If you plan to cut a circle out of wood or other kinds of materials, this can be accomplished with a number of different tools.
The most versatile tool for this task is the jigsaw.
The following tips will guide you on cutting a circle with a jigsaw.
Almost any kind of material can be cut, provided you use the right kind of blade.
For many circular cuts, the jigsaw is the perfect power saw. It's reciprocating and flexible blade make it easy to cut curves.
And, the ability to quickly change blades to suit a variety of materials, ranging from wood to metal to plastic, make this a versatile and simple tool for cutting circles.
The standard blade that comes with most jigsaws is easy to use. Depending on the kind of wood you have, you might need a stronger blade with finer teeth or one with larger and wider teeth.
We've written a comprehensive guide on how to select the proper jigsaw blade. However, here is the quick version:
If you need help figuring out which jigsaw to use, then the Black+Decker BDEJS600C is a good choice.
Once you have selected the correct blade for the material you are using, you are ready to cut a circle with the jigsaw.
This is an easy task if you have a mold to draw your circle onto the material to be cut. If you don’t have a mold, you must determine or measure the radius of the circle you want to achieve.
Draw the circle onto the material with your compass. Keep in mind there are compasses of many sizes. They can even hold different kinds of writing instruments for drawing your circle onto your material of choice.
While a compass is the most accurate way to draw a circle, many DIYers don't have one handy. There is an easy trick to drawing an accurate circle without a compass.
If you don't have a compass, you can draw a circle fairly easily with just a few items you have around your house. You'll need a single nail, a piece of string, and a pencil or pen.
This will create a perfect circle, with hardly any effort. You can control the size of the cirlce by changing the length of the string.
Related: What is a Jigsaw Used For?
If you don't want to go through the hassle of creating your own makeshift compass, you might be able to find a container around your house that is sized properly for the circle you want to cut.
Any circular object will work, provided it is the right size. A water glass, a yogurt tub, a waste can... the list goes on and on. Simply find a container that is the right size, and use it to draw the circle you need.
In order to cut a circle in wood with a jigsaw without simply cutting in from the edge of the piece of wood, you will need a good drill that can drill through the wood to allow entry of the jigsaw blade. This entry point can be achieved with a single hole.
If you do not want to splinter the wood when you cut a circle, you can use blue utility tape to prevent it.
You'll need to afix to the tape to one side of the wood, depending on how your jigsaw makes its cuts. If the jigsaw cuts on the upstroke, you'll need to place your tape on the top of your wood. And, if your jigsaw cuts on the downstroke, you'll need to place your tape on the bottom of your wood.
If you aren't sure whether your jigsaw cuts on the upstroke or downstroke, you can always place tape on both sides of the wood. Better safe than sorry, right?
After the cut in the circle is complete, the tape can be removed.
Related: Interested in going cordless? Read our cordless jigsaw reviews here!
Use clamps to secure your workpiece to a workbench or stable structure so you can cut the circle with safety and stability.
It is possible to sandwich the workpiece with wood or use padded clamps to not damage the workpiece, especially if the outer workpiece is to be the final piece with a circle in it.
However, not securing your workpiece is not recommended. This could result in injury or an imperfect circle due to the lack of stability while cutting with the jigsaw.
Related: How Thick of Wood Can a Jigsaw Cut?
While wood might be the most common surface to cut with a jigsaw, you can also cut a circle with a jigsaw into metal, plastic, and acrylic. While the general process is the same, there are a few unique things for each type of material to point out.
If you need to cut circles into a metal workpiece, use the same techniques to draw the circle and cut it. Securing it to the workbench is also important. Make sure you use the right kind of blade indicated for the kind of metal you have.
It is often important to use special oil for cutting metal to avoid over-heating. It is also recommended to use a slower cutting speed, at around 50% of the cutting speed of the jigsaw.
Plastic or acrylic materials also use the same processes and techniques. Draw the circle and fasten the workpiece with padded clamps. In addition, you will need the proper kind of blade. Special attention to the cutting speed is required.
Slow down the speed, so the material does not melt instead of being cut. In some cases, small amounts of water need to be applied with a syringe to control the temperature of the surface being cut. Sanding the edges of the circle is highly recommended to remove frays and imperfections.
Now you are ready to start cutting a circle with a jigsaw. It does not matter if you are making a circular hole in another shape, or if you have to simply cut a circle out of almost any kind of material. Use a compass, a guide, and a mold to produce circles drawn onto the surface of your workpiece.
If you are cutting a circle with a jigsaw from wood material, keep in mind the anti-fraying tip of using blue utility tape. Pay special attention to the correct kind of jigsaw blade and temperature control, and make sure to correctly secure the material to be cut to a table or workbench.
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