How to saw a tabletop without chipping with a jigsaw

What can be used to saw a tabletop so that it does not have splinters

When you plan to saw without chipping on one side, both top and bottom prong saws are permitted. Most craftsmen give preference to small saws with straight teeth. Such devices splinter the material less, but still work quite decently. After sawing it is best to process the ends with an emery on even bars. If there is no ready-made crayon of a suitable color, you can mix different crayons, like paints in an artist’s palette, and get a new color.

In order to cut without errors and quickly, always pay attention to the type designation. There is no universal standard for marking, but almost all companies strictly follow the classification developed by Bosch specialists. Or at least indicate it with their own abbreviations and terms. For cutting wood and wood-based products, CV (sometimes referred to as HCS) saws are quite good.

Hardwood saws are designed for machining laminated panels (they are also useful for machining hardwood).

Some inscriptions tell us in what mode the tool works optimally:

Basic. a simple blade that allows you to make a clean cut of high quality;

Speed. the device, the teeth of which are bifurcated (it allows you to saw faster);

clean. a blade that is not set up (usually gives the cleanest cut).

If the workpiece is relatively thick, a saw blade with large cutters that has not been set up is preferred. then the verticality will be minimal. Longitudinal (in relation to fibers) cut is most often made with a diagonal saw blade. For transversal it is better to use a straight blade. When you plan to make a workpiece for furniture, it is advisable to choose a less productive, but more accurate tool. Since most saws available today cut the material when retracted, the workpiece will need to be machined from the underside.

Jigsaw work methods without chipping on different materials

Electric jigsaw is suitable for processing a large number of products (metal, wood, tin, plastic surfaces). For each species there are certain methods and options for setting up the tool. the frequency, smoothness of movement of the device, the force of the pressure.

When choosing a jigsaw, be sure to remember that wood should be sawn with standard bits (those with teeth on top). The size of the teeth should be medium, and the pitch interval from 0.25 to 0.4 cm. The length of the jigsaw will depend on the thickness of the surface to be sawed. The stroke frequency should be set to the maximum value.

When you start sawing, you should press the electric jigsaw against the material and carefully, without hurrying, control its direction of movement. In addition, there is no need to push an electric tool, because it advances perfectly along the blade even on its own.

When choosing a saw, you should definitely choose such a variety as a back-cut saw. Even with this type of vibration, the quality of the end result is not compromised. With the most common saw, you will be able to perform the action on the back side of the blade.

To cut with the jigsaw without chipping, the stroke frequency, as in the case of the wood blade, should be at its maximum. To avoid chipping, it is imperative that the pendulum mechanism be switched off. During the performance of the electric jigsaw should always be firmly pressed and slowly, gradually enter the blade (while strongly pressing the tool is not required).

By the way, chipping often occurs on the side that faces the tool. In this regard, when using the most common saw, you should choose the front side in advance and perform the sawing on the back side. over, you can even buy a specialized anti-slip insert is a small-sized element with a kerf, which is installed in the right guides. The best variant of the insert is considered to be the variant with an exact corresponding kerf to the thickness of the saw.

Pay attention that if it is necessary to make curvilinear cuts on a thin tin plate and place the cutting line tightly to the support it is required to place metal between two wood-fiber plates, and it is required to mark exactly the top wood-fiber plate layer, because it will prevent formation of a burr. Tile

It is necessary to prepare a file without teeth and apply a layer of abrasive on it. The pendulum stroke should be turned off and the speed should be reduced to a minimum. In such a case, an electric jigsaw will be one of the most effective tools for sawing curved elements on the surface of tile material.

For this material it is worth choosing a file with small teeth, because it will increase the quality of the work. Adjust the electric jigsaw should be based on what kind of plastic you plan to saw. A smooth cut will only be possible with minimal or preferably no swinging movement. The stroke frequency should not be more than 40% of the maximum value.

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For easy sawing of tin material it is necessary to attach its blade. The blade should be set at the edge of the workbench or even placed on a backing board. The cutting line of the trimmer must be at the smallest possible distance from the intended support. The material must be pressed down on a block so that nothing interferes with the jigsaw’s freedom of movement. The “prime” setting has to be set to “o” or “1” maximum.

The file to be used must be designed exclusively for metal. If the blade you are working on has a thickness greater than 0.2 cm, in this case it is better to lubricate the place of the cut with oil (machine oil). For a perfect result, the tin panel should be placed between the thin plywood

This might allow you to work away from the line of support, and it’s critical in curved sawing conditions


The first table top was cut with a hand hacksaw in the entryway on the first floor to get it into the elevator. The cut was done with a large margin (about 8 cm) and in a hurry. That’s what as a result has turned out (it is possible to take it as a reference).

Next, as originally conceived, using a straight edge router, the edge was aligned. As you can see in the photo below the upper edge is perfectly flat, but because of the wrong direction of the router work the laminate cracks on the front side. Of the three attempts to level the edge with the router, all ended with a similar result (the photo shows the results of the third attempt). After the previous experience with the wood router I got the feeling that it is hard to cut 38mm thick particle board and it overheats a little.

The next sawing attempt is made with the jigsaw. When working with a jigsaw, the cut is made from the opposite side due to the direction of the teeth on the saw (they say that there are special saws with reversed position of the teeth, but I have not found them). Used saw Boche T101B (clean wood) for even and clean edge of cut. At the beginning the wire clamps were used to fasten the guide rail to the table top along which the cut was made. After a 20 cm saw the jigsaw starts to move sideways a little and the saw overheats. And here is the result. Although the edge of cut (it is upper on the photo) turns out rather clean. As a result we have overheated saw and overheated inserts (there are two small details which are responsible for correct positioning of saw during the work). Now it all needs to be repaired (replaced).

And finally it’s time for the circular saw :-)Like with the jigsaw, we fix the guide rail with clamps and saw along it. Start cutting at the front edge, to avoid chipping on this part. The saw blade we choose the one with the biggest number of teeth to get a straight cut. I used a blade with 48 teeth on a diameter of 130 cm. in the end it turned out that the diameter of the saw is too small. In some places the bottom edge was undercut by about 2 mm. For this reason, all cuts I had to do from the front side, which eventually led to a small chipping (which is completely covered by the aluminum sidewall). Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to check the cleanliness of the saw from the underside, most likely the edge would have been more even.

And actually the result of cutting with the circular saw. Left. Chipping while sawing the countertop, right. Not a very good cut (two of them turned out perfectly, but the third is a bit tilted to the side, I had to correct it later with a edge mill, it’s good that it was the back wall. The reason is probably the length of the cut or crooked hands.

And now the conclusions:1. You don’t have to buy a 38 mm thick worktop at all, it’s more difficult to work on it at home. You can make do with a standard thickness of 28 mm.2. If you can have the tabletop sawn in a workshop, then do so (especially if you have no experience in this matter).3. IMHO it is best to saw with a circular saw with a blade about 190 cm and a frequent tooth from the front edge (front) and most likely from the back side (but I have not been able to check this).4. I spent a total of 25 cm of the countertop on the experiments, it’s good to have 60 cm to spare. 5. If I fix the jigsaw by the weekend, there will be a new post about installing the sink 😉

Ways to minimize chips

An additional cause of splintering may be the saw’s tooth separation. That’s why the first thing you should take care of is getting a straight cut tool (often Bosh saws). However, it should be noted that with prolonged work, such saws overheat and can even bend in the process of cutting. For which reason it is necessary to take breaks in the work to allow the cutting tool to cool down.

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However, just changing the jigsaw is not enough. In order to be able to cut laminated wood chipboard (laminate) with the jigsaw without chipping, it is necessary to make some fine adjustments to the jigsaw. Namely to make it so that when the saw moves against the inclination of the tooth, the material is not torn out. For what it is enough to make a thrust platform. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from trying to cut through two sheets of laminated chipboard at the same time. So there will be almost no splinters on the bottom element.

In order to make a jigsaw footplate it is enough to saw a rectangle of any dense material (for example, laminate) with dimensions identical to those of the electric tool’s soleplate.

Then a notch must be made along the larger centerline and the jigsaw foot must be secured to the jigsaw foot with masking tape or double-sided adhesive tape. All finishing is ready and it is possible to perform finishing works with observance of certain recommendations.

Recommendations for a splinter-free cut

First of all, as already mentioned above, a jigsaw file with a straight cut should be used.

Secondly, in order to better control the process of cutting, it is justified to apply the marking line for the trimmer on both sides of the laminated chipboard and check the accuracy of processing the top and bottom.

Well and thirdly, to make constant breaks in the work to cool the cutting equipment.

Sometimes the solution in this matter can be a simple cutting through the laminated layer of the material with a mounting knife, and the subsequent work with a jigsaw will no longer cause major defects in the form of chips. However, this work requires from the performer a certain experience and accuracy.

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Using masking tape

Before sawing, the plywood can be covered with painter’s tape for a cleaner cut. It is better to use masking tape than ordinary tape. It leaves no sticky residue on the plywood and is easy to remove. Make sure that the masking tape is properly adhered before cutting.

This method is not so bad. But I personally do not like this method.

First of all, the tape often comes off while you are sawing and these places get chippings.

Secondly, if you want to saw off plywood that already has a burnout picture made on the pyroprinter machine, there is a risk that the fine details of the picture will remain on the painter’s tape.

Why the jigsaw might be crooked

Not everyone knows how to cut a workpiece straight with an electric jigsaw. The tool is light and without enough skill the entire cut can become crooked.

  • No experience with the tool.
  • Saw blade with defects.
  • Looseness in the guide roller. There could be 2 reasons: wear and tear on the inside and failure of the seating holes.
  • Wear on the spindle. This fault results in a large backlash.

These are the most common faults. There can also be others, so take all aspects into account.

Different methods are used to obtain a precise cut

At what speed to cut Chipboard, Laminated Chipboard with a jigsaw

To evenly cut the chipboard with a jigsaw, you need to work with an electric or hand-held tool at low speed, pressing the blade firmly against the workpiece. If you make quick movements, the cut is not too accurate, the probability of splintering increases.

Users say that when cutting with the jigsaw head in a straight line and at low speed, the jigsaw moves about 50 cm per minute. If you increase the intensity of movement and set the maximum angle, it will be possible to cut up to 2 m in the same time. But the cut will be rough, with large chips.

Tip ! If you need to saw the material carefully, it is worth turning off the pendulum stroke in the tool.

How smoothly the jigsaw will cut the chipboard also depends on the sharpness of the blade. New blades allow you to cut material clearly in the intended line and at a constant speed. But after about 3 m of work the jigsaw starts to blunt, which slows down the progress and makes the cut rougher.

Using adhesive tapes

An adhesive tape (such as ordinary scotch tape) is to protect the back side of the material. Tape must be glued to the cut trimmer line to keep large pieces of material from tearing off. Painting tape is not a very effective way to preserve the material when cutting with an jigsaw, since its resistance is extremely low.

It is best to use a fairly wide (each side of the material cut should cover at least fifteen centimeters) aluminum or fiberglass reinforced tape. Also, the adhesive tape should be pressed down with a dry rag to eliminate the risk of wrinkles.

The use of adhesive tapes

Duct tape (i.e. masking tape) is for protecting the backside of the material. It is necessary to glue a tape to the cut trimmer’s fishing line, which keeps the workpiece from tearing off large elements. Painting tape is not a very effective option for preserving material when cutting with a jigsaw, since its strength is extremely low.

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It is best to use a fairly wide (each side of the material cut should be covered by at least fifteen centimeters) aluminum or fiberglass reinforced tape. In addition, the adhesive tape should be pressed with a dry cloth to eliminate the risk of wrinkles.

Refinishing the jigsaw soleplate

When setting up the jigsaw, you must first check the perpendicularity of the soleplate, because sometimes the clamp is not fixed rigidly. Often experts refine the sole of the tool, that is, reduce the gap between the foot and the presser pad. This eliminates “breaking” of the crust in the material layers above.

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When using overlays, it is important for every beginner to remember that they should not scratch the surface of the piece. You need to replace them every five meters of cutting. Zero clearance can be achieved by attaching the overlay plate to the support leg of the jigsaw.

The overlay has just one narrow slot that fits snugly over the cutting element. Therefore, even a weak feed of the teeth can cut fine shavings, and not twist the chips of the top layer. The highest-quality linings, which are guaranteed to last you a long time, are usually made of:

Best wood jigsaw blades for jigsaws

For sawing wood, you can choose high-quality, but inexpensive blades. They are particularly good in soft materials, but can also cut hard materials successfully.

Practice 035-837

Blades for electric jigsaws are made of durable carbon steel and are highly resistant to damage. Suitable for wood and plywood and enables fast cutting.

You can buy the Practice set 035-837 from 190 Pros

GMT JT234X-5

Made in Italy according to international standards of high-strength alloy. Have proprietary coating that increases service life. Working length is 90 cm. blades of this size are sufficient for most tasks.

Warning! GMT power jigsaw blades are suitable for clean and accurate cuts only.


VIRA T111C552025

The budget jigsaw blades have a length of 75 mm and are suitable for medium sized jobs. Can be used for cutting plywood, wood, and plastic. The jigsaws are certified according to the German DIM standard and meet the requirements of the Russian GOST. Made of high-carbon steel, resistant to kinks.

Jigsaws for VIRA jigsaws are available from 60

How to saw a tabletop with a circular saw

Working with a tool called a circular saw, you need a fine-toothed finishing saw blade. It is easier to make long straight cuts with a circular saw than with a jigsaw. But chipping is much more likely to occur as the side with the teeth juts into the material and breaks off chunks of material.

But even when working with a fine-toothed circular saw blade, many splinters are created on one side of the worktop and these must be reworked over a longer period of time. And it is not a fact that after processing is not left millimeter chipping or microcracks, which in the future will lead to the material in disrepair or strong moisture penetration.

Therefore it is better not to use this variant for sawing worktops. Better leave the use of the circular saw for other work. If this is the only option for you then you have to work hard to finish the sawing material.

Thick saw blades Metabo

Metabo also uses a numerical code for its saws. But the Metabo numerical code is not informative. And on the packaging they do not give a match in the Bosch codes. So go to the Metabo website and look at the saw by serial number for saw blade thickness.

And on the website, for most of its saws, Metabo gives the Bosch code. Metabo website.

The Metabo has the thickest saw blade is 1.5 mm and 1.7 mm. Here are their codes:

  • 623999000 CLEAN WOOD PREMIUM, 2,2 mm tooth pitch, thickness 1.5 mm
  • 623998000 CLEAN WOOD PREMIUM, 2.2 mm tooth pitch, thickness 1.5 mm
  • 623977000 CLEAN WOOD PREMIUM, 3 mm tooth pitch, thickness 1.5 mm
  • 623679000 PRECISION WOOD, 4 mm tooth pitch, thickness 1.7 mm

To get a high quality cut on your tabletop that closely resembles a circular saw the jigsaw is not only good and correct saws but also very important. The jigsaw should have no play in the blade feed mechanism. The base of the jigsaw should be smooth and geometrically correct.

The sides of the blade and the blade should be parallel and the saw blade should be perpendicular to the blade. It’s the only way to saw the tabletop along the guide rail. You can’t make a straight cut without a guide.

And don’t forget to change saws. Conventional HCS steel saw blades wear out rather quickly. And it is masochistic to saw a table top with a dull saw blade.