How to Cut a Circle in Wood
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How to Cut a Circle in Wood? [7 Different Ways with Step-by-Step Guidelines]

One of the basic tasks in a woodworking shop is cutting and shaping wood materials. A unique set of skills or techniques is required for reshaping a piece of wood. Therefore, cutting a circle in wood can be unarguably challenging and complicated for some people.

Most people find cutting a straight line difficult, not to talk of making a perfect circle. Nevertheless, with the right techniques and proper tools, cutting a circle in wood is quite doable and practicable. There are few different ways to make circles in wood.

Each method with its own advantages and lapses. Take, for instance, some of these methods are great for quick cutting, and some deliver more precise cutting. In this article, I’ve handpicked the best methods of techniques on how to cut a circle in wood.

This article will offer a step-by-step guideline on how to cut wooden circles with different saws. Take a good look at each of the methods stated in this article to find the one that best suits your cutting project.

How to Cut Wooden Circles with Different Saws (Step by Step Guidelines)

Woodworking has become a theme of great fun, thanks to the advancement of technology in the making of sophisticated cutting tools. These cutting tools have made cutting projects in the woodworking shops easier and stress-free.

There are several tools used for making circles in wood. Here, you’ll learn how to cut a circle in wood with a saw, how to cut wooden circles with different saws, and the best ways to cut a circle in wood.

There are many reasons why a woodworker may need to cut circles in wood. Let’s take, for example, he might need a circle of wood to make a nice piece of art that he loves or he probably wants to run a pipe through a piece of plywood.

Notwithstanding, if you have the right kind of cutting tools and follow my easy steps, you’re a few minutes away from learning how to cut circles quickly and easily. Let’s check these methods out without further delay!

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with a Band Saw?

The first method that I’m going to talk about is using a band saw to cut a circle in wood. A band saw delivers a great result when it comes to cutting a smaller circle in wood. Many people would be wondering why I listed a band saw among the different tools used for cutting circles in wood because it is commonly used for cutting straight lines. Nevertheless, the first thing to do to arrive at an overwhelming result is to make a band saw cutting jig. Note that a router cutting jig is different from a band saw cutting jig.

  • To make a band saw cutting jig, you need to make use of a wood piece with a rectangular shape.
  • Cut an adjustable runner to the miter slot of the band saw, then use glue to connect the piece of wood with the runner.  
  • The next thing to do is cutting the kerf to the half size of the wood.
  • Next, try marking a line that is perpendicular to the kerf’s front tip.
  • Then, make a pinhole that will fit the radius of the circle you want to make on wood. Now that your jig is ready to be used, you can now make the circle on wood.
  • Connect the jig’s pivot pin to your workpiece’s center point to make a cut round piece of wood.
  • Lastly, all you need to do now is move your workpiece clockwise and the band saw will take care of the rest of the work.

Pros

  • Great for cutting mall circles on wood
  • A multipurpose and versatile method
  • Also used for cutting straight lines
  • Delivers overwhelming results

Cons

  • Required a set of skills
  • Consumes time

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Check your tool for proper blade movement/rotation
  • Check owner’s manual for extra safety requirements
  • Always make use of your both hands to operate a saw
  • Read through the instruction manual from the manufacturer before using the tool
  • Make use of a dusk mask or respirator when exposed to sawdust

Read More:

  1. 5 Best Cordless Band Saw for Revolutionary Cut Visibility
  2. 5 Best Metal Band Saw [Cutting Metal like A Butter]
  3. 7 Best 14-Inch Band Saws to Improve Your Carpentry Skills
  4. 10 Best Portable Band Saws: Excellent Tools for Easy and Precise Sawing
  5. 10 Best Bandsaw for Resawing: The Right Power Cutting Tool for Creating Perfect Lumbar Finishes

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with a Router?

If you want the cleanest cut and the most accurate circle, then cutting a large circle with a router will be a very good idea. However, you must use a guide named a trammel to cut a circle with a router for effective results. It is ideal to go for a trammel if you’re working on a ton of different circles.

A good trammel delivers effective results and can be used for cutting ovals. Cutting a circle in wood with a router is a little bit more complicated. Follow the steps below to learn the procedure.

  • The first thing to do is cut the plywood into a circle. You need to know how big the jig’s circular end should be, and you can only do this by taking off the sub-base of the router. The piece’s end of 36” × 14” × ¼” plywood should be cut into a circle with almost equal size with the sub-base of the router
  • To correspond with the holes in the sub-base, drill holes into the jig’s circular end.
  • The jig’s circular end should be screwed into the base of the router. Then, make sure the circles on the sub-base are in alignment with the holes that you drilled in the jig.
  • With a spacing of 1 inch apart, drill small pivot holes in the jig’s arm.
  • If you want to use the jig to make a circle, you’ll have to make a line in the workpiece from the end of the desired circle’s radius to the center of the jig.
  • The next thing to do is drill holes into the woodblock. Look for scraps around your woodworking shop to make another jig for cutting circles with a router. You’ll have to drill holes with equal sizes with the dowels into a long edge of the 12” × 1 × 4 woodblocks. Considering the diameter of the base of the router, the holes you’re making should be as far apart.
  • Then, try to sand the edges of the dowels
  • Put some wood glue into the woodblock holes. Then, set the dowels inside the holes and leave for some time to dry up.
  • Place the dowels on the router’s sides through the holes on the base of the router.
  • You can now proceed to cut a circle. Nail the block’s center to the center of the circle you wish to cut. Make sure it corresponds with the endpoint of the desired radius by sliding the router to the proper spot on top of the dowels. Having placed the router bit to the suitable depth, make use of the woodblock as a pivot point and gently swing the router through the workpiece.

Pros

  • Delivers accurate and overwhelming results
  • Best suited for cutting precise and accurate circles
  • Great for commercial woodworking shops

Cons

  • Requires a very steady hand
  • Takes some time to set up a jig
  • A little complicated process

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Make use of a dusk mask or respirator when exposed to sawdust
  • Wear a face shield or safety goggles
  • Use the right hearing protection
  • Ensure that  the blade of the saw is sharp and clean
  • Ensure that all cords are not in the cutting area
  • Check your tool for proper blade movement/rotation
  • Check owner’s manual for extra safety requirements
  • Always make use of your both hands to operate a saw

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with a Hole Saw?

Cutting a circle in wood with a hole saw is one of the simplest methods on this list. This method is quite easy to follow and user-friendly. Follow the steps below to learn how to cut circles in wood with a hole saw.

  • The first thing to do is connect the hole saw to your drill
  • Mark out where to cut the circle
  • Then, start cutting through the marked sections on the wood
  • Always pull back your drill repeatedly to avoid overheating. Doing this helps your tool to eradicate dust

The only issue is that this method comes with some disadvantages. One thing you have to know is that you can’t cut circles of irregular sizes. Also, you may find it difficult to cut circles in a thicker workpiece. But never mind, there are other methods you can choose from that allow you to cut accurate circles of any size.

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Easy to understand
  • Stress-free
  • Less complicated

Cons

  • The hole saw may overheat if you don’t pull it out now and then to allow the sawdust out
  • You might experience a severe blowout if you don’t follow the proper precautions
  • Limited depth: might not be able to cut circles in a thicker piece of wood

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Make use of a dusk mask or respirator when exposed to sawdust
  • Make sure the blade of the saw is sharp and clean
  • Make sure all cords are not in the cutting area
  • Check your tool for proper blade movement/rotation
  • Check owner’s manual for extra safety requirements

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with a Jigsaw?

If you’re talking about the most common ways of cutting a circle on wood, using a jigsaw can’t be underemphasized. There are no other better tools in the woodworking shop for making fancy curves and tight cuts than the jigsaw. It is a perfect tool for making all sorts of cuts in a woodworking shop.

I’m going to talk about some ways in which a jigsaw can be used to cut circles on wood. Some of these methods/ways are ideal for quick cuts with less accuracy and exactness and some are great for cutting high-quality and accurate circles and curves.

  • Draw the circle! The first thing to do is to draw the circle you wish to cut on the surface of the wood. A beam compass will an effective and efficient tool for doing this. Place the point at the center while you lock in the radius of your circle, then make a circle. If you’re on a tight budget, you can make use of a pencil and a string tied to a nail. The only thing with this alternative is that it’s a little more difficult to get the accurate size.
  • Making a freehand cut with a jigsaw! This method might be used if you don’t necessarily need to cut absolutely perfect circles. What you’re cutting solely determines how to start with this method. What I’m trying to say is that how you’ll begin with this method depends on whether you’re cutting a circle hole or making a circle.
  • Start at the board’s edge and guide the blade towards the lines of the circle you’ve drawn if you’re cutting out a circle. Ensure that the cuts are made at the outside tip of the line. Then, sand down the tips till an exact diameter is achieved. If you want to cut multiple circles of equal sizes, then put them all together and sand all the tips at a time.
  • The first thing to do if you’re cutting a circular hole in a board is to puncture a tiny hole for the jigsaw blade. You have to make sure the tiny hole is close to the cut line the circle’s inside. This can be done by a drill bit. Now, all you need to do is place the jigsaw blade into the hole, and then make a cut of the circle following the drawn line’s the inside edge. Then, sand it to your preferred size.

Pros

  • Ideal for multiple cuts in the workshop
  • Delivers accurate circles and curves
  • Great for cutting a high-quality wood piece

Cons

  • Requires a set of skills

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Always make use of a dusk mask or respirator when exposed to sawdust
  • Always wear a face shield or safety goggles
  • Check owner’s manual for extra safety requirements before starting the cutting process
  • Always make use of your both hands to operate a saw
  • Read through the instruction manual from the manufacturer before using the tool

Read More:

  1. 10 Best Jigsaw Blades for Cleaner Cuts

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with a Table Saw?

A table saw circle cutting jig needs to be made to cut a circle on wood with a table saw. But it’s not actually difficult to achieve.

  • You have to make a runner that suits the miter slot of the table saw, then fix it to a ¾ piece of wood that almost reaches the blade of the table saw.
  • A line should be marked perpendicular to the blade of the saw. Try to make a pivot hole on the line, then attach the ahead cut-off pin into the hole.
  • Locate the center point of the wood you’re cutting on. After locating the center point of your workpiece, make pivot holes on it and fix it to the pivot pin of the jig. Then cut perfect circles by moving the workpiece in a clockwise direction.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Delivers great outputs and results
  • Quick and efficient turnaround

Cons

  • Requires a very steady hand

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Use the right hearing protection to reduce the noise from the tool
  • Always employ proper maintenance: make sure the blade of the saw is sharp and clean
  • Make sure all cords are not in a cutting area to avoid spoilage
  • Check your tool for proper blade movement/rotation
  • Check owner’s manual for extra safety requirements
  • Always make use of your both hands to operate a saw

Read More:

  1. Best Beginner Table Saw: The Right Table Saws for Hobbyists
  2. 10 Best Table Saws Under 500 Dollars [Budget Picks]
  3. 10 Best Hybrid Table Saws to Buy [Unbiased Review]

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with a Circular Saw?

Cutting circles on wood with a circular saw is less dangerous when compared to other methods of cutting. To cut circles on wood with a circular saw, follow the steps below.

  • Place the top of your workpiece on the table and fix it.
  • Mark your circle cutting lines clearly
  • Make a straight cut very close to the marked lines
  • The idea will unfold a bit easier after the first two or three cuts. Now, continue the cutting by working your way outside.
  • Make sure that the circular saw base thinner edge is flat to the wood piece. Ensure that you sand the edge for about a minute or two to erase the pencil line around it.

Please, ensure that you don’t go off the marking even at the slightest bit, because you won’t be able to add back to the table and there would be a noticeable deviation in the formed circle. I recommend Dewalt or kerf Freud blade because they deliver the best non-stick coating feature.

Pros

  • Less dangerous
  • User-friendly
  • Delivers outstanding results

Cons

  • Errors made are almost irreversible

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Make sure all cords are not in the cutting area
  • Check your tool for proper blade movement/rotation
  • Check owner’s manual for extra safety requirements
  • Always make use of your both hands to operate a saw
  • Read through the instruction manual from the manufacturer before using the tool

Read More:

  1. Best Track Saws That Will Magically Your Cutting Skill
  2. Best Worm Drive Circular Saw That Makes Crosscutting Easier Than Ever
  3. Best Circular Saw Blades for Every Sharp Cut

How to Cut a Circle in Wood with Reciprocating Saw?

One of the handiest power tools you’ll always come across in a woodworking shop is the reciprocating saw. It is a very powerful tool designed for cutting through a lot of wooden materials. This tool helps woodworkers to get their woodworking tasks done quite easily and efficiently. Using a reciprocating saw to cut circles on wood is quite easier than you think. Follow the steps below to find out how it is done.

  • Switch on the reciprocating saw
  • Allow it to reach a maximum speed after some seconds
  • Then, press the shoe against the wood piece and start cutting through it.
  • Make sure you apply enough pressure as you place it in any direction you prefer.

Pros

  • Effective method
  • It’s an efficient power tool
  • Delivers overwhelming and excellent results

Cons

  • Requires a new set of skills
  • Not ideal for use by a beginner

Safety Tips/Precaution

  • Make use of a dusk mask or respirator when exposed to sawdust
  • Wear a face shield or safety goggles
  • Use the right hearing protection
  • Make sure the blade of the saw is sharp and clean
  • Make sure all cords are not in the cutting area

Read More:

  1. Best Air Reciprocating Saw: To Get The Cleanest Cuts Instantly

What is the Best Tool to Cut Circles in Wood?

I’m going to answer this question in two ways. If you’re looking for the tool with the easiest method to cut circles in wood, then you should go for a hole saw. Making use of a hole saw to cut circles makes it easier and stress-free for you. All you’re required to do is lock the power tool in the chuck and start cutting. Circles from ¾ inches up to 7 inches in diameter can be cut by the hole saw.

However, I’ll recommend a 6 inches hole saw if you’re making cornhole boards. The only thing is that it comes with some shortcomings which might limit its usability. It overheats if it is not pulled out repeatedly, there are some blowouts, and it has limited depth.

Secondly, if you’re looking for the best tool to deliver the most accurate cuts, then you should go for a router. Using a router is the most accurate way of cutting circles in wood. But the thing here is that it’ll take some of your time. Setting up a jig alone will take time, not to mention gently and carefully cutting through the wood.

Some woodworkers prefer this method as it delivers accurate and precise cuts. However, some don’t like it as its process is a little complicated. That’s not all! It requires a very steady hand and it’s time-consuming. Apart from that, it is the best method, especially for commercial woodworking shops.

Final Words – rounding it up!

Some of the methods that I listed above are for cutting a wooden circle, while others are for creating a circular hole. For instance, it is ideal to maintain the inside of the circular cut if you’re making a wooden circle like dots on tables and the likes. However, you’re required to make a circular hole if you’re building cornhole boards.

Whichever way it is, if you follow my steps, you’ll be able to cut circles in wood within few minutes. We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. I hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know how to cut a circle in wood. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

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