How to Cut Plywood Straight with a Circular Saw – 2023 Guide

Every saw is specialized and does the best in their specific jobs. But if you are not ready to invest in something new, you can reuse the old saw too!

When it comes to cutting plywood straight, table saws are great! But if you have a circular saw, you can do the same work with it too!

Here, we will discuss how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw using the right blade and guide! Get into the steps; it’s easy as a pie!

Step by Step Cutting Plywood with a Circular Saw

Never mind, but if you have a circular saw, wasting on a new table saw is just not necessary! And we will show you why in a step-by-step process!

Step 1: The Blade Selection

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The saws come with blades. In the case of a circular saw, you have got a blade that provides an aggressive cut fast. However, these are designed for the construction of lumber. As you are dealing with sheet goods here, you should keep in mind that you need splinter-free cuts.

And so, the ideal preference for learning how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw is the carbide-tipped blade. These have a design that will afford you fine cuts. Whenever you plan to get some smooth cuts, you should settle for the higher tooth count.

In the market, you will see several sizes of blades. Picking up the right diameter is also necessary. Match with your circular saw and find out the right diameter of blade you need! And if you are confused between buying a circular saw and a table saw, we recommend you to check WoodworkerHelp and get some of the best circulars saw for woodworking.

Step 2: Finished Side Down

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The next step is to check the orientation of the sheet when you are going through the cutting process. As you are using a circular saw here, you have to cut on the upside stroke. So, the blade will get inside the wood from the bottom or below.

And eventually, it will exist on the top of the wood. But in this process, tears are common! You have to certify that the finished plywood edge is not chipped or splintered out. Go for the best face here. Facedown when you cut! If you are cutting into a chalkboard panel, go for a painted side down if necessary!

Step 3: The Blade Depth

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Another important factor for cutting plywood is adjusting the depth of your saw blade. When the blade is not adjusted properly, the machine won’t work. And even if it does, you won’t be having smooth cuts, my friend. We will give you a small tip here that will help you forever! When you adjust the cutting depth of your circular saw, ensure that you are adjusting it right below the material you are cutting.

In short, if you are cutting a plywood board of ¾ inches thickness, you can set the blade depth to 1 inch. You have to settle for a little below the workpiece.

Step 4: Placement of the Foam Board

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Yes, this one is a very crucial step that can make your plywood cutting life easier! Get your hands on a piece of rigid foam board. Whenever you plan to cut plywood, you have to take the foam, set it on the worktable first.

Then, you are free to place the workpiece or the plywood on top of the foam board! When you start cutting, you have to go right into the foam without stopping where the plywood stops. It will support the foam.

And the best part is you will not need to fight with the large piece of plywood if you have a foam board! When we talk about foam boards, it doesn’t mean you have to change it frequently. The foam board will break but will still work! One-piece will last for a long period, trust us!

Step 5: The Saw Guide

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Sometimes, you need more perfect cuts on the plywood with the help of a circular saw. This is where the guide comes in! For this, you have to learn the proper use of a guide and how to work with it. The easiest idea is to get a sheet of plywood that has straight edges and then clamp it.

You must place it in a manner that the foot of your saw can follow the straight edge! In this case, a straight edge is a must. At times, we forget about the straight edge and that is where the problem begins. But if you need to cut a lot of plywood almost regularly, you can settle for a saw guide. There are guide rail, adjustable scale, and guide arm added with these that can help you cut easier than before.


  • Before you start cutting with the circular saw, wait for it to come to a point when the speed is full. If you do not let it come to the full speed before you use it, there is a chance that it will ruin the edge of the wood.
  • And not to forget, before everything, you must ensure that you have worn the safety equipment along with choosing the right workspace. The safety gears include eyeglasses, mask and gloves. Check out the other necessary protection steps of a circular saw before you work on it.
  • Another easy tip for you, always keep the good side of your workpiece facing the worktable. In this way, you won’t be damaging the good side and the bad side won’t be noticeable eventually!

Wrap Up

If you already have a circular saw and you need to cut straight, don’t invest in a new saw because cutting plywood straight with a circular saw is easy! Follow the method we have discussed above and you can surely do it on your own!

Don’t forget to check out our blog as we have every solution for your woodworking life! Better to work on DIYs and gain experience than to waste money on the professionals, right?