How to Cut Plywood with a Hand Saw & Avoid Splitters?

How to Cut Plywood with a Hand Saw

Plywood is one favorite material that woodworkers and DIYers would enjoy working with. It’s not just durable but also capable of making some beautiful pieces. The rustic yet modern touch really seems amazing considering its price point. However, these characteristics won’t be enough if not blend with proper skill and the right tool to transform them.

The first step of making something beautiful out of these includes cutting them into proper pieces. One common tool that is often found laid around such creative people’s homes is a hand saw.

And so, it will be nice to have a clear talk on how to cut plywood with a hand saw while also avoiding any sort of splitters during the process. Keep on Reading! 

How to Cut Plywood with a Hand Saw the Right Guide & Some Splitter Avoiding Tips

You need a helping guide that is processed to route in every step of this process. That’s exactly what I’m going to do next. There will be some tips to avoid those nasty splitters that sometimes ruins the fun. Starting With…

Safety Concerns!

It’s not very surprising that when the wood is involved, you are ought to face a lot of dust and mess. It’s even messier than working with steel or aluminum. There’s a high chance of inhaling those flying debris or dust. So, you should never skip wearing a dust mask.

Hand saws are easy to use but at the same time very simple to get a cut from. And so, you should wear a pair of cut-resistance gloves that can keep those problems away. A bleeding finger in between the process is not a good sight, trust me.

Remember what I just told you about the dust? Well, the dust mask will help you not to inhale bad stuffs flying around. But there’s still a chance of getting it inside your eyes. So, don’t skip the eye-protective glass as well.

The place where you’ll be working needs to be free from distraction. Children are not allowed at all. You want to work without worrying about your tiny sweeties getting hurt.

Measuring the Cut

So, before you actually cut the wood, it’s important to take measurements. Going with your instinct is something you’re allowed to do if such chores are pretty regular in your life.

However, if it’s not a very usual scenario in your workspace simply because you are just a beginner, don’t skip measuring the cut. Find out with what dimension you want to make the cut. And then mark those areas to start cutting with the right preparation. You don’t want to stop in between cut to ensure if the width or length is right or not.

Create a Guiding Notch

Now you want to begin from the board’s edge portion. Make sure the saw blade is in an upright position while you are holding it. Gradually start drawing on the edge to create a notch. To guide the blade simply use your hands.

You can use the thumb knuckle here but be very careful. If you are wearing gloves, there’s less chance of an accident. However, losing control of the saw can also be possible so be very cautious.

Into the Actual Cutting Process

Once you think the notch made on edge is pretty solid, start with cutting. You want the saw to be in around 30 to 45-degree angle. Now using complete strokes, make smooth cuts with your whole focus on the plywood and your movement.

If you are not getting satisfying straight cut, here’s a trick. Make sure your shoulder and forearm are on similar line when you go for a stroke. This will help in better controlling the tool for straighter cuts.

In some situations, you may notice that the blade is running off track. In that case, you simply need to slightly twist the handle. And that will be enough to set it right. You also want to brace the cutoff end. Once you get close to the finish of each cut, make sure to use your free hand for holding that cutoff end. Then simply turn the saw upright. Now you should go with short and vertical strokes to get the cut done.

Avoid Splintering or Tear-outs with These Tips:

best hand saw for cutting wood

Splintering is basically the edge becoming ragged and rough. You can avoid that through some easy to remember tips given right below.

Make sure you are using a hand saw with more TPI. The high Teeth Per Inch or TPI will help you to avoid those splinters easily. It should be at least 40-tooth blade one.

The angle of cutting matters very much. Going as low as possible while maintaining a similar angle will increase your chances of avoiding splinters or tear outs.

With a 0.75 inches thick plywood, you want to set saw at 1 inch below the sheet. Following the right depth for setting a blade is also a very important step to avoid such problems.

Both ends of plywood need support when you are cutting it. And so, make sure you are using something to hold the piece securely. This also lessens the chance of any snapping by keeping plywood stable.

It’s best to follow a good face down rule for plywood placement. The blade teeth must enter sheet from below. And after cut, it should be existing at the top. This method helps in achieving a smoother cutting surface.

Wrap Up

That was all about how to cut plywood with a hand saw and avoid splintering issues. Hand saw is an excellent choice for handling plywood. But only when you use the right technique, tips, and control. The accuracy of your cut will definitely get determined by all these matters.

Also, you need a worthy and quality handsaw to handle pieces better. Sometimes it’s not the fault of your skills or even plywood’s thickness. The criminal shows up to be poor quality or improperly maintained hand saw. That’s why do make sure you are using a nice hand saw that functions fine while ensuring the other parts of this guide as well.

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

Follow me: Facebook, Twitter

Leave a Comment