Best Tool to Cut MDF

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a smooth, flat, dense, and knot-free material. These qualities make it an excellent choice for creating signs and promotional boards. But cutting through MDF is not very easy–especially if you want a straight cut.

If you’re a sign maker in search of the best tool to cut MDF, you have arrived at the right place. Below, we have discussed the most popular choices, along with why commercial flatbed cutters are the winner. Let’s dive in!

Four Best Tools to Cut MDF

1. Electric Saws

Use an electric saw to ensure precision, speed, and steady control. Here are three electric saw types to consider:

Saw Type:

Cut Type:

Recommended Features:

Circular Saw

Straight Cut

  • Cutting speed of 3000 m/s
  • A minimum of sixty teeth
  • Carbide tip blade

Table Saw

Straight Cut

  • Small blade
  • Fifty to eighty teeth

Jigsaw Saw

Curved Cut 

  • Bi-metal cutting blade

Miter Saw

Cross Cut

  • Carbide tip blade


2. Rotary Tools 

A rotary tool is a handheld power tool. It has a fast-spinning motor and a rotary blade to cut different materials. You can also switch the blade to achieve different specialized cuts. To cut MDF, you only have to fit a rotary tool with a multi-purpose blade.

This tool can help you create plunge cuts, notches, and holes. However, it’s important to keep your hand steady for precise and accurate results.

3. Laser Cutting Machines

A laser cutting machine is another great option that cuts MDF neatly and precisely. You can also use it to engrave text and designs on the signboard. Because everything is controlled by laser technology, the results are highly accurate and consistent.

However, laser-cutting machines are an expensive choice. If you are a hobbyist or a new business owner, you may want to stick with an electric saw. 

Even if you do have the budget for a laser-cutting machine and end up purchasing one, make sure you don’t use it at high temperatures. MDF contains resin that melts at high temperatures and releases toxic fumes.

4. Flatbed Cutter

A flatbed cutter is the perfect tool for making precise and intricate cuts in MDF. This tool comes with a large flat surface that you can use to place your boards on. It also has a cutting blade that is mounted above the surface, which can cut through the MDF quickly and accurately.

For the best results, choose a model with an adjustable cutting speed and pressure-sensitive blade mechanism–this will help you achieve the perfect cuts. The best thing about a flatbed cutter is it is easy to cut through MDF; all you have to do is set the board in place and let powerful hydraulics do their job. 

Tips to Cut MDF Properly 

Beginners often end up making a lot of mess when cutting MDF. If you are new to this, keep the following tips in mind for smooth and clean cuts:  

  • Always wear thick safety gloves and goggles before cutting MDF.
  • Place the MDF on a stable work surface and secure it with masking tape to prevent movement.
  • Before cutting, always mark the cut line using a light marker or pen. You can also sketch out a rough guideline with a knife.
  • For smooth cuts, use a carbide-tipped blade with sixty or more teeth wherever possible.
  • Keep your movement gentle and slow to prevent scratches. 
  • Cutting MDF can result in a lot of dust. It’s best to use a handheld vacuum cleaner and clean the mess as you go.

In Conclusion

Electric saws, rotary tools, laser cutting machines, and flatbed cutters are all excellent options for cutting MDF, but because flatbed cutters can apply greater force due to their powerful hydraulics and eliminate the need for manual cutting, they are the clear winner. 

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