How to Cut a Wood Circle With a Circular Saw

A circular or buzz saw is a handheld tool with a toothed, round, metal plate that is used for cutting materials such as wood or acrylic sheets.

Finish the wood circle by sanding the edges.Finish the wood circle by sanding the edges.
As with any power tool, it is important to be completely familiar with all aspects of your saw and how to use it safely. Read the circular saw's owner's manual before operating the saw. Skill is needed to cut circles, but with practice, patience and the correct tools, you will be able to learn how to cut perfect wood circles.

Draw your circle shape on the back of the piece of wood you are sawing. Make the circle the exact size you want the finished product to be.

Check the circular saw's blade before starting; make sure it is clean with no sawdust or debris on it.

Measure the thickness of the wood you are cutting. Set the saw blade for 1/16 inch deeper than the thickness of the wood you are using for your circle. Turn the knob on the side of the saw to set the blade.

Put on the safety gloves and goggles and plug the saw into a working electrical outlet near the work area.

Turn the saw on, holding the blade away from you, and choose a spot on the outside of the circle. Hold the saw over that spot and gently lower the saw onto it, gliding the blade along the drawn circle. It's not optimal to start cutting a straight line from the edge of the wood until you get to the border of the circle. If you do this, you will be cutting the remaining wood to get to the circle and the remaining pieces might not be big enough to use again for future projects.

Continue all the way around, keeping yourself behind the saw and your hand leading the blade around. Only move the saw during the cutting; the wood should remain stationary. Continue cutting until the circle is completely cut out. Lift the saw up from the wood, shut it off and unplug it.

Do not put the saw away until you have removed sawdust and other debris from the blade. Always apply a few drops of oil to the blade to keep it lubricated and functioning properly. Finish the circle by sanding the edges with sandpaper.

Things You Will Need

  • Circular saw
  • Wood
  • Marker
  • Tape measure
  • Safety gloves and goggles
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • Metal lubricant

Tips

  • Keep leftover pieces of wood to use for practice.
  • A circular saw can be handheld or attached to a table. The instructions are similar for both types.

Warning

  • Follow all safety procedures in the owner's manual when using any power tool.

About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.