How to Cut Solid Surface

Tools Required

Circular Saw


Straight Edge


Recommended Bits/Blades: 

Circular Saw: Minimum 40 tooth carbide triple chip blade with 0 degree or positive hook angle

Router: 1/2" shank double fluted router bit

Work on a surface (saw horse, workbench or otherwise) that is level. Ensure your cut depth extends ¼” below the solid surface sheet to guarantee a clean and consistent cut.

Cutting Solid Surface with a Straight Edge

1. Mark the cut that needs to be made. Measure on either side of your material and use a straight edge to draw your cut line across the sheet.

Using a measuring tape to measure where the cut will be made on solid surface
Marking the cut line on solid surface

2. Use your circular saw to make a rough cut at least 1/8” to the outside of your cut line. This rough cut does not need to be perfectly straight as you will clean and straighten your cut with a router in the next step. Because of rough saw marks and the potential for micro-fractures, it is never recommended to leave a circular saw cut as your final edge cut even if the edge will not be visible upon installation.

saw marks on the material before making full cut on solid surface
Using a measuring tape to measure where the cut will be made on solid surface

3. On your router, measure the distance from the router bit to the outside of the router base. This measurement is your "cut offset" and is required to locate your straight edge.

Note: If you have a template guide (sometimes also called a router collar) this step is a bit different.

measuring the distance of the router bit to determine the cut offset

4. Use your "cut offset" to locate and clamp your straight edge the appropriate distance away from your cut line. Take care to measure both ends of your sheet to ensure your straight edge is clamped straight across the material. At this point, you should be able to set your router on top of the material pressed against your straight edge so that the router bit lines up with your cut line.

determining the cut offset on solid surface
clamping down the solid surface before making the cut

Selecting your straight edge: Make sure your straight edge is at least as long as the cut you are going to make. Your straight edge needs to be thick enough that you can run your router base against it without slipping onto it. It also needs to be perfectly straight. Your cut will only be as accurate as your straight edge!

5. Make your cut. Be sure to maintain a slow and consistent pace while routing. Take care to hold your router tight to your straight edge all the way through the end of your cut.

cutting solid surface with a router
clean cut solid surface

You should now have a straight clean cut that can be seamed!

Alternative Method: Mirror Cut

An alternative method for cutting solid surface (specifically for cutting sides that will be seamed together) is to use the mirror cut method. The basic principle is to place the two pieces you intend to seam 3/8" apart. You then make one cut with a router down the middle routing both edges at the same time. This guarantees that regardless of how accurate or straight your cut is, the two pieces will press together perfectly.

Measuring mirror cut for solid surface
mirror cutting solid surface with a router
mirror cutting solid surface zoomed in image

This method used to be very popular, but has slowly been phased out given the availability and accuracy of straight edges. With that said, mirror cutting is still an acceptable practice.

Video Instructions