Simple Solutions

Cutting Plywood Sheets with a Circular Saw

By: Joe Truini

Cutting large sheet goods, like plywood, doesn’t have to be difficult if you use the right approach. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Start by supporting the sheet well. You can use a large table without damaging it if you elevate the sheet above it with blocks of wood (2x4s work great).
  2. Space the 2×4 blocks so that both sides of your cut are supported, and be sure the depth of your saw blade is set shallow enough not to cut the table below.
  3. Clamp a straight edge to the sheet to guide your saw.
  4. Set the saw at the cut line and mark on the sheet along the edge of the shoe.
  5. Transfer this measurement to the other end of the line, and clamp your straight edge along these two marks.
  6. Then all you have to do is guide the saw along the straight edge to make your cut.


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3 Comments on “Cutting Plywood Sheets with a Circular Saw”

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  • Tom Says:
    November 11th, 2017 at 6:23 am

    You’re stood behind your circular saw there which is a bad idea in case of kickback. Also, how do you safely operate the saw as it moves towards the middle and far side of the table from where you are standing? The video stops just before the important part!

  • Official Comment:

    joe t. Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Hi Cliff, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve got a couple of those homemade saw guides and they’re accurate and easy to use. You just have to make sure to always use the same saw and with the same blade, otherwise the cut will be off slightly. Thanks for writing.–JT

  • cliff H. Says:
    May 26th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    When there will be a lot of cutting or to use in the future. Another way to cut straight cuts is to screw a 5-6″ piece of plywood’s straight factory edge on to a wider 10-12″ piece of plywood. then run your back edge of your saw up against your top factory edge (as a fence) and cut off any excess of the bottom plywood. Now you can lay your cut line on the new piece of plywood you want to cut, right on the cut line and clamp it. eliminating the need to remeasure. You also can make this as long as you want, I have a 30″ 50″ 96″.This also makes it easy for tapers, cause you are using the true cut line.

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Cutting Plywood Sheets with a Circular Saw