How to cut wood straight

Mr. HowToSpecialist February 27, 2012 Comments Off
How to cut wood straight
  • Ease
  • Time
  • Cost

This article is about how to cut wood straight. Cutting straight lines in wood is essential for any woodworking project, therefore you have to master these techniques. From our experience we can assert that cutting straight lines in wood is easier if you use power tools, such as a jigsaw or a circular saw, as compared to a hand saw. First of all, the power tools are very affordable nowadays, so it wouldn’t pay off to put a lot of effort by making the cut with a hand saw. In addition, if you use a proper setup, you can make a straight cut in a couple of minutes, with great accuracy. Therefore, we recommend you to pay attention to our guidelines and tips, as to obtain proper cuts.

1.You can use both a jigsaw or a circular saw to cut wood in straight lines, but you will get the most accurate cuts, by using the circular saw. Nevertheless, the jigsaw is very versatile if you use the right cutting techniques.

2.Jigsaws are also a good choice, but you need several tries to get the job done properly, as they have a tendency of wander about. On the other hand, you can cut wood a in straight line by using handsaw, but you need to practice before obtaining a comparable result.

3.If you want a professional result, you need two things: an accurate mark and proper cutting techniques. Work with great care when taking measurements and clamp a straight edge to the wooden board, as to guide your saw. In addition, if you pay attention to the safety considerations, you will get the job done as a professional.


In order to cut wood straight, you need the following:


  • wood boards


  • circular saw / jigsaw
  • C-clamps
  • carpentry pencil, L-square, tape measure


  • make sure the blade is sharp
  • lock firmly the wooden boards into position


  • 15 minutes


How to draw straight lines on wood boards

Wood boards

Wood boards


First of all, you need to buy the wooden boards for your woodworking project.  Therefore, you should choose the ones which best satisfy your needs and tastes. Before making the straight cuts, you have to make sure the wooden planks are in perfect condition (look for chips, cracks or other flaws).


Drawing cut lines on wood

Drawing cut lines on wood


Next, you have to use a carpentry square, a tape measure and a pencil to draw the cut line. For any woodworking project, it is essential to spend time measuring the straight cut line, otherwise the components won’t fit together.

Using a carpentry square will make thinks a lot easier, as the angle of the cut line will be 90º.



How to cut straight lines in wood

Drawing cut line on wood board

Drawing cut line on wood board

Use the tape measurement along the both sides of the wood boards and make tiny marks using the pencil, at the proper length. Afterwards, if you don’t have an L-square, you can use a ruler to join the two marks in a straight line. Nevertheless, this approach doesn’t guarantee you that the cut will be right angled against the plank.

The best technique is to use a carpentry square and to draw the cut line at the appropriate length. Measure again the wood board, as check if you can start making the cut.

Straight line cut setup

Straight line cut setup


In order to cut a perfectly straight line in wood, by using a circular saw or a jigsaw, you have to use a proper setup.

As you can notice in the image, you have to lock another piece of wood to the board with several C-clamps, making sure the blade of the saw would go exactly over the cut line at both ends.


How to cut wood straight with a saw

How to cut wood straight with a saw


Next, lock the whole setup into position, either with several C-clamps or by asking a friend to hold it tightly, while you are cutting the wood.

Cutting the wood board in a straight line is not difficult, if you have properly secured the setup and if the blade of the circular saw / jig saw goes exactly over the straight line.


Tools for making straight cuts

Tools for making straight cuts


After you have cut the wooden piece, you should measure it to make sure it is ready to use in your woodworking project.

Last but not least, you can smoothen the edges of the wood piece by sanding them with a sand block. If you have followed our guidelines, the cut lines should be perfectly straight.


Thank you for reading our article on how to cut wood straight and we recommend you to check out the rest of our projects. Don’t forget to share our articles with your friends, by using the social media widgets.

 Related projects:

 How to make  dowel joint

Jigsaw cutting techniques