10 Tips For Cutting Plywood

Avoid Cross Cutting – Plywood tends to chip the most when cut across its width (grain). Cutting along the length of the wood will help to reduce chipping.

Use the Right Blade – Special blades are manufactured for different cutting jobs. The number of teeth, width, angle, and rake of the blade all impact the cut. Choose a blade that best matches your specific cutting situation.

Circular Saw – cut with the “best face” down.

Table Saw – cut with the “best face” up.

Score the Cut First – Run the plywood through the saw removing only a minimal amount of wood. The next cut will leave a cleaner cut.

Masking Tape – Put masking tape over the cut line to help keep the fibers on the edge from pulling up.

Backing Panel – Attach a backing panel with strong double stick tape. The backer board will take the brunt of the damage.

Use a Router – A router fitted with a straight bit will cut a clean line. A pilot bit and straight edge will help provide a clean line.

Score with a Utility Knife – Score the cut line with a utility knife.

Buy a Panel Scoring Setup – Some saws can be fitted with a plywood panel scoring setup and are ideal if you have to cut a lot of plywood. The setup consists of a smaller blade that scores the surface of the plywood before it reaches the cutter.