How To Square A Board With A Circular Saw

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Squaring a board is an elementary technique for handypersons. Whether it’s for a chopping board or to attain precision in the roughly cut board, with this simple guide on how to square a board with a circular saw, you’ll be able to accomplish the desired cut hassle-free.

How To Square A Board With A Circular Saw

It is best to choose an outdoor workplace set-up. Follow the below-mentioned steps sequentially to ensure an excellent square board cutting.

Step #1: Choose the Right Blade

Before making square crosscuts, the primary step is to choose the right blade that suits your requirements.

For example, if you’re cutting a wooden board, various wooden cutting blades are available, categorized as plywood blades and construction blades.

  • Construction blades (fine-cutting blades) generally have equal to or more than forty teeth. The deep gullets present in the construction blades carry away sawdust and wood chips.
  • Plywood cutting blades are usually made of high-speed steel and are often equipped with 160 small teeth.

Smaller teeth ensure cleaner cuts, but larger-sized teeth are used chiefly for rough cuttings where the work needs to be done faster.

Here’s a detailed video on how to choose the right blade.

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Step #2: Mark the Outline

You can use a sharp pencil to outline, following which you will be using the circular saw to make the cutting. If you want to achieve higher accuracy in marking the outline for straight cuts, tools like razor blades can be helpful.

If you are using a pencil, there can be three possible ways to consider. You can cut inside or outside the line and along the line. 

Ensure proper measurements and markings before cutting the board because you cannot change it after cutting. Keep rechecking the measures to avoid undesired cuttings. 

Step #3: Clamp the Board

There are several ways to clamp wooden boards. Choosing an appropriate clamping technique is equally necessary, like selecting the right blade to fit in the power tool.

When you use a power tool to make the cutting, stakes are high that the board may slip away or project out in-between the cut from under the circular saw.

It happens because the material becomes unsteady when the power tool exerts a tremendous force upon it, if not clamped.

So, it is essential to have an excellent grip to ensure fine cutting and safety. You can check out this blog to find out several techniques to clamp the board.

Step #4: Install the Circular Saw Blade

Unplug the circular saw, use a blade wrench to loosen and remove the arbor nut.

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Please insert the correct board cutting saw blade carefully to fit it within the circular saw.

Ensure that the teeth of the circular saw blade face the direction of rotation.

Use the blade wrench again to tighten the arbor nut back in its place.


Do not try installing or changing the blade without disconnecting the circular saw from the power supply. The blades used in the circular saw are very sharp, be careful and keep a safe distance from the blade while handling and working with them. 

Step #5: Make Square Cuts

Always start cutting from the backside when you are required to make a cleaner cut. Blades cut in an anti-clockwise direction, so when the teeth enter the board, the cutting is clean.

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Start by following the outline you have made previously or taking the support of a square layout or a square frame.

Hold the circular saw blade along the desired cutline, take the square layout, slide it against the circular saw’s base, and press it down tightly against the board’s edge.  

Check the adjustments properly and proceed by pressing the trigger. Allow the circular saw to attain high speed and guide it along the layout or cutline to produce a square cut.

And, finally, you have the best square cutting of the board! You can watch this video to have a clear understanding of how to make square cuts.


Use eyeglasses to protect your eye from sawdust. Also, wear ear protection equipment if you are sensitive to noise. Mask up to save your face. It is also recommended to use GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) to reduce the risk of electrical shocks and severe injuries.

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Precautionary Measures

Ensure you follow these safety protocols while working with a circular saw to avoid accidents:

  • Inhaling excessive sawdust produced from the cutting board can cause potential risks like breathing problems, eye irritation, etc. Wear safety glasses and protective dust masks, along with gloves.
  • Be careful of the trigger on the circular saw. It may cause severe injury if you switch it on mistakenly without being careful.
  • Ensure proper grip on the saw to avoid the tool from slipping away.
  • Avoid placing down the circular saw while it’s still moving.
  • Maintain a perfect balance and be patient when you are cutting any material.

Also see how to square a board with just a jointer!


Boards can be cut using various tools and in several ways, like long squares or short squares.

Follow proper clamping techniques and choose a fine blade to ensure smoother and cleaner cuts.

Use power tools under expert guidance if it’s your first time. Read installation manuals instructions while working with power tools.

Do not over-pressurize the power tool, as it may lead to blade wobbling and cause significant damages.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.