How To Rip A Board With A Circular Saw?

Are you looking to rip a board with a circular saw? Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s important to know how to do this safely and effectively. In this article, we’ll show you how to do it the right way. We’ll also provide some tips for making the process easier. So let’s get started!

Step By Step Guide How To Rip A Board With A Circular Saw:

Step 1: Determine the Board’s Width and Thickness

The first step is to determine how wide your board should be, as well as its thickness. For example, you might have a piece of plywood that measures 4 feet by 8 feet. This would require ripping it down into four pieces so that each piece can fit in your vehicle for transport.  However, the width of each piece will depend on how thick it is -the thicker it is, the more rips you’ll have to make.

Step 2: Mark the Board

Next, you’ll need to mark your board. For this example, let’s say that our board measures 4 feet by 8 feet and has a thickness of 1 inch. The first thing you’ll need to do is measure its total width (which is 8 feet). Then, divide this number by how many pieces you want it to be in (four). So for this example, we’d get eight inches as the result of dividing eight by four.

Now that you know how wide each piece should be, all you have to do is start marking where each cut will go with your pencil. Since there are four cuts, one on each edge of the board, mark every two inches on either side of the board’s width.

Step 3: Cut the Board

Now you’re ready to cut your board using your circular saw. If you have a miter box, place it over the first line that you made along one edge of the board (the side with what will be the longest rip). Locate where the blade is on your saw, and then align it with your mark before clamping down on both sides of the miter box. 

Make sure everything is secure before starting to cut. When cutting, don’t apply too much pressure as this could cause kickbacks which can be dangerous and also ruin your blade. Once you’ve finished making all four cuts, repeat this process for each edge that was marked in step two. If there are curves or angles that need to be cut, use a jigsaw for those cuts.

Step 4: Measure the Thickness of Each Board

It’s important to ensure that all your boards are exactly the same thickness as the first one you ripped. If any of them are thicker or thinner by even a tiny fraction, this will cause issues with your planks fitting together properly which can also result in other problems down the road. 

So make sure you measure each board after you’ve made its respective rip and ensure they’re all at least 1 inch thick (the original board should be since it would have been ripped to that width). If any of them is less than an inch thick, then adjust your saw accordingly and go back to step two so you can get the width right.

Step 5: Fit Together to Ensure a Proper Fit

Once you’ve measured each board and ensured that they’re all the same thickness, it’s time to fit them together. Use a square or straight edge to line up each edge and make sure everything stays in place while you nail or screw them in place (use 3-inch nails and screws). 

If any of your boards are slightly warped, take this into account when fitting it together with the others so you don’t end up with gaps between boards which will only cause problems later on. You may want to add shims in between some of the boards as well if necessary (such as if one board is much thicker than).

Also, keep in mind that you might need to adjust the width of the boards by a tiny amount. If this is the case, make sure you do it on all of them so they’re still at their full thickness and can still fit together properly.

Step 6: Sand each Board’s Edges

Sand down any rough or uneven edges around your boards with medium-grit sandpaper before going onto step seven as these edges will be visible as soon as you start nailing the planks in place. This is an optional step but something you should consider doing if your board ends up being less than 1 inch thick after measuring (which varies from person to person depending on how well they cut their first rip).

Step 7: Begin Nailing Planks

Now it’s time to start nailing the planks onto your wall. Use a pneumatic nail gun for speed and ease of use, but a hammer will work fine as long as you’re careful not to damage the boards’ edges. Nails should be spaced about six inches apart from each other going down the length of the board (with two nails on either end). Also, make sure that they’re flush with or slightly below the surface of your boards so the heads aren’t sticking out.

Step 8: Keep Nailing Down Planks Until Finished

Continue this process all along one edge of your room until you reach where you started. Don’t worry about covering up any seams between boards yet or making sure they’re completely even with each other as you’ll be trimming them in the next step.

Step 9: Trim Any Seams or Gaps Between Boards

Once all of your planks have been nailed down, you’re ready to start dealing with any seams or gaps that are visible between boards if necessary. You can use a standard miter box and saw for this job just like when ripping your boards, but don’t forget to do it after every board is nailed down so you maintain consistency throughout the project. 

Also make sure not to let any nail heads pop through these seams as they will show up later on (although if they do happen to pop through, you can cover them up with wood putty). Nail holes are also prime candidates for popping through the surface of your planks, so make sure to fill them in with putty as well.

Step 10: Sand Boards and Fill Nail Holes

Once you’re finished trimming any seams or gaps that are visible between boards, it’s time to sand everything down evenly (unless you haven’t already) and fill any other nail holes. I recommend using wood filler instead of paintable spackling paste because it dries much faster, but if you choose to use paintable spackling paste then just know that it will take longer to dry.

Just apply filler to the tip of your finger and smear it onto each hole, pressing it down lightly so there aren’t any air bubbles left.

Step 11: Apply Wood Filler to any Seams or Gaps

You should use wood filler on all seams and gaps between boards as well as nail holes, but if you feel it’s unnecessary then don’t bother wasting your money on this product unless you want to go the extra mile (although I do recommend using it because your finished wall will look much better for it). 

Just apply a thin layer of filler along all of your seams and gaps just like you did with the nail holes and let it dry overnight before sanding away. You can apply multiple thin layers of filler instead of one thick one to speed up drying time, but make sure to smooth everything out with fine-grit sandpaper in between coats so there aren’t any fingernail marks left.

Step 12: Sanding

After your boards have been nailed down, trimmed if necessary, filled with wood filler if necessary, and let dry overnight (or for at least several hours), you can now begin sanding. You should start with a lower grit number like 30 to get the rough edges off which will likely still be visible after filling in any gaps or seams because they may not have dried yet.

If there are no bumps left over after this process then move on to 100 grit to smooth everything out so your boards look nice and even. After that, you can use 150 grit to make sure things are completely flush which is what you want before applying the sealer.


  • Circular saw
  • Miter box (optional)
  • Wood boards (with at least 1-inch thickness) to be ripped
  • Pencil
  • Safety goggles
  • Earplugs (for ear protection)


A circular saw is a great tool for ripping boards. To do so, you’ll need to know the right way of using it and some useful techniques. For example, place your board on its edge against the fence of your workbench with one end at least six inches away from the blade then lower the blade onto that end before making short strokes into that end while pulling back slightly on it as you go (this will allow you to make sure there’s no splintering). After two or three passes like this down one side, flip over and rip in the opposite direction.

You should always use good safety gear when working with any power tools but especially when operating them around wood because they can be very dangerous if used improperly.