I bought a fake butcher block counter from Ikea which is really a veneer over particle board. No matter how I cut it, I can't seem avoid slight chips in the veneer. I'm using a 7 1/4" circular saw and a 60 tooth blade. I have someone holding the end of the cut piece, but I suspect because it's so heavy, its impossible to avoid flexing all together as the cut gets close to the end. I've tried with both the veneer facing up or down and even a piece of painters tape over but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

What are some tips to help prevent chipping of the veneer?

  • you wouldn't happen to have access to a band saw, would you?
    – MattDMo
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:25
  • Not at home, no..
    – Steven
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:27
  • you might try a razor veneer saw.
    – SkipBerne
    Jun 23, 2015 at 16:22

5 Answers 5


Some things to consider:

  • Score the cut line with a sharp razor blade. This cuts the veneer and helps reduce chipping.

  • Run tape across the cut line in order to support the veneer and reduced chipping from tear out.

  • Use a clean blade that's designed specifically for cutting veneers

  • Make sure there is adequate support all the way around for the material being cut.

  • Use a moderate to slow feed rate to minimize the rate of wood removal. Don't try to rush the cut.

Some materials are very difficult to cut without chipping even if you use all of the above methods.

  • 1
    I highly suggest going to a 'panel' style blade if you can find it. This generally has a higher tooth count and is meant for cutting thin material. This should do wonders. Mar 17, 2015 at 15:26
  • This is all right except it's missing the biggest solution: cut from the bottom. The blades will be going INTO the top finish then instead of tearing OUT.
    – Joshua
    Mar 26, 2017 at 14:03

You may be able to avoid chip-out by using a sacrificial board atop of the countertop. Set your depth to cut through the sacrificial board, make sure it is clamped down tight and give it a whirl. Oftentimes reducing chipout is best accomplished by not giving the wood any direction to chip (e.g., a strongly sandwiched surface)

  • This is most effective for me. It works quite well on a drill press too (i.e., have a sacrificial board below the one you're drilling and it will eliminate tearout).
    – dfife
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:37

@Peter Grace provided an excellent suggestion of placing a sacrificial board atop the countertop. An alternative solution is to mount an auxiliary zero-clearance shoe onto your circular saw shoe.

Fashion it out of a thin piece of plywood, rout it to match the existing shoe profile, and plunge cut through it so the opening is just the width of the blade.

SAFETY NOTE: Installing this auxiliary shoe will keep the blade guard retracted at all times. Extra care must be taken while handling the saw, and extra time allowed for the blade to spin completely down. I would only suggest installing it when tearout needs to be minimized, and then immediately uninstalling it after the cut has been made.

  • How does one mount the auxiliary to the circular saw shoe in a way the would allow it to uninstalled (and reinstalled)?
    – martineau
    Aug 23, 2016 at 2:19
  • 1
    @martineau, most saws have threaded holes for machine screws in their shoes. You can countersink the heads in the insert.
    – Doresoom
    Aug 23, 2016 at 13:34
  • Went out to the garage and looked — sure enough they're there just as you described. BTW, I happened to stumble upon this youtube video which demonstrates your suggestion perfectly (although in it double-sided tape is used to attach the auxiliary shoe).
    – martineau
    Aug 29, 2016 at 17:48

Make a zero clearance table saw insert.

It reduce chipping a lot.

check woodgears.ca

  • 5
    I was using a circular saw not a table saw.
    – Steven
    Mar 17, 2015 at 16:17

I did it with a cheap skilsaw and cheapest 60t blade. taped the veneer and cut with the veneer side down, clamped a board to it for a guide. Just slow and even, and ho ld the cut off so it could not drop. PERFECT - no chipping. nothing fancy or expensive but a great result.

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