What is a crosscut?

What is a crosscut?

When you first start using a saw, it may be difficult for you to understand the types of cuts. However, these are the basics of the cutting, so the sooner you learn everything about them, the better.

Let’s keep thing simple – there are two main types of cuts– rip cuts and crosscuts. In this article, I will only focus on the crosscuts and their importance.

Recently, I talked about rip cuts giving the needed information for anyone who is about to start woodworking. If you are interested and want to learn how to do a rip-cut, you can take a look at my rip-cut article.

But now, let’s focus on the crosscut.

What is a crosscut?

Crosscut refers to cutting the wood perpendicular to the grain. The thing you need to understand is that the crosscut is usually a shorter cut.

It is basically cutting across the grain of the wood and it is a very tough type of cutting.

What makes it so hard?

When you cut across the grain, you need to cut lot more wood fibers, which requires more effort and it is way tougher for the saw.

To make it easier, you should use a blade that has small teeth, but many of them. In addition to this, the number of teeth is important as you need to remove the sawdust after the cutting.

Can I cut wood without using crosscuts?

Well, you may be able to do many tasks and avoid crosscutting, but if you are serious about woodworking, crosscut is something you need to learn to do as soon as possible.

If you have ever cut wood for furniture, or whatever you were planning to do, you know the importance of doing crosscut, as not every piece of wood can be cut with a rip-cut.

It is true that crosscut is a cut that requires some experience and serious control of your saw, but once you learn it, it will be much easier for you to finish any task.

How to do a crosscut?

First of all, let’s differ things – for doing crosscuts you can use a miter saw, table saw or a circular saw.  Table saws can be expensive, but don’t let that discourage you – you can make crosscuts with a circular saw that is much cheaper can do a good job.

In this article, I will only focus on the crosscutting with a circular saw. Without any hesitations, let’s go.

You won’t need anything more than your saw, a measuring tape as well as a pencil to mark the length, square and clamps to hold the square.

I didn’t mention the safety glasses and other protective gear as you always need to have them before taking the saw in your hands.

Next, make sure that the blade is extra sharp, and the right one for the type of the wood you are about to cut.

Once you do that, adjust the depth for not more than a quarter inch more than the depth of the wood.

Now, pay close attention to this step. Measure the distance from the outside of the blade and the desired length of the cut, and count back the distance you first measured (the blade distance). Use the square to line it with the mark.

You can draw a line with the pencil, or just the clamps to fix the square on the wood. Personally, I would recommend you the second option.

Pull the trigger, and cut a straight line – if you have the square fixed on the wood, it would be way much easier to follow it.

Go to the end of the wood, and let the piece to follow freely. And, that is, you have done a crosscut.

It may seem harder than a rip cut, but it is not a big deal. If you want to check the comparison of both types of cuts, you can read more on my rip-cut versus a crosscut article.

Crosscut jig

You may find that in certain situations when you make a lot of crosscuts you may want to make your self a crosscut jig for your circular saw. This can make repeated cuts quicker, easier and more accurate. Check out the video for how a crosscut jig works and how to make one.


What is your first thought of the crosscut? How did you manage to deal with it? Feel free to post your opinions in the comments.

Best Portable Circular Saw

Looking for a circular saw on a tight budget? Check out my review of the best circular saws under $50:

Best Miter Saw

The best tool for making crosscuts is a miter saw! Check out my review of miter saws here:

Best Hybrid Table Saw Review

If you have a larger budget and want a serious table saw you can check out my review of hybrid table saws here:

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *