We have all been there cutting plywood on a critical part of our project and we think it’s going great during the cut. All seemed well till we were complete the cut and upon further inspection realize that it’s all chipped out. So I am going to give you 11 different tips on how to cut plywood without chipping.

  1. Slow your roll, Slowing down during the cutting process will help reduce or eliminate chipping and splintering. Now be careful because this is a double-edged statement. Going to slow can increase the risk of burning the plywood.

2. Purchase an 80-tooth saw blade. Most of these are created with sheet goods in mind. These teeth are smaller and reduce the risk of chipping plywood

3. Use painters tape or frog tape. Laying down painters tape firmly over the location where you plan to cut makes a huge difference. The tape helps keep the fibers together. If a lot of cuts will be done with this method I recommend monitoring your blade for any adhesive residue. This residue can be cleaned up with mineral spirits or alcohol.

4. Keep your pieces supported on the table saw. Try using a rolling saw horse set to the proper height. An extra hand can be helpful too if a roller stand is unavailable

5. Supporting pieces if using a circular saw can be achieved by using a piece of rigid insulation. This will give 100percent support throughout the cut. If the rigid foam is unavailable a few sawhorses are you next best friend.

6. If using a table saw keep the stock pushed tightly into the fence. Reduced binding and keeps the blade headed straight through the fibers of wood for a clean cut.

7. Use a zero clearance insert when using a table saw

8. Make a scoring pass at about 1/32” to sever the wood fibers before making your full depth of cut.

9. When using a circular saw use an edge guide or make one to achieve a straight cut to give you the ability to score the workpieces.

10. Attach a zero clearance fence to your circular saw to support the wood fibers throughout the cut.

11. Always cut with your best side facing down. Tearout will occur on the top when the blade exits and catches the top layer of veneer.

Cutting Plywood Without Chip Out

Learning how to cut plywood without chip out patience. The patience to slow down and think about how the wood fibers with be supported during the cut.

Somewhere in my travels I heard someone explain to me when cutting wood it’s like cutting through a fist full of straws. The straws simulate large wood fibers and trying to cut through those in a cross cut manner works good. Although until you get to the last few straws to cut through it becomes difficult because those straws are unsupported.


In my shop whenever I cut that is high visibility and to the final dimension I default back to this and think of my workpiece as these straws. This might help your woodworking or not it did for me.


There multiple techniques to on how to prevent chip out in plywood. You might need to all the steps I mentioned about but now you have them in your arsenal of your tool kit. If your working on a project that requires a high quality of plywood. Start by adding one or two of the tips mentioned above and see what works. I love woodworking because of problem aspect you can face. So get out to your workshop and start doing some problem solving.


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