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How to Cut Straight with a Circular Saw

While straight cuts can be made with almost any blade or table saw, a circular saw is the ideal tool for making a straight cut. Cutting a straight line with a circular saw requires plenty of patience and important measures to ensure a clean and accurate cut. While there are many of tricks for cutting a straight line, here are some useful steps for getting the job done efficiently.

What you'll need:

  • Wood: Make sure the wood you're cutting isn't warped or damaged before starting.
  • Goggles: Wear a pair of safety goggles to prevent sawdust from getting in your eyes.
  • Gloves: A thick pair of gloves should help protect you from splinters or cuts when adjusting the blade.
  • Straightedge or extra piece of wood: Either can act as a guide while cutting a straight line.
  • Clamps: Two clamps will help keep your straightedge down while cutting.
  • Chalk or carpenter pencil: Mark a straight line on the wood with either chalk or a pencil.
  • Tape measure: Use this to measure how much excess wood should be removed.
  • Circular saw: A cordless or corded circular saw will work for this project.

Step 1: Wear appropriate attire.

Avoid wearing a long-sleeved or baggy shirt during this project. Wear a short-sleeved shirt or roll long sleeves tightly above the elbows to prevent any potential accidents. Make sure you put on a pair of safety goggles to keep sawdust from your eyes. Gloves also come in handy for enhancing grip and helping prevent cuts when adjusting the blade.




making straight cuts with a circular saw

Step 2: Place the wood on a stable surface.

It's important that the piece of wood you're cutting is on a secure table or workbench to prevent accidents or an inaccurate cut.






making a straight cut with a circular saw

Step 3: Measure how much wood to remove.

For an accurate straight cut, use a tape measure on the edge of the material to determine how many inches need to be removed.






making a straight cut with a circular saw

Step 4: Draw a straight line.

Once you've measured, use the straightedge or extra piece of wood to draw a straight line across the material.






making a straight cut with a circular saw

Step 5: Clamp down the straightedge.

Place the straightedge along the marked line and clamp it down tightly to the wood and workbench. Two clamps at each end of the wood should help keep the straightedge in place, providing a guide to cut along.



making a straight cut with a circular saw

Step 6: Adjust the saw's blade depth.

The blade depth should match the depth of the material you're cutting. If it the blade sticks out below the wood, this can significantly increase friction, which can wear down a cordless circular saw. Turn your model's adjustment knobs counter-clockwise to loosen the blade and adjust it accordingly while wearing your gloves. When it's at the proper depth, turn the knobs clockwise until the blade is tightly in its place.





making a straight cut with a circular saw

Step 7: Make your straight cut.

Using the straightedge and line as guides, you are now set to make a straight cut with a circular saw.






making a straight cut with a circular saw