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How do you ensure saw cuts don't splinter?

CircularSaw.jpgTo keep the edge from risk of shattering, I use a straight edge and sharp knife to carefully cut along the line before using a power saw. That way the edge is already cut clean before any saw blade teeth get near to it. I do that with any cut where I want a clean edge. - TedBear


The best tips I can offer you are to cover the area you are cutting through with tape on the top and bottom of the timber. This helps prevent the timber fibres from blowing out.


You also need to set your saw blade depth to only fractionally deeper than the thickness of the timber. This ensures that more than a couple of teeth are cutting the timber at any one time. If the blade is set too deep, fibres are splintered and pushed out the face of the board. I've created a rendering below for you to illustrate it better. - MitchellMc



Amassing an Audience

Hi @MitchellMc,

I've always found using a 60 tooth saw blade on my circular saw really helps with this, the more teeth you have, the shorter the rotational distance between them and also the smaller the individual teeth are.

The rule of thumb that I was always shown about the blade protrusion below the work-piece should be about 6mm/1/4".

One other thing I've struck with "tear-out" of the edge, especially with plywood, is this increases if you try and make the cut too fast (ie put the blade under too much load), this is also very dangerous as it can cause the blade to bind in the kerf and cause the saw to "kick-back", which is not what you want at all!

If you take things gently you will hear the saw motor slow down slightly from full speed when you start the cut, it should not slow down any more than that.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Many thanks for sharing your experience @MikeTNZ. Very much appreciated.




Just Starting Out

Cutting through a strip of masking tape signiificantly reducesupward splintering, clamping a scrap piece of wood across the end of the cutting line reduces or eliminattes end splintering. Both are verry worthwhile ideas.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @Ern


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you for joining the discussion.


Using masking tape is a lifesaver, especially if you don't have the budget for those special blades with a high tooth count. So if you're doing a few cuts that need to be perfect, these techniques recommended are really handy. Are you currently building a D.I.Y. project? Any updates you can provide would be much appreciated.




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