Tip for Cutting Molding Cleanly with a Handsaw

Cutting molding clamped to scrap board with handsaw.
Cutting molding clamped to scrap board with handsaw.

To cut molding cleanly with a handsaw:

  1. Clamp a scrap 2”x 6” to sawhorses.
  2. Clamp the molding to the 2”x 6”.
  3. Cut through the molding and into the 2”x 6” with a handsaw.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Probably the best way to cut trim is using a motorized miter saw, but most homeowners won’t have a saw like that. But Joe can show you how to use a handsaw and be just as successful.

Joe Truini: The problem is when you’re using a handsaw to trim only a half-inch or so from the end of the piece of molding, the blade will flex and pop off the waste pieces, leaving a ragged, jagged cut.

The trick is to clamp a scrap two by six to a pair of sawhorses, and then take your molding and clamp it in place. The idea is that the two by six will provide support for the molding. So as the blade’s going through, the scrap piece—the waste piece—will be supported.

Use long, straight, smooth strokes; cutting all the way through the molding and partially into the two by six scrap. The result is a nice, clean cut with no splintering.

Danny Lipford: Now you can also use this technique for cutting floor boards or lattice molding, or almost any kind of small piece of wood.


  1. I’m just a homeowner who has learned a few things on my own. I like to use a hacksaw when cutting thinner mouldings because the teeth are finer and I have more control.

  2. I find it interesting that in the background of this video you have a back saw for a hand miter box. I have my fathers Stanley miter box circa 1950, with a sharp back saw. He used this miter box as a finish carpenter for more than 20 years. An inexpensive alternative would be a Japanese pull saw both the pull saw and back saw have zero set teeth which is critical for accurate cuts and an easily built wooden miter box would be a better alternative to the 2×6 scrap.


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