How to Rip Narrow Boards With a Circular Saw (4 Key Parts)

| Last Updated: April 1, 2021

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When you start working with circular saws, there will be cuts that come up quite a lot but none more than your standard ripping cuts.

In the article below, we’ll show you what you’ll need to rip a narrow board using a circular saw. 

Ripping Narrow Boards With a Circular Saw

There are particular tools and techniques that will help you successfully rip a narrow board.   

You’ll Firstly Need A Rip Cut Blade

If you want to rip wood, it’s wise to use the best blade for the job. The rip-cut blade is designed to cut with the grain and requires fewer teeth than a crosscut blade. The blade will have between 18 and 40 teeth with large gullets between them for aggressive material removal. 

They have fewer teeth as there’s less chance of chipping the wood as you’re cutting with the grain rather than against it. The material of the blade is also important; the most popular for soft and hardwood would be tungsten carbide. 

Use Clamps For Added Stability

If you’re ripping a board, you’ll want to ensure that the wood doesn’t pinch the blade resulting in kickback. Using between two and four clamps to hold the piece down will be more than enough to protect you from kickback.

The clamps also ensure that you don’t need to hold the wood and that both of your hands can be used to control the circular saw. 

Get A Uniformed Cut Using An Edge Guard

An edge guard is an impressive tool that provides the user with a uniform cut. The tool attaches to your circular saw; you can adjust the point from which it’ll begin the cut. 

Once you begin cutting at the desired length, this can then be replicated to create similar cuts. The last thing you want is uneven cuts. 

Another option for a straight cut could be to use a laser guide, they beam a red line across the wood so that you follow the straight line, a decent alternative if you can’t get an edge guard. You could also mark the wood with a pen but that’ll be time consuming to repeatedly measure and mark the wood. 

Saw Horses Provide A Great Surface For Ripping

Saw horses are great for when you’re using a circular saw. The first thing you want to do in order to protect your saw horses is to put disused wood on top of both sides to protect the wood underneath from being cut. 

The horses provide stability for the wood and a way for the saw to cut without ruining a full workbench. It’s advised to ensure the blade cuts through the workpiece and no more; the blade depth can easily be adjusted at the side. 


Ripping a workpiece is quite possibly the easiest cut to make as it’s the least risky and problematic. It also requires very little preparation. The information above is the key to completing a rip cut successfully and safely