Whether you’re drilling holes in a flower pot or dabbling in carpentry, finding the exact center of a circle can be a challenge. Here’s an easy solution for finding the center of a circle that will work with any project or material.

How to Find the Center

Remember high-school geometry? Yeah, me neither. But whether you know it or not, you’ll be using geometry for this simple task, specifically Thales’ Theorem and the idea that right angles always cut a circle through its diameter.

To find the center of a circle, all you need is a 90-degree angle and a straight edge. A framer’s square has both, but you can improvise with a piece of cardboard, paper, or whatever you have on hand, as long as the corners are 90 degrees.

Step 1

right angle on edge

Lay the square on top of the circle, with the right angle touching the edge. Don’t worry about positioning – the beauty of the theory is that it doesn’t matter.

Step 2

mark edges

Mark the circle where the sides of the square cross the edge of the circle.

Step 3

draw line straight edge

Using a straight edge (one side of the square works great), draw a line connecting the two marks.

Step 4

reposition square

Reposition the square so the right angle touches the edge in another spot, and repeat steps 1-3.

Step 5

x center

Now you have an “X” marking the center of your circle. Pretty easy, huh?

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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