DIY Dictionary: Ripping a Board

Updated: Feb. 22, 2023

ripping a board definition

ripping a boardFamily Handyman

What Does “Ripping a Board” Mean?

Ripping a board is the term used to describe cutting a board lengthwise or parallel to the grain. (Cutting perpendicular to the grain is referred to as cross cutting.) If you need a 1-3/4-inch-wide board, you might “rip” a 1×6 lengthwise to the needed dimension. Ripping can be accomplished using a table saw, circular saw or even a handsawLearn how to safely rip boards on a table saw.

One thing to be aware of when ripping, is the possibility of kickback. On long cuts, the resultant kerf (aka saw cut) can close up and pinch the blade, violently propelling the saw or board toward or away from you. You can usually hear the blade starting to whine or bog down just before this happens, so pay attention with not only your eyes, but also your ears. And stay clear of the projected kickback path of the board while you work.

Check out this video: How to safely rip boards on a table saw.