How to saw wood

Summary: Learn how to cut wood, how to use a handsaw and how to use a power saw.


  • Clamp the wood on your workbench.
  • Use a carpenter’s square to mark straight cutting lines on both sides of the wood.
  • Score through these lines with a craft knife to guide the saw.
  • Clamp a batten of scrap wood along the cutting line to guide the saw.
  • Grip the saw so that your index finger is in line with the blade.
  • Make shallow strokes first and then progress to deeper cuts at an angle to the surface.
  • Support the section you are cutting off to prevent it from snapping off.
  • To cut down the length of a piece of wood, start sawing the end of the wood and insert a wedge to give access to the saw blade.

Power sawing

Always wear goggles to protect your eyes from splinters of wood. If your saw has a guard, this should also be down. To cut wood using a jigsaw, follow the instructions below. See the tools section for advice on using specialist power saws.

  • Release the clamp on the saw to remove the old blade.
  • Release the clamp on the saw to remove the old blade.
  • Load the new blade according to your instructions.
  • Rest the front edge of the wood with the blade at right angles to the cutting line.
  • Cut slightly to one side of the line – on the waste side.
  • Adjust the speed accordingly.

To cut out a hole in the middle of a section of wood:

  • Mark out the circle.
  • Drill a hole just inside the circle.
  • Fit the blade into the hole and cut around the circle.