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How to Rip Composite Decking

Elizabeth Arnold

Ripping a composite board, which is a plastic material made to resemble wood, with a circular saw can be a daunting chore if you are not equipped with the right tools. A ripping fence can be used with a circular saw to make it an easy task. The ripping fence is constructed of metal and slides into the slot built into the saw table. Composite boards are used to make composite decking, which is more durable, longer-lasting and requires less maintenance than real wood decks.

  1. Place the composite board onto a sturdy cutting surface.

  2. Place C-clamps, or tack nails if clamps are not available, at each end of the composite board to securely attach it to the cutting surface so that it does not move during the ripping process.

  3. Snap a line across the length of the board where the rip needs to be made. Cut straight along rip line with the circular saw until the blade buries into the material.

  4. Adjust the ripping fence while the saw blade is still in the material being cut, so that it sits against the composite board. Tighten the wing nut so the ripping fence will not come loose during cutting.

  5. Rip the composite board with the saw using both hands to keep the ripping fence against the edge of the board.