Can You Cut Accurately With A Circular Saw?

Last Updated On May 16, 2023

A circular saw is a tool in every wood-workers repertoire. They come in handy when making straight cuts on boards and plywood. Expert users can even make curved cuts with a circular so.

But can you cut accurately with a circular saw? The answer is an emphatic yes. Even though it’s a pretty basic tool for carpentry, a circular saw is still accurate. You can use other accessories to make it even more effortless to cut with precision using a circular saw.

Rafter squares, straightedges, Kreg Rip-Cut guide, etc., make cutting accurately with a circular saw easier. Keep reading to learn tips on handling circular saws for the cleanest cuts.

Can You Cut Accurately With A Circular Saw?

Even though a table saw offers more accuracy than a circular saw,  with some skills, you can get an accurate cut with a circular saw free-handedly. Accuracy tools increase circular saws’ stability and make them more accurate. So, the disadvantage of circular saws is overcome that way easily.

The benefit of using a circular saw is that it provides mobility. You can take the blade to the wood. This allows you to cut big pieces of plywood. However, to get mobility, you sacrifice control, which is why we said earlier that table saws are more accurate. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should opt for a table saw instead. Using a small table saw, most hobbyists have the space and budget to own, to cut big chunks of plywood can be dangerous. It’s also hard to move big pieces through the table saw.

So, it’s better to master making accurate cuts with a circular saw. You can do it! Especially with tools that we will mention below. 

How To Get More Accurate Cuts With A Circular Saw? Tips & Tricks

The following are the best ways to improve the accuracy of your cuts while using a circular saw as a beginner. Even minor adjustments can have a substantial impact, and you’ll get clean cuts as you desire.

1. Get A Rafter Square

Rafter Square


Rafter squares are a good guide for making miter saw-accurate crosscuts. You can get a 6-inch square or a 12-inch one depending on the size of the board you’re cutting. 

For 2 feet×6 feet plywood, a 6-inch rafter square is enough. The bigger one works for wider plywood. You can get ones made of plastic, aluminum, or steel. They’re all good. 

How To Use:

  • Place the square so that the point of the triangle is towards you. This is best to hold the board and the square simultaneously. 
  • Line the saw’s cutline marker with where you want the cut. With the square against your circular saw’s shoe, cut. 

2. Invest in a Straightedge

using a straight edge for accurate cut

This tool is better for making long cuts. DuBois 18-inch straightedge is our favorite to use. With an anodized finish, this one is highly durable.

How To Use: 

  • Note the distance between the edge of your saw’s shoe and the blade’s side that faces the shoe. Add that distance to where you want the cut and mark a new line.
  • Clamping down the straightedge on the new mark, start cutting.

To make more instant cuts without needing to measure for the shoe width, you can get a higher-quality straightedge like DCT Aluminum Pro Grip Clamp. It instantly clamps down hard on the wood and is made of thick, sturdy aluminum, offering excellent stability.

3. Use Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide

Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide


This is yet another accessory to increase the accuracy of your cuts. The Kreg Rip-Cut guide goes with most circular saws in the market. With this track system, you can make up to 24-inch wide cuts. You can change the width by adjusting the fence. Use This tool when you want to break down boards or plywood with repetitive cuts. 

How To Use:

  • You need to start by measuring and marking where you want to make the cut with a sharpened carpenter’s pencil.
  • Align the fence with the marked line. Using the handle of the Rip-Cut guide, push the fence to the plywood before making the cut.

4. Make Use of Kreg Accu-Cut

Use of Kreg Accu-Cut


This is a great tool if you want to make long straight cuts. A regular Accu-cut allows you to cut a length of 50 feet, while the XL option allows you to cut up to 100 feet. This tool can make crosscuts, rip cuts, and miter cuts with this tool. 

It essentially gives your circular saw the stability of a track saw so that you’re sure to cut straight with its guided track. This tool is fitted with anti-slip strips at the bottom, so you don’t have to clamp it down before use. 

How To Use

  • After measuring where to make the cut, mark it with your pencil. Place the Accu-Cut so that its edge lines up with the marks. 
  • After positioning the saw in line with the track, start cutting.

See the video below for better understanding:

General Tips For More Accuracy While Cutting

There are some general practices you can keep up with to get clean and accurate cuts. Here are the best tips we have to offer. 

  • Always use a sharp pencil to mark your line. A pencil mark has its own width and a blunt one will be wider. Grabbing a sharp pencil helps you be more precise. Even so, split the pencil line and try to only cut it along the middle.
  • Be very careful when starting and ending a cut with your circular saw. These saws have long blades that naturally want to cut along a straight path. So, once you get on a path, it usually is easier to stay on course. It’s least stable at the beginning and end, so try not to jostle or shake the saw in any way.
  • While cutting, you may sometimes want to correct the course of the saw. To do that, many people take the saw backward a little too much, creating notches at the back and blowout in front of the blade. You should only have backup about 1/16th of an inch if you feel the need. 
  • The most important part is to observe the course of the saw. Making micro-adjustments should be enough to keep a circular saw on track. 

Final Words

Getting straight cuts on a circular saw may seem impossible to someone just starting off. You may be tempted to practice freehand as you have seen other skilled people do.

But even skilled people can easily slightly damage the edges of the board while cutting free-hand with a circular saw. That’s why when getting straight edges is very important to your project, use guiding tools to improve accuracy.

Hopefully, you now have an answer to,” Can you cut accurately with a circular saw?” You can comment below if you have more queries. We love hearing from readers.

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