that both sides and the full length of the worktop are supported will also improve the cut, even off-cut sections should be supported to stop any burr, splintering or damage occurring. Support the worktop using saw benches and if possible the help of a friend.


Tip 4 IconSupport

Another method of support, which works well and leads to almost a complete reduction of splintering and chips in the laminate is to have a large sheet of ½ inch or thicker MDF underneath the kitchen worktop and setting the depth of the circular saw to cut into it by a couple of millimetres. The benefit of doing this is that the complete surface area of the worktop is supported, eliminating the chances of damage being caused by strains or snaps prior to the cut is finished.


Tip 5 IconNo Pressure

Start the circular saw before the blade comes into contact with the worktop, then allowing the saw to do its job, rather than applying a forwards pressure, let it pull/glide through the worktop keeping a slow and controlled speed throughout the whole length of the cut.


Tip 6 IconAvoid Exit Wounds

Saw from the front rounded edge to the back of the kitchen worktop, so that the saw blade exits on the far side will also improve results. Exiting from the back will also mean that any exit burrs created by the saw will be hidden against the wall.


Tip 7 IconPlay Around

If you still have an old kitchen worktop, or just a section of laminated board then make use of it, play around and make as many practice cuts as possible, after all practice makes perfect.


Should you scratch your kitchen worktop whilst fitting it or at any point after, then you may find our article on how to repair plastic scratches helpful.