How to Cut Wood Without A Table Saw | An Alternative Method!

How to Cut Wood Without A Table Saw

Construction and carpentry jobs often need you to cut some wood. This is not a tough job to do if you have the right tools, such as a normal or hybrid table saw. However, things may become a bit challenging when there is no table saw in access.

But don’t worry, there are other tools as well. They won’t work as straightforward and simply like a table saw, but it will definitely get the job done. I’m going to show a technique on cutting plywood without a table saw today.

Using a Circular Saw for Cutting Wood

Circular saw is an optimal choice that can replace a table saw and do the job for you. Once my Ryobi table saw was at a friend’s workshop, he borrowed it for an emergency project. So, I worked with a circular one and the results were quite similar.

Of course, you need to know some basic techniques and rules for that. I’ll be talking about that in later sections.

1. A Few Consideration for Blade

To cut wood, you’ll need to consider the blade type. A smooth cut is often not achievable because of using the dull and wrong type of blade. Cutting a smooth slice on a plywood sheet will need you a high tooth count. Go for a carbide-tipped blade if possible.

You should ensure that the blades come with a label of finished cuts. Also, have a look at the tooth count.

Never use a circular saw with wrong size of blade fitting. It’s not only unacceptable for cutting but also risks your safety. You can’t believe how many accidents I’ve heard of due to the wrong blade size.

Sometimes the blade that comes with a circular saw model isn’t good enough and provides splintered ends. It might bring tear-outs and ruin the entire piece.

2. Set Up the Blade

You need to use the right depth to set saw blade over plywood sheet. Make necessary adjustments and take depth to the right amount.

A too deep blade setup will make you drag a lot of extra blade through the sheet. On the other hand, if you work with too shallow set up of blade, then there will be hardly any sort of cutting at all.

A golden rule is to keep the saw under the sheet by quarter inches. If you are working with a ¾ inch thick sheet, set your blade at an inch of depth.

3. Using A Support Is Important

It’s really important to use some kind of support when cutting any type of wood, especially plywood sheets. So that the whole piece has a balance to not move around.

Get two sawhorse and long 2x4s laid across them. These will keep your sheet steady while you make a cut. You can make any kind of 2x4s handy for this purpose and keep your sheet over it with a circular saw.

Some foam insulation with enough rigidity can also be a great substitute for 2x4s and sawhorses. Simply put the foam on ground and keep your sheet over it. The wood should never slide around this foam board.

Best part about using a foam board is that there will be no snapping off at the end of cut. Also, it lets you crawl across without any problem. This makes cutting quite easy.

4. Better Side Down Position

Always keep the better side of sheet downwards. This way you’ll be able to use a circular saw in the right method. Let the good face stay down while you deal with above part as your cutting section.

A circular saw usually works with blade teeth entering the sheet from below. It goes all the way up and then exits sheet.

There might be some sort of chipping when the saw comes out from top. Keeping the better face below will cut it smooth.

5. Cut Once but Measure Twice

It’s time to mark down the cutting line. It should be squarely lining with the edge of plywood. Keeping that in mind, measure carefully.

It’s a good idea to score the line you just marked. This way you’ll get a smoother cut. Use a utility knife for this purpose. Simply run knife over the mark you made. You need to do this more than once to get a complete scoring result.

You’ll never be able to grow the wood back once cut. So, it’s a good rule of thumb to measure twice before you cut. This slight hassle will save you from using another new piece of wood and starting over.

6. A Good Guide Is Indeed Necessary

A guide is great way to ensure you are not cutting in the wrong line. This also helps to control the cut and make it as accurate as possible.

First of all, get a piece of plywood with the factory edge. Now using a few clamps, you need to attach them with the cutting surface.

The saw’s base plate is an important consideration here. Same goes for the shoe. The shoe needs to fit tightly with guide and so you should make careful adjustments. Make sure the blade is correctly in line with cut mark.

If you are someone who needs to cut a lot of plywood, let’s say for your woodworking projects, then I suggest to get a quality saw guide. This guide will help you a lot while making any circular saw cut. There are lots of models available both online and hardware stores in your locality.

7. Time to Cut

It’s time for the moment of truth. You need to once again make sure that your saw is on correct line with guide, blades are at a right mark and check your posture as well.

Now simply turn the saw on. The shoe needs to be run through along with a guide. You should be careful to make the cut as straight as possible.

Deal with other sheets using the same way. You are done!


Saw is a dangerous power tool and there’s no denial by anyone on that. You should wear proper protective wears while handling with any sort of power tool. Get some good quality eye goggles and keep your fingers far away from the blade.

Never forget to check whether the cord of saw is on way of your cutting. Try to keep the area clean and jam-free.

I’m sure with a few safety concerns and basic idea about sawing, you’ll be able to cut the wood into perfectly accurate sizes.

I’ll back with another tutorial really soon. Have A Great Time!

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.

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