Cut Thick Wood with Circular Saw

How to Cut Thick Wood with Circular Saw

A circular saw is one of the most important tools that every woodworker uses. Power tools like circular saws have been widely used since the 1700s due to their efficiency and portability. Both professional workers and also DIYers use it.

The circular saw has a round, high-grade metal blade. The metal blade is edged with sharp teeth to make clean cuts. A circular saw requires electricity to spin the round metal for cutting. You can easily mount the saw on your workstation for better grip. Moreover, you can change the saw’s blades according to your work needs.

Thick wood can be quite frustrating to cut with table saws. However, a circular saw makes it easier for all woodworkers. The Circular saw gives you flawless cuts due to its high-grade steel blades. Moreover, you can also use your circular saw for cutting masonry, ceramic tiles, and steel. You just need to adjust the blade’s height and depth and use force to glide the blade across your material.

If you are just getting into working, then this article will assist you in learning how to cut thick wood with a circular saw.

Required Items for Cutting Thick Wood with a Circular Saw:

It can become challenging to cut thick wood with a circular saw, even for a professional. There might be a concept among some people that it is impossible to cut extremely thick wood with a circular saw. However, it is very much possible if you follow the necessary steps.

Before we proceed to the step-wise guide of how to cut thick wood with a circular saw, you need some required items. It is suggested to set up your workstation and the necessary items before you start your project, which will help you to concentrate on your project better without any interruption.

  • Measuring tapes:

Measuring tape

Measuring tapes are required for you to measure the wood’s height and depth precisely. This is important as, based on these measurements, you will set your circular saw’s depth. Measuring tapes are readily available in any store.

  • Pencil

Pencil for woodworking

A pencil must be required for woodworkers to mark all the guidelines for cutting. You can use charcoal pencils, which will give you dark markings. You can also get pencils dedicated only to woodworking. However, simple 2B pencils will work as well.

  • Speed square

Speed square

Speed squares, also known as rafter’s squares, are similar to rulers with more versatility. You can use the speed square to make flawless guidelines.

  • Masking tape

Masking tape

Masking tapes are very useful for woodworking. Sometimes it might be hard to read all the pencil guidelines. If you wrap your wood with masking tape and then make the markings, it becomes more visible.

  • Grip clamps

Grip clamps

Grip clamps are widely used to grip something tightly to keep it in place. While cutting thick wood, you may need grip clamps to place your speed square.

  • Sacrificial board

Sacrificial board

Sacrificial boards are used to prevent the circular saw from ruining your workstation. This is not mandatory if you are cutting thick wood, as the blade will not entirely pass through.

  • Hand saw

Hand saw

A hand saw is also required while cutting thick wood with a circular saw. A hand saw is usually needed to separate the wood pieces.

  • Safety gears

Safety gears

Safety gears are highly essential when doing woodwork. It is highly recommended to get safety glasses and hearing protection while you are working on your project.

Step-by-step Guide for Using Circular Saw to Cut Thick Wood:

Once you have gathered all your required materials, it’s time for you to get into action. Following these steps will allow you to harness the knowledge of how to cut thick wood with a circular saw.

  • Step 1: Measure the wood thickness

Measuring the thickness of the wood is the first essential step. Use your measuring tape to measure the thickness of the wood properly. You can double-check the measurements for accuracy.

Without proper measurements, it is hard to adjust your circular saw’s blade. For instance, it becomes quite impossible to cut the wood if the wood thickness is double the blade exposed.

  • Step 2: Adjust the circular saw

Once you are done measuring the wood thickness, you need to adjust your circular saw. The measurement of the exposed blade should match the wood thickness for it to work properly. Otherwise, it will not work.

There are various size of circular blade sizes you can find in the store. Get your required blade size according to your wood thickness.

You can proceed with the next step after you are done adjusting your circular saw.

  • Step 3: Mark your wood with cutting guidelines

Making guidelines will help you to make accurate, precise cuts. To make straight lines, it is necessary to use speed squares. You can wrap your wood piece with masking tape to make the marking more visible.

Moreover, you need to make sure that the lines are all aligned throughout the wood piece. Otherwise, you have to redo it.

  • Step 4: Position your wood on your workstation

Once you are done marking your wood piece, you need to position the wood. You can put the wood on your workstation over a sacrificial board for extra safety. Afterwards, make sure to use grip clamps to keep the square speed in place. The square speed will assist you in having an accurate cut.

  • Step 5: Prepare your circular saw and wear your safety gears

Prepare your circular saw by plugging it into the electrical socket. If you have a cordless circular saw, then it is not required, but make sure it’s fully charged.

Furthermore, wear your safety glasses and gloves. These will prevent any sort of injuries just in case there is an accident.

  • Step 6: Start cutting the wood

Once you finish all the steps mentioned above, it is time to start cutting the wood. Place your Circular saw along the speed square and start cutting.

When you are done cutting one side, turn your wood 90 degrees and start cutting the next side. Repeat this step for all the sides.

Also, make sure to maintain the guidelines to have accurate cuts.

  • Step 7: Use the handsaw

Once you cut all sides with a circular saw, it’s time for you to use the hand saw. Sometimes, the wood pieces are not separated by a circular saw. As a result, use the hand saw.

Tips and Tricks:

Here is some bonus advice that may change your sawing game

  • It is wise to set your blade just deep enough for safety reasons.
  • Ensure to maintain a proper distance from a running blade to avoid injuries.
  • Make sure to use a rasp to smooth down your cut.
  • Let your piece fall when your blade is running.
  • Make sure to use proper guidelines instead of points only.
  • Keep your Circular saw steady, and do not use excessive force.
  • Always make sure to wear your safety gear.
  • Make sure your saw blades are sharp and maintained with running oil.

Frequently Asked Question

Here are some frequently asked questions to enhance your knowledge about how to cut thick wood with a circular saw.

Which circular blade saw is best for cutting thick wood?

DEWALT Circular Saw Blade:

This circular saw blade comes with a patent-pending tough track tooth design which allows you to have precision cut. Tungsten carbide of high density is used to manufacture this blade. Tungsten carbide is worn resistance, which makes these blades durable.

Key Features:

  • Made from tungsten carbide.
  • Includes anti-stick tough coat.
  • Patented body slots for reduced vibration.
  • The shoulders of the blade are reinforced for impact resistance.


  • The tooth design gives accurate tracking.
  • The body slot reduces vibration, which makes it more stable.
  • The blade has high durability.


  • It may not be the ideal choice for professionals who emphasize fine finish.

Is There Any Maximum Cutting Depth of a Circular Saw?

A regular circular saw has 2.5 inches as maximum depth. However, this can be adjusted by adjusting your saw blade.

How to Get Accurate Cuts?

Keep your Circular saw steady, and don’t try to insert excessive force

How to Get Smoother After You Finish?

You can use a rasp to smooth out the finish or use sandpaper.

Are There Circular Saws for Left-handed People?

Yes, there are a few brands of circular saws that offer saws for left-handed people. You can look into Milwaukee and Worms.

Final Words:

Cutting thick wood with a circular saw can be challenging, even for a seasoned woodworker. However, nothing is possible without proper planning and execution. The steps mentioned above should assist you with cutting thick wood with circular saws. Moreover, our recommended circular saw blade will also help you increase your woodcutting quality.

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