If you need to buy MDF wall panels for your home or office, one of the biggest issues is likely to pick out the correct size. While trying to figure out what you want, you may have come across a term called “cut-to-size,” which essentially means that they will cut down any pre-made sheet of MDF into almost any size that you require.
You could have also noticed that all pre-panelized packages offer sizes at 24″ widths and 48″ because these are standard popular sizes. Many people assume that it’s not possible if they want a different size, but this is incorrect!
Not only are there an infinite amount of possibilities when cutting MDF according to your dimensions (within reason), but when you buy MDF cut to size, it is generally much cheaper than ordering pre-sized options.
- 1 What is MDF?
- 2 Getting MDF Cut to Size
- 3 Can You Get MDF Wall Panels Cut To Size?
- 4 Is MDF Cut To Size Expensive?
- 5 Are MDF Wall Panelling Kits Already Cut To Size?
- 6 What Do I Need To Cut MDF Wall Panels?
- 7 The Best Way To Cut MDF To Size
- 8 MDF vs. Solid Wood
- 9 Conclusion
What is MDF?
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is engineered wood made of sawdust and resins such as urea-formaldehyde. It has been popular since the 1960s due to its low cost and ease of production.
MDF panels can be cut with standard woodworking tools such as circular saws, jigsaws, or routers. They are sturdy enough to make furniture out of, but more importantly, their flat surfaces and straight edges make them very easy for carpentry purposes.
For example, fitting bathroom cabinets and shelves on walls would be extremely simple if you used pre-sized wall panels instead of customizing your own.
Getting MDF Cut to Size
Most people looking for this service will head online and search “MDF cut to size” or something similar. You may notice that there are typically two options:
- Hire a cutting company to complete the task for you
- Complete it yourself at home with an appropriate cutter
The first option is certainly viable, but it’s also not all that practical unless you have large amounts of money to spare. If you plan to get MDF cut by somebody else, you should talk about the issue beforehand if they do not offer this service.
Alternatively, you can make your own cuts at home with a table saw or appropriate laser cutter (although prices vary greatly). The second option is the most practical for most people, especially if you are reading this article because you need MDF cut to size regularly.
For example, when I built my custom media entertainment center, I knew precisely what measurements I needed. Since it was just one use, there was no point in spending money on hiring somebody else to do it. Purchasing an MDF panel cutter will pay for itself the first few times you buy MDF cut to size!
Can You Get MDF Wall Panels Cut To Size?
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t get MDF cut to size. Cut-to-size is a service that nearly all companies offer, which should be available in most areas. If you’re still not sure, check the company’s website or give them a call, and they will be happy to tell you if they offer this service!
Is MDF Cut To Size Expensive?
In short: no! There are already very cheap table saws on sale from various retailers, such as Amazon, for less than $100/£100 (or even more affordable when on sale). In addition, unless you plan to use it daily, don’t worry about spending too much money.
If somebody is telling you that a new MDF panel cutter will cost thousands of dollars, they are most likely not being truthful! It’s certainly possible to spend a lot of money if you want an industrial-grade machine, but you don’t need one for home use.
You may also notice that some big-name companies sell very expensive table saws that claim to cut MDF. This doesn’t mean the products themselves are of better quality. It just means they have been marked up quite significantly due to their brand name.
Are MDF Wall Panelling Kits Already Cut To Size?
Yes, all of them are! As you can probably gather that this article has an entire section dedicated to “cutting your own wall panels to size” there is no need for manufacturers to cut pre-made products down to size (unless they are damaged).
This is because nearly all 24″x48″ MDF panel packaging comes with standard sizes, which means it’s much easier and cheaper for them to pack these up as-is rather than cutting down each MDF sheet individually.
If you like, you could also ask the supplier if they will cut the panels down to a different size. It does not hurt to ask, and there is a chance they will say yes, but be aware that they may charge you for this service.
What Do I Need To Cut MDF Wall Panels?
All that’s required for cutting MDF panels to size is either a table saw or an alternative laser cutter. Depending on which method you use, it will be faster and easier than using an electric jigsaw or more complicated. Let’s look at both options below:
1. Using a Table Saw
Cutting with a table saw can be time-consuming if you do not have one. My advice would be to check out reviews of portable panel cutters before potentially wasting hours chipping away at these sheets. They don’t come cheap!
The downside of using a table saw such as the one above is that it only cuts the panels to length, and they still need to be cut into smaller sizes.
This is where most people think you will need an industrial-level machine with blades capable of cutting through anything. However, if you just want to cut MDF sheets down to size, using a table saw specifically designed for wood/panel cutting (in contrast to construction wood) should suffice. They also vary in price depending on which brand you purchase.
2. Alternative Laser Cutter
Laser cutters are handy tools for cutting MDF down to size. It’s imperative that you know the difference between a laser cutter and simply firing up your computer with Adobe Illustrator.
If you search online for “how to cut MDF with a laser cutter,” then you will most likely end up on software like Corel Draw (or similar), which is not the same as using an actual laser cutter.
Make sure that if someone tells you they can cut panels down to size, they’re telling the truth! A proper laser cutter should be much faster than any other method (except maybe water jet). It also doesn’t matter how many panels you want to cut to size either.
The Best Way To Cut MDF To Size
The best way to cut MDF panels is to use a table saw. This is because it’s much easier to make accurate and repetitive cuts. Using a table saw also reduces effort and leaves you with less dirt to clean up afterward since the MDF panels will already be on the right surface for cutting!
MDF vs. Solid Wood
MDF is a lot cheaper than solid wood, but it’s also much weaker and lacks the same level of detail.
Unless you are on a tight budget, there isn’t any reason to use MDF over solid wood! MDF is more lightweight, but this means very little when trying to cut MDF to size since it won’t hold itself up. The saw will do all the work instead!
As you can see, getting a professional MDF cut to size service is very simple! It shouldn’t cost too much money if you have your table saw or are willing to purchase one, and getting pre-cut panels is always an option.