How To Cut Quarter Round With A Circular Saw? The Proper Way!

Last Updated On May 3, 2023

Quarter round is a popular choice for finishing walls in most interiors. They’re pretty easy to cut and shape. But there are so many things to consider before cutting quarter-round molds for your walls, most importantly, what type of saw to use. 

So, how to cut a quarter round with a circular saw? It’s quite simple! Measure and mark the spots you want to cut using a rafter square. Activate the saw and split the mold while making smooth long strokes. 

Even though cutting a quarter round sounds effortless, you may face some difficulties while doing the task. To guide you properly, we’ve detailed everything about cutting quarter molds with a circular saw. So, keep reading!

Tools You’ll Need

Before you get started on cutting your mold, make sure you have these things-

  • Quarter round or shoe molding
  • Circular saw, or miter saw
  • Speed square or rafter square
  • Pencil or marker
  • Safety goggles
  • Thick gloves 
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape

Measuring And Marking The Quarter Round For Cutting 

Usually, quarter rounds can be found in eight or sixteen-foot-long pieces. Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the width of your walls and select your appropriate quarter-round pieces. 

Use light marks so that it doesn’t show on the molding. Visible marks ruin the aesthetics and beauty of the wall. 

Place the quarter round against the target wall. With a pencil/marker, mark the places that you’ll be cutting.

Use light marks so that it doesn’t show on the molding. Visible marks ruin the aesthetics and beauty of the wall. 

Determining The Direction And Angle Of the Cut 

Usually, each piece of the quarter round ends at either a joint, a corner, or a door jamb. For this reason, quarter rounds are always cut at an angle, typically at 45 degrees

In order for a flat molding against the wall, you have to Cut two pieces at an angle of 45 degrees in the same direction (meaning both are aimed in the same direction- left or right). These pieces will form a flat line against the wall. 

Typically, corners are formed at 90-degree angles. So you’ll have to cut the pieces at 45 degrees but in the opposite direction, i.e., one from the right and one from the left, in order to fit together.

If the molding for any corners or bends doesn’t equal 90 degrees, measure the angle with a protector and divide the amount by 2. Cut the quarter round according to the results. 

You’ll need to attach a quarter-round return (cut at 45 degrees) if the molding ends in an obstruction.

Cutting The Quarter Round With Circular Saw

Place the speed square flat on the molding at 45 degrees aligning with the markings you made. Using a small hand clamp, position the speed square to a side so that the blade can align with the mark and there’s space to cut through. This space is typically 2-3 inches.

Next, you’ll have to select the thickness of the blade. The depth of the blade must be more than 1/4th of the molding’s depth. Unscrew the nut on the saw guard and set your desired blade. After setting, tighten the nut.


Before powering up your saw, make sure you’re wearing safety glasses and ear muffs. The saw makes loud ringing noises while on, so ensure that your ears are covered properly. 

Holding by the handle, place the saw at the edge of the molding. The guard should be aligned with the 45-degree side of the rafter square. Turn on the power and push it forward smoothly, keeping it tight against the speed square. 

Cut through the molding with one smooth movement following the speed square. Turn the power off after each stroke.


While working on butt joints or dead-end corners, clamp the speed square to the molding so that the square side guides the saw. For a more accurate result, use a crosscut blade for the saw

Baseboard moldings are also cuttable with a circular saw. You’ll just have to tilt the base of the saw at 45 degrees to get a perfect vertical cut. 


1. Can you cut the trim with a circular saw?

Trim is a type of woodwork used to cover the bottom part of a wall for decorative and protective measures. As the trim is similar to a quarter-round, you can cut it with a circular saw. The instructions for cutting trim with a circular saw are the same as that for the quarter round.

2. What is a speed square?

Speed square or rafters square is a versatile carpenters’ tool used to measure angles and make markings. While cutting molds or quarter rounds with a circular saw, it’s essential that you have a speed square.

3. What is the best tool to cut baseboards? 

The best fit to cut baseboards is a miter saw. Using a miter saw for cutting is quick, easy, and precise. Although in the absence of a miter saw, using a  circular saw gets the job done too.

4. What type of saw is needed for trim work?

Miter saws are best for trim work. They make smooth and accurate angled cuts. Electric saws are handier than manual ones. But if your budget doesn’t allow it, go for the manual one.

5. Should I paint the molding before installation?

Painting the molding before installation is a wise decision, as it’s less time-consuming than painting after installation. After installation, you’ll just need to add a few final touches.

6. How thick should the molding be?

Most moldings are 1.5 to 2 inches (5.08 cm) thick and 3-5 inches tall. Using thicker baseboards means more consistent and durable joints, although they may look chunky. The molding should always be wider than the casing. 


Casing and molding walls is an essential step in interior design. Quarter-round moldings give the walls a furnished look and safeguard the base of your walls. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a clear picture of how to cut a quarter round with a circular saw. With our guidance, you’ll be done with the task in no time! Good luck!

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