How to Cut a Circle in Wood By Hand

Whether you want to make a larger circular hole in wood or cut out a circular piece from it, you can do it better by hand. Cutting a circle in wood might not be as difficult as it may seem if you have the right tools and skills.

Depending on the size of the circle or the type of wood among other factors, the ease or difficulty of cutting a circle in wood may vary. So if you are looking for the tips on how to cut a circle in wood by hand, you need this guide. It will help you perform the task with minimum errors and efforts while maintaining a high level of accuracy.

Using a Power saw

A jigsaw is one of the best DIY tools that you can use for this task. With a quality jigsaw, you can make the perfect circle in wood. Besides the fact that you can use it to cut all sorts of materials into nearly any two-dimensional shape, it is also a safer option.

Apart from a jigsaw, there are various power saw types that you can use. For instance, you can use a band saw, Dremel tool, router or a scroll saw. Though a jigsaw is better than them all, you can always use what is at your disposal.

What you need:

  • A power saw
  • A piece of plywood
  • Strong Wire Nail
  • Compass
  • Sandpapers
  • Power drill

Set Up a Work Station

With all the high level of accuracy needed to cut out a perfect circle from a flat piece of wood, you need to set up a suitable work area. You need to create a place that will make increases your chances of doing your work successfully. The work station should have everything you need for the task.

You will need a thin piece of plywood or luan that is slightly longer than the radius of the circle you want to create. It should be longer by about 2 inches. The next step requires you to snag a thin but strong nail such as a wire nail.

Draw the Circle

To maintain a high level of accuracy during cutting, you need to draw a circle on the wood you want to cut. Draw a circle that provides the outline of what you want to cut out. If you are more interested in the hole that the cutout will leave on the wood, then make sure the drawing is made on the part of the wood where you want to create the hole.

It can be made in the middle of the board or closer to the edge. However, if you are more interested in the inner circular piece of wood, it may not be so important where you choose to cut it from provided the wood is even.

It is the circle’s outline that you are supposed to follow as you cut. For a more accurate and precise drawing, you need to use a circle guide or compass. The circle should cover the place that you want to cut out.

Drill a Pilot Hole

If you are interested only in the circular wood piece that can be extracted and not the larger outer piece with a hole in it, you can do the cutting from the side. However, if you need the larger piece of wood to remain whole with a perfectly cut out circle in it, you need a pilot hole for the cutting.

You simply drill a hole that is close to the outline that had been drawn but not on it. The power saw blade will enter the circle through this hole and it is where the cutting will begin and end. You can drill more than one hole next to one another to make it big enough for the blade to go through before you can begin cutting.

How to Begin Cutting

How to being cut

If only the inner circular piece of wood is needed, begin by cutting towards the drawn outline. If you choose to cut in from the outside, begin at an angle to the outline so that it meets the outline at an angle closer to its parallel.

Doing this will help you to smoothly transition to cutting along the outline without experiencing the difficulty in changing the saw’s direction so drastically.

Cutting the Circle

The circle you cut should be as precise and even as possible. Cut along the outline by directing the saw along the drawn circle. You need to be extremely accurate with the cutting. Watch keenly to make sure that the teeth of the blade are hitting along the line exactly as it cut it. Any little deviation will ruin the circle.

So you have to cut slowly to maintain track of the outline. The blade should be kept at full speed the entire time. It makes it more precise and able to cut more evenly. Likewise, you should pull outwards and press downwards with medium pressure while cutting. This will help keep tension on it.

Smoothening the Edges

To wind everything up after the cutting is done, you need sandpapers to perfect the circle’s edges. After you are done with the cutting, use a sandpaper to smoothen the rough edges. Also, if the circle is not perfectly round, you can use the sandpaper to bring it back to the desired shape.

You can use it to fix the parts that are not perfect. There are other sanding devices that you can use for this process in the place of sandpaper. Some of them include electric sander or a sanding block.

Final Verdict

You should focus on doing it right the first time to avoid wastage of wood, time, and energy. If you follow these steps to the latter, your chances of doing it weight will be heightened. Before you even begin to cut out the circle, you should ensure that the blade of the saw that you intend to use for cutting is sharp.

It can only do a perfect job if it is in its perfect condition. Similarly, the broader the blade the more it can navigate through the smaller circle with close-fitting curves.

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