How to Cut Thick Wood with a Circular Saw

Published on: January 2, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Circular saw ranked its name on the top among all other kinds of saws for its wide range of incredible cutting features. It offers professional grade performance for woodworking projects. This power-activated saw is very popular among the woodworkers, especially beginners.

how to cut thick wood with a circular saw

It is one of the unique collections of the Must-Have-Tools for the woodworking project. There are unlimited brands of Circular saw available in the market with cord and cordless.

Some people perceive that Circular saw is more convenient for rough carpentry than fine woodworking jobs. This is completely wrong. A lot depends on the blade sizes. Another misconception is that cutting thicker wood with the exposed size of the blade of the Circular saw is a little complicated. It’s also not true.

how to cut thick wood with circular saw

Because different blade sizes for cutting certain thickness of the wood have been manufactured scientifically with correct proportions. It actually depends on one’s knowhow and skills. If you know the technique, it would never puzzle you while you are working for your project. 

If you’re engaged in woodworking you need to know how to cut dense wood with a circular saw. That’s why we’ve created the perfect step-by-step guide for you in this article.

However, this Article will primarily focus on how to cut thick wood with a Circular saw and also will answer how best to deal with the complicated tasks to have the precise and perfect cuts of the thick wood by Circular saw.

Key Feature of Circular Saw

All Circular saws are electric with various power ratings. It is a round shaped blade, full of sharp teeth which splits through wood. Alongside corded saw, cordless saws are available with more advanced features.  

Second great advancement is its portability. It can be carried almost everywhere and is not limited to a place like a table saw. And you can do various kinds of woodworking projects as well.

3 Types of Circular Saw Blades as Follows:

Ripping Blades: Cut material lengthwise along or with the grain;

Crosscut Blades: For sawing across the grain;

Combination Blades: Designed for both ripping and crosscutting;

Circular saws are available in two distinct designs. One is a direct drive where the blade is mounted 90 degrees to the motor and directly on the arbor. Direct drives are the most common circular saw and cost effective;

In case of budget limitation, one good combination blade fitted with carbide teeth would be the best choice to invest in order to have equal quality with respect to performance; 

Organize Tools

Some regular tools available with you are quite enough to run your cutting tasks.

  • Marking pencil
  • A square
  • Workbench where to the place thick wood for cutting
  • Measurement tape

Measurement of Blade and Lumber’s Thickness

Measurement of the thickness of the wood and exposed portion of the blade is mandatory to comply with before cutting wood. Because if the thickness of the wood is more than double than the size of the exposed portion of the blade, the circular saw won’t be able to perform the cutting task. For example, if the blade’s exposed or visible part is 4 inches then circular saw can cut the thick wood of maximum 8 inches. Else, you just simply change the size of the blade or saw to cut wood pieces. 

There are various models of circular saw and blade size available in the market. You can find 6.5 inches to 8.25 inches diameter blades. 

Draw the Outline for the Cut

In this step, mark the straight line onto the thick wood all around up to the edge using square and pencil to ensure its alignment and precision for cutting. 

If all lines maintain the same distance from the end of the wood, then you can proceed to the next step. Otherwise, it needs further marking for correct alignment.

Place the Wood onto the Workbench

Now it’s the time to place the lumber onto the workbench. Bench should be a standard size so that it can adequately accommodate wood pieces to cut. To have a precise cut and avoid injury in the process, it is crucial to secure the wood in the right position with a clamp. Always position the wood on a workbench and clamp one side. Do not use a clamp on the offcut piece to avoid both halves collapsing in on each other as the circular saw reaches the end of the wood piece;

Place the wood on the workbench in a way that the part you intend to cut should be at the end of the stand;

Some woodworkers find it more convenient to work on the ground using Styrofoam under the wood. Else, make sure that the offset piece is not dragged down by its weight far from the ground. It will protect your machine from getting broken down;

Use Safety Equipment while on work

Before commencing your cutting process, make sure you wear all  safety equipment for your personal protection and preventing workplace hazards and injuries. During cutting, there would be sawdust all over or even splinters of wood that could cause injury.

  • Safety eye goggles;
  • Mask;
  • Safety footwear; 
  • Ear protection aids
  • Protective clothing;

Power on the Machine to Start Cutting

Before using, check the machine to make sure the engine is properly rotating; 

Place the circular saw on the marked line to start the cutting process from one side of the wood.  Hold the wood with your left hand and run the saw plate with your right hand in order to cut through as deep as you can. Don’t force the saw forward to cut;

After the first cut, rotate the wood and cut the 2nd marked line. Repeat this method for cutting all the 4 sides of the wood. It is highly recommended to use the sharp blade while the cutting is taken place; 

Wrap Up the Saw after Use

After cutting is finished, unplug the saw;

Wipe down the Saw with soft microfiber or sponge to remove all dust every after use and carefully remove all rubbish that might have got stuck somewhere inside the parts;

Remove the blade and clean it thoroughly and carefully by using a rag or paper towel. Make sure it is dry before attaching it back to the saw;

The cleaning and proper maintenance would help prevent any kind of block in the machine and ensure its durability;

Store the circular saw in a proper place;

Additional Tips for Durability  

Circular saw is a versatile tool but it works with blades. Safer operation would protect your machine and prevent workplace injuries and hazards as well.

Circular saw has certain limitations because of its exposed blade. Also it’s a little tricky while cutting thicker wood than the exposed blade part; You can also check out other kinds of saws for woodworking projects. Interlink related content

The manufacturer made circular saws for right-handed people. It’s recommended for the left-handed operator to be more careful and attentive while on operation; 

Read the manufacturer’s instruction before operation and efficiently deal with the problem if any detected;

Closing Remarks

If you go through the above steps, understand and follow properly while operating Circular Saw for your project, it would give you the best experience about its versatile ability to cut thick wood. We, your professional experts, always love to have your valuable comments, feedback which would allow us to respond to your needs more promptly and efficiently. 

It’s always helpful to stay updated about current information and technology in the related field. You can get associated with Association, Clubs etc. to continue your learning through knowledge sharing. 

With the above note, I would suggest if you detect any abnormality in your appliance, we are there to provide you with the professional consultation any time as you need. Apart from this,  check with the manufacturer’s instructions further to deal with the problem in an efficient manner. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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