How To Rip Narrow Boards With A Circular Saw? 7 Steps

How To Rip Narrow Boards With A Circular Saw

You may be familiar with splitting a wide piece of wood with a circular saw. But when it comes to a narrower width, for example, a ¾ inch board, you get confused.

Fortunately, the whole process is not as complicated as you thought. Down below, we will provide you with all the materials and steps needed, so you’ll know how to rip narrow boards with a circular saw easily.

The Downside Of Using A Circular Saw To Rip Narrow Boards

What matters here is when the board is too thin, we need to keep it fixed by some clamps or something similar. That means, while working, you’ll need to take the saw out of the wood to remove any clamp before continuing the process.

The fact that you have to re-put your saw to a narrow board often makes the process difficult.

So, let’s change the game by doing it backward. Here, we will fix the saw and slide the board through.

How To Rip Narrow Boards With A Circular Saw?

Before jumping into the detailed guide, let’s take a quick review of what you are going to do:

  • Prepare two platforms for the saw and the wood.
  • Attach the circular saw to its platform.
  • Adjust the saw, ensuring that its blade is at the proper position.
  • Draw the cut line and start splitting.

a. Things to prepare:

  • A circular saw
  • Narrow boards
  • A platform to attach the circular saw
  • Two clamps to attach the saw on the platform
  • A surface to slide the workpieces on while cutting
  • Protective gear: eyeglasses; ear muffs; nose masks; footwear; respirator (optional);

b. Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Safety preparation

The first thing to do before engaging any machine is to make sure you implement proper safety measures. If you haven’t been familiar with using a circular saw, go to the user manual for all the safety and caution notices.

Then, don’t forget to put on your protection materials before ripping. It’ll be great if you have all of them, or at least the nose masks and eyeglasses.

Doing this step not only protects you but people around you, as well.

  1. Choose all platforms and create cut lines

  • The workpiece’s platform: Here, you would need a wider surface than the wood you’re going to rip. Typically, it is a work table, wood piece, sawhorse, or foam board.
  • The circular saw’s platform: A stable platform will support you in keeping the circular saw during the cut. The ideal surface is a straight slab of wood, which must be higher than the board.

All the platforms are ready. Now, you will draw your cut lines on the workpieces with a wood pencil. Try to make them as straight and exact as possible to follow later.

  1. Attach the circular saw

The next step is to clamp the circular saw to the platform you’ve got. To make sure the saw achieves balance during ripping, you should attach two points on the sole.

Then, if the clamps don’t fit with the sole, consider putting some bits of wood in between so that the saw is held tightly.

  1. Adjust the circular saw to the width

Since a huge blade may be hard to deal with your narrow boards, you’d better check and make some adjustments if the edge is unfit.

Slowly take a sacrificial piece of wood into the blade for a reference cut and measure the thickness. If it’s not good, move the front of the saw correspondingly until you’re satisfied with the width, or change to a thinner blade.

  1. Align for the height

This step ensures the circular saw is at the right height to sufficiently rip the narrow board.

Put the attached saw on the workpiece’s platform; let’s assume that you picked a table. Now you drop the blade down, place a piece of paper on the table and start sliding this paper under the saw.

If the paper is split up sufficiently, your circular saw is at the correct position; otherwise, you’ll need to change its height by adjusting its platform.

  1. Adjust of parallel

Once the blade is not parallel to the side of its platform, it’ll be hard for you to keep it going on the right path. In addition, the strain may affect your saw, resulting in ruining your board, making the saw’s shaft out of alignment, and warping the blade.

Again, take a reference wood and slightly cut one side. Turning the wood over and repeating this step, we now have a piece of wood with two cuts.

The last work is to check if the two reference cuts are parallel; otherwise, align your circular saw position.

  1. Rip your narrow board with the circular saw

You’ve done all the preparation! Finally, it’s time to start cutting your stuff.

Turn on your circular saw and gently feed the board through the blade. Do it slowly to ensure that everything is on the right path.

Finish the job with your narrow boards well split up by the circular saw!

Tips For Safety And Performance

  1. Always put on your eye protector to avoid dust and splinters generating from the cut.
  2. To change the blade of your circular saw, make sure you turn off and disconnect the saw completely.
  3. Don’t wear loose clothes while working since they can fall into the saw and cause injury.
  4. Ensure that your saw’s blade is sharp enough; otherwise, it will create ugly cuts and increase the saw’s efficiency.
  5. Well done all the alignment steps, since they decide the best performance of your cutting.


Above is our entire guide and process of how to rip narrow boards with a circular saw accurately. As long as you follow these steps carefully, this task will be possible as most other rip cuts.

We hope our information will help you perform the work confidently and appropriately. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below for further information or share your result with us. We would love to hear from you.

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