How-To Projects | February 1, 2022

Making the Cut: 4 Hacks to Get the Perfect Cut With Your Circular Saw

Your circular saw is an important tool in your arsenal, but it can be tricky to get a perfect cut. So we thought we’d ask for some tips from someone who’s a cut above the rest: HART Ambassador Mariah of @rusticrosehomestead. She breaks down 4 ways to get the perfect cut, every time.

Small Cuts Using Speed Square

When you want to make a perfectly straight cut on a smaller piece of wood, the easiest way is to use a speed square. Mark where you’d like to make your cut, line up your blade and make sure the blade plate is butting up against your speed square and cut.

Note: DO NOT line your speed square up with your cut mark. If you do this, your cut will be too small. Make sure you are lining your speed square up with the edge of your saw guide.

DIY Cutting Guide

There are tools made to help you get a straight cut; however, if you don't have this tool or don't want to spend the money on one, grab a piece of scrap wood and DIY a cut guide. Mark your measurements on both the top and bottom parts of your wood so that your guide is straight. Make sure your measurements are measured to line up with the outer edge of the blade plate, not your actual cut line. This is similar to the speed square. If you line your guide up with your cut line, your cut will be too short. Make sure you are lining your guide so that your saw's blade is cutting on your cut line, and the blade plate is butted against the DIY guide. 

Painters Tape to Prevent Splinters

Add painters tape over your cut line. Using painter's tape prevents your wood from splitting. When your wood starts to the splitter, it can create large divots and imperfections in your wood. Mark where you want your cut line to be. After marking your cut, place a long piece of painter's tape over the line and cut. After making your cut, remove the tape, and you'll have a nice crisp cut line.

Painters Tape to Prevent Bending Wood

If you have used a hand saw before and cut across, you know that your plywood starts to fall after making your first cut because there is nothing to catch it. To prevent tare-out from the wood drop when cutting, use painter's tape to help support the wood. To do this, you'll want to start by making your first cut, then going back, placing a piece of painters tape underneath the left side of your wood, twist it over and attach the other side of the tape to the top part of the right side of the wood. After doing this, go to the other side of your plywood and finish your cut. Your board will not fall, giving you a nice straight cut!

Whether you’re an experienced DIYer or just starting out, tackling a tough project is better when you #DoItWithHART. Tag us on Instagram and use #DoItWithHART for a chance to be featured. We can’t wait to see your next challenge!

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