Cut Wood Paneling With A Utility Knife

Cut Wood Paneling With A Utility Knife

Whether used as wainscoting or to cover the entire wall, wood paneling can provide a beautiful touch to the rooms in your house.

The perfect wood paneling may make all the difference in your home.

Working with paneling has certain challenges because it splinters easily while being cut, especially when using a circular saw blade for cutting paneling.

It is easy for more than one piece of paneling to get destroyed, or some quite strange-looking trim work can be applied to your walls due to the cuts not being clean.

The issue is how to cut paneling so that it appears to have been done by a professional rather than your children in the end.

In this article, we will be discussing how to cut wood paneling with a utility knife to avoid your wood splintering. 

Why Use Wood Panels In Your Home?

A combination of several types of wood are used to make wood paneling.

The benefit of using different kinds of wood to make paneling is that you may choose from a wide range of paneling styles.

Wallpaper and paint are less durable than wood paneling.

Due to the fact that it is made up of components from sustainably managed, artificial forests, it is also the most environmentally friendly option.

Whether you're trying to achieve an exquisite look or something more relaxed and domestic. Wood paneling can help give your family a warm, cozy feeling.

Even in new buildings, wooden wall paneling is typically put over drywall that already exists.

The reason for this is that while a typical wood panel is only 14" thick, it lacks the rigidity and structural strength needed to stand alone.

Instead, it is designed with the intention of being supported over another substrate.

Hence, you will find that a lot of homes use this wood to help make your home look aesthetically more pleasing. 

What Can You Use To Cut Wood Panels With?

Paneling can be cut with a variety of saws. The kind of cut you choose will determine the kind of tool you need.

You can make use of a utility knife, circular saw, table saw, or jigsaw. 

Ideally you want to use something that has a blade with short sharp teeth. Which will help you get through the wood and provide you with a clean cut. 

How To Cut Wood Paneling Using A Utility Knife

There are a few various ways to cut paneling, as mentioned above.

However, a utility knife is considered the best tool that you should use to help you avoid splintering. By using a utility knife, you will score and snap the wood panels. 

What Will You Need:

  • Utility Knife With A New Sharp Blade,
  • Pencil,
  • Straight Metal Edge

Step 1: Mark Your Cut

To follow the expression "measure twice, cut once," the first step is always marking the cuts you want to make.

The last thing any of us wants is to discover that after cutting the material off twice, it is still too short, and we must purchase more.

Step 2: Position Your Straight Edge

After making the cut, position your metal straight edge on the marks. Then you will need to firmly press down on the edge using one hand. 

If you don't have a tight grasp on the straight edge and add a lot of pressure while pressing down on it throughout your cut.

Then the metal straight edge is likely to move during your cut, especially on lengthy cuts. That will then ruin the cut and make you go back to look for more material, to try again. 

Step 3: Score The Panel

Cut Wood Paneling With A Utility Knife

You won’t be using the knife to cut all the way through the wooden paneling. Instead, the knife is going to score the wood on both sides. 

Actually, you will be using the knife to cut the paneling, but you won't be going all the way through.

Instead, you will score the panel from both sides. As a result, to begin, place the tip of your utility knife at the opposite end of the cut. 

Angle your knife inward towards your straight edge and towards the straight edge. 

In other words, on both the horizontal and vertical planes, you need the knife blade pointing in the direction of the straight edge.

Step 4: Apply Light Pressure

Draw the knife across the object you are cutting in one fluid motion that extends all the way to the end of the board while applying gentle downward pressure.

Repeat this technique, but apply slightly more pressure. This is to create a deep yet good scoring line. 

After making this second cut, you can take the straight edge out of the way and continue scoring the wood four or five more times.

This should be sufficient to slice all the way through the panel's outer layer and deep into the core.

Step 5: Repeat The Process On The Other Side

The measurements from the panel's other side you have been working on now need to be transferred to the other side of the panel.

It is preferable to extend your cut line across the panel's edge using a pencil and mark it on the opposite side instead of measuring the cut against this new side.

This guarantees that you are making the same cuts.

Then, using the other side of the panel, score it in the same manner by beginning with a light cut and a straight edge, removing the straight edge, and then creating your heavier cuts.

This side's score line should have a similar depth as the first side's score line.

Step 6: Snap The Wood Panel

Now that both sides of the wood panel have been scored, lift one end of the paneling piece with the other hand holding it down onto the work surface.

This type of bend will result in the fibers in the panel's inner core breaking, giving you a beautiful, clean cut without any splinters.

Cutting A Curve With A Utility Knife

Although scoring and snapping the boards works well in many circumstances, there are certain exceptions, such as when cutting curves.

In some situations, snapping the panel would be difficult even if you used a template instead of the straight edge. 

Starting on the backside of the panel, mark and score your cut line as you did before. This is the scrap side where you will make the cut.

Put a layer of painter's tape down right up against the line. Thus helps to reduce splintering.

You can use a circular saw or a jigsaw, to help you make the circular cut.


As you can see, it is pretty easy to cut wood paneling with a utility knife.

In fact, it is the safest method you can use to prevent the wood from splintering, unlike with circular saw blades or table saws.

By following the steps we have outlined above, you will be able to cut wooden paneling easily.

We hope this article has helped you cut wood panels with a utility knife!


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