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What Can You Use To Cut MDF? (How To)

One of the options that is often used for DIY construction is MDF. This material, also known as medium-density fiberboard, cuts well and may even have some advantages over plywood and other wood products. What many people would like to know is how to cut it.

Almost anything that can be used to cut regular wood can be used to cut MDF. This includes power saws, such as circular saws and table saws as well as jigsaws, hand saws and even drills. As long as you take the proper precautions, they can be a very important part of your DIY project.

Man cutting MDF

One of the issues that may be associated with cutting MDF is the small chips that can occur in the material at the edge of the cut. This is a problem that can occur if you use blades that are meant to rip more than they are to cut.

The best thing that you can do is to choose a blade with more teeth, such as a metal-cutting blade. It may not be made specifically for the purpose but the fact that it is cutting more slowly means that it will cut in a way that is more desirable.

You can also work with MDF in a similar way that you can to other types of wood. For example, you can drill holes of up to 4 inches or larger using a hole saw. You can also use a router to shake the edges of the MDF if desired.

What Can You Use To Cut MDF?

Although MDF is a very convenient product to work with, particularly for home DIY projects, it is not without its problems. One of the primary issues associated with it is not often discussed.

In order to understand the problem with MDF, you need to understand how it is made. As a medium-density fiberboard, it is made up of small pieces of recycled wood. Many of those small pieces are put together using various types of glue along with formaldehyde.

It is the formaldehyde in MDF that makes it such a problem. Not only does it create off-gassing that could be dangerous in the long term, the real problem comes when you are cutting it, particularly with a power saw.

When you cut MDF, many of the smaller particles become airborne and respirable. Those particles are so small that they are breathed deeply into the lungs where they can really affect our health.

The wood product and glue that is inhaled while we cut MDF is a big enough problem but the real issue comes from the formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is classified as a known carcinogen so breathing it in deeply into the lungs can be problematic, to say the least.

The choice as to whether to use MDF or not is a personal one but you should be aware of the danger. To overcome it, you would want to wear some type of respirator while you were cutting the product.

At the very least, an N95 respirator will filter out much of the small particles that could get into your lungs. You can also take things up to the next level by wearing a half-mask respirator with the appropriate filters.

Now that you understand the dangers of cutting MDF, let’s take a look at some of the different ways in which it can be cut.

Can You Cut MDF With A Table Saw?

Man worker thinking

If you have a table so available is it a good choice for cutting MDF?

Since MDF and plywood come in the same size sheets, it is very convenient to use a table saw for cutting MDF. The dust particles from MDF tend to get smaller, however, and can clog up the table saw if you’re not careful. It is better to use a table saw with an attached vacuum to protect the motor.

You should also be cautious of what you are breathing in with a table saw. It will create a lot of dust and that dust contains large amounts of very tiny particles of formaldehyde. Protect your lungs and wear a mask.

Can You Cut MDF With A Hand Saw?

Man worker Confused

If you have a handsaw, can it be used for cutting MDF?

MDF can be cut with a handsaw and it is typically easier to cut through MDF compared to cutting through plywood. It is still not a good choice, however, because a handsaw will not easily cut through MDF and make a straight line. It is better to use a power saw when you need to cut a straight line with MDF.

That isn’t to say that you don’t have the option of using a handsaw. In some cases, it just makes sense to use one.

Can You Cut MDF With A Jigsaw?

Man worker thinking

A jigsaw is one of the more convenient tools that we likely have around the home. Can you use it for cutting MDF?

MDF can easily be cut with a jigsaw. It can cut a straight line as well as cut shapes, which makes it very convenient. The best choice for using a jigsaw is to use a blade with a lot of teeth so that it cuts slowly. Some people have even found that using a blade typically for cutting metal is the best choice.

If you use a jigsaw with a blade that has a lot of heavy teeth, it will cut through the MDF easily but it will also likely leave a lot of chips and damage along the edges.

Can You Cut MDF With A Knife?

Man worker thinking

If you have a sharp knife, can you use it for cutting MDF? The answer can go both ways.

MDF tends to be a little softer than wood so you can score it with a sharp knife. You may even find that it is beneficial doing so, as it will leave a mark that can be used for other blades and saws. One thing that you will not be able to do unless you work at it for a very long time is cut completely through the MDF using a single blade.

Blades have their place and they certainly can be beneficial for getting a mark on MDF. It is good to use a straight edge so that the mark is as accurate as possible. That will make the rest of the cut as accurate as possible.

Can You Cut MDF With A Router?

Man worker thinking

If you have a router and would like to shape MDF, is it possible?

MDF can easily be cut using a router and you can shape the edges or make designs in MDF using the right router tools. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that it is easier to blow out the edge of the MDF if you are not shaping it properly. Work along with the blade rather than working against it to reduce the possibility of damaging the board.

MDF is made of wood that is glued together. It is medium density, so it is not as dense as plywood but it has many of the same characteristics. That is why you can use a router for shaping and designing.

Can You Cut MDF With A Cricut Maker?

Man worker thinking

If you have a Cricket maker knife blade, is it possible to cut MDF? Yes, provided you are not cutting a thick piece.

If you are talking about cutting a piece of MDF used for building at home, you will not be able to successfully cut through it using a small knife blade from a Cricket. On the other hand, if you have thin pieces of MDF that are used for crafting, the knife is more than capable of cutting through them.

It is always best to use the right tool for the right job. If you need to cut more than a thin piece, use a larger utility knife or better yet, a power saw.

Can You Cut MDF With A Dremel?

Man worker Confused

A Dremel tool is one of the more commonly owned products by most families. They are used for crafting but can you also use one for cutting MDF?

A typical crafting Dremel tool will not have enough power to cut through more than a small piece of MDF. On the other hand, if you have one of the heavy-duty Dremel tools that are similar to an oscillating multi-tool, you can cut through MDF easily if you have the right blade in place.

Some people use Dremel tools for almost anything they need. They are amazing because they can do so many different things around the house. Just make sure that you’re using the right Dremel tool and it can accomplish the job.

Can You Cut MDF With A Scroll Saw?

Man worker thinking

If you have a scroll saw available, can you use it for cutting MDF? It really depends on the thickness.

Generally speaking, a scroll saw is able to cut through MDF that is up to 3/4 inch thick. It is a convenient tool and a portable scroll saw is even more convenient because it can cut shapes in the MDF that are not possible with a circular saw. Just be aware that MDF has glue and formaldehyde, so you will dull the blade quickly if you cut too much with your scroll saw.

It is always a good idea to have multiple tools available to accomplish the job. A scroll saw may be needed for very specific reasons when you are getting the project together.

Can You Cut MDF With A Hacksaw?

Man worker thinking

If you have a hacksaw, it may seem like a wise choice for cutting MDF. Can you use it for that purpose?

A hacksaw will cut through MDF easily but the problem is, it is difficult to maintain a straight cut while you are using any type of handsaw. If you are using a hacksaw to cut in an area that isn’t going to show and you don’t need to stay on the line closely, it may be an option to consider.

If you are going to use a hacksaw, make sure that you use a blade that is meant for cutting metal. It will cut through it easier with less damage.

Can You Cut MDF With A Circular Saw?

Man worker thinking

Are you planning on using a circular saw to cut MDF? It’s possible, but you need to take the right approach.

A circular saw can easily rip or cut through MDF and makes long, straight lines very easily. If you’re going to be using the circular saw, however, you need to choose the right blade. Using a steel blade will dull very quickly and you will find that you are going through them far too fast. On the other hand, a carbide tip blade will last longer for this purpose.

If possible, use a circular saw all that is battery-powered and if you have one that is variable speed, it may be of even greater benefit. Allow the saw to do most of the work while you guide it in the right direction.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on April 13, 2022.

Can You Cut MDF With A Miter Saw?

Man worker thinking

Is it possible to cut MDF cleanly using the miter saw? Yes, if you do it the right way.

A miter saw with a carbide tip blade can easily cut through MDF cleanly. A steel blade will wear out too quickly. It is especially useful for cutting multiple pieces of small MDF at a 90° angle. A compound miter saw can also be used for cutting at other angles as well.

When using the miter saw, make sure that you allow the blade to do the majority of the work. We tend to push hard when cutting anything with the miter saw but that is not the best choice for the project

You should also be aware of creating too much dust when cutting MDF with a miter saw. The dust will contain a large amount of formaldehyde that can be breathed deeply in the lungs. Wear a face mask.

How To Cut MDF Properly?

Man worker thinking

If you’re ready to cut MDF, you want to make sure that you are doing it properly. Doing so can make for a cleaner cut and can even safeguard your health.

To get the process started, you should adjust whatever saw you are using so that you are not cutting too far below the piece of MDF being cut. This will help to keep it from ripping through the edge as it continues to cut along the line. It will make for a smoother cut and a better finish.

When you get your measurement, use a straightedge to draw the line and mark it carefully. Check your measurement before you make the cut because you want it to be precise. Remember; measure twice, cut once.

If you’re comfortable with your ability using whatever saw you are using, you can cut it freehand. MDF is very easy to cut and it will not take much pressure for the saw to push through.

At the same time, however, you may want to use a straight edge as a guide. This is especially useful if you are using a saw, such as a circular saw or jigsaw. It will guide the saw so the blade stays on the line.

Start the saw before it comes in contact with the edge of the MDF. If you are using a variable speed saw, don’t have it running at full speed so that you don’t chip the edge as it makes the first cut.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on April 13, 2022.

Carefully and gently run the saw through the MDF. The blade will do the majority of the work, you just need to guide it along the line. Take your time but don’t allow the blade to sit in one place for too long or it can burn the MDF.

As you reach the end of your cut, be cautious that any waste product doesn’t fall away too quickly and damage the edge. If necessary, have somebody hold the waste piece so that it doesn’t fall in that way.

You can choose any saw to cut MDF, regardless of whether it is a circular saw, jigsaw, or even an angle grinder. All of them will cut through the MDF easily but not all of them will make a cut that is quite as precise as using a circular saw.

One other thing to keep in mind is wearing a mask. Unlike wood, MDF contains formaldehyde and when you cut the product, the formaldehyde becomes airborne. The particles are so small that they get deep in the lungs so wearing a respirator will help to protect your else.

You may also want to use other forms of PPE, including safety glasses, gloves, boots, and long sleeve shirts.

To cut MDF, you can use any type of power saw or hand saw that would be used to cut wood. MDF is much easier to cut than board because it is made up of particles of wood that are put together with glue.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on April 13, 2022.

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