Tips for a Better Rip Cut

Make accurate rip cuts safely every time

Making consistent, accurate and safe rip cuts is easy—if you know what you’re doing. Whether you’re using a table saw or a circular saw, use these ten tips for ripping and you won’t be able to tell the factory edge from the edge you just cut.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Use an 8d nail as a third hand

Back to Top

Build a custom push block

Back to Top

Check the fence alignment

Back to Top

Make narrow rips safely

Figure A: Push Sled

For best results, build this push base and push sled out of 3/4-in. cabinet-grade plywood.

Using a push base and push sled to make narrow rip cuts.
Back to Top

Straighten a crooked edge

Back to Top

Mount a featherboard for accurate rip cuts

Back to Top

Make table saw-quality rip cuts with a circular saw

Back to Top

Support long boards

Back to Top

To rip large sheets, you need well-trained help

Back to Top

Use a half fence for unruly boards

Back to Top

Additional Information

Back to Top

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Hammer
  • Clamps
  • Circular saw
  • Featherboard
  • Out feed support
  • Push stick
  • Drill/driver, cordless
  • Extension cord
  • Hearing protection
  • Straightedge
  • Safety glasses
  • Table saw

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • 8d nail
  • Drywall screws
  • I/2-plywood
  • 3/4-plywood (cabinet grade)
  • 2 x 4