How To Cut Formica With A Utility Knife

How To Cut Formica With A Utility Knife

Formica is a type of plastic laminate material that may be purchased in a wide variety of patterns, hues, and surface treatments. 

The fact that Formica brand plastic laminate is long-lasting is one of the best features of it, along with it being quite simple to clean.

You will find this material covering surfaces like kitchen and bathroom countertops and workstations.

It is also suitable for use in the construction of cabinet doors, cabinets, drawers, floors, and many more. 

If you plan on using it yourself, it would be beneficial for you to learn how to cut Formica first. Even if you have never done this before, doing it is very easy and simple to learn.

You will be able to save both time and money if you do this project yourself rather than paying someone else to do it.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cut Formica easily using a utility knife and a few other basic tools. 

You Will Need

Before you can begin to cut laminate, you will first need to collect all of the necessary supplies.

Finding the things you require for this project should not be difficult as many of these tools will probably already be in your tool kit or other areas of your home. 

Here is everything that you will need for this project and why:  

Measuring Tape 

A tape measure is a flexible ruler that can be used to measure and mark the length and breadth of any material.

You'll need it to determine the dimensions of the Formica for this particular job. It is advised that you use a measuring tape that can wind itself back up.

Ruler And Pencil 

While the tape measure may be used to mark the Formica, it is recommended that you also have a ruler on hand for the marking process.

Because a ruler is a lot more stable compared to a tape measure, it will not move about as much as a tape measure would when you are drawing the essential line.

The pencil is of course used to mark out the right areas. 

Masking Tape

The use of tape for making the markings or lines you have drawn with your pencil more visible is very useful as it will make your cuts more accurate.

In addition to that, it safeguards the edges of the Formica. 

Why is masking tape the only sort of adhesive that may be used, rather than any other kind? Masking tape does not cause the plastic lamination to become damaged in any way.

The last thing you want after all of this effort is to find that your Formica is ruined because you used the wrong tape. 

Clamps And A Separate Piece Of Plywood 

Separate pieces of plywood and clamps are required to hold the Formica in place. You might also use something called OSB, which stands for oriented strand board.

On the other hand, OSB comes at a higher price and is less easily accessible. If you can correctly fasten the piece of plywood, then it will be able to perform the function that you need it to.

Utility Knife 

You have numerous alternatives to choose from when it comes to cutting the Formica, including a circular saw, a laminate router bit, a table saw, or a utility knife.

The last one is the least expensive and the one that can be obtained the quickest. You just need to keep your hand stable when using a utility knife, and you'll never make a mistake. 


How To Cut The Formica

After you have gathered everything that you will need, you can bring it all to your woodworking shop or workstation and begin the cutting process.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Choosing The Formica

Getting the Formica is the first thing that you have to do.

Choose the one that has dimensions that are the closest to those of the table, countertop, or other pieces of furniture that you plan to cover with the material if you have access to more than one size. 

Position the Formica so that it is flush with the surface of the table that you use for woodworking.

2. Measure The Pieces Of Furniture To Get An Accurate Estimate

When you have finished measuring the piece of furniture with your measuring tape, make sure to take careful notes on its length as well as its width.

Try to get it as accurate as possible. 

Skipping this stage will result in a plastic lamination that is either too small or too big. 

3. Mark Your Formica

Use the measuring tape, the ruler, and the pencil to mark the lines where you are going to cut the material based on your measurements from the step above.

Perform one more thorough inspection of your work to check that the measurements you've obtained are accurate.

4. Tape The Line

Get your masking tape and use it to retrace the line that you created using the pencil. A second layer of tape should be applied to one of the item's edges.

This will make the line where you have to cut a lot more visible, making the following steps of cutting the Formica a lot easier.

5. Secure The Material

By placing the piece of plywood over the Formica, you may protect it from becoming scratched or dented.

Make sure that the plywood does not go beyond the boundaries of the area that you will be cutting as it will get in the way and ruin your line. 

While you may be a bit worried about the Formica moving during the cutting process, the plywood will be enough to keep it steady.

By using clamps as well, you can ensure that the plywood stays fixed to your workbench as you cut. 

6. Cut The Material 

You may get a clean cut by using a utility knife to follow the markings you've made on the material and cutting along the lines in the correct order. 

After you have started cutting on one side, continue cutting on that side without stopping until you have reached the end of that line.

This ensures that the cut is fine and straight. If you aren't paying attention, you won't be able to make an exact cut. 

If you do not think that your hand is sufficiently stable, you should make use of a ruler instead.

After you have completed your work on one side of the Formica, you should then repeat the cut in the same spot on the other side of the material. 

7. Remove The Excess

The quickest and easiest approach to determine whether or not you have made a clean cut is to see how easily the waste part of the material breaks off.

With little effort or a slight snap of the material oolong the cut line, you should find that the waste drops off easily. 

You should try cutting the Formica once again if you discover that the excess parts do not smoothly come off. 


If you follow the above steps correctly, then you should be able to very easily cut your Formica to the right size for whatever you are using it for. We hope this guide has helped!


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