Can You Cut MDF With A Table Saw? What You Need To Know!

can you cut mdf with a table saw

Medium-density fiberboard also known as MDF used for various woodworking projects such as furniture making, cabinets, flooring, doors, and decorative purposes. MDF boards are more inexpensive than solid wood plus have good strength and durability than particle boards. When you are working with MDF you may face problems cutting MDF board due to its high density. So, let’s find out, Can you cut MDF with a table saw?

Here’s what I learned:

Yes, MDF can cut with a table saw with the appropriate blade type. The blade should be carbide tipped and the table saw should have a vacuum removal system to prevent dust from building up. The wrong type of blade will dull the table saw because of the high glue content of MDF.

But there’s a lot to know about can you cut MDF with a table saw and how to do that.

So, in this article, we’ll examine can you cut MDF with a table saw, what saw blade types are best to cut MDF board and how to cut MDF without chipping. Furthermore, I’ll answer frequently asked questions about cutting MDF as well.

So, let’s jump in!

What Saw Blade Should You Use to Cut MDF?

The blade that you use to cut MDF should be carbide-tipped. Otherwise, the high glue content of MDF will dull the steel blade and ruin your table saw.

The number of teeth per inch of the blade should be high to make a perfect cut on the MDF board. Otherwise, MDF tends to chip. Blades with a higher number of teeth make MDF less favorable to chip.

But on the other hand, when the number of teeth of a blade is high, the blade will produce a high amount of dust which makes the cutting process quite difficult.

So, here’re the two factors that you need to consider before cutting MDF with a table saw. They are,

  • Carbide-tipped blade with a higher number of teeth.
  • Dust removal process to prevent dust build-up and interfering with the motor.

Things You Need To Know Before Choosing Blade To Cut MDF

Before selecting a blade to cut MDF, there’re several things you need to know. They are,

  1. Blade size
  2. Blade teeth count
  3. Blade type

So, let’s discuss each of the above factors to get a clear idea about how to cut MDF precisely.

1. Blade Size

The blade size of most of the table saws has a diameter of 10 inches. For MDF you need to go with a smaller blade size for best results because of the high-density MDF board. By selecting a smaller blade size that can handle by saw when cutting MDF you’ll be able to make a clean cut with ease. Never go for large blade sizes which are hard to handle by table saw.

2. Blade Teeth Count

As we discussed earlier, high teeth count is required for an efficient cutting process. To deal with a high-density board like MDF, the blade needs to have high teeth count per inch. The recommended number of teeth count per inch for cutting MDF ranges from 50 to 80 teeth per blade.

3. Blade Type

There’re several blade types that can use for table saws to cut MDF effectively. They are,

  • Crosscut blade
  • Combination blade
  • Composite blade
  • ATB blade

So, let’s have. A look at summarized details about the above blade types to select the one that fits you the most.

Blade TypeBlade Teeth CountQualities
Crosscut blade80 – 90Use to cut across MDF
Produce more sawdust
Deliver excellent precise results
Combination blade32 – 50The most common table saw blade type
Less refinedPerfect to cut MDF
Composite blade60Perform both ripping and crosscut
Excellent to cut MDF
Able to make long cuts
ATB blade50Excellent to cut MDF

As you can see blade type is an important factor you should consider when cutting MDF with a table saw.

Here’re the best commercial blades available in the market for cutting MDF.

  • DEWALT 10-inch table saw blade
  • Freud D1050X Diablo
  • DEWALT DW3106P5 saw blade

Under Can you cut MDF with a table saw, let’s find out how to do that!

How To Cut MDF On a Table Saw?

There are main two ways of cutting MDF on a table saw. They are,

1. Rip cuts along with the wood lengthwise.

2. Crosscut along the direction of the wood grain.

Even though you follow either of the methods, safety comes first. So, here’re the safety precautions you need to follow before making rip cuts or crosscuts on MDF.

  • For your safety, you should always wear protective gear (goggles, ear protection, gloves).
  • Unplug the saw until you adjust the MDF against the table
  • Use rip fence when making rip cuts
  • Use miter gauge for crosscuts
  • Keep the MDF board completely flat against the table during the cutting process

So, let’s find out how to make rip cuts on MDF using a table saw.

How To Rip-Cut MDF on a Table Saw?

Ripping is the most common method that uses a table saw. Because of having a rip fence, you’ll be able to control the MDF while cutting to make the desired cut.

Here’re the step-by-step directions to follow rip cut MDF on a table saw without chipping.

  1. Unplug the table saw
  2. Attach suitable blade type with 50 to 80 teeth per blade below the surface of MDF. Blade height rises no more than ¼” above the height of the MDF board.
  3. Place the rip fence by releasing the lock and sliding it. This will be helpful to match the inner edge with the desired width of the cut.
  4. Plugin the table saw
  5. Place and align the MDF board with the rip fence. But never hit the MDF surface to the blade until it reaches its maximum speed. Otherwise, the MDF will kick back.
  6. After the blade reaches its maximum speed slowly move the MDF towards the blade. You can use a push stick to keep the fingers away from the blades. If you’re a beginner I highly recommend using a push stick instead of using fingers.
  7. Slice through the MDF

So, let’s find out how to crosscut MDF using a table saw.

How To Crosscut MDF on a Table Saw?

When you’re crosscutting MDF never use rip fence. Because rip fence only stabilizes long lengths and cannot use for narrow cuttings of MDF. Therefore, we use a miter gauge for crosscuts.

Miter gauge stabilizes the MDF and bar which fits into deep grooves of the surface of the table. So, it is better to purchase a miter gauge if you’re planning to crosscut MDF on a table saw.

Here’re the step-by-step directions to follow rip cut MDF on a table saw without chipping.

  1. Unplug the table saw
  2. Attach suitable blade type with 50 to 80 teeth per blade below the surface of MDF. Blade height rises no more than ¼” above the height of the MDF board.
  3. Place the miter gauge either angled or straight.
  4. Place and align the MDF along the edge of the miter gauge using clamps.
  5. Plugin the table saw
  6. Let the MDF touch blade once it hits the maximum speed. Otherwise, the MDF will kick back.
  7. After the blade reaches its maximum speed slowly slide the miter gauge and MDF through the blade. You can use a push stick to keep the fingers away from the blades. If you’re a beginner I highly recommend using a push stick instead of using fingers.

Hope you have gained good knowledge about how to cut MDF on a table saw. By following the above procedure you’ll be able to cut MDF without chipping.

So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about cutting MDF.

Other Woodworking Tools That Can Use For Cutting MDF

Rather than a table saw, here’re the list of other tools that can be used to cut MDF precisely.

They are,

  • Jigsaw for curved cuts
  • Circular saw
  • Hole saw to drill holes

Read: What is Manufactured Wood? | Types, Uses, Pros, and Cons

Did I cover all you wanted to know about, Can You Cut MDF With A Table Saw?

In this article we have deeply discussed can you cut MDF with a table saw and how to do that.

We have answered what saw blades should you use to cut MDF and what are factors you should look at before buying the perfect blade type to cut MDF according to your purpose.

Yes, MDF can cut with a table saw, but you need to be extremely careful and always make sure to wear safety gear before starting the cutting process. Because safety always comes first.

Furthermore, we have answered how to rip and crosscut MDF with a table saw and how to do that without chipping the MDF board.

Hope you have gained a pretty good knowledge and found answers to the question, can you cut MDF with a table saw. So, let’s start your next woodworking project with MDF, and don’t forget to give it a try with a table saw after reading the entire guidelines above. Enjoy woodworking!

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