How to Rip Wood With Circular Saw

ripping-wood There are many tools that can be used to rip wood. One of the most popular is a circular saw. A circular saw is one of the simplest ways to cut through boards and other materials, but it can also have some drawbacks. This guide will show you how to use a circular saw safely so you don’t injure yourself or damage your home with this power tool.

How to Rip Wood With Circular Saw

Step 1

Safety comes first. So wear safety glasses or goggles, gloves, and earplugs. Don’t underestimate the power of that saw! I know it’s just a circular saw but you never know. Especially if you want to make a long rip cut, in which case the blade is going rotate at high RPM and throw wood chips or sawdust in all directions. So better be safe.

Step 2

Get a blade that has a carbide tip since it will last a lot longer. Plus it’s better for ripping wood. Also, the type of blade you use depends on your intention. If you’re doing a really long rip cut, then you might want to use a blade that has more teeth like 20 or 24 teeth per inch (TPI). If it’s not such a big deal and you just need to make some firewood for this afternoon, then try something less aggressive like 40 TPI.

Step 3

Make sure your saw is adjusted properly and locked in place before you do anything else. This is especially important if the rip cut will be longer than 10 feet because otherwise there is a chance that the saw could move and ruin everything. So adjust those settings first!

Step 4

Measure the piece of wood you want to rip. Make sure your blade can cut through it with little resistance. If not, do some fine-tuning with your saw. You’ll definitely need to make your first cut at the most narrow point of the piece.

Step 5

Now you can start ripping the wood. To do so, take your circular saw and place it on the next end of your piece. Make sure that you’re able to cut through all (or most) of this piece and at least 2-3 inches past it or so. Because if for some reason you stop before the blade has made it through, there is a chance that your saw will move and ruin things.

Step 6

Now just repeat this process for all the pieces of wood you want to rip and you’ll be good to go.

Now, if you ripped some things too small (or big) it’s not a problem. That’s what glue is for. I always use glue when making these types of projects because it’s strong enough to make the joints between two pieces really sturdy and stable. So don’t worry about that and start building your own wooden project.

What is Wood Ripping?

Wood ripping is cutting the wood along its grain. Cutting wood against the grain is much easier, but also creates a rough surface. Wood ripping creates the most beautiful finish if done correctly. Wood ripping can be done by hand or with machines, but in this article, I will only cover using a circular saw.

What are the Benefits of Wood Ripping?

Ripping wood is preferable to cutting when you want a very smooth surface. Wood ripping also prevents splinters. All wood has a grain, if you cut against the grain, it is more difficult to get the desired result and you run a risk of cutting yourself due to splintering or breaking the wood in an undesired way.

Different types of woods have different grains and therefore require different techniques when wood ripping. Some types of wood are easier to rip than others, but with some practice, all woods will be easy to cut with a circular saw.

What Type of Circular Saw Blade to Use to Rip Wood?

Circular saw blades come in different types of metal and different tooth configurations. You can use a carbide-tipped circular saw blade to rip wood but this type of blade is better used when the material being cut is harder than cedar or pine, such as oak, maple, birch plywood, and so on. Carbide tips won’t wear down as quickly when ripping tough compared to regular steel. The best type of circular saw blade to use to rip wood is a combination blade that has a carbide tip for long life and a “flat-top” (not gullet) to prevent grain tear-out.


A circular saw is a power tool that can be used to cut through wood. Making your cuts straight and accurate will make the process easier, but you’ll still need some skill with this tool. You may want to consider using a guide or fence when ripping pieces of lumber if you don’t have much experience using one. I hope I was able to teach you how to rip wood with a circular saw today.

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