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How to Cut Wood With a Hand Saw

Learn the best technique for cutting lumber with a hand saw.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

More in Home Improvement

Saw Through Wood with Long Deliberate Strokes

Here's How to Do It:

Prepare to Use the Saw

Using any saw — handsaw or power saw — requires careful setup in order to make sure your cut is clean and to avoid injury. Always secure a board with clamps to the cutting work surface before attempting to cut through a board with any saw.

If using a miter box, the box provides a snug place for the board. Still, fasten the miter box in place so the work and box do not move while cutting.

Do not hold the cut-off piece (the part of the board you are attempting to cut from the longer length) while using the saw. Always let the cut-off piece fall.

Mark the Wood

Draw a guide line across each face of the wood, marking where you will cut. Use a carpenter's square to ensure that the line is accurate.

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Score Along the Guide Line

Use a utility knife to score along the guide line. This will enable you to get a clean cut through each side without splintering the wood.

Score Board With Utility Knife Before Cutting

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hold the Saw Properly

Hold the saw as shown. Place the blade just to the offcut side of the guide line and make a few backward strokes across the corner of the wood.

Make Backward Strokes Across Wood with Saw Blade

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Saw the Wood

Once you have cut a shallow groove, begin to saw through the wood, back and forth, using long, deliberate strokes.

Saw Through Wood with Long Deliberate Strokes

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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