One of the most used features of a circular saw is its rip fence. The ability to cut straight lines with ease is something every woodworker strives for, once they have made their first few cuts.
For someone new to using a circular saw it may not be obvious how the rip fence works or how to properly attach it to your saw. In this article, I’ll cover the basics of setting up your saw for making straight cuts as well as demonstrate how to cut a straight board using a day saw.
Features of Circular Saw
- Powerful motor, capable of ripping through many different materials.
- The blade can be adjusted to make accurate or wide rip cuts.
- A large diameter arbor enables the use of large diameter blades (14-inch blades are commonly used).
- Can be mounted upside down to make flush cut-outs.
How to rip 2×4 with a circular saw?
The first step of cutting a 2×4 with a circular saw is to attach the blade guard. Remember, the blade guard only goes on one way so make sure you know which way it fits before you try to install it. Ensure that when attaching the blade guard, there are no gaps between it and the base of your saw.
Next, you will need to apply a rip fence to your circular saw. To do so, flip the tool over on its side and remove the base plate. Ensure that both locking tabs are in place on either side of the bottom before securing it back in place on your saw.
Once you have installed the base plate and secured it in place with the two locking tabs there should be an arrow on one end and a triangular indicator near the handle (most models). These indicators show which direction is best for cutting long pieces of wood; we want that arrow pointing away from us while we stand behind our workpiece and cut towards us.
The rip fence also needs to be placed against the base plate before it’s secured in place to ensure that the blade is perfectly perpendicular (90°) to the fence. You may find it helpful to sight down the edge of the blade or use an angle finder to check that your saw is cutting square.
A Video Guide On How To Rip 2×4 With A Circular Saw
After watching this video you got an idea that how to rip with a circular saw.
How do you cut a 2×4 with a circular saw?
Once your rip fence and blade guard are attached, you’re ready to make a cut! Place your workpiece up against the fence and align it on both ends with the outside edge of your blade. The object here is to have a nice tight fit between our workpiece and our circular saw’s base plate while not actually touching it.
If you find yourself getting close to the blade, you can push in towards your fence to wedge your workpiece against it.
Now it’s time to cut!
Press the trigger and let the blade come up to full speed before starting your cut. You may need to put some downward pressure on the saw depending on how much wood you’re cutting through, just be careful not to kneel right down onto the blade itself.
What are alternative ways of ripping 2×4 with a circular saw?
An alternate way of ripping a board is to use what is called an “auxiliary fence.” This device attaches directly to your circular saw’s base plate and allows you more space between you and your workpiece while still allowing proper alignment of the saw’s blade for a straight cut.
Even with an auxiliary fence, you should never have more than the width of your blade between your workpiece and the edge of your circular saw’s base plate. If you are having trouble getting a tight fit while using an auxiliary fence, try flipping it over so that the “lip” is facing up towards your circular saw blade. This will increase the amount of surface area you have to grip when cutting through thicker wood.
This technique works best for ripping shorter pieces of material or if you just need a quick way to split something down into smaller sections. Once again sight down (or use an angle finder) and align your blade with one end before securing it in place at that end using the rip fence and base plate.
Now you may proceed to make a cut, again be careful not to touch your blade while cutting and make sure that your workpiece is tight against the fence on either end of your cut. To complete this process on thicker pieces of wood you can add an auxiliary fence for the additional surface area when securing both the board’s end and the saw’s base plate in place at one time.
As you can see, ripping a 2×4 is not as easy as it may seem. You need to have the right tools and know-how to use them effectively in order to get the job done well. If you are looking for step-by-step instructions on this process, we recommend checking out our blog post How To Rip A 2X4 With Circular Saw For Outdoor Projects. It has all of the information you will need so that your project goes smoothly!