Know How To Cut A Thick Wood With A Circular Saw Safely

Last Updated On July 3, 2023

A circular saw for any woodworker is a tool to make different cuts but is never the first choice for cutting a thick wood piece. Due to the thick size, it’s pretty difficult for a circular saw to cut the wood efficiently. But what to do when you only have a circular saw?

Measure the wood and adjust the saw accordingly, mark a starting point, and start cutting the wood till it detaches completely.

To help you deal with this issue, we’ll discuss how to cut thick wood with a circular saw in detail. To know more, keep on reading!

How To Cut A Thick Wood With A Circular Saw: Step By Step

There are a few steps that you need to follow on how to cut a thick wood with a circular saw


1 hour or less

Tools And Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Circular saw
  • Speed square/ ruler
  • Pencil
  • Quick grip clamps
  • Sacrificial board
  • Sandpaper/ hand sander

The Procedure

Step 1: Measure Your Wood And Blade

If you want to cut thick wood with a circular saw, first measure the wood and the blade of the saw. The blade length should be enough to help you efficiently cut the thick wood with the circular saw.

For example, A standard blade length should be 7 ¼ inches to cut 2 and a half inches depth of wood.

Step 2: Adjust The Saw

Adjusting the saw for cutting thick wood is crucial. Generally, the thickness of the wood should be less than double the size of the saw.

For example: If the blade size is 3″ inches then the thickness of the wood should be less than 6″ inches. Otherwise, the wood can’t be cut with your circular saw.

Hence, after measuring the wood, you must adjust the saw to match the criterion. If the thickness of the wood exceeds this criterion, there is a high risk for safety.

Step 3: Place The Wood On A Surface

After measuring the wood, place it on a flat surface where you intend to work on the wood and cut it with the circular saw. Use a sacrificial sheet if necessary, even though the thickness of the wood can handle the deep cut by the blade.

You should try to place the wood where you can have a good grip on it. Hence, placing it on the edge of a stand would be a good option.

Step 4: Mark The Cutting Position

Before cutting the thick wood, first, you have to mark the position from which you’ll start the cutting. 

After that, using masking tape, you have to cover all the sides of the wood from one edge. 

Using a speed square and a pencil, mark the place you want to start the cutting. Rotate the wood and continue marking the wood. 

You can also use a ruler instead of a speed square for the measurement. 

Step 5: Start Cutting 

Once you’re done measuring and marking the wood, it’s time to start cutting the thick wood with the circular saw. Before cutting, you need to stabilize the saw by clamping it down.

Set the blade depth to the maximum, mark the offset, and align the saw blade with the mark using the measurement tool, i.e.-  speed square. Use a quick grip clamp to clamp the speed square. 

Place the saw on your marked position and turn it on. When the saw is turned on, it’ll create a small groove with which you must continue until you reach the maximum depth

Once done, flip the wood to a 90-degree angle and again repeat the process until your wood is sawed.

Step 6: Smoothing the cut

After cutting the wood, you need to ensure a smooth finish. Use a sandpaper or a hand sander to smooth the cut.

Tips And Tricks to Cut A Thick Wood With A Circular Saw

Cutting thick wood with a circular saw can be easy but tricky at the same time. By using a few tricks and tips, you can easily make the work done: 

  • Use a hand saw if you fail to cut the thick wood with a circular saw. 
  • Always turn on the saw only after placing it properly on the wood. 
  • Mark the wood in a way that it becomes visible to the naked eye. 
  • Never forget to maintain a distance with the saw when it’s turned on.
  • For a smooth finish, always use masking tape. 
  • Avoid using extra force while cutting the wood, which can lead to damage.


How thick can a circular saw cut?

Generally, the circular saw can cut around 2.5 inches which is the maximum depth. However, adjusting the blade according to your preference can provide a deep cut too.

Can a beginner use a circular saw?

Circular saws are beginner-friendly equipment that is used to make precise cuts with less damage to your product. Even if you want to use it for cutting wood, you can still do that by using a circular saw accordingly.

What should you never use a circular saw for?

Before placing your material on a flat surface, you should never use a circular saw. If it’s wood, for example, place it on the surface and then start cutting instead of holding the wood in one hand.


Since you’ve read so far, you must have got an idea of how to cut thick wood with a circular saw. To use a circular saw,  measure the wood length and adjust the saw accordingly. Once you adjust, place it in your desired position and cut the wood.

You should always remain careful before cutting any wood with a circular saw. If you keep the switch on of the saw, for example, you can seriously damage yourself.

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