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How To Make Square Cuts With A Hand Saw (Complete Guide)

Working with woods, especially cutting them in required sizes, are not easy. A woodworker is known for his cutting skills, be it with power tools or hand tools. If you are new with a hand saw and learning to develop your skills, then you are in the right place at the right time.

You may ask, why it is a big deal to make square cuts with a hand saw. Well, this cut helps a lot in building structure, furniture junctions and mostly in DIY projects. So you can tell, developing this cutting skill is important especially if you are working with woods. So how will you cut the wood? Here are the steps to follow:

make square cuts with a hand saw step to step

Mark the dimension

Pick the wood and mark the wood dimension with a sharpened pencil. It is better to mark with a measuring tape. But before marking, make sure the wood end is 90 degrees or else your square cut will not be perfect.

Use a carpenter square

The carpenter square helps to give the perfect right-angle markings. Put the square’s handle on the wood and use a pencil to mark along.

Draw to straight down lines

Draw vertical lines on each side of the wood to help you to cut a straight cut.

Hold and cut

Now it is cutting time. Hold the wood strongly and keep the saw blade on the lines. But remember not to cut the marked lines. 

Start on the waste side to make the cut proper or else you will lose your guideline.

Start with a backstroke. 

Pull the saw backward at least three times to have a visible curve on the wood.  Cut one side a little deep and then rotate the wood to the other side. Then start cutting this side by following the guide.

Thus you will get a square cut in no time.

Learn more Band saw vs Table saw.

How To Use A Hand Saw- Hand Saw Guide

How To Use A Hand Saw- Hand Saw Guide

There are types of a hand saw. Though many workers are using power tools to cut woods but with a hand saw, you can conveniently do some precise cuts.

Different saws are designed with different materials for specific uses. You have to pick the right one that will suit your cut but the cutting technique is the same.

Let’s find out the basic technique of cutting woods with a hand saw:

  • Marking and measurement

Getting the right cut with a hand saw is impossible without correct measurement and marking. You can use a tape measure to measure and a pencil to mark before the cut. To connect the points in a straight cutline, you can measure and mark the board’s side by using the hand saw edge.

  • Adjusting the grip and position

To use the saw properly, you have to follow some specific position, like:

You have to hold the saw with three fingers and a thumb. You have to keep your index finger pointing down.

  • Keep the wood at an easy height.

You have to cut the wood in 45 degrees. For forceful cut use a vertical angle and a fine cut in a lower angle.

  • Keep your wrist, shoulder at an aligned angle with the blade.
  • Cutting the wood
  1. When you are starting to cut the wood:
  2. You have to keep the saw teeth on the edge of the board.
  3. Keep the blade steady by using the thumb tip.
  4. Start with slow-motion by drawing the saw to you.
  5. To ensure the cut is smooth, you have to use long and easy strokes.
  • No pressure:

Don’t put extra force while cutting the wood. Because it will lead you to the wrong angle and the saw blade will lose its accuracy.

  • Keep arms and elbow close to the body:

To keep the saw straight and avoid any twisting while cut, you have to keep your elbow very close to your body.

  • Use a guide

It would be best if you kept a guide while cutting the wood. It is better to use a 2×4 guide, especially for a square cut.

How To Use A Hand Saw Safely-Youtube


Be it a hobby or for the profession, knowing to cut wood, especially how to make square cuts with a hand saw, is essential for every woodworker. Those who had a problem with square cuts are now very much clear about the steps. All you have to own is the right hand saw to do the job correctly. If you are new in this cutting world, then develop the cutting skill gradually and do your DIY project. Trust me; you will fall in love if you can do your job properly. So, all the best with your saw and wood.

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Hi! I'm James D. Miller, a professional pro woodworker, have 10 years of experience as a woodworker and 12 years of expertise as a saw user. I've revealed this power saw review site for you guys who have a genuine interest in power tools. Thanks for showing your affinity for the review blog. Find me on Twitter here. Happy reading.

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