Are free designs kerf adjusted?

Another dumb newb question. Are designs shared here usually ready to cut directly or should we adjust for kerf first? Thanks!

Generally, yes, they are ready to print. Edit - you can easily check by measuring slots and tabs, as pointed out below.

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Shared by users? Only way to be sure is to ask the creator, or manually inspect things to see if they look like they’ve been adjusted. It’s not hard to tell, if you see a tab and slot design, for example, measure the width of the slot and then the width of the tab. If the tab is about 0.005-0.007" wider, it’s been kerf adjusted. If they are exactly the same, then no, it hasn’t.

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Kerf adjustment will always be specific to the material type and thickness too. Some designs can work in different use cases, but almost always you have to double check that it is for a certain thickness of material, especially with tabs and slots.


Ah, okay, this helps a lot. I’m still getting used to things and really wasn’t sure how to check. Thanks!

Thanks for all of the quick answers! If I’m understanding, best practices for sharing here would be with no kerf adjustment so that folks can adjust for their machine (EDIT - or material). I was just confused because no one seems to mention it (probably because everyone else knows what they’re doing, lol).

Thanks everyone!


Nope. Best practice would be to include the adjustments, and specify the material used so that the design prints as intended on that material.


But wouldn’t it still vary by machine?

As far as GF designs, all units having the same lens, the kerf would be essentially the same.

I’m more of the don’t kerf adjust it, and let the user do it for their specific material.


Gotcha. I’ve had trouble with fit on a couple of the designs that I’ve tried, so was hoping it was just slight differences in kerf on my machine. I have a better idea of where to look now, though.

As inconsistent as materials are, kerf adjustment is a huge pain. Acrylic has a huge tolerance. The plywoods are generally a little better - but we are still talking thousandths making a difference. I’d get some small files to clean up what needs to be cleaned up. Or a rubber mallet :slight_smile:


I have yet to kerf adjust any boxes or anything along an edge - the only time I did it was when I was inlaying some acrylic.
95% of my boxes go together exactly though I still glue even if it’s a perfect fit because weather is a thing and wood will constantly change due to it.
So yeah, no kerf adjusting to anything I’ve posted :smiley:


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