You adore the long-lasting quality of MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, and its ease of sealing and painting. However, you have difficulty while attempting to cut MDF. The jigsaw seems like the ideal cutting tool, but you can’t be sure. Is a jigsaw effective for slicing MDF?
With a jigsaw and a blade that has 6-10 teeth per inch (TPI), MDF is easy to cut (Teeth per Inch). In order to minimise tear-out when cutting MDF, a normal jigsaw blade with 20-40 teeth is recommended.
To learn more about jigsaw techniques for cutting MDF, you’ve come to the perfect place. I’ll explain how to safely use a jigsaw on MDF board (without it chipping) and how to cut through veneered MDF. Don’t miss out on this!
How Do You Cut an MDF Board with a Jigsaw?
Please find below detailed instructions for cutting MDF in your own home. It’s a breeze to cut, and this tutorial will help you get a professional result.
Methods for jigsaw-cutting MDF board are as follows:
Don your protective equipment.
Fasten a blade that has 6-10 TPI. These jigsaw blades are effective, therefore I suggest picking several up.
Attach the MDF to your desk using clamps.
Make a map of the cuts
The MDF can be easily cut with a jigsaw.
Be sure you follow my guide to prevent the jigsaw blade from bending.
Please allow me to elaborate on these procedures.
Step 1: Don Your Protective Equipment
If you’re going to be using a jigsaw or any other kind of power tool, you need to be sure you’re adequately protected. You should always use protective gear when dealing with wood, including gloves and eyewear. Cutting MDF creates far more dust than cutting other types of wood. To prevent getting any of that dust in your eyes, protective eyewear is required.
The second stage entails acquiring an appropriate jigsaw blade.
What Is The Best Jigsaw Blade For Cutting MDF?
For optimal performance when cutting MDF, your jigsaw blade should have between 6 and 10 teeth per inch (TPI) (Teeth per Inch). Additionally, the Jigsaw blade needs to be at least an inch (25mm) longer than the MDF’s thickness.
You should give careful consideration to the type of cut you intend to make before deciding on the number of teeth. As a cabinetmaker, I have sliced through countless sheets of MDF, so I made this useful chart to aid with your decision.
Style of Dissection
The Top-Rated Jigsaw Blade
You can’t go wrong with a good pair of Rough Straight Cut 6 TPI (Teeth Per Inch) blades.
Those blades are excellent; they have a clean, straight cut with 10-12 TPI (teeth per inch).
This set contains the greatest number of blades for curved cutting, with 12 TPI (teeth per inch).
Choosing the Ideal MDF Jigsaw Blade
My comprehensive jigsaw cutting guide is another resource I can’t stress enough. It will also let you know if the jigsaw blade you’re using is the proper one and prevent you from bending it.
Phase 3: Clamp the MDF
Set the MDF board flat on your workbench or other convenient surface. You should extend one side of the board past the edge of the table. As soon as the board is in position, clamp it down from every angle.
The best way to cut an MDF board along the centre is with a sawhorse.
Planing the cut MDF to a smooth finish may be necessary. Are you aware that MDF can be planed? The answer is in this post.
Step 4: Identify the Target Areas
After securing the MDF board, the next step is to map out the cuts. Before using a jigsaw, mark out the areas you intend to cut with a pencil. As soon as you’re satisfied with the outline, you can trace it with a pen or marker.
Step 5: Use the Jigsaw to Make the Necessary Cuts
The jigsaw is needed now to make the cuts in the MDF. To begin cutting, position the jigsaw shoe at an angle to the cutting outline while maintaining the blade flush with the lines you drew. When using a jigsaw, DO NOT push it into the material. Allow the knife to make the cuts.
MDF’s density necessitates slow, deliberate motions. Don’t be in a hurry, and don’t put undue strain on the situation.
Have you heard that MDF doesn’t split when you screw it together? If you want to know how to screw MDF without it cracking, read my article.
Jigsaw damage can be by forcing the pieces together.
cause the blade to heat up and warp.
How Do You Cut Veneered MDF with a Jigsaw?
Veneered MDF is an option if you need a highly resilient coating for your woodworking project. Since real wood veneers are applied to the fiberboard, this product stands out from standard MDF. The veneer, which is 0.5 mm thick, will be applied on both sides. Cutting veneer thinly and precisely is essential for a beautiful veneer finish.
When cutting veneered MDF, use a jigsaw blade with teeth spaced at 15-20 TPI (Teeth Per Inch). By alternating with a cutting blade that moves downward, you can protect the veneer’s surface from harm.
You can still use a jigsaw on veneered MDF, even though it isn’t the same as standard MDF. The use of a circular saw is also acceptable.
If your jigsaw is jerking around, you should read my explanation of the problem.
If you want to avoid tear-out while cutting, try taping over the line using masking tape first.
In this case, the procedures I described above should be followed. The veneered wood is sometimes scored with a utility knife before being cut with a jigsaw so that the saw may more readily penetrate the thick material.
I was wondering if you had any idea if a jigsaw could successfully cut a 24. Examine my article to learn more.
Since the veneered MDF often has a veneering layer on both sides, you can cut the board from any side. In case yours doesn’t, remember to cut from the veneer side up.
Due of the increased likelihood of chipping while working with laminate, I advise using even greater care when cutting than when working with standard MDF.
What about burning MDF? What I did will astound you.
How should one choose the optimal blade for slicing through MDF?
How Do You Cut MDF Without Chipping?
Cutting MDF, laminated or not, is a frustrating ordeal every time. What you’re utilising to do the job? Perhaps you’re doing things the wrong way. When cutting MDF, what should I do to prevent it from chipping?
To avoid chipping when cutting MDF, keep in mind these nine guidelines.
Use a jigsaw blade that cuts downwards and not up and make sure it has at least 10 TPI (teeth per inch).
Reduce the jigsaw’s oscillation to zero
A dull or worn jigsaw blade is no good.
It’s best to start with masking tape and make your mark there.
You should begin by scoring the surface with a utility knife.
Don’t try to rush the jigsaw cutting process; instead, take your time.
Make sure the MDF you’re using has densely packed fibres by using a high-quality brand.
Flip the MDF board over and make your cuts there.
My own experience has taught me that all you need to do to make clean cuts free of chipping is to use a freshly sharpened blade with a high number of teeth. Unlike other materials, MDF rarely chips.
Let me elaborate on each of these points so you understand their significance.
1. Use a fine blade
It’s true that a jigsaw blade with more teeth will always make a cleaner slice. As the smaller teeth remove material more slowly, they reduce the risk of ripping. Because it has fewer teeth, a course blade can make a quick cut but the result will be a rough surface.
When cutting MDF, a blade with more teeth will make clean cuts with less risk of chipping. Make sure your blade has at least 50 and no more than 80 teeth. According to numerous woodworkers, a blade with 60 teeth is ideal.
In other words, can pocket holes be used with MDF? The answer is in this post.
2. Use a jigsaw blade that cuts downwards
Most jigsaw blades, as you may have seen, are designed to cut on the upstroke. As a result, scrap wood is lifted into the air, which can lead to surface chipping. Jigsaw blades with downwardly angled teeth can be purchased for use with a downward cutting motion. The bottom of your circuit board is where any bad chips will be.
3. Set the oscillating setting to zero
High-quality jigsaws typically feature a dial on the side that adjusts the blade’s depth of cut when the saw is raised and lowered. If you want a more rapid and forceful slash, choose the third setting.
You may need to lower the blade setting if you notice that you are still experiencing chip out at the third setting.
4. Use a new or sharp blade
Since jigsaw blades are inexpensive and readily available, you shouldn’t be reluctant to use a fresh one everytime you need a precise and precise cut. Loosen up! Knives can be purchased for very little money. Please take a new one from me; you’ll be grateful to me in the future.
5. Score the MDF with a utility knife
Although I have already said this, scoring the MDF wood before cutting it with a circular saw or jigsaw can help you get a cleaner cut. If your MDF is splitting or chipping, give this a try. Check the sharpness of your knife blade.
6. Use masking tape
I have found that masking tape is useful for marking my line before applying it to the surface. Taping the surface fibres down can help you make a cleaner cut.
It’s better to use a sharp blade almost always. But I say give it a shot nonetheless.
7. Use a good quality MDF
For example, I prefer to use MDF and other high-quality materials. In this manner, I am assured that the MDF has been compacted at a higher pace, resulting in a stronger weld. This connection considerably lessens the possibility of tearing. Did you know that 680mm is the standard starting thickness for MDF?!
8. Cut from the bottom of MDF
It works great, therefore I do it very often. On the underside of the sheet, I just invert the jigsaw and make my cuts. You’ll need some jigsaw skills for this. In this case, I would advise turning the sheet over, marking the back, and cutting from there.
The good side will remain unharmed while the bottom is chipped by the jigsaw’s upward cut.
Can You Cut MDF with a Table Saw?
So far I’ve mentioned jigsaws and circular saws as viable options for cutting MDF, but what about a table saw? Can we do that if we want to?
An 80-tooth saw blade works great for cutting through MDF sheets on a table saw. The dust needs to be removed with a shop vac to keep the cut from becoming clogged.
Exactly which Shop-vac has the strongest suction power? This article contains the full explanation.
A table saw may be used to sever MDF if you so choose.
Please, allow me to elaborate. Dado cuts, ripping cuts, and crosscuts are just some of the straight cuts that may be made with a table saw. Dado saws make rabbets that are square down the grain and have a flat bottom. With just two dado cuts, you may make a flawless junction between two box joints.
When working with wood, rip cuts are made in a longitudinal direction. An example of a cut that crosses the grain of the wood is a crosscut.
Because table saws work best with wood planks, your MDF sheet needs to be roughly the same size. Cutting MDF with a table saw would require the same techniques I’ve shown here.
Hold the board firmly, select a blade with fine teeth, and proceed cautiously. Since the table saw’s engine could malfunction if dust got into it, a vacuum removal device is also recommended.
If you’re using a circular saw, flip the blade over before you start cutting. Almost no one can tell you which way a circular saw rotates.
Since MDF is constructed of such fine fibres, it should be rather simple to saw through. Jigsaws, circular saws, and even table saws should have no trouble slicing through it. Taking your time and scoring the wood before making any cuts may help prevent chipping in the MDF (even veneered MDF).
If you’re cutting MDF, remember that the glue on the inside might dull your blade after only a few slices if you aren’t careful.