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How to Cut Formica with A Knife [A Simple 7-Step Guide]

Formica is a popular countertop laminate in many households. To use Formica, you’ve to cut them into appropriate sizes. A knife should do the trick, but you don’t know how to cut Formica with it.

How to cut Formica with a knife?

Once you’re prepared with the measurement of the furniture and Formica, mask the marked spots. Hold the knife firmly and make straight, clean cuts along the marked lines. Make sure to cut a straight line in one single stroke. If your hands are shaky, use a ruler and cut straight alongside it.

Too short for your liking? Why not take a few minutes to read this well-detailed article on this topic?

Everything You Will Need

The popularity of the Formica brand made its name synonymous with plastic laminate for decades. It’s widely used all across the world for the bright color it brings to furniture. Formica works as a water and humidity-resistant coating for your furniture.

Although it’s mostly used on kitchen countertops you can use Formica to repair peeling laminating flooring. 

Woodworkers usually prefer using a circular saw for cutting Formica. You can also get the job done using a knife. It’ll save you the extra cost of getting a circular saw. 

It’s also easy to gather all the materials required to cut Formica with a knife. You’ll require the following materials to cut Formica-

  • A utility knife
  • Formica board
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Masking Tape or Marker
  • Cardboard or any thick paper

How to Cut Formica with a Knife?

It’s time to jump to the fun part. I’ve arranged this step-by-step procedure to make it easily digestible for the readers.

Make sure that all the necessary safety precautions are taken. You’re going to deal with knives, so it’s best you wear gloves on the other hand. 

With all the materials gathered, we should be ready to go:

Step 1: Assess the Furniture

To begin, you have to measure the features of the furniture. That includes measuring the length and weight using a measuring tape. 

This step has to be accurate and precise. The tiniest blunder can leave you with a Formica that’s either too big, or too short. 

Step 2: Arrange the Formica Board

Pick the Formica board you want to cut for your furniture. Choose the Formica that fits closely to the size of your furniture. 

Place the Formica board on a stable woodworking table. If you don’t have a woodworking table, you can do the job on your durable countertop. To avoid any scratches on the countertop, lay the Formica on cardboard or any thick paper.

Step 3: Outline the Formica Board

Using the previously acquired measurement of the furniture as a reference, outline the Formica. Carefully mark the Formica with measuring tape, ruler, and pencil. Similar to the first step, make sure that there’s no error in this step either.

Step 4: Mask the Outline

Take a masking tape to mask the outline, or use a marker to mark it. This will later help you understand the direction you’re going to cut the Formica.

Step 5: Secure the Formica Board

You have to make sure that the Formica isn’t unsteady while cutting. For that, you’ll require to secure the Formica with a piece of plywood. Place the plywood on the Formica, someplace other than the marking.

Two clamps on two edges can keep the plywood piece tight to the table.

Step 6: Cut the Formica Board

For cutting Formica, I suggest you pick a sharp utility knife for the task. They are sharp, durable, and the blades are replaceable. They also help to get a fine cut thanks to their better grip.

A good utility knife can make a world’s difference in your cutting experience. So why don’t take a peek at these quality brands of utility knives I recommend-


They are durable, easy-to-grip, and their retractable feature makes them safe to carry around.

With the utility knife firmly grasped, make a clean cut along the marking. You would want to avoid stopping midway along the line. This can leave your cut a little dodgy.

Try to finish cutting a line in one straight cut. A good way to make a clean, straight cut is by taking the help of a ruler. Hold the ruler firmly against the Formica and make a single fine cut along the sides.

Step 7: Discard Excess Bits

The surplus bits of the Formica will easily come off to indicate a good, clean cut. If that doesn’t happen, you have to run over the Formica again with the knife.

Discard the surplus bits and use the rest on your furniture. Smooth the rough edges by sanding them to get a more refined edge.

That’s all you need to cut Formica with a knife. Remember to be precise with your cuts and make accurate measurements of your furniture. Perform the cutting operation away from children and toddlers.

Formica can be smooth and slippery. So make sure to use anti-slip floor coating to make laminated floors less slippery.


Question: Which is the best tool for cutting Formica?

Answer: The best tool for cutting Formica is the circular saw. The teeth of the circular saw can chip the laminate and leave cleanly cut edges. It also cuts faster and saves time.

Question: How many saw blade teeth do I need to cut laminate?

Answer: Woodworkers mostly prefer a TPI range of 80-100 for cutting laminate. The more the number of teeth, the more precise cuts you can get. But 80-100 tooths should be enough to properly cut through the laminate.

Question: Can I refinish Formica?

Answer: Yes you can. Formica can be painted over with latex, epoxy, and other oil-based paints. Refinished Formica will look better and last longer. 

Parting Words

You’ve finally reached the conclusion of this article on how to cut Formica with a knife. It’s best practice to recheck the measurements to avoid any possible errors. Avoid blunt knives for cutting the Formica as they will ruin the board. 

That’s all! Have a good day!