What to Cut Thin Plywood

Plywood is a convenient material in many cases. In construction it is used for the manufacture of shuttering, the device rough floors, hem ceilings, the construction of walls, roofing. But rough construction work is not the only application of plywood. Plywood is used for furniture. It is not just used to make cupboard backs or interior drawers.

Plywood is an excellent material for making stylish furniture and interior details. But, if for the formwork to saw plywood can be any cutting tool, then to make furniture parts must be made with a certain accuracy and without splinters. Read about how to saw plywood properly, and what tool is better to use. an electric jigsaw, or a circular cutting machine. in this article.

Causes of splinters

Chips often appear, because the jigsaw blade is not suitable for these tasks. If you take a saw blade with teeth pointing upwards, it strips the top layer of veneer. This happens because there is a space between the jigsaw blade and the saw. The breaking of the top veneer, occurs precisely in this place.

What to do to get rid of chips:

  • Turn off the pendulum stroke on the jigsaw
  • Use a good quality saw
  • Always saw plywood from the rough side
  • Buy a splinterguard (or make one yourself)
  • In addition, choose a convenient way out of the “clean cut” experiment

Consider all points in detail in this article.

How and what to saw plywood without chipping

Anyone who is going to create a piece of interior design out of plywood, such as a stool, carved casket, cabinet, or rocking chair, wonders what to consider when working to make the product durable and attractive? Also, many people are interested in what to saw plywood with (jigsaw or saw).

Sawing sheet material should be done on a solid platform, so the cuts are not too wobbly

To answer the question, what is better to saw plywood and how to do it correctly, it is necessary before the work to get acquainted with all the nuances, subtleties that should be considered in the process to achieve a positive result.

How to choose a tool for sawing a plywood sheet?

To answer the question of what to saw plywood without chipping, it is necessary to know what tool and in what cases it is more appropriate to use.

The choice of tool for sawing depends on the complexity of the pattern, or rather on the radius of the bend that needs to be cut.

If the radius of the bend is no more than one centimeter, then the hand jigsaw is used. If the width of the material is about a millimeter, then you can create many complex shapes.


With the help of a drill, you can make a round hole much faster.

If the radius of the bend is more than three centimeters, then an electric jigsaw is used. What saw to saw plywood? First of all, it should be noted that the width of the material depends on the radius, so the smaller the teeth of the saw, the more intact the veneer layer will be. For this reason, in order to saw complex shapes, a metal blade is used.

The sketch should be drawn on the back side of the plywood. This prevents the chips from lifting (if they do, they will only lift from the back side).

If you have to saw in a straight line, the circular saw is the best choice. With such a tool it is possible to achieve a smooth and clean cut.

Initial sawing


To get a straight cut, it is necessary to make sure that the tool is not on weight. Otherwise distortion is inevitable. If a hand saw is used, the load of the tool should be on the surface of the sheet.

Edge trimming

In order to obtain chipped edges it is necessary to choose the right tool

  • Needle files are used for complex shapes. They can be used to round or fillet edges. A set includes a triangular file, a flat file and a circular file.
  • For rough products, it is quite possible to get by with two files, a flat and a round one.
  • When it is necessary to treat plywood sheets before roughing walls, a flat rasp is used. Use it to help the craftsman clean up the edge of the chip.


In the process of sanding it is necessary to follow the direction of the fibers. Do not let the file move perpendicularly to them.

  • Small parts can be sanded with sandpaper.
  • Another way to achieve even edges is to glue the “track” of the kerf with insulating tape when sawing.

Protecting the edges against chips with insulating tape

What material to choose?

  • To create decorative elements, a plywood sheet about four millimeters thick is suitable.
  • To decorate interior items with carved veneer, a plywood sheet with a thickness of eight millimeters is suitable.
  • Sheet of six millimeters thickness is suitable for the manufacture of frame parts of the interior. But if you are going to make frameless furniture, then choose a sheet with a thickness of at least fifteen millimeters. Connecting pieces of plywood may well be butted, without corners, but in that case you must make holes in the end part. For additional strength, you can apply sealant to the ends.
  • Plywood sheet that is more than ten centimeters thick is mainly used as a flooring on a concrete screed. In this case, between the concrete base and plywood put a layer of waterproofing. How to saw 10 mm plywood? For sawing plywood sheet with such a thickness, it is best to use an electric jigsaw. However, if you need to saw in a straight line, you can also do with a jigsaw.
plywood, jigsaw, chipping

Electric jigsaw

Sawing tips

How to saw plywood correctly to avoid chips on the edges? To avoid such problems when working, you should consider some nuances:

plywood, jigsaw, chipping
  • How to saw plywood with a jigsaw/saw to simplify the process? In such a matter, the beginner craftsman will be helped by several clamps. It makes sawing much easier. It is easier to control the material and tool when the sheet is securely clamped to the table. Thanks to the secure hold of the plywood, damage to the table is avoided.
  • Blueprints for any product can be found on the Internet.
  • Drawing from sheet to plywood can be transferred by copying.
  • How to saw plywood to avoid chips? When working with a hand jigsaw, always make sure that it moves perpendicular to the pile.

The correct position of the jigsaw in relation to the material to be sawn

Tips for working with a manual and electric jigsaw:

Design and handling

Every jigsaw has a so-called support base. It always rests against the workpiece to be sawn. This improves the accuracy of the jigsaw.

The saw blade can easily be turned to make oblique cuts. Some manufacturers produce models in which the main tool is fixed only at a certain angle.

The saw acts as the main cutting tool. Tooth spacing, method of sharpening, size, shape, materials. these are literally different for every model. 75, 85 and 100 millimeters. the most suitable length if you need to cut materials of small density. The pitch size of the saw also becomes quite an important parameter.

Classification of saws for electric jigsaws

Delicate sawing. If you have to cut plywood, Plexiglas, plastic, laminate, chipboard, fibreboard or chipboard precisely and evenly, we recommend fine-toothed products. They make a smooth cut without splinters. Saw blades for jigsaws Ermak T101B will be the optimal choice. The main condition for quality work. the thickness of the workpiece should not be more than 7.5 cm.

Quick sawing. If you need to saw an old window frame quickly and the perfect cut is not important, we recommend to buy saw blades for Ermak jigsaws with big teeth. the more solid the teeth, the faster the job is done. The important thing to bear in mind here is that the cut is rough and unsmooth. Choose the T-144D saws for soft wood up to 5 cm thick and the T-244D which can easily handle 10 cm thick wood.

Shaped sawing. If you have a round cut in wood, your choice is the Ermak.119ВО. Thin blades are designed for shape cutting. They can easily cut ovals, rhombuses and circles in plywood and chipboard. Thanks to the fine tooth a smooth and even cut is obtained.

IMPORTANT. Choose straight teeth for cross-cutting, or oblique teeth for cutting along the grain.

Metal sawing. For cutting metal with thickness up to 3 mm you use T-118A Ermak, designed for non-ferrous metals and steel. The key difference is the very fine teeth. This model is often used for sawing plastic.

For very thin metal sheets up to 1.5 mm thick, buy the T-118G.

Sawing plastic. If you need to cut a plastic pipe or trim a window sill, use models with large teeth designed for wood or metal. You can also take a fine-toothed model, but you have to work very carefully and slowly so that the sawdust does not soften. Plexiglas and thin plastics are fine to cut with fine toothed wood files.

How to achieve a smooth cut

To make working with plywood easier, make sure you have a straight cut when sawing. This is not easy to do, especially if the cutting technique is not followed. In this case, the following tips can help:

  • Apply adhesive tape to the saw trimmer’s fishing line. This will help maintain the integrity of the back side.
  • Reduce to a minimum the distance between the clamping pad and the base of the saw. This can be done by attaching a cover plate to the sole plate.

Never in a hurry when cutting plywood. Make smooth, even movements so as not to break the sawing surface.

What to do if there are accuracy problems

Below we will look at how to cut evenly with the jigsaw and get an accurate cut.

Sawing with the saw table

Circular or oval elements often need to be sawn with the jigsaw. No need for a circular saw table. On the underside of the tabletop, you need to fasten the jigsaw with the saw up. Buttons for starting and stopping should be on the side. All you have to do is move the material in the right direction.

Sawing with the guide rail

The rail looks like a long ruler 1.3-1.5 m. A groove is made in it and the jigsaw moves along it. The saw needs to be adjusted along the cutting line, and the rail needs to be secured with a clamp. When sawing, the tool must be guided exactly along the guide rail.

Sawing technique with each tool

If you have decided what to cut plywood with, then before you start work you should read about cutting technique and recommendations.

How to work with hand tools

For working with plywood the saw for plywood and for metal is suitable. If you are sawing with a hand-held tool, do the following

  • Make a small notch in the line of the cut, placing the saw on the material and pulling it slightly, creating a groove.
  • Tilt the saw to create an angle of 30-40 degrees with a sheet of plywood.
  • Make smooth, fluid movements with the saw.
  • Hold the part you want to cut with your hand to prevent it from kinking.
  • To finish the cut, turn the sheet upside down until it is vertical and make a few movements perpendicular to the sheet.

How to work with a circular saw

Working with a circular saw is easier than with a hand saw, but harder than with an electric jigsaw. And to make a cut, getting even edges, you need to act according to the rules:

  • Support the sheet to be sawed on a firm, stable support and make a cut in the middle.
  • Adjust the thickness of the cut. To do this, put the saw into the slot and start the cut. The blade must go 5 mm below the blade.
  • Do not sit behind the saw. it may cause an injury due to the high kickback tendency. Always hold to the side.
  • To make the cut, set the saw on the saw trimmer’s fishing line with the blade guard bent out of the way beforehand.
  • After installation you can start the saw by plunging it slowly into the plywood. Hold the tool firmly.
  • Only remove the saw after it has been switched off and come to a complete halt.

How to cut with a jigsaw

Electric jigsaws are better suited than other tools for cutting plywood. Quick and easy to use, safer to operate than a circular saw. Sawing should be done according to the rules:

  • Clamp the sheet of plywood tightly.
  • Saw material perpendicular to fibers for a clean cut.
  • Do not apply pressure to the jigsaw when cutting. It will not increase the cutting speed, but it will break the tool quickly.
  • Lubricate the cutters with oil for tougher wood.
  • Do not use the jigsaw for a long period of time. this could cause damage.

Thanks to the electric jigsaw, it is possible to cut various shapes with straight edges out of plywood.

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