November 14, 2021

What Saw to Use for Cabinets?

Use a table saw to cut cabinet parts

Table saws make impressive, safe cuts. Although they are dangerous tools, modern table saws have safety devices in guards, guides, adjustments, and controls. That makes it ideal for cabinet-making. You have a lot of table saw options available. Make the right choice for your shop to suit your needs.  

Cabinet-making table saws are heavy and rigid woodworking machines that fit between table extensions. They accept blade diameters ranging from 7.5 inches to 12 inches. They handle large pieces of plywood sheets.

Related Article >> Best Cabinet Table Saw.

Another model that makes cabinets is the contractor table saw.  It is a medium-duty machine that cabinet makers use. The saw is portable, unlike cabinet-making table saws that stay fixed in the shop. For accurate cuts, look for good quality contractor table saws. It should handle blade sizes up to 12 inches in diameter.

Benchtop table saws also make cabinets. It is small and compact, and that makes them handy for cabinet-making work. Portability makes them ideal for cutting small material on installation sites. Standard benchtop table saws use 7.5-inch or 10-inch diameter blades.

Use a circular saw to cut cabinet parts

There are tips to follow when using a circular saw for cabinet parts. Start with the right blade. You are allowed to replace the 24-tooth blade that came with the saw with a 50- to 60-tooth saw blade. When ripping solid wood, switch back to the 24-tooth saw blade.

Put the best face down when cutting and when you have to cut with the best face-up, cover the top face with masking tape. Make your cut in two passes instead of one. 

To support the wood fibers, attach an auxiliary subplate to your saw’s footplate. Make your guide. It makes it easy to align cuts. Build a jig, and adjust the width as needed for your saw. Trim the guide to custom-fit your saw by running the footplate against the fence to create the zero-clearance support and clamp the jig. Sacrifice two affordable boards as sacrificial supports.

Use a jigsaw to cut cabinet parts

A jigsaw allows you to play around with your cabinet for a fancy one. A jigsaw cuts rounded edges and other shapes where you need to change direction. More practice with a jigsaw. However,  it is easy to use and handle. 

You can also adjust the speed and squeeze and release trigger to work at your pace, creating your pattern. Treat the jigsaw as a hand tool, pushing it over the material. Use a firmly clamped, straight guide fence for straight cuts. For more straight cuts, use a wider jigsaw blade. The chances are low that it curves outward during cutting. Use a slower blade speed. Slower speeds allow more accurate cuts.

Making Straight Cuts

Sketch out the cabinet and cut along the grain. Carefully measure and cut the cabinet pieces from 1/2″ plywood. Make sure to keep cuts straight and even.

Making Beveled Cuts

Beveled doors open and close without handles or knobs. To open the door, place your finger behind the bevel. Raise the blade on a table saw to 1 inch in height. Tilt the blade to 30 degrees and lock it down. Clamp the plywood and slide the fence over until the tip of the blade barely touches the plywood strip. 

Turn on the saw and sand the beveled edges smooth and round the edge using an orbital sander and 100-grit sandpaper. Finish the door with stain and lacquer. Install one 30-degree reverse-bevel hinge 2 inches from the top edge and one hinge 2 inches from the bottom edge. 

What does a cabinet saw do?

Cabinet saws are table saws in a different form. The name Cabinet comes in the enclosed design of the saw that looks like a cabinet. They are ideal for professional woodworkers as it offers quick and reliable access to your working tools. Cabinet saws are of steel or iron materials with a heavy tensioning mechanism that allows you to work with thick materials.

How do you make plywood kitchen cabinets?

Make your plywood kitchen cabinets, make sure you have all the tools and material needed. These include measuring tape, plywood sheets, medium- and fine-grit sandpaper, waterproof sealant wax or polyurethane, hinge jig, drill, and a screwdriver.


Select your plywood

You have a wide range of plywood available to choose from, ranging from soft to hardwood. Plywood with natural resistance to water, unlike some wood, does not need further treatment.

Sizing your cabinets

When cutting your cabinets, make sure they are the correct size. Check the size of the cabinets on the supplier’s website. The thickness of the cabinet plays a role in sizing. If they are too thick,  they will catch the next door when opening. 

If too thin, they will be more susceptible to warping and damage. Calculate doors for each sheet of plywood. Sand the plywood to make it smooth. For a better finish, sand down all sides of the cabinets, starting with medium-grit sandpaper. An electrical sander speeds up the process. 


Waterproof your wood since kitchens are messy and wet areas, and treating the wood protects it from damage—waterproof your wood with polyurethane, a wood-treating oil, or a waterproofing sealer. To apply the oil first, wipe down the door with a damp cloth to remove all sanding residue. Use a clean brush to apply the oil and spread it thinly on the door. Allow the layer to dry for four hours before applying the second coat. 

What TPI saw do I need?

The more teeth a saw blade has, the smoother the cut will be. TPI is the number of teeth the saw blade has per inch. For cabinet making, you need a saw blade with a TPI of 6 up to 20. The higher the amount of saw blade teeth, the better the quality of cut and finishing. 

For a faster and rougher cut, a blade with fewer teeth will be ideal. Cutting metal requires a higher number of teeth compared to blades for softwood. When blades have fewer teeth, they have deeper space between them, creating a more aggressive chiseling action. Tungsten-Carbide Tipped blades have gullets with a unique shape compared to standard gullets. These reduce the vibration and noise while cutting and the heat on the steel center, making it safer for the user.

What is the difference between a first fix and a second fix saw?

First Fix involves structural work such as roof struts, wall studding, framing, and joists, whereas the Second Fix refers to the finishing work done after the plastering. First, fixing carpentry is the first stage of the woodwork when constructing a building, and it involves all the work from its foundations to becoming ready for plastering. This stage starts from the frame of the building to the point of decorating. 

The tasks involved include stud work, floating floors, staircases, window boards, and internal door linings. The second fix comprises all the work that happens after the plastering process, and it ensures that the woodwork of the building has all of the finishing touches. The tasks include internal hardwood and softwood doors, skirting and moldings, pre-formed door sets, and staircase components.

David D. Hughes
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