How to Saw Plywood Without it Splintering

Cross-cutting plywood can be an exercise in frustration, as it can often splinter if done incorrectly. While specific blades exist specifically for cutting plywood, you may not want to shell out the big bucks for a tool you'll only use once in a while.

You can get a clean cut on plywood.

You can get a clean cut with your regular blade; it just requires a little preparation and plenty precision.

  1. Determine where the board needs to be cut. Measure from the end of the board to the length desired. Place a dot with a piece of chalk. Lay your ruler straight across the wood, marking the cutting line. Do the same on the other side.

  2. Make sure that you have a sharp fine-toothed blade in your saw. A dull blade will produce a jagged edge, so change your blade before you begin. Also, clean the blade before using it. Sawdust on the blade could produce splinters.

  3. Ensure the good face of your plywood is closer to the outside of the blade. So on a table saw, the right side should be facing up, and when using a handheld circular saw, it should be facing down. Position your wood accordingly.

  4. Place a piece of masking tape directly over the line on the bottom of your board.

  5. Keep your saw at a steady speed as you proceed through the cut and maintain the same amount of easy pressure as you go.

  6. Remove the tape and wipe off the chalk.

  7. Tip

    Save the sawdust for using as plant fertilizer or mixing with glue for a crack filler. Try raising the blade if the wood is splintering at the top or lowering it if it's splintering at the top.


    Wear eye protection when sawing.