MDF (medium density fiberboard) can be cut with a table saw, router, jigsaw or circular saw. The appropriate cutting implement depends on the type of project, the direction of the cut and the experience of the woodworker. If he or she is more comfortable with a particular saw, it is best to use it to avoid frustration.
MDF is an inexpensive, versatile alternative to solid wood. It can be worked just like plywood or lumber, but it should not get wet or be exposed to the elements.
- Clean the saw and the board
- Attach a laminate-appropriate blade
- Use a router for detailed cuts
- Score the MDF
Do not attempt to cut MDF with a dirty saw blade. Always clean it by following the manufacturer's instructions, but make sure it is dry before cutting begins. Additionally, avoid working with dirty or greasy MDF. The cuts will not be straight.
Some saws, such as table saws, have different blades for different materials. A laminate-appropriate blade is necessary for MDF because it is not made of solid wood.
A router offers several advantages over table saws and circular saws. In addition to straight cuts, it can also cut mitered edges and other detailed cuts. When using a router, start with larger cuts, then trim them down to size to avoid mistakes.
Some saws, such as jigsaws, require scoring before the final cut. Score the projected cuts on the MDF, then make the full cuts to finish the job.