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Tools Used for Cutting Formica Plastic Laminate

August 30th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The tools that will be needed to cut cabinet or countertop Formcia with will depend upon the project. Slitters, table saws, paper cutters, routers and dolphin nose tin snips can all be used to cut cabinet plastic laminate with.

Table Saw-When using a table saw to cut the material, it will be necessary to have a thin board, about an eight of an inch thick, to rest against the fence and set flat on the table. This will keep the material from slipping under the fence while you are cutting.


Chop or Radial Arm Saw-These machines are generally used for cross-cutting small strips that are anywhere form six inches to three quarters of an inch in width. Cabinet shops that manufacture mica doors use one of these types of saws for squaring off the door edge pieces of Formcia laminate prior to gluing them onto the edges of the doors.

Paper Cutter- These can be purchased form an office supply store. They can be used in the cabinet makers shop or they serve as a great cutting tool when you’re working on refacing Formcia kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

Small Hand Routers
- Once the plastic laminate is fastened (or, “glued”) to the board it will need to be trimmed off using a small hand held laminate trimmer. There are several styles of trim bits that can be used. I prefer a straight cutter with a pilot on the end of it, which is cast into the cutter. Here’s a good tutorial on how to route Formica.

Hand Slitter
-This is a tool specifically designed for slitting thin edge strips. The tool will adjust as large as three and a half inches and as small as one half of an inch. This hand slitter tool for Formica Edges was designed specifically for trimming plastic laminate that gets glued on cabinets. It is great for doing kitchen cabinet reface work.

Dolphin Nose Tin Snips
-These can be purchased from any local hardware store. The medium sized snips seem to work the best for hand cutting Formica in patterns that are not straight. They work fantastic for fitting laminate to humps and dips in walls, floors and ceilings. They can be used in combination with a small square to trim the ends perfectly square.

I don’t ever recall seeing anyone use a skill saw for cutting Formcia. I’m sure that it is possible to cut the plastic laminate with a skill saw, but I do not know the correct method that would be used.

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