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What Can You Use To Cut Butcher Block?

Butcher block is a great way to add character to your home. Butcher block adds warmth to any home. The first step is cutting the butcher block. What can you use to cut butcher a block?

You can cut a butcher block using a table saw, a circular saw, or a jigsaw that is fitted with a blade that is at least a 60 tooth blade. Use a blade with a slow feed rate. Jigsaw and routers can be used to smooth edges or make decorative cuts.

Tools to cut Butcher Block

Butcher block is not only beautiful in appearance but it is an investment you can feel good about. Butcher block is environmentally friendly and will last a lifetime if it is properly cared for.

Here are some things to keep in mind when picking out the right butcher block for your home project.

Type Of Wood

Maple is the most popular choice for countertops. It comes in a light or dark finish. The ‘white’ style is more uniform in color while the ‘natural’ style is darker because it is usually a mix of darker woods.

Thickness

The thickness of the butcher block also affects how expensive it is. The majority of butcher blocks that are used for countertops are between 1 ½” to 2 ½” thick.

Thinner butcher blocks are cheaper but going too thin will make the wood unstable. You need the thickness for durability. Butcher block requires maintenance to prolong the life and appearance of the wood.

Sand the butcher block with sandpaper that has a grit of 200/220. Sand the wood until it is smooth. Wipe the wood with a clean, dry rag to remove the sanding particles.

Maintenance

Once the butcher block has been sanded down, you need to seal the wood. Use a food-grade conditioner that has mineral oil and wax. The mineral oil conditioner must be applied every week when the butcher block is first installed.

Extra caution needs to be used when working with water or other liquids on or around the butch block during this time. The mineral oil and wax need time to condition and seal the wood.

After one month, or when you notice the butcher block stops absorbing the conditioner, you can apply the conditioner monthly.

Apply the conditioner monthly until you feel the wood is well protected, you can apply the conditioner as needed.

Can You Cut Butcher Block With Table Saw?

Tools to cut Butcher Block

Table saws are great when you need to make quick cuts or are making long, lengthwise cuts. Can you cut a butcher block with a table saw?

You can cut a butcher block with a table saw. Adjust the rip fence to your measurement and then slowly push the butcher block through. Keep the butcher block flush against the rip fence as you push it through.

It is best to have an extra set of hands when using a table saw to cut a butcher block, especially if you are cutting large sections such as countertops. One person can push the block through while the other one receives it.

Having a second pair of hands will also ensure a cleaner cut because they can keep the block level as it is being cut. If the block drops at the end of the cut, there is a great risk of it splintering.

Can You Cut Butcher Block With Jigsaw?

Tools to cut Butcher Block

Jigsaws are easy to use and provide more flexibility with cuts. Can you cut a butcher block with a jigsaw?

You can cut a butcher block with a jigsaw. A jigsaw is best for making smaller cuts such as cutting in openings for sinks or outlets. Use a blade that has 10 to 24 teeth per inch to cut at a slower pace.

A jigsaw allows you to be creative with your cuts. If you want to round out the edge of the butcher block or you want the countertop to have a wave-like cut instead of a square cut, the jigsaw allows you the freedom to express yourself.

The best cut depends on the blade. Use a blade that is sharp and the correct length. You can determine the correct blade length by adding an inch to the thickness of the butcher block you are cutting. This will keep the jigsaw blade in the cut at the upward stroke of the cut.

Can You Cut Butcher Block With Circular Saw?

Tools to cut Butcher Block

Circular saws give you the ease of cutting wood without a table. But can you cut a butcher block with a circular saw?

You can cut a butcher block with a circular saw. Use a blade that has at least 60 carbide-tipped teeth. Adjust the blade depth to hang ¼” below the butcher block to avoid splintering the wood as it cuts.

When using a circular saw for long cuts, use a guide to ensure a straight cut. Go slowly and do not force the blade. Periodically stop cutting and make sure the guide is still in the correct position.

Can You Cut Butcher Block With SKIL Saw?

Tools to cut Butcher Block

SKIL saws can do everything from cut trees to concrete. Can you cut a butcher block with a SKIL saw?

You can cut a butcher block with a SKIL saw. SKIL saws give you the tools needed to make straight cuts, angled cuts, and even intricate cuts to express your own creativity. Use a blade that is sharp and has at least 60 carbide-tipped teeth.

SKIL saws are a line of saws that can get any job done. To choose the right SKIL saw for your butcher block project, look for a saw and blade that have a slow feed rate and allow you to control how quickly the block is passed through.

Can You Cut Butcher Block With Router?

Tools to cut Butcher Block

Routers give you the ability to add details to any project. Can you cut a butcher block with a router?

You can cut a butcher block with a router. You can use a router on the edges of the butcher block to give a rounded or beveled look. You can also use a router to smooth openings made for outlets, the sink, or other appliances.

Routers are best for smaller jobs, but it gives you the ability to be creative. One example is a plunge-style router.

The plunge-style router uses a small circular blade that has a built-in guide to hold the bit in place, giving you a smoother finish.

Work counterclockwise when edging your butcher block so that you are in motion with the blade. This will make the corner transitions easier and will allow you to use minimal pressure and force when edging.

How To Cut Butcher Block Properly

Man worker thinking

The first step in cutting a butcher block properly starts with safety. If possible, cut the butcher block outside.

If this is not possible where you are, cut the butcher block in a well-ventilated area and wear a tight-fitting dust mask. Cutting butcher block will create a lot of fine dust particles that irritate the eyes, sinuses, and lungs when inhaled.

Ear protection should also be worn when cutting the butcher block. Depending on the amount of cutting you are doing, wearing simple earplugs will work or you may need to invest in some noise-canceling earmuffs.

You also need to wear safety glasses that have impact-resistant lenses. Butcher block is not difficult to cut but anytime you are cutting wood there is always the risk of wood shards flying off.

Wearing safety glasses with side shields will also protect your eyes from the dust created by cutting and sanding the butcher block, especially if you are not using a saw or sander with a shop vac attachment.

Another safety tip to not overlook is making sure the blade you are using is sharp. More accidents happen when cutting with a dull blade than a sharp one. A sharper blade needs less force and will also give you a cleaner cut.

Cutting

Once you mark your measurement, use a guide to ensure you get a straight cut. An uneven cut is unforgiving when it comes to countertops.

Cut with the guide on the face side of the butcher block. Using this technique will not only ensure a straight cut but will also give you a buffer. In the event you do veer off course while cutting, you will cut into the guide and not your future countertop.

Let the butcher block be your guide in how you cut it. If the saw you are using does not seem to be cutting efficiently, make several passes to cut the wood instead of one.

You may also need to adjust the blade depth. The blade needs to be half of the thickness of the butcher block. Adjusting the blade depth will give you a smoother cut, reducing ragged edges.

A nice touch to butcher block countertops is to bevel the edges. Rounding the edges a little bit gives the butcher block a softer appearance.

Sanding

After the cuts are made, sand all sides of the butcher block. Choose the grit of sandpaper based on the type of wood you have. Most butcher blocks can be sanded with a grit of at least 80.

Do a test patch with the sandpaper and then feel the block to see if it is the smoothness you prefer. After you have sanded all sides of the butcher block, wipe the butcher block with a dry cloth.

To cut a butcher block properly, use a saw with a blade fitted with at least 60 carbide-tipped teeth that have a slow feed rate. Use a circular saw, SKIL saw, or table saw for long, straight cuts. Use a router or jigsaw for more detailed, creative cuts.