How To Cut Paneling With A Circular Saw In The Right Way

Last Updated On March 25, 2023

Wondering how to cut paneling with a circular saw? Well, it’s not rocket science. 

Of course, the process is a bit tricky. Otherwise, you will end up splintering the paneling pieces. 

Circular saws come in handy to work with paneling as some of them include paneling blades. But a regular fine-tooth blade, rip blade, or utility knife will also work if you know the right technique.

cut paneling with a circular saw

You must place it downward as a circular saw always cuts upward. Also, make sure to choose the right blade with appropriate sharpness. Most importantly, always work on smooth surfaces. Edges workbenches will affect the wood.

However, let’s dive into the right way to cut paneling with 100% success! 

Can I Use a Circular Saw to Cut Paneling?

cutting a plywood panel with a circular saw as table saw

Absolutely yes. In fact, a circular saw is a very convenient power tool to cut paneling with detailed work if you follow the proper technique. It assures precision cutting with a straight cut in wall paneling too.

But you need to make sure to follow the right setup rule for a circular saw. As it always cuts upward by penetrating the blade underside, you must place the panel facing the downside. Of course, it will cause splintering like any other cutting tool. 

But as the panel would be faced downward, it would affect the backside of the panel. If you want to keep both sides of the panel fresh, then use a utility knife to cut the line before you start working with a circular saw.

Though a utility knife blade equally works in wall paneling, it doesn’t always offer precision cutting with a straight edge which is extremely difficult. 

What Is the Best Tool to Cut Paneling with?

best tool to cut paneling is always with a circular saw

To be honest, there are different power tools to cut paneling like handsaws, circular saws, jigsaws, table saws, etc. But a circular saw is considered the best tool to get the job done as it performs better when equipped with a fine-tooth wood blade. 

The reason behind it is pretty obvious though. Sometimes, circular saws are engineered with special blades for paneling. As a result, they can make perfect straight-line cuts in the right way to cut paneling. 

Most importantly, circular saws are the most reliable tools to work in big paneling projects such as cutting sheets or plywood that are extremely difficult. 

Moreover, a fine-tooth blade in the best small circular saw can also turn the game on by cutting the panel smoothly. All you need to take care of is choosing the right tool. 

Saying that it’s very important to maintain and use a wood carving knife handle carefully in wall paneling either a circular saw, a utility knife, or other wood carving blades are used.

How to Cut Paneling With a Circular Saw- Step-by-Step Guide?

Well, there are certain steps to follow if you prefer a clean and chip-free panel cut line whether you cut plywood, loose sheet, thin sheets, or even ceramic tile. Let’s explore the steps of cutting paneling with detailed work below. 

Step 1

make support for the paneling to cut with a circular saw

Firstly, you should ensure full support for the panel you are cutting. You might place it on a sawhorse or a cutting table for cutting paneling. But if the panel is big enough, placing it on the floor is better.

In this way, the wood panel will have more stability and it wouldn’t go through splintering once the cut is done.

Step 2

adjusting the blade depth before cut the paneling

While working with a portable circular saw, having saw-tooth marks is a common factor. To avoid this issue, you need to adjust the blade depth first. 

Trust me, it makes a notable difference. Setting the blade depth beforehand can eradicate the chance of chopping the wood panel. Instead, the saw will shear the fiber with smooth edges. 

On top of that, always go for blades with more teeth. To make smooth rip cuts, saw blades with more teeth work better. Because they are reasonably sharp. Or else, you can rely on a good sharp knife or other wood carving blades.

Step 3

measuring the distance between saw blade edge and paneling blade

Now, you need to measure the distance accurately. The distance between the saw base edge and the paneling blade is the deciding factor here. And include the thickness of the blade in this measurement as well. 

However, to set the guide, make marks on each end of the panel and clamp the straightedge right at the spot of the cut line. This will create a straight line when free from the guide.

In a word, you need to make appropriate measurements to cut paneling without splintering and with an accurate cut line

Step 4

rechecking the adjustments of the panel

Before starting to cut wall paneling, double-check the width of the panel. To make a straight line when free from the guide, you might need a few adjustments on the guide. So, do that if required.

Finally, complete the cut smoothly without stopping the saw even once. If you stop in the middle, there will be blade marks on the panel. You certainly don’t want that, right? 

So, you need to keep going with the saw until you reach the end of the wood paneling. Besides, people use masking tape in cutting plywood to get a finished surface and a straight edge.

Nevertheless, people often wonder, how to cut paneling already on the wall. In that regard, you should be a bit more tactical. 

Make the measurements accurately to decide on your desired cutting size. Mark the measurements correctly and then point the markings by drilling holes in them. Of course, a sharp blade is a must, be it a circular or jigsaw tool. 

Is Paneling Face Up or Face Down When Using a Circular Saw?

Panel and circular placing

Well, as you know, a circular saw cuts in an upward tooth motion. So, while cutting a panel, the paneling face must be placed downward. Otherwise, the blade enters the underside, and splintering occurs affecting the underside of the paneling making it unattractive. Furthermore, the splintered edges could be dangerous on the exit side. 

So, to keep the paneling neat and clean, it should be faced in a downward direction. Or else, it will turn into an odd-looking trim work.

Although in terms of a table saw, it happens otherwise while making either curved cuts or straight cuts. 

Tips to Cut Wood Paneling with a Circular Saw

Above all, we have some simple tips for enhancing the accuracy of your panel cutting with a circular saw. 

  • Choose the right blade with sufficient sharpness. Because a dull blade will make the wood panel splinter.
  • Saw blades with more teeth make smoother cuts. Also, they are more efficient not leaving any marks behind. So, choose a fine-toothed blade.
  • Make sure to run the saw along the grain, not across the grain, especially to cut plywood.
  • Score the cutting line first with a utility knife or use a fine-tooth blade. Later, run the saw over the score line when free-handling the saw. 
  • To prevent splintering, first, make a shallow cut through the upper layer of the fiber. Thus, when you operate the saw for the second time, it minimizes the chances of splintering on both sides of the panel.


What is the best tool to cut paneling with?

The best tool to cut paneling depends on the type and thickness of the paneling, but a circular saw, jigsaw, or table saw are common options.

What saw is needed for paneling?

The saw needed for paneling depends on the type and thickness of the paneling, but a circular saw, jigsaw, or table saw are common options.

Final Words

Wood paneling is a popular idea to turn an old-fashioned room into a fashionable one by blessing the walls with an elegant outlook. But the only problem is that expensive pieces of a panel can be discarded if not cut rightly.

So, we described thoroughly how to cut paneling with a circular saw

You need to be careful enough to set the depth of the saw blade. Also, make sure to place the panel downward so that the saw cannot cause splintering along the cutting line when free handling. Above all, use a fine-tooth blade for paneled walls. 

Hope this guide helps in deciding the right saw with a sharp blade to cut paneling properly.

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