Cutting plywood is the number one concern among woodworkers and homeowners. It’s easy to cut with a circular saw, but what if you don’t have one? How do you get precise cuts that are straight as well as smooth? I know we all want to avoid using tape measures and yard sticks when possible!

In this article, we’ll walk through 7 different ways you can cut plywood into sizes that work for you. The good news is that many of these methods are simple enough for the average DIYer to pull off – no matter how little experience they have or what tools they own.

1. Mark the cut with a pencil

To cut plywood, first use a pencil to mark the cut. You should always mark your cut with a pencil. The only exception is when you are using a laser cutter or saws that don’t require manual cutting. In this case, it’s best to use an electric saw or laser cutter because they can do the job faster and more accurately than you can with just your hand tools and woodworking skills.

Using a dull or dirty pencil could cause smudges on your wood and create unwanted marks on your project. If this happens, it may not be possible for you to sand off these marks later on during finishing steps like staining or painting. This can happen due to their location in areas such as corners where there won’t be much sanding done anyway so no one will notice them once finished!

This means if any mistakes occur from using an old/dirty/dull blade then you’ll have no choice but throw away entire pieces of plywood instead of just reusing them later down the road!

2. Use a circular saw for long cuts

If you have a long cut to make, the best way to handle it is to use a circular saw. Set up your circular saw correctly: check that the blade is sharp and that it’s aligned correctly with the base of the saw.

Use clamps or standoffs to hold down your material so that you can make sure your cut is straight. Remember also that when cutting plywood with a circular saw, always wear safety glasses!

Don’t forget about safety when using power tools like this one; don’t push too hard or else it will take longer for the blade to finish cutting through (it could even jump out of place).

3. Use a handsaw for small pieces

A handsaw can be used for straight cuts, angled cuts and curved cuts. You can also use a handsaw to make circles.

In order to make the process faster, you need to clamp your piece of plywood or sheet metal firmly on the workbench. Before you start cutting with a handsaw, you should sharpen its blade properly so that it can cut through the material smoothly without any problems.

4. Use a mitre box to make angled cuts

Using a mitre box can help you make perfect angled cuts. The tool is essentially an adjustable box with a guide to keep your piece steady while you see it.

To use the mitre box, first adjust its position so that the cutting blade will be flush against the edge of your board. Next, lock down its position by sliding on one of its guides (for example, if you’re making a 22 ½ degree cut).

Now simply place your board into the box and lower it onto the blade until it hits each side of the groove. Using this technique will give you accurate results every time!

5. Use a jigsaw to make curves and circles

If you want to cut plywood with curves, or even straight lines with curves on them, you’ll need to use the jigsaw. Jigsaws are very useful in this case because they can be used for cutting out the shapes that will go around the edges of your project.

Jigsaws also come in handy when you need to make parts that are circular or oval shaped. If you want to make any part of your project round, then this tool is also going to be helpful for getting things done quickly and easily!

6. Cut plywood with an electric jigsaw

Jigsaws are a popular choice for cutting plywood, as they are capable of making clean cuts and are easy to use. These tools consist of a circular saw blade that spins at high speeds, enabling them to cut through many types of materials.

Some models even come with a dust collection port to help reduce the mess made when you’re cutting your sheet goods. To cut your sheet goods with an electric jigsaw:

  • Use a jigsaw equipped with a blade designed for cutting plywood.
  • Use a variable speed control so that you can maintain better control over how fast the blade spins—and thus how much pressure it applies against your material—as well as being able to make more precise cuts.
  • Use an anti-slip handle that fits comfortably in your hand and lets you apply maximum torque without straining yourself.

7. Clamp two pieces of wood together and use a crosscut saw

For short cuts, you can use a crosscut saw. To cut long boards with a circular saw (or band saw), set the guide on your workpiece to keep it from moving as you cut. Use a jigsaw for curved or irregular shapes, or if you need to make holes in plywood.

For larger pieces where it’s hard to clamp two boards together, use a mitre box to make angled cuts that are safe and accurate.


Now you know how to get MDF cut to size and can do it in no time! Whether you need a long cut or a curve, there’s a tool for the job. If we missed anything, let us know in the comments below!