How to Cut Down Kitchen Cabinets: A Complete Guide

When you are upgrading your kitchen, you may find your kitchen cabinets need to be cut down or adjusted to accommodate an appliance such as a fridge or microwave. With the right tools, this is something you can do yourself at home. Cutting down cabinets is a great way to have more space for appliances and it’s an effective money-saving strategy too.

Cabinets are often overlooked when kitchens are getting remodeled which means they may not fit in with the new design. Cutting down kitchen cabinets at home requires a table saw and lots of accurate measurements. The end results are great as you are essentially creating your own custom kitchen cabinets. 


Although it may seem daunting, it is very common for kitchen cabinets to need altering to accommodate the shape and size of the kitchen or appliances. It takes a couple of hours to cut down kitchen cabinets. It is extremely important you have the right tools for the job otherwise the cabinets can end up splitting or getting damaged when you try to cut them. A table saw is best for making the cuts as it is able to create clean cuts. 

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge
  • Masking tape
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Glue
  • Clamps

Resizing Kitchen Cabinets

Resizing your kitchen cabinets is a great way to make use of what you already have. Adjusting the cabinet doors is going to be the most challenging part of this whole process. 

How to Trim a Kitchen Cabinet to Fit Refrigerator 

  1. Unscrew the cabinet from the wall and remove it
  2. Take the door off of the cabinet  
  3. Remove the shelves and hardware from the cabinet
  4. Measure and clearly mark where the cuts are needed
  5. Place masking tape along the cutline to prevent the wood chipping and splitting
  6. Clearly draw the line over the masking tape to make it more visible
  7. Remove the face frame of the cabinet by taking out the inside screws
  8. Set the table saw to 3/4 inches
  9. Position the cabinet face up on the saw and align the saw blade with the line you marked 
  10. Lock the blade in position 
  11. Cut down the cabinet along the line (where goggles and a dust mask for this)
  12. Rotate the cabinet and repeat the process until you have cut each side 
  13. Measure and cut the face frame
  14. Measure and cut the cabinet base (if required)
  15. Reassemble the cabinet using glue to attach the pieces together
  16. Use clamps to hold the cabinet together while the glue dries
  17. Reattach the shelves 
  18. Put the cut down cabinet back onto the wall 
  19. Install the refrigerator 

How to Cut Kitchen Cabinets in Half 

  1. Take the cabinet down 
  2. Remove the cabinet door
  3. Mark the cabinet to the necessary measurement
  4. Mark the shelves 
  5. Put masking tape over the cut line
  6. Draw the cutline over the top of the masking tape
  7. Line the cutline up with the table saw
  8. Cut the cabinet in half 
  9. Put masking tape over the shelf cutline and redraw the line so it is easy to see
  10. Cut down the shelves along the measured lines 
  11. Reassemble the cupboard 
  12. Decide what to do about the cupboard doors: If the cupboard door has raised panels it may be best to buy or make a new door that fits the cupboard. If you are going to paint the doors, you can measure and cut them in a way that the raised edges still line up and then glue them back together. You could also cut the bottom of the door, then cut away the excess from the middle and reattach the bottom part to make it look as seamless as possible. 

Shortening Cabinet Doors

Changing the size of cabinet doors can be challenging, particularly if the doors have a raised edge. Use these steps to shorten the doors of your kitchen cabinets in a way that looks as seamless as possible:

  1. Determine the desired door size 
  2. Decide how you want to cut them. This will depend on the design of the door. Most people decide to cut the bottom of the door and then cut the desired length off the middle so they can then reattach the bottom and still have a seamless border. This is the way we are doing it in this guide so if you are planning a different method, take this into consideration.
  3. Measure the bottom piece of the door you want to remove (to be reattached later) and mark it 
  4. Measure the amount you need to remove from the first mark you’ve made towards the middle of the door and mark it
  5. Place masking tape over the two lines and draw the lines over the top so you can clearly see them
  6. Line up the bottom measurement with the table saw 
  7. Cut the bottom piece off 
  8. Line up the next measurement with the table saw 
  9. Cut along the line and put this middle piece to one side as it is no longer needed 
  10. Glue and clamp the top and bottom pieces of the door back together, making sure they line up well. 
  11. Once the glue is dry, remove the clamp 
  12. Measure and drill evenly positioned holes into the door 
  13. Reinstall the doors 
  14. Reinstall the hardware using screws

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best saw to cut kitchen cabinets?

A table saw with a finish blade is the best option as it can give a straight, clean cut with ease and accuracy. 

What to do with a gap between a fridge and cabinet?

The easiest way to handle this small space is to fill it with a painted trim piece that is the same as your cabinets. This is quick and easy and gets rid of the gap while helping complement the kitchen design. 

Final Words

Cutting down kitchen cabinets is quite a common task when remodeling or redesigning a kitchen. As long as you have the right tools it is a straightforward task. The difficulty often comes when you need to cut the doors down to fit the resized cabinets. Depending on the design of the cabinet and your skill level, it may be best to buy new doors although there are ways you can cut the cabinet doors down if needed.

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