How to Rip Narrow Boards with a Circular Saw?

circular saw rip narrow boards

Do you wish to rip narrows boards into smaller pieces and you only have a circular saw?

Are you worried about how you can use a circular saw to rip narrow boards? Well, you have found the right article.

A circular saw, when properly used, can cut narrow boards effectively just as neatly as a table saw.

Read more: How to Use a Circular Saw Without a Table?

In this guide, I will be explaining, step by step, how you can do that, regardless of your experience.

So, read on and enjoy this simple guide.

What You Need for this Task

Take Appropriate Safety Measures

It is essential that you implement appropriate safety measures before using any tool or equipment, or engaging in the use of any machinery.

Some of the recommended safety measures you should take include:

Doing so will protect you, those around you, the machine, and the environment.

Be sure you are conversant with how to operate the saw. If this is your first time of using a saw, take some time to read through the user manual. Pay attention to safety and cautionary measures.

Inspect the saw and ensure that it is in good condition. Make sure there are no loose or shaky parts and that no part of the electric cable (if you are using a corded saw) is worn or exposed.

Wear appropriate protection gear at all times when using the saw, like face shields, hand gloves, safety glasses, ear muffs, nose masks, and footwear. Even for quick and small jobs, ensure that you are adequately protected.

Corded circular saws generally come with long electrical cords to enable its use over some distance. Ensure that the cable is not in and does not creep into your work path while using the saw.

Children should not be allowed into your workspace.  If some adults have to be around you, ensure that they also take the appropriate safety measures.

Splinters, chunks of wood, or loose equipment parts have been known to fly out and injure nearby observers.

Items You Might Need:

  • Circular Saw
  • Sharp circular blade
  • Measuring tape or angle
  • Wood pencil or marker
  • Clamps or 8d nails
  • Work table, sawhorses, or foam boards (as appropriate)
  • Saw track

How to Rip Narrow Boards?

I am going to assume that you are already familiar with how to use a circular saw, and have used it before on other projects.

If not, please take some time to read through the operating or user manual, paying particular attention to the warnings and cautions therein.

Follow the safety recommendations, as stated above.

You should place the narrow board on a surface or support. You may use strips of wood pieces, a work table, one or more sawhorses, or foam boards.

Check that you saw is in working order. Perform some sample cuts also to check that the cutting blade is sharp enough.

Measure, rule, and mark your cut lines on the board with a wood pencil. You should also predetermine the sequence by which you would make your cuts.

It is not safe nor appropriate to be considering which cut to make next once you begin cutting.

Saw edges help you make accurate, straight and repeatable cuts. You may have a manufactured saw edge, or you may fix a make-shift one for your project.

If your circular saw comes with or you purchased a saw edge, attach it to the saw. On the other hand, you can create one by nailing a scrap piece of wood along your cutting line.

You can remove the scrap piece after cutting off your bits.

how to rip narrow boards with circular saw

Place your marked board and your workbench, table, foam board, or sawhorse as appropriate. It is essential that you prevent the board from moving or sliding while cutting.

This you can do by clamping the wood to your worktable or sawhorse or using an 8d nail to nail the board to the table or sawhorse. You are now ready to start ripping your board.

Place the circular blade on your first cut line and pull the trigger switch slowly but firmly. Smoothly slide the saw along your cut line until you cut through. Allow the cut piece to drop off naturally.

Repeat Step 8 for each of your cut markings. Disconnect the circular saw from power once you are through and put in a safe place. Clear out all wood dust and scrap pieces.

Read more: How To Cut An Angle With A Circular Saw?


So, there you have it. Ripping narrow boards with a circular saw made clear and straightforward. I hope you have heaved a big sigh of relief and you are happy with the project you have just completed successfully.If you have any questions as you went through this guide or some great ideas on how to improve it, kindly let me know. If, on the other hand, you have found it useful to you, be sure to share it with others.

Read more: How Deep Can You Cut With A Circular Saw?

Further Reading:

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