Can you cut Cork?

Anyone have any success cutting cork? I have some 1/4" cork coming and would like to cutout different shapes.

Cork is pretty soft and flexible. I suspect a downcut endmill might work best to prevent lifting. If you do have any trouble (tearout, lifting, flexing, etc.), you might try sandwiching the cork with a more solid material, like some thin plywood. Otherwise, I don’t see why you can’t get some good results with a bit of trial and error. I’m interested to see what you do.


Thanks for the feedback. When I get my cork I will give a try and let you know.

Hey Laverne,

is it untreated, natural cork? I use cork for many purposes and if you let it soak with linseed drying oil and dry, it makes it more durable and more resistant to water. Also makes it a little darker and highlights the texture, which looks better. Linseed oil is available as pure linseed oil or as drying oil which has siccatives added to it to accelerate polymerisation. With pure oil, polymerization happens, but very slowly. With drying oil variant, polymerization is happening relatively quickly. You can cut cork easier after this treatment. It is like if it’s soaked with a glue that remains flexible.

Okay, I got my cork and I was successful in cutting out 8 circles to make coasters with. Very happy with the results. Used the blue tape method to hold the cork down and used a 1/4" down endmill at 40 ipm and 16,000 rpm. This was my first try and saw no reason to experiment further since I was happy with the outcome.


This is a great use case for a drag knife.