How To Make Identical Width Rip Cuts on a Circular Saw

Ripping plywood using the homemade circular saw rip cut jig.
Ripping plywood using the homemade circular saw rip cut jig.

To make identical width rip cuts on a circular saw:

  1. Cut a 1×2 board 3” to 4” longer than the baseplate on your circular saw.
  2. Drill two holes in the baseplate of the saw the proper distance from the blade.
  3. Screw the board to the baseplate of the saw, so that it’s parallel to the blade and the desired distance from the blade for the width stock you want to rip.
  4. Position the board fence against the stock, and hold it firmly in place.
  5. Rip the stock, keeping the fence pushed tightly against the stock.

To make wider rip cuts on a circular saw:

  1. Cut a piece of 1/2″ plywood to the size needed for the base of the jig.
  2. Screw the 1×2 fence board to the plywood base.
  3. Attach the plywood base to the baseplate of the circular saw.
  4. Make the rip cuts, keeping the fence pressed tightly against the stock.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: One problem many homeowners have when using a circular saw, is how to make good, long, straight cuts.

Joe Truini: What homeowners typically do, Danny, is they’ll clamp a board in place and run the saw along the edge of the board. And that works fine, but when you’ve got repetitive cuts, you’ve got to continuously move and clamp the board to get the cut. This is a much easier way.

You take a straight one by two, which is about three or four inches longer than the baseplate of the saw, and simply screw it in place parallel to the blade. Then all you need to do is align the one by two at the edge of the board and make a nice, long, straight cut.

Danny Lipford: OK. Now, what about the wider cuts that so many times you have to make on like plywood or particleboard?

Joe Truini: Right. This system is only good for up to three or four inches. Beyond that what you need to do is get a piece of plywood—this is about half-inch plywood cut 12 inches square—and you simply screw a straight edge guide to the plywood. Then you fasten the plywood to the baseplate, and you make your wider cuts.

Danny Lipford: Of course remember safety. Anytime you’re working on a saw like this, make sure you unplug the saw.


  1. Some very good tips. I have however over the years found that pro’s who have worked with wood for years have better results with the tips
    than does the average home owner, it’s difficult to short cut experience.

  2. Nice tip. This presumes you are starting with a straight edge to begin with. If you have wood that is slightly bowed or damaged on the edge, then the only way to get a new straight-line edge is to clamp a straight edge cutting guide to the work piece.


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