How To Cut Down Kitchen Cabinets? With 7 Effective Steps

Kitchens act as the heart of many homes, where memories and sustenance are crafted. But, what should you do when your kitchen is just too small?

It’s an all-too-common problem that a clever solution has solved: shortening cabinets to save space. 

Throughout this guide, we will explore how to cut down kitchen cabinets to fit a fridge in your kitchen or have more space. Then, with some measuring, sawing, filing down the hinges, and screwing on the hardware, you’ll have plenty of room for cooking again.

Can Kitchen Cabinets Be Cut Down?

Yes, you can cut down kitchen cabinets and you can do this by yourself. Keep reading as we cover how to shorten a kitchen cabinet so you can fit more in your kitchen.

But before starting the process, you have to arrange some tools (check the list below).

How To Cut Down Kitchen Cabinets?

Materials Required

  1. Driver Driller or Screwdriver
  2. Any Saw (Preferred Table Saw)
  3. Nail Gun
  4. Sander
  5. Adhesive
  6. Rubber Mallet
  7. Straightedge

Steps to Resizing a Kitchen Cabinet

Cabinets in a kitchen are often overlooked when it comes to remodeling.

They may be painted over or not replaced as often as other aspects of the room, but they can play an essential role in your kitchen’s success. If you’re thinking about updating your cabinets and want them resized, here are some steps to get started.

Step 1: Disassemble

Remove any screws that attach the door to the cabinet. Afterward, remove the hardware from the door.

Moreover, if the cabinet has any removable shelves, pull those out as well.

Step 2: Score the Cabinet (Measure)

Measure, then use a straight edge to draw a line around all four sides of the entire cabinet where you want to cut with your blade later on.

Next, line your cuts with masking tape—to prevent chipping—and draw a similar line over the tape.

Step 3: Remove the Face Frame

Remove the inside screws that secure the face frame to the cabinet. You can use a rubber mallet if you are having any trouble.

Step 4: Cut the Cabinet

Get your table saw ready by setting its blade to 3/4 inches in height.

Afterward, place the cabinet face up on the saw and align the saw and cabinet with the lines that you made in step two. Once you have your position set, lock the blade’s fence.

Finally, cut along the lines and rotate the cabinet at quarter turns when you need to cut different sides. You should turn off the saw every time you rotate. Moreover, we recommend having an assistant help you position the cabinet.

Use a hammer or rubber mallet to detach the bottom piece of the cabinet from its structure and use pliers to remove the pin nails. From there, align the detached bottom with the cut-down cabinet and fire four quarter-inch pin nails through the sides to attach the bottom to the cabinet.

Then you will need to fire 3/4-inch stables into the back for additional security.

While you are cutting, measure the width of the horizontal part of the face frame (around 1 1/4–1 1/2 inches) and cut.

Step 5: Shrink the Stiles

Remove the screws that secure the two stiles (vertical pieces) of the face frame and pull them out.

Step 6: Drill

Use a 3/16-inch bit and drill a couple of angled holes through the stiles near the inside bottom of the face frame. Afterward, apply glue to where you drilled.

Finally, use 1 3/4-inch screws and reattach the horizontal rail to the stiles.

Step 7: Reassemble the Cabinet

Lay the cabinet face up along a couple of sawhorses and apply glue to the cut-off portions. Next, reattach the face frame and fire four 1 1/4-inch pin nails into each corner.

Afterward, apply clamps around each part of the cabinet and let the glue dry. Once the glue dries, remove them and reattach the shelves you took out earlier.

Steps to Resizing a Kitchen Cabinet Door

Do you have a kitchen cabinet door that is too big for the opening? Resizing a kitchen cabinet door can be done with some basic tools and patience.

Keep reading to learn how to complete the last several steps of cutting down your kitchen cabinets.

Step 1: Disassemble

Use your saw to divide the cabinet door in half. Afterward, strip the hardware from the door. 

Step 2: Take Measurements

Measure how long your shortened cabinet is, subtract the difference between the cabinet and door lengths, and then set your saw to the resulting measurement.

Step 3: Cut

Carefully slide the bottom half of the door through the saw.

Step 4: Drill

Find the vertical sides of the top part of the cabinet door and drill two holes. Next, insert 1 3/4-inch screws into the new holes.

Step 5: Reinstall

Spread glue to the bottom piece of the cabinet doors and reattach it.

Afterward, measure where the hardware was on your existing door and reinstall your resized doors to match.

Finally, attach the hinges to the doors and the cabinets. Moreover, use a putty crayon to fill any saw marks, but make sure it matches the color of your door.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you want to resize your kitchen cabinets? With the right tools, knowledge, and skills, it’s possible! However, there are some questions that you should consider answering before starting this project.

Keep reading as we cover frequently asked questions by other home remodelers who are in similar situations as you.

  1. What Saw Should I Use To Cut Cabinets?

    To cut cabinets, you will want to use a table saw that has a finished blade. However, you can achieve similar results by installing a plywood blade within a circular saw.

  2. How Do I Cut Kitchen Cabinets Without Chipping Them?

    To cut kitchen cabinets without chipping them, you will need to invest in a special laminate blade for the jigsaw.
    These blades only cut one way so that on every stroke of the saw into the wood, chips will be minimized as they are pulled against gravity by pushing them down rather than just cutting through like typical metal-bladed tools would do.
    A sharp blade is also necessary, making quick work out of any job with clean lines left behind!

  3. How Do You Cut the Bottom of Kitchen Cabinets?

    You can cut the bottom of kitchen cabinets without removing them by taking the following steps:
    1. Measure the bottom of your cabinet
    2. Make a score
    3. Take an oscillating saw and cut along the score—also divide the bottom of the cabinet into sections for the next step.
    4. Use a tool like a screwdriver and pry out the bottoms.

  4. Can I Cut a Kitchen Cabinet in Half?

    You can cut a kitchen cabinet in half by following the steps mentioned above but making a couple of tweaks.

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It is not hard to cut down kitchen cabinets to fit a new refrigerator or make more room, as long as you follow the steps above.

Moreover, the process is straightforward, with few tools needed! However, you may want to consider hiring professionals for other aspects of your remodel, but cutting down your cabinet should be an easy DIY project that can save you a bit of money if done correctly.

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