How To Cut Plywood With a Circular Saw? – Complete Guide

Circular saws are a staple in most workshops. They are versatile, portable, and easy to use. But for all their benefits, using a circular saw can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the proper techniques. In this post, we will show you how to cut plywood with a circular saw like a pro. So grab your saw and let’s get started!

How To Cut Plywood With a Circular Saw?

Why use a circular saw? 

  1. A circular saw is limited in its ability to cut large pieces of plywood. If you’re looking for speed and accuracy, then this method is not the best choice. This method is intended for cutting down 4′ x 8′ sheets into smaller 7-1/2″ or 16-1/2″ pieces.
  2. Steps to cut plywood with a circular saw 
  3. Place a piece of plywood on a workbench, with the good side facing up. We’ll use this as our cutting surface. 
  4. Align the ruler along the edge of your sheet and make a mark at 7-1/2″. 
  5. Draw a pencil line from your mark to the opposite edge. This will serve as your cutting guide. 
  6. Place the circular saw on top of this line and turn it on. 
  7. While applying firm pressure, cut along the marked line until you get through the plywood sheet. Your blade may have trouble cutting all the way through in one pass, so finish up with an extra pass or two if needed. 

That’s all there is to it! With a little practice, you’ll be able to cut plywood like a pro in no time at all.

Tips for cutting curves in plywood:

  • Cutting curved shapes can be difficult, so try this method instead:
  • Mark the shape you need onto your plywood. 
  • Secure one end of your plywood sheet to a sawhorse or workbench. 
  • Use straps clamped around the rest of the sheet to hold it in place while you cut. 
  • Position your blade flush against your pencil lines. 
  • Use a speed square to help you maintain even cuts when creating curves in plywood. 
  • Be sure that all of your blades are sharp, and replace the dull ones when needed. 
  • You can also try changing over to a circular saw blade designed for cutting wood: they’re larger and offer more control. 


What type of blade do you need for the job? 

A circular saw blade with a 40-tooth design is the best option, as it gives you smooth cuts without too many splinters. If you are cutting 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood down to small pieces, then two quality 3.5″ blades will do the job. 

What precautions should you take? 

Always use a saw that is meant for cutting wood and plywood. Using the wrong tool can result in heavy, dull blades that take more effort to cut through your material. Make sure to always wear protective equipment when using any power tools, such as gloves and safety goggles. Keep your fingers safe by making sure the blade is facing away from your body. And finally, make sure to always cut on top of a workbench or sawhorses. Never try to hold the plywood sheet in one hand while cutting with the other; you’ll end up with splinters everywhere!

How to hold the saw and make the cut?

When cutting plywood, you’ll want to use two hands to hold the saw firmly in place. Be sure that your fingers are out of the way behind the shoe of your circular saw. Keep one foot on the baseplate and push down with it as you cut to provide extra stability. When beginning a cut, let up slightly on the trigger and be sure the blade is spinning in the right direction. Then, apply moderate pressure to make your through-cut. Slowly ease up on the foot that’s pressing down on the baseplate, while more firmly applying pressure with your other foot.

What to do if you go off track?

If you make a wrong turn and the blade cuts outside of your pencil line, don’t panic! You can always cut off the excess with a jigsaw or other tool. Be sure to wear safety goggles when trying this method, as splintering will occur.

What if you want to cut down very large sheets?

A circular saw can sometimes struggle to cut through a full 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood. This is where you’ll want to use a circular saw blade designed for cutting your materials. A 12″ blade with 40 teeth will make your life easier, as the larger size provides more stability and control over the trackless 7-1/2″ blades.

What if the blade is dull and the cut isn’t looking good?

Dull blades tend to produce jagged edges and splintering, so be sure that all your blades are sharp before beginning a project. If you haven’t tried changing blades in a while, now might be the time!

What should you do if you accidentally go through the sheet?

Remember that it’s not the end of the world! You can simply use a saw or jigsaw to cut off any excess. Or, use your circular saw to make rip cuts down your plywood. It might not be as pretty as crosscutting, but it will give more stability to your sheets for assembly later on.

What’s the best way to make straight cuts?

hen cutting long or large pieces of plywood. To ensure accuracy, use your circular saw blade as a guide by positioning it to flush against your pencil line. Then, secure the plywood onto sawhorses or workbench before cutting with your saw. This will help you maintain the stability needed to complete a nice straight cut.

Final Thoughts

When cutting plywood with a circular saw, it is important to use the right blade for the job, make accurate measurements and cuts, and use proper safety precautions. With these tips in mind, you should be able to cut plywood like a pro!