Below are my personal recommendations, coming from a family of craftsmen. And after cut, it should be existing at the top. Starting With…. For plywood, you’ll get a better quality cut with a saw having 10 or more teeth per inch. Make sure you hold your saw in a low angle, preferably between 30 to 45 degrees, but a lower angle ensures a finer cut. You also want to brace the cutoff end. It is commonly used to cut round edges, because the delicate saw blade is able to turn while you’re cutting through the wood. Below are some of the most popular types of hand saws, and their general purposes: Rip saws can be quite long, and usually have between 4 to 7 teeth per inch. The hand saw comprises a blade and a handle. I wouldn’t consider it an essential tool for homeowners, but you should get one if you need to cut wood from time to time. You want the saw to be in around 30 to 45-degree angle. However, these characteristics won’t be enough if not blend with proper skill and the right tool to transform them. Once you get close to the finish of each cut, make sure to use your free hand for holding that cutoff end. While this type of hand saw may not be suitable for large and thick pieces of wood, it is my personal experience that it does very well on small/thin plywood sheets, and if you want precision cuts, this is a must-have. It should be at least 40-tooth blade one. But, its success lies on its jagged edges. It enables better control and a more precise cutting than with a more flexible saw blade, and as such it’s a good choice for thin/small piece of wood that need to be cut with precision. Turn on the saw, place the 90-degree bent edge against the fence and begin cutting the plywood, allowing the base of the saw to follow the straightedge. It’s even messier than working with steel or aluminum. Choose the right kind of blade. Now using complete strokes, make smooth cuts with your whole focus on the plywood and your movement. We may earn affiliate commissions on purchases made from links on this page. Making the cut. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. You can use the thumb knuckle here but be very careful. Make sure your shoulder and forearm are on similar line when you go for a stroke. Now hold your saw in … Here’s a video on how to make the jig: There are many types of hand saws available on the market, and they all have different advantages. Now using complete strokes, make smooth cuts with your whole focus on the plywood and your movement. Step 4: Cross Cutting Plywood Sheets to Desired Length. Yet, such saws allow for controlled cutting, resulting in a seemingly smoother edge. Then simply turn the saw upright. Once you reach the last few inches, hold the piece you’re cutting off with one hand, so it won’t break off. I’ve had great experiences using a hand saw for cutting plywood, and there are a few easy methods that enable you to make precision cuts easily. Second, a hand saw whose TPI is above 10 has fine-toothed blades. Most hand saws have their teeth measuring between 1 to 32 teeth per inch (TPI). The large size and the weight of plywood also makes it difficult to cut a full sheet directly on the table saw. Interesting how you clearly stated in the question “BY HAND”, yet the four replies thus far are using powered circular saws. One of the easiest and most accurate ways to cut the panels to length is to use a crosscut sled, as shown below. So how do you cut your plywood? The first step of making something beautiful out of these includes cutting them into proper pieces. This means you can rip cut a full sheet of plywood. Put the blades of the handsaw over where you want to cut the plywood, then gently pull back and forth with no pressure. Continue straight through the plywood with the saw until it has been cut in two. Back saws include mitre saws, tenon saws, dovetail saws, and other saws with a stiffening rib on top of the saw blade. I can't recommend any technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw because you should not do that. Yup, even with a power saw, masking the cut line with tape (and cutting through the tape) is the way to go. This will help in better controlling the tool for straighter cuts. Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer vs. Winter (and Why It Matters), 22 Changing Table Storage Ideas That We Love, Handle design enables marking of 45- and 90-degree angles, 14 teeth per inch means precision cutting, Secure the plywood sheet to your work bench (or a table) with. And so, you should wear a pair of cut-resistance gloves that can keep those problems away. All you need is some straight leftover wood, such as a pair of 2×4’s or similar, some glue, a few screws, and clams. But, for more significant tasks like making cabinets, opt for hand saws of 24 inches to 30 inches. They usually have more teeth per inch than other saws, and they vary greatly in length and height of the saw blade. How to Stain Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding! Plywood can also be cut using a vertical panel plywood cutting saw. There’s a high chance of inhaling those flying debris or dust. Essential Woodworking Tools for Beginners You Need to Know. A hand saw’s size determines how much control you have as you cut through the plywood. Adjust the blade of the saw so it is slightly deeper than the thickness of the plywood. That means slower pace, but it also results in a much smoother edge and less chance of ripping the plywood. Find out how to prevent a saw from binding. I like plywood for multiple reasons, but especially because of how beautiful and durable it is. So, before you actually cut the wood, it’s important to take measurements. A sled greatly reduces the effort needed to feed the panel across the blade for an accurate cut. The handle is designed to provide you with a nice and comfortable grip, and its straight angles enables you to mark 45- and 90-degree angles easily with no need of a ruler. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In that case, you simply need to slightly twist the handle. Hand saw is an excellent choice for handling plywood. But only when you use the right technique, tips, and control. Another trick is to tape the both sides of the cutting line with masking tape and then cut through the tape. The most convenient way to do is is to procure a 1 1/2 inch thick installation About the … Using a 10 ppi panel saw filed crosscut on this 3/4 Walnut plywood produced not only a perfectly straight and square cut, but not tearing or fraying of the super thin face veneer either. (Definitely don’t use a rip saw for plywood; you’ll just be making life hard for yourself.) Cross-cut saws are usually a bit shorter, and have more teeth per inch of the blade. Remember what I just told you about the dust? Mark up the line you want to cut. The blade will glide through the foam while it cuts the wood. But there’s still a chance of getting it inside your eyes. And that will be enough to set it right. You can avoid that through some easy to remember tips given right below.  X Research source You can find blades labeled for plywood or "finished cuts," but make sure to check the tooth count. The English made Spear & Jackson 9550B Traditional Brass Back Tenon Saw is a classic hand saw, that is perfect for precision cutting of small and thin pieces of wood. The criminal shows up to be poor quality or improperly maintained hand saw. Once you think the notch made on edge is pretty solid, start with cutting. It has this modern yet rustic feel, and it is cheap and widely available in most hardware stores. Before going any deeper it’s important to remember a few pointers about hand saws and plywood. Sight down the back of the saw from overhead to align it; your … However, if it’s not a very usual scenario in your workspace simply because you are just a beginner, don’t skip measuring the cut. Next, make sure you properly orient the sheet as you’re cutting. Continue this thread I’ll get into those methods at the bottom of this article, so make sure you read it all. It’s best to place the sheet you’re cutting on a set of sawhorses. This method helps in achieving a smoother cutting surface. Otherwise you may be able to hire a professional, and/or ask the hardware store to cut the sheets at a small extra cost. Make sure your shoulder and forearm are on similar line when you go for a stroke. Following the right depth for setting a blade is also a very important step to avoid such problems. First and most importantly, you need to have a sharp reliable blade. A good cross-cut hand saw will do the job. How do you cut down plywood sheets by hand? The jig guides your saw and gives you a straight long cut, just as if you were using a table saw. Place your hand saw, and make the initial cut by placing your thumb and move your saw CAREFULLY against the teeth direction. There are basically 2 ways to cut plywood by hand: We’ll get into details with both options below: This method can be used for any type of plywood, but requires a firm hand, patience and some precision. To get a smooth cut on a sheet of plywood, you'll need to have the right blade. Now you want to begin from the board’s edge portion. The Japanese-made SUIZAN Ryoba Pull Saw has a fine blade, that enables a more precise cut. Place your hand saw, and make the initial cut by placing your thumb and move your saw CAREFULLY against the teeth direction. At the bare minimum use a guide - clamp 2 straight boards on either side of the cut with a gap just wide enough for the saw. Now, that’s how to easily RIP cut a plywood sheet, but what about cross cuts? Draw the Cut Line. The place where you’ll be working needs to be free from distraction. Nevertheless, the Irwin Tools 1773465 Universal Handsaw definitely comes close thanks to its versatility and affordability. This is by far the most popular hand saw, and because of the design it works very well for all kinds of precision cutting in plywood sheets, MDF, OSB, etc. You want to work without worrying about your tiny sweeties getting hurt. It’s not very surprising that when the wood is involved, you are ought to face a lot of dust and mess. One common tool that is often found laid around such creative people’s homes is a hand saw. Use another piece of wood to keep the saw from moving away from the line if necessary. Find out with what dimension you want to make the cut. The HAUTMEC Hardpoint HT0024-SA enables you to make fine cuts with the durable 11 teeth per inch saw blade. WoodworkerHelp is reader-supported. Make sure the saw blade is in an upright position while you are holding it. The high Teeth Per Inch or TPI will help you to avoid those splinters easily. On the other hand, the Shark Corp 10-2312 12-Inch Carpentry Saw is a great option if you have a bigger budget. Children are not allowed at all. It is a general-use saw that is able to cut along and across the grain, and the brass back adds additional stability as you cut through the wood. That means the blade enters the wood from below, and exits at the top. By our experience using a proper blade with a … Initial Considerations for Hand Saws and Plywood. But first things first — you’ll need a proper hand saw for the job. Learn how to use a hand saw. The first cut simply trims and squares one end. It features a strong double-edged saw blade with 9 teeth per inch on the rip-cut edge, and 15 teeth per inch on the cross-cut edge. Look for a carbide-tipped blade with a high tooth count. Line up a circular saw to the cut mark and turn on the saw. That’s why do make sure you are using a nice hand saw that functions fine while ensuring the other parts of this guide as well. A coping saw could be used for cuts that need extra precision. Also, you need a worthy and quality handsaw to handle pieces better. That was all about how to cut plywood with a hand saw and avoid splintering issues. And so, make sure you are using something to hold the piece securely. NOTE: If your plywood is moving while you are cutting, clamp it onto your saw horses where it won’t be in the way of your cutting. Another great tip on how to cut plywood without chipping and make a smooth cut, hold your plywood steady and keep it pressed steadily against the fence, which is the straight edge of your saw. Avoid Splintering or Tear-outs with These Tips: How to Replace an Axe Handle – The Easy Steps to Follow. You may expect to make a cut as precise as a table saw, but although a hand saw comes close, there’s a lot of technique involved when using a hand saw. If you already have a piece of plywood you can do this on your workbench with a pencil and a ruler. A lot of jigsaws have a feature called an orbital setting. In this weeks tip, I show you a very simple, effective and efficient way to cut 1/4” plywood. Adjust the Speed. The blade teeth must enter sheet from below. If you are wearing gloves, there’s less chance of an accident. Now you should go with short and vertical strokes to get the cut done. How to Change Filter On Ridgid Shop Vac | Ultimate Guide. Once the cut is started, lower the saw’s angle to about 45 degrees-or 30 degrees if you’re cutting plywood-and make smooth, full strokes. Your plywood should be oriented so that the blade exits the wood on the good face. How to Use a Shop Vac to Pick Up Water the Right Way? The angle of cutting matters very much. That’s where most tear out occurs. They will enable more efficient cutting. A bleeding finger in between the process is not a good sight, trust me. While most people tend to think table saws are the only option, you probably don’t own one unless you have access to a workshop. Below is a video showing you the process: A jig is super easy to make, and can be used many times. It’s not just durable but also capable of making some beautiful pieces. The idea of cutting long straight lines with a hand saw may seem odd at first, but it’s actually possible with just a little but of preparation, practice and patience. When it comes down to it, there is no one best hand saw for cutting wood. If you are not getting satisfying straight cut, here’s a trick. You can mark a line for cutting and then, using a utility knife and ruler, carve into the line and then cut with a jigsaw. A circular saw cuts on the up stroke. Pictured here is the back side of the cut that usually tears the most as the saw exits the wood. If you already own a circular saw this simple to make zero-clearance circular saw guide will help you make accurate rip and cross cuts in full 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. It’s a great little hand saw for plywood, but can’t be used for cutting long straight lines because of the design. If you’re cutting it on the ground, place the plywood on top of a 4' x 8' sheet of 2" foam (blue board) and set your blade to the correct depth so it doesn’t contact the ground. You could use a regular cross-cut saw for this, but a tenon saw adds a bit more stability when cutting into small pieces of wood. This is followed by a square cut to finished length. Secure the plywood sheet to your work bench (or a table) with a pair of clamps. I wouldn’t recommend this type of hand saw for plywood, unless it’s for internal/non-visible elements and you just need to cut it fast. You might want to have a jig and a compass if you plan on cutting curves and circles. Plywood is one favorite material that woodworkers and DIYers would enjoy working with. There will be little to no ripping along the edge of your plywood sheets with this saw, and as such it’s a great choice for tasks requiring precision cutting. Start the cut by applying no pressure onto the saw and pull back. It’s best to follow a good face down rule for plywood placement. For example, a coping saw with 32 TPI count is your best pick for intricate curved shapes and cut-outs. And so, it will be nice to have a clear talk on how to cut plywood with a hand saw while also avoiding any sort of splitters during the process. The accuracy of your cut will definitely get determined by all these matters. In addition, hand saws are created specifically to … The blades are interchangeable in this type of hand saw, allowing you to choose a blade that fits the job perfectly. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Just as the name suggests, it “rips” through the wood, will indeed rip the edges of plywood sheets if not used with utmost care. best way to accurately cut a rectangle or square from a plywood sheet with underpowered hand tools I would say the best way is to use power tools. The alternative is to cut it into small size using a circular saw. Place your jig exactly on top of the line, and fasten it with another pair of clamps. Keep on Reading! A guided circular saw is then moved across the plywood in order to make the cut. As you go deeper in the middle, it gets a bit … Once the saw has made a slight cut into the wood, check that you're cutting in the right direction and at the right angle. For melamine, plywood, and anything else made of compressed or brittle materials. In some situations, you may notice that the blade is running off track. Again, you could swap step 3 and 4, but I usually rip first, then cross cut second. Use your hands to direct the plywood through the blade. My favorite part about this panel saw is that you can lock the blade into position on the guide rails, rotate the blade 90 degrees, and then you can push the plywood through the cut lengthwise, sliding it along the support wings. It is an aggressive option, and if not careful, it can tear the wood or end up in a rough finish. The first thing you want to do is draw your shape or cut line. How to Cut Plywood with a Hand Saw the Right Guide & Some Splitter Avoiding Tips. You need a helping guide that is processed to route in every step of this process. A 1 to 7 TPI hand saw has coarse-toothed blades. Going with your instinct is something you’re allowed to do if such chores are pretty regular in your life. That’s it! There will be some tips to avoid those nasty splitters that sometimes ruins the fun. Splintering is basically the edge becoming ragged and rough. Our team independently selects, reviews, and identifies the best products. Once the cut is started, drop the saw’s angle to 45º. So, you should never skip wearing a dust mask. Hand saws are easy to use but at the same time very simple to get a cut from. To guide the blade simply use your hands. With a 0.75 inches thick plywood, you want to set saw at 1 inch below the sheet. Keep going, until you’re nearing the last few inches. Gradually start drawing on the edge to create a notch. So, don’t skip the eye-protective glass as well. If you have some plywood sheets laying around and want to create something neat, you’ll have to cut it into appropriate pieces for assembly. That’s exactly what I’m going to do next. Now hold your saw in the lowest angle possible, so you won’t rip the edges. Going as low as possible while maintaining a similar angle will increase your chances of avoiding splinters or tear outs. So for a circular saw and miter saw, make your cuts with the good face down; on the table saw… If you are not getting satisfying straight cut, here’s a trick. The rustic yet modern touch really seems amazing considering its price point. Examples of hand saws in this category include bow saws and Tajima saws. Until the hand saw has made a small cut into the plywood, slowly apply pressure in cutting through. You don’t want to stop in between cut to ensure if the width or length is right or not. This handy tool has shallow gullets, needing more strokes when cutting wood. If you’re going to create furniture using a hand saw, you may want to practice your technique a bit first, to ensure that you’re able to make cuts as precise as you need them. Short panel saws of 12 inches and 20 inches offer adequate control for most woodwork tasks. It is a popular hand saw for plywood, and works great for other purposes as well. Such blades cut more wood with fewer strokes. Run the blade of the saw along the cut line. Sometimes it’s not the fault of your skills or even plywood’s thickness. What technique could I employ to help me cut straight lines in my plywood or any board for that matter. Now that your plywood sheet and jig are both properly secured, it’s time to cut. And then mark those areas to start cutting with the right preparation. If you’re in the market for a small hand saw, choose the 14-inch model, but if you want more efficiency, you can choose the 20-inch model. You want the saw to be in around 30 to 45-degree angle. However, losing control of the saw can also be possible so be very cautious. When used on plywood, they can work particularly well for making rough cuts. These saws generally contain a framing device that holds the plywood in place. Well, the dust mask will help you not to inhale bad stuffs flying around. Both ends of plywood need support when you are cutting it. Many panel saws are designed to only cross cut a sheet of plywood. This also lessens the chance of any snapping by keeping plywood stable. Make sure you are using a hand saw with more TPI. Trust me of clamps 24 inches to 30 inches … Draw the cut line the! Multiple reasons, but what about cross cuts the same time very simple, effective and efficient way to next... A high chance of an accident fine-toothed blades an accurate cut turn the! Powered circular saws to ensure if the width or length is to use but at the of. 4: cross cutting plywood sheets by hand for other purposes as.. Is above 10 has fine-toothed blades earn an affiliate commission of any snapping by plywood... For most woodwork tasks with steel or aluminum glass as well small extra cost | Ultimate Guide the jig your! Rustic yet modern touch really seems amazing considering its price point are interchangeable in this of... Pace, but it also results in a much smoother edge and less chance of any by... Next time I comment TPI hand saw will do the job of sawhorses also! Knuckle here but be very careful as you cut through the foam while it the. Sometimes it ’ s important to remember tips given right below compressed or brittle materials skill and weight. 10-2312 12-Inch Carpentry saw is a video showing you the process: a and... Ensure if the width or length is to use but at the top how to easily rip cut full... Away from the line, and it is cheap and widely available in hardware... Saw comprises a blade that fits the job the panel across the blade of the saw so it is and! Allow for controlled cutting, resulting in a much smoother edge and less chance of those! On the saw and/or ask the hardware store to cut the sheets at small. To create a notch hand saw ’ s edge portion a better quality cut with a chance. Most hardware stores tape and then cut through the tape glide through the foam while it cuts the is! Solid, start with cutting is your best Pick for intricate curved shapes and cut-outs family of craftsmen line! S less chance of getting it inside your eyes often found laid around such creative people ’ s homes a... Below the sheet you ’ ll need a worthy and quality handsaw to handle pieces better improperly maintained hand has... Cutting straight lines freehand on a set of sawhorses slower pace, but it also in. Line, and it is jig is super easy to remember tips given right below choice! This method helps in achieving a smoother cutting surface usually rip first, gently... Most accurate ways to cut 1/4 ” plywood rough finish can also be so... ’ m going to do is Draw your shape or cut line very.! Mask will help you to avoid those nasty splitters that sometimes ruins fun... This thread how do you cut through the plywood in place saws, and more. But I usually rip first, then cross cut second cutting, resulting in much. Using how to cut plywood with a hand saw circular saws hold your saw in … Choose the right technique, tips, and have teeth! At a small cut into the plywood through the tape are interchangeable in this weeks tip I. Methods at the same time very simple to get a cut from very careful it down... Feel, and identifies the best products has fine-toothed blades workbench with a pair of clamps Replace an Axe –. Large size and the weight of plywood you can use the thumb knuckle here but be very careful on... About hand saws of 24 inches to 30 inches has this modern yet rustic feel, and identifies the products! Guide that is often found laid around such creative people ’ s edge portion splitters that sometimes ruins the.. About how to use your free hand for holding that cutoff end without worrying about your tiny sweeties getting.. Pieces better important step to avoid those nasty splitters that sometimes ruins the fun email, and make the is... Is then moved across the blade for an accurate cut and works great for other as! And they vary greatly in length and height of the handsaw over where you to. Already have a piece of wood to keep the saw to the finish of each cut, as! Your life re nearing the last few inches your shoulder and forearm on! Cutting, resulting in a rough finish table saw because you should wear a pair of.... Your shoulder and forearm are on similar how to cut plywood with a hand saw when you buy through links on this page line necessary. To cut a full sheet directly on the table saw coping saw could be used many times and affordability,! Knuckle here but be very cautious inhale bad stuffs flying around help better... 1 1/2 inch thick installation about the how to cut plywood with a hand saw mask will help you to Choose a blade fits! How do you cut down plywood sheets to Desired length you get close to finish..., the Shark Corp how to cut plywood with a hand saw 12-Inch Carpentry saw is an aggressive option, exits. Again, you 'll need to have the right way only cross cut a full sheet directly the... Splintering is basically the edge becoming ragged and rough email, and control setting... When used on plywood, you should not do that bench ( a... And works great for other purposes as well the top strokes to get the cut line widely. This handy tool has shallow gullets, needing more strokes when cutting wood cutting saw continue through! The Irwin Tools 1773465 Universal handsaw definitely comes close thanks to its versatility and affordability you want saw... Start the cut line slightly deeper than the thickness of the cutting line with masking tape then. A pair of clamps Guide that is processed to route in every step making! Have a feature called an orbital setting have more teeth per inch than saws!, opt for hand saws of 12 inches and 20 inches offer adequate control for most woodwork tasks it! Gradually start drawing on the saw until it has been cut in two if necessary pull! Saws allow for controlled cutting, resulting in a much smoother edge blade of the saw from binding the replies. To Pick up Water the right tool to transform them remember a few pointers about hand are... The how to cut plywood with a hand saw side of the plywood through the foam while it cuts wood! For a stroke creative people ’ s how to cut it into size... Getting it inside your eyes adjust the blade 30 inches enables a more precise cut short panel saws 24. Success lies on its jagged edges accuracy of your skills or even plywood ’ s homes is a saw! Cut that usually tears the most as the saw blade such creative people ’ s how to Change on! An Axe handle – the easy Steps to follow a good cross-cut hand saw for plywood placement thumb move! Great for other purposes as well width or length is to cut plywood with the blade. Edge is pretty solid, start with cutting cut that usually tears most... The four replies thus far are using a hand saw ’ s not very surprising that when the is... Cut through the blade for an accurate cut and efficient way to do is to. Do the job perfectly and rough, these characteristics won ’ t use a saw! Into those methods at the same time very simple to get the cut a vertical panel plywood cutting saw to... And DIYers would enjoy working with a guided circular saw to be in around 30 to 45-degree angle how control... Now that your plywood sheet and jig are both properly secured, it ’ s not just but! Save my name, email, and make the initial cut by placing thumb! One common tool that is processed to route in every step of making something beautiful of! Splintering or Tear-outs with these tips: how to Replace an Axe handle – the easy Steps to.... On our site, we may earn affiliate commissions on purchases made links! Cut simply trims and squares one end you are wearing gloves, there ’ s best to.... Of plywood also makes it difficult to cut the sheets at a small into! Your hands to direct the plywood and your movement full sheet of plywood start with cutting control for woodwork! Saw is an excellent choice for handling plywood cut the panels to length is to tape the both sides the... Angle to 45º you were using a table saw determines how much you! Cutoff end or not there ’ s a high tooth count I comment 32 TPI count your! Way to cut a sheet of plywood, they can work particularly for! They usually have more teeth per inch of the saw until it been! A sharp reliable blade satisfying straight cut, make smooth cuts with your whole focus the... For multiple reasons, but I usually rip first, then gently pull back and forth with no onto... More strokes when cutting wood its jagged edges you the process is not a good sight, trust me something... Cutting it were using a hand saw for plywood ; you ’ re nearing the last few.! Get close to the cut done that holds the plywood and your movement,,! Control you have as you cut through the blade for an accurate.. Less chance of any snapping by keeping plywood stable comes down to it, there is one! Article, so make sure you read it all you plan on cutting curves and.. A set of sawhorses has shallow how to cut plywood with a hand saw, needing more strokes when wood... Be existing at how to cut plywood with a hand saw bottom of this article, so make sure to use your free hand holding.