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What blade do I need to cut cabinet panels?

I need to cut large Ikea Forbattra cover panels to different sizes to attach to the sides and backs of my cabinets.  They are made of fiberboard and are painted.

The instructions show that i need to use a circular saw, but I need to know what blade needs to be used to make a clean cut.  Does anyone know?
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Posted 2016-06-02T22:36:30+0000  by Anlee Anlee
 You will need a fine tooth, carbide tipped plywood or veneer  blade. IKEA furniture uses a lot of MSD pressed board. Using a convention , non-carbide blade will dull a regular  blade immediately.

There are a couple tricks to get a clean, non-chipping cut: You want to cut the finished side of the laminate covered board, so that the blades teeth are cutting downward against the laminate. Secondly, apply painters blue tape to the cutting side so that you are cutting through the tape. This will help limit "tear out" along the cut.
Posted 2016-06-02T23:33:35+0000  by ordjen
Frankly the best tool for cutting these panels is a table saw with a blade specifically designed to cut veneers or melamine but you don't have one of those...  Of the blades available at Home Depot, I would use a 60 tooth Freud Diablo blade, along with a straight edge to ensure a nice, clean cut.


Not to quibble with my friend Ordjen but circular saws cut "up" meaning that any tear-out is likely to occur on the up side of the board against the circular saw.  So you want to cut your panels with the "good" side down.  As Ordjen suggested using a layer of blue painter's tape along the cut line is a good idea too.

I find I get better cuts if I'm working at a comfortable height rather than crawling on the floor.  Use a couple of saw horses and a piece of scrap plywood or particle board to work on.  Adjust the saw's cutting depth so that it cuts about 1/16-1/8" deeper than the thickness of the panel so you don't cut through the plywood and can continue to reuse it.
Posted 2016-06-03T11:23:26+0000  by Adam444

I concur with Adam444. Just got a little confused between circular saw and table saw, but the principle holds true, the cut should be downward through the finished surface. I would normally be using my table saw for such a cut as it is much easier to control and get a smooth, straight cut. If done with a circular saw, the easiest way to get a straight cut is to use a straight edge clamped to the surface. The plate  of the saw then follows that edge.
Posted 2016-06-03T19:10:51+0000  by ordjen

With a table saw the "good" side of the work piece should be up.  In those situations where chip out is unacceptable on both sides of the piece, for example with melamine, there's a way to deal with that without having to buy an expensive, specialty saw blade.

It's easier with a table saw but can be done with a circular saw was well.  With a table saw one raises the blade so that it's only about 1/16" above the surface of the table.  Then the panel is run backwards through the saw.  Normally trying to run a pieces backwards would be very dangerous but with so little of the blade exposed it just nicks the surface, cutting the wood fibers cleanly.  Then the blade is raised  and the piece is run through the saw normally.  High end panel saws have a second, counter-rotating blade that does exactly the same thing, eliminating the need for a second pass in a production shop.

As I said, it can be done with a circular saw as well but extreme caution should be exercised because so much of the blade is exposed and the hand position is awkward for most people.  The blade is raised so about 1/16" protrudes below the sole of the saw and, again, the saw is run backwards across the panel.  Then the blade is dropped and the second cut made normally.  Frankly I would only recommend it to someone very comfortable using a circular saw.
Posted 2016-06-04T00:48:41+0000  by Adam444


The blade I have been using for a few years is the Freud "Double Sided Laminate/Melamine Blade" LU97R0010. It is a 10 inch blade with 80 teeth. It was made in Italy and as I recall, quite expensive. It does make a clean, tear out free cut on even double sided laminates. Obviously, I wouldn't expect the casual user to buy such a blade. This blade I used much as a normal blade on my table saw, with a single pass with the blade set higher than you suggest, so that the teeth are attacking the top laminate downward.

As a woodworker, i was a pretty good painting contractor! I bow to your expertise  :)

Posted 2016-06-22T06:32:05+0000  by ordjen
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