How to saw plywood without a jigsaw

How to cut thin plywood

Plywood is a handy material for many applications. In the construction industry it is used for making formwork, rough flooring, underlaying ceilings, construction of partitions, roofing. But rough construction work is not the only area of application of plywood. Plywood is used for making furniture. It is not only used to make the backs of cabinets or inner drawers.

Plywood is an excellent material for making stylish furniture and interior fittings. But, if for the formwork to saw plywood can be any cutting tools, then to produce furniture parts must be with a certain accuracy and without splintering. On how to properly saw plywood, and what tool is better to use. an electric jigsaw, or a circular cutting machine. read in this article.

What is a jigsaw for?

Most often an electric jigsaw is used for woodwork. This tool is widely used in furniture production, where it is used to make elements and parts of different shapes.

plywood, jigsaw

If when working with an electric jigsaw choose the right consumable and sawing mode, it is possible to

plywood, jigsaw
  • to make straight and curved cuts;
  • Saw circles without damaging the sheet;
  • cutting thin metal;
  • make products from wood with thickness up to 10 cm (the model of jigsaw Dnipro-M LE-110P cuts bars up to 11 cm);
  • cut plastic;
  • Sawing ceramic and porcelain tile.

Whether the power tool will be able to work with a particular material will depend on the power and type of tool (domestic, semi-professional, professional). Not all electric jigsaws have additional features, such as tilt cutting or the ability to connect additional elements and tools. To choose the right tool, read the article “How to choose an electric jigsaw”.

It is also necessary to choose the right saw blades. The pitch of the teeth, their length and material are taken into account.

What you need for cutting

First of all, let’s consider what tools are needed for this. It should be said right away that expensive equipment for cutting from plywood is not required. Therefore, everyone can do this kind of work.

The only thing, it is necessary to prepare the following tool:

In addition, you will need a variety of consumables, such as:

In addition, it is necessary to prepare the workplace. Since working with any wood materials involves the presence of sawdust and unnecessary scraps, it is desirable to equip the workplace not in a living space, but, for example, in the garage.

The workplace itself is a table. It is desirable to attach a stand for the jigsaw, which can be made from a board. You also need good local lighting at your workplace.

Jigsaw blades

If you have worked with jigsaws before you know that you can damage the top layer of material if you use the wrong jigsaw, especially when it comes to laminated material. Plywood is a layered material. a veneer of wood glued together.

In this section we will look at how saw blades influence the quality of the cut and what they are basically.

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Jigsaws are available with different size and shape of teeth, length of the jigsaw blade, according to the material for which they are designed, the direction of the tooth, the material from which the jigsaw blade is made and for what task it was designed. For example a blade with a large tooth is good for cutting wood at a high cutting rate for a rough cut. And blades with a shorter tooth make a smoother cut. Thin (narrow) saws make it possible to cut radiuses and other irregular shapes, while wide ones help to keep a straight cut.

The letters “A, B, C, D” designate the size of the teeth, “A” indicates that the saw has the smallest teeth.

The numbers tell you the length of the saw 1, 2, 3, 7, the length of the blade, the longer the saw, the thicker the material it can cut.

For example, the marking of Bosch brand saws looks like this:

In addition saws also have different cutting edge geometries.

An engineer’s personal experience with jigsaw blades:

In production there are tasks both for smooth sawing when working with finished portraits, and the need to dissolve a large sheet of plywood, when speed is required and quality is not so important. The bulk of saw blades are designed for speed, not cut quality. And even saws with a medium tooth will scuff the surface of the material, t.е. Spoil the top layer of plywood. Not as much as with saws with bigger teeth. So the engineer adapted himself to use saws for metal with a fine tooth up to 1 mm for a smooth cut of plywood. When working with such a saw badly suffers speed and these saws are strongly heated. But when you need to do demanding sawing work, the time is justified. The engineer uses such saws when it is necessary to work with an already scorched portrait.

Why chips happen when sawing with a circular saw?

Let me repeat that plywood is simply glued multilayer veneer. layers of veneer in different layers are directed alternately: a layer with one direction of fibers, a layer with perpendicular direction of fibers. If you saw plywood along the direction of the fibers, then you are unlikely to have problems. But if you saw across, the top layer of veneer gets chipped. the blade rotates so that the teeth move from bottom to top, and they just scrape the top layer of veneer.

When You Only Have a Jigsaw to Make a Straight Cut

As you can see. The length of the chips is up to 2 cm. Sometimes even longer.

In the case of the circular saw, this is because there is a gap of a couple of centimeters between the disk and the sole (platform) of the circular saw. It is because there is nothing on top that presses the plywood layer and these chips occur. Thinner discs (e.g. for laminate) did not work for me either. the result is exactly the same.

plywood, jigsaw

Particulars of making a cut with each tool

If you decided what to cut plywood with, then before you start you should read the cutting technique and the recommendations.

How to work with a hand-held tool

Plywood and metal saws are good for working with plywood. If you are sawing with a hand-held tool, do the following

  • On the cutting line make a small notch, placing the saw on the material and pulling it slightly, creating a groove.
  • Tilt the saw until an angle of 30 to 40 degrees with the plywood sheet.
  • Make smooth movements with the saw.
  • Hold the part you are sawing off with your hand to prevent it from kinking.
  • To finish the saw, turn the sheet to a vertical position and make a few movements perpendicular to the sheet.
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How to work with a circular saw

Working with a circular saw is easier than with a hand-held tool, but harder than with an electric jigsaw. And to make the cut with a straight edge, you must follow the rules:

  • Put the sheet to be sawed on a firm, stable support and make a kerf in the middle.
  • Adjust cutting thickness. To do this, put the saw in the slot and start cutting. The blade must protrude 5 mm below the blade.
  • Do not lean on the back of the saw, it may cause an injury due to the high kickback tendency. Always stay to the side.
  • To make the cut, set the saw on the saw trimmer’s line, first bending back the guard.
  • Once installed, you can turn the saw on by slowly plunging it into the sheet of plywood. Hold the tool firmly.
  • Do not remove the saw until the saw has been switched off and come to a complete halt.

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How to cut with the jigsaw

An electric jigsaw is better suited than other tools for cutting plywood. It’s quick and easy to work with and safer than a circular saw. Always cut properly:

  • Clamp the plywood sheet tightly.
  • Cut the material perpendicular to the fibers to obtain a straight cut.
  • Do not apply pressure to the jigsaw when cutting. This will not increase cutting speed, but it will break the tool quickly.
  • For heavy-duty wood, always lubricate the jigsaw teeth with oil.
  • Do not use the jigsaw for a long period of time. this will cause a breakdown.

The jigsaw makes it easy to cut straight-edged shapes out of plywood.

How to Properly Work with an Engraver

To make your work with the jigsaw more comfortable and efficient you need to follow certain rules.

The work surface, which is performed engraving drills, should be well lit, so it must be equipped with a powerful lamp, allowing easy to consider in great detail all the work items. If the paper template is used for engraving, you will need masking tape, with which the template is fixed on the work surface. Sometimes a sketch of a pattern or inscription to be engraved is drawn on the workpiece with an ordinary felt-tip pen or pencil. The surface should be degreased with alcohol.

All tools for engraving conveniently stored in a case if there is no space for arrangement of a full-fledged workshop

To perform engraving different tools are used, which are installed in the engraver. Each of them performs certain functions. For example, a tool with a working part in the form of a cone is needed for drawing the contour of the drawing, and a cylindrical bur is needed for making small strokes. Before you begin, all tools should be laid out on a work table in the sequence in which they will be used.

The hand, in which the working nozzle of the engraver is held, should slip freely on the surface to be processed, for this purpose it is recommended to wear a cloth glove. It also prevents handprints from leaving marks on the degreased surface of the workpiece. In case you do not have experience in engraving, it is better to work at minimum speed. This will cut a smooth pattern consisting of strokes of equal depth, without damaging the workpiece.

Engraving inscriptions with a stencil

All methods of engraving assume that the first performed contour figure, and only then the appropriate tool “traced” its details. The drawing made should be processed by a felt roller, which will give it a more accurate appearance and remove from the machined surface all burrs left by the tool.

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If the engraver or drilling machine that you use has no forced ventilation system, then after 10-15 minutes of operation the equipment should be turned off and let it cool down naturally.

How to saw plywood without chipping? | Merani Articles


To make the cut Laminated chipboard with a hacksaw it is necessary to put a lot of effort.

  • Initially, the laminate on the board along the cutting line should be cut with a stationery knife and tape the line for the trimmer.
  • Then put the hacksaw at an acute angle of 30 degrees. You should also use a tool with the smallest teeth.

When finished, the trimmer saw blade should be trimmed with a fine sandpaper, and then a flexible C-shaped profile should be applied to the end.

Tip For cross-cutting wood blades with a straight tooth are good, but saw blades with a bevel are better suited for making longitudinal cuts. If you want to be more specific, feel free to contact me!

How to cut plywood without chipping?

And finally, let’s try to answer briefly the question: “How to cut plywood without chipping with a jigsaw?”

Here are some fairly simple tips to help you get a smooth and even cut:

  • It is not recommended to saw plywood on uneven surfaces or by weight without strong support of the plywood sheet. to avoid slippage and shifts both up and down as well as sideways. Ideally use a bench or bench-mounted jigsaw table. If you do not have such a possibility, then think about options for positioning and securing sheets of plywood with a few clamps or other improvised means. Otherwise you are practically guaranteed a deflected cut and increased probability of saw blade breakage.
  • If your jigsaw has a runout mode, we recommend turning it off. The cutting blade should run smoothly without jerking.
  • Try to keep the cutting blade at right angles to the plane of the plywood sheet throughout the cut.
  • Do not push the jigsaw to speed up the process of cutting plywood. a high-speed tool at a low feed rate of the cutting edge, and so will perfectly cope with the work. And excessive pressure can lead to breakage of the saw blade and the appearance of unwanted splinters or other violations of the appearance of the cut.
  • If you cut laminated veneer plywood, you can use the construction blade to go around the planned line of the future cut on the front side of the plywood. This also helps to prevent unnecessary breakage of the laminate when sawing.
  • To avoid chips when sawing non-laminated plywood some masters suggest to pre-treat the place of the future cut (along its entire length) with PVA glue. Or protect the cutting trimmer line with duct tape or masking tape. (When using PVA glue, you should only start sawing after it has dried completely).

Expert’s tip:

If you need to saw a sufficiently large amount of plywood, or if you want to simplify your life, you can always turn to professionals. For example, our specialists will help you produce saws according to your dimensions on professional equipment. quickly and without hassle.

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