If you got here it is because at some point you cut a board covered with melamine and saw that the result is bad. That the melamine has chipped or chipped. It’s normal, it has happened to all of us.

My recommendation if there are many cuts and very long ones is that you turn to a professional or specialized company. Cutting melamine plate without chipping is a job that requires the right tool, precision and power.

If there are some cuts and are not worth the cost of a specialized company, you want to risk it or you don’t need a perfect result, I encourage you to continue with this article. Here we will talk about the tool needed to cut melamine plates and the best ways to do this at home or in a small workshop.

Melamine cutting tools: CUT MELAMINE WITHOUT CHIPPING

Regardless of the tool we use there must be no vibrations or oscillations of the saw. Make sure that everything is secure and that the board is in a firm and well supported support. The vibrations in any cut are bad, for that they are even worse.

Jigsaw or puzzle

Cut the melamine with a puzzle and that looks very good is impossible. Even using some of the tricks we’ll talk about later and with all the patience in the world we’ll make a dozen cuts before getting a reasonable one.

In my experience, it is not worth wasting time or material. If you still decide to do this, know that the melamine will fragment.

hand saw

cutting melamine with a hand saw

CUT MELAMINE WITHOUT CHIPPING

Hand saws are one of those tools that should not only be found in any workshop, but also in the home of any DIY enthusiast. And it can serve us for that purpose. To cut melamine with a hand saw, we will need energy and a good disk or sheet.

To make straight cuts with a hand saw, I always recommend using at least one rule chained or sergeant to our desk. And the ideal would be to use a guide. Some manufacturers offer them with their hand saws and with them vibrations are reduced and the possibility of deviation if we don’t have a steady hand.

The key is that everything is securely attached to reduce transport and / or vibrations.

In addition, you need to know that using a hand saw the face of the board that will look best is the one below. That’s where less chips will jump and where we should pay more attention if we only want a bright side. I comment this to use a scrap piece that improves the result.

Table saw and / or miter saw

In the case of small cuts in small pieces, keeping the piece fixed and moving the miter saw, it is possible to obtain excellent results. The technique is simple: we lower the saw decisively, but not quickly, without lifting it until we finish the cut, the saw stops and we move the part away.

In doing so, the vibrations are much lower than with the previous tool. Even less than with a table saw, where the wrist of our hand plays a very important role.

If we need to make a cut slightly larger than that allowed by a miter, it is necessary to use a table saw, or a miter that becomes a table saw when the saw is lowered and the guard removed.

Here, our greatest enemy is ourselves. If the table is large enough and we have the ideal supports and accessories so that when moving the piece it is done in a uniform and stable way, we will obtain a good result. If we depend on our pulse to do this, the result will depend on our ability.

If the table is large enough, the best technique for a table saw is as follows:

  • We reduced the depth of the saw to a few millimeters.
  • Make the cut so that the saw eats all the melamine and another millimeter of the board.
  • Raised the saw enough to cut the board.
  • We turn the piece and make the cut again on the other side.

Saw blade or discs to cut melamine

The melamine cutting disc is the key to success. If you don’t have a good saw blade and it isn’t very sharp it will be bad.

Melamine is a very fragile material and needs a specific saw. The ones that come standard with most hand saws or miter saws are for general use, but it is very possible that you may need to buy a saw blade to cut melamine.

How much disk should a high number of teeth and alternates (cuts at the top of the tooth). The number of teeth will depend on the size of the blade and the saw, for example, for a 10 inch saw between 48 and 80 teeth. Regarding the material, it is better to be diamond or at least Widia.

Tricks for cutting melamine without chipping

Use Martyr or Discard Parts

We will use a piece of wood that we no longer want to cut and reduce the shattering of melamine.

The part we want to cut must be in the middle, between the tool and the martyr part. For example, in the case of the hand saw, the martyr would be down.

Headband is a good trick to cut melamine without chipping

trick to not shatter melamine

CUT MELAMINE WITHOUT CHIPPING

The most common and effective trick for amateur melamine cutting is to engrave, usually a bodybuilder (the one who used to paint), along where we are going to make the cut. By doing this, we prevent the small fragments of melamine from shattering and breaking.

Be careful when removing the tape. Do this carefully, you will raise more melamine than the saw would.

Cutter

There are also those who recommend measuring very well where the saw will go and cut this line with a cutter. The cut from the start should not, theoretically, chip and split.

O problem What I see in this advice for cutting melamine plates is that the precision needed to adjust the cut of the saw edge to the cut made with the cutter must be perfect. And it is something that is not available to many professional tools. To give you an idea, we’re not even talking about millimeters.