Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom renovation projects. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance, and durable alternative to natural stone or laminate. When it comes time to cut and install quartz countertops, having the right tools is key. Here is an overview of the recommended tools for cutting quartz countertops and how to use them properly.
Circular Saw with Diamond Blade
One of the most common tools for making straight cuts in quartz countertops is a circular saw outfitted with a diamond blade. The diamond-tipped teeth on these specialty blades are designed to cut through the quartz crystals and resins without producing excessive chipping.
When using a circular saw, be sure to:
- Clamp a straight edge guide in place to ensure an accurate cut.
- Work slowly and steadily while applying firm pressure.
- Keep the blade lubricated with water to minimize heat buildup.
- Wear proper protective gear like goggles, ear protection, and an N95 dust mask.
For high-volume cutting, a professional-grade circular saw with a 7-9 inch diamond blade is recommended. But for DIYers doing minimal cutting, a standard 61⁄2 inch circular saw from your power tool arsenal can work when fitted with a quality diamond blade.
Jigsaw with Diamond Blade
For making curved or irregular cuts in a quartz countertop, a jigsaw outfitted with a diamond grit blade is extremely useful. The narrow blade and maneuverability of a jigsaw allow you to follow a line or template precisely.
When operating a jigsaw, be sure to:
- Secure the quartz firmly to avoid vibration.
- Let the blade work at its own pace without forcing it.
- Use smooth, gentle movements to stay on your cut line.
- Apply steady downward pressure but not too much force.
- Keep the blade lubricated with water.
Avoid twisting the jigsaw blade while cutting, as this can damage the edges of the quartz. And always use a blade designed specifically for cutting stone/tile rather than wood or metal.
Angle Grinder with Diamond Blade
For straight cuts in difficult to access areas or for cutting outs for sinks and cooktops, an 4-5 inch angle grinder fitted with a diamond blade is an excellent option. Angle grinders allow you to get up close to cut precisely around appliances or into inside corners.
When operating an angle grinder:
- Brace yourself and use both hands for maximum control.
- Work slowly and carefully due to the high cutting speed.
- Take your time and don’t rush complex cuts.
- Keep the tool moving consistently to avoid damage.
- Wear eye protection and a dust mask when grinding quartz.
Make sure to choose a diamond blade rated for use with quartz or stone materials. Never use a wheel meant for cutting metal.
Oscillating Multi-Tool with Diamond Grit Blade
Oscillating multi-tools like those made by Fein or Rockwell are useful for very detailed cuts in quartz. The narrow blade and rapid oscillating speed let you achieve intricate curved or irregular cuts.
Tips for accurate cuts include:
- Secure the countertop piece firmly in place when cutting.
- Mark your line and work slowly following your marking.
- Apply light, even pressure – don’t force the blade.
- Keep the blade constantly moving and well-lubricated.
- Allow time for the tool’s fine oscillations to do the work.
These tools excel at trimming just the edge of a countertop or creating openings around electrical outlets or plumbing fixtures.
Hole Saws for Cutouts
When you need to create a round cutout in a quartz countertop, specialized diamond grit hole saws are the best choice. Attaching a hole saw bit to a drill allows you to bore clean, smooth openings for sinks, faucets, and other features. Take it slow and easy by:
- Marking the center point of your desired opening.
- Starting with a smaller pilot hole before using the hole saw.
- Allowing the tool to work without forcing or pressure.
- Retracting periodically to clear away debris.
- Lubricating with water to minimize friction and heat.
Be sure to select diamond hole saws specifically made for stone/tile cutting rather than metal ones to avoid cracks or chipping.
Using Proper Support for Cut Pieces
An important factor when cutting quartz countertops is having proper support beneath the section being cut. Without adequate support, the weight of the overhanging quartz can cause cracking or breaking.
Options for providing support include:
- Work tables – Use a rigid table at least 2 inches wider than the quartz slab.
- Sawhorses – Sturdy sawhorses with a straight board can support quartz for cutting.
- Foam mats – Specialty foam mats available at hardware stores support and cushion cut sections.
- Remnant pieces – Off-cut sections of quartz make ideal supports underneath.
Take measures to minimize stress on the cut sections of quartz until they are securely installed. This prevents damage and cracking that can occur with an unsupported overhang.
Ensuring High Quality Cuts
With the right cutting tools and proper handling, DIYers can achieve clean, smooth, professional-looking cuts in quartz:
- Always use specialized diamond blades and bits made for quartz or stone.
- Work slowly and let the tools do the cutting without forcing.
- Keep tools lubricated with water to minimize heat buildup.
- Follow manufacturer’s safety instructions for each power tool.
- Use eye and ear protection as well as dust masks when cutting.
- Support the underside of any overhanging sections being cut.
- Check cut edges and sand small imperfections with 220 grit sandpaper.
- Clean up debris and dust thoroughly after cutting.
By taking the time to cut properly, you can install beautiful quartz countertops that look like they were professionally fabricated. Just have patience and allow the diamond blades and bits to do their job smoothly and efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cutting Quartz Countertops
Can I cut quartz countertops with a circular saw?
Yes, a circular saw with a diamond blade specifically made for cutting stone materials is an excellent choice for straight cuts in quartz countertops. Go slowly and use a guide for maximum accuracy.
What kind of blade do I need to cut quartz?
Specialized diamond grit blades, both circular saw blades and jigsaw blades, are required to cut quartz countertops cleanly. Never try cutting quartz with a wood, metal, or ceramic blade.
How do you cut holes in quartz countertops?
Use diamond hole saw drill bits made for cutting stone/tile to make clean circular cutouts in quartz for sinks, faucets, or other features. Work slowly and lubricate the bit with water when cutting.
Can you cut quartz countertops with a jigsaw?
Yes, a jigsaw with a diamond grit blade designed for stone and tile can be used to make curved, irregular, or interior cuts in quartz slabs. Just take it slow and steady.
What is the best saw to cut quartz?
For most DIYers, a circular saw with a diamond blade is the best quartz cutting saw for straight cuts. A jigsaw with a diamond blade allows for curved cuts. Angle grinders and oscillating tools also work when fitted with diamond accessories.
How do you cut quartzcountertops without chipping?
Always use specialized diamond cutting tools, never force blades/bits, keep tools lubricated with water, follow cut lines precisely, and support the underside of overhangs to prevent chipping when cutting quartz.
With the right selection of specialized diamond cutting tools, some patience, and proper handling of cut sections, DIYers can achieve professional-looking results when cutting quartz countertops. Key things to remember are using diamond blades and bits made specifically for stone, working slowly and carefully, lubricating tools with water, and fully supporting the underside of any overhangs during cutting. Quartz requires different cutting techniques than wood or laminate materials, but it can be cut cleanly. By using the proper diamond-embedded cutting accessories and avoiding forcing tools, you can get great results.