How To CUT STRAIGHT With NO GUIDE! Freehand CIRCULAR SAW CUTTING…Pro Tips, Tricks and Secrets!

How To CUT STRAIGHT With NO GUIDE! Freehand CIRCULAR SAW CUTTING…Pro Tips, Tricks and Secrets!

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How To CUT STRAIGHT With NO GUIDE! Freehand CIRCULAR SAW CUTTING…Pro Tips, Tricks and Secrets!

I’ve been asked a lot of times how I cut straight with a circular saw WITHOUT using a guide or fence. In this short video, I’ll explain some techniques that will help anyone cut straight with a circular saw freehand!

PLEASE NOTE: Circular saws are dangerous. This is just an instructional video. If you attempt to use a circular saw, you do so at your own risk. Please follow all safety instructions as they are described in the manufacturer’s guidelines for your saw. And please be careful!

Here are the keys to cutting straight freehand with a circular saw:
1. Make sure you’re cutting on a stable surface.
2. Establish a cut line–I create mine using a steel straight edge.
3. Spend time on your initial line-up–you want the blade of the circular saw to be in line with the cut path BEFORE you start cutting.
4. Keep both hands on the saw at initial startup. Let the saw spin all the way up before contacting the wood.
5. Proceed very slowly in the beginning–attempt to split the cut line in half up the center.
6. Try to get the full length of the blade into the material on the cut line.

At this point, cutting with a circular saw becomes more stable because much of the blade is encased in the wood (the blade is sitting in the kerf that it has made).

The circular saw wants to cut in a straight line. Don’t let it veer too far off course! Only make small micro-corrections to keep it on track, and try to keep it moving.

When you’re about a foot into the board, you can consider taking your free hand off the pommel and putting it on the board you’re cutting to support it.

Don’t back up too much! This can cause gouges at the front and back of the cut.

If you have to stop cutting, let the circular saw wind all the way down, and don’t budge it. Before you start up again, let the saw spin all the way up to full speed, then try to get right back onto your same cut line.

To finish, pass the blade all the way through the board, then lift it away before the sole plate falls off the far edge.

As always, BE EXTREMELY SAFE WHEN USING CIRCULAR SAWS. Again, this is just an instructional video. Don’t use a saw without supervision if you’re new to carpentry and woodworking. BE SAFE!!

The Honest Carpenter


  1. MegaOzzy28 on July 18, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Help Me i was trying to cut a strait line using my circular saw cord as a guide and i cut the wire in half. Should i just buy a cordless?

  2. Arjun Sudra on July 18, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Sir think you very much you are honest man showing us straight cutting sharing your idea 👍

  3. Sergey D on July 18, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    I’m sorry, but what is wrong with cutting straight WITH a guide? 🙂

  4. Tome4kkkk on July 18, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    Do you have a video on circular saw disc recommendations? I’m looking to buy ONE 😉

  5. Billy Blackie on July 18, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    I could never use a circular saw properly so I use it for cutting old wood smaller that I’m going to dump. Thanks to your great tips around the saw I will get a new one and practice using your great hints on old but useful sheets of wood practice makes perfect thanks you

  6. alexandra latimer on July 18, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    I just want ti say, THANK YOU SO MUCH Honest Carpinter for all your teaching. God Bless you. ❤

  7. Ed Eevee on July 18, 2023 at 2:49 pm


  8. TOPHAT1966GS on July 18, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    When cutting wet wood or pressure treated wood with high moisture content and sap residue, these issues can cause the plate on skill saws to bind causing hesitation cuts. A fantastic work around for this problem is your average bar soap like Dial, Irish Spring or any brand will do. Take the bar soap and rub it on the wood along the length of the cut to be made about the width of the skill saw plate. This light layer or bar soap on top of the wood will act as a lubricant for your skill saw plate and will prevent hesitation cuts caused by sap, high moisture content or heat build up on the plate and blade.

  9. Brad K on July 18, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    "How to cut STRAIGHT with a circular saw" …..Makes a shit-ton of crooked cuts all the way across. I already know how to do that. Thanks for the advice, I’ll use a guide, genius.

  10. Billy Blackie on July 18, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    I find the guard needs to be manually lifted to start cuts and released a few inches into the cut

  11. sed6 on July 18, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    13:13 I use a zip tie to hold my blade guard open instead of my thumb. Put the zip tie through the loop for your angle adjuster. Don’t pull it tight and just flip it loose with your thumb when you’re ready to release the blade guard.

  12. Ellas Fella on July 18, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    lady’s & gentlemen take my advice do it NICE or do it TWICE it takes 10 minutes to make a saw guide it takes 40 minutes and 75-85 dollar’s to go get a new sheet plus the gas. bottom line make the saw guide

  13. Jeffery Hartsog on July 18, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    Very enjoyable to watch a well coordinated instruction video that was done with proper preparation. Explained everything clearly, no stops or mistakes, & no attempts at good old boy stupid humor. This might be the best U-Tube video I’ve seen.

  14. RusskiyDzhigit on July 18, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    These warnings are the reason we have a retard epidemic.

  15. Jeff Mccombe on July 18, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    Can also use a cordless elect. hand planer to help straighten any kind of cut . Super fine tune any cut ,

  16. Lamborn Peter on July 18, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Perhaps not related, but is there a brand as good as diablo/freud that doesn’t involve taking out a second mortgage? 😅

  17. snapfly7 on July 18, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Comment 1000🎉

  18. Lic. Eugenio R. Rodríguez on July 18, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    A winner, always !!

  19. Embeded Fabrication on July 18, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    if the cutline is to the right then you have to add the width of the blade to your measurments no?

  20. Age of Reason on July 18, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    I would word it differently…"blade to the left of the line." Line comes first, then the cut. "Cut line to the right" sounds confusing. Grammar police in full effect. 😂

  21. Bonzology3 on July 18, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Rt hand blade sidewinder saws for rt handed people are complete BS, there is no debate, 1. U can’t see the cut well 2. The weight of the saw is on top and not behind and anyone who’s ever made a good cut knows u need to be behind for a push or in front for a pull depending on the tool in use 3. There is no gyroscopic steadying effect like a lft blade worm drive has in spades 4. Real professionals would never wear a framing tool belt in a shop! And look at your body position from the front view, u look like your looking over the edge of a high building, a terrible unnatural un athletic position for amateurs, the fact that u r not using a worm drive lft blade discredits u completely, Id cut circles around u

  22. M A on July 18, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Tell you how I do it.
    First you need to be a carpenter or learn from a carpenter or just start researching and learning.
    I prefer a 5 in 32 tooth blade on Ryobi cordless and I prefer the Ryobi over the DeWalt.
    I said this before but sometimes cheaper tools do the job better from a cheaper brand. Look at husky at home Depot husky is top quality.
    I can cut straighter with a lighter saw

  23. Game With Prez on July 18, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    I successfully used my new circular saw today. Thank you so much!! I must have watched this video, and some of your others like 10 times each before finally just doing it. I feel like I’m starting off on the right track, and I have so much knowledge (experience not so much lol). Love your channel!!

  24. Qingli Zhao on July 18, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    Cool vid😂

  25. David Wade on July 18, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Once youv marked the line it may be good to clamp a 2×2 on top of the wood sheet and butt it up to the saw frame, and that way the saw will cut straight,

  26. John Zoetebier on July 18, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Have not been using a corded tool for years. All tools have a battery and can even cut slices into my concrete path. The only corded tool is a big impact hammer drill for cutting up a concrete path.

  27. Dennis Burdis on July 18, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Picked out the essential points and explained why .

  28. Reubs on July 18, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Just bought a 36v Makita circ to go with my corded, the base plate has the track guide in it now. This is going to change the game!

  29. OlTrailDog on July 18, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Tip #1 – pitch the circular saw with the blade on the right hand in the trash and get a worm gear saw and a battery powered saw with left hand blade. Personally, I now use a battery left hand bladed saw for 95% uses.

  30. Kimberly K on July 18, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Power tools scare the shit out of me and I just got my first Ryobi kit with a 5 1/2 cordless circular saw and drill yesterday. I used both today and it was awesome, but needed to learn a lot more. You’re going to be my new BFF, because I know smart when I see it and YOUR IT ✅🙏🪚

  31. Peter Koval on July 18, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve been cutting wood freehand this entire time and didn’t even know it. It’s just how I learned to cut wood.

  32. nzbeeker on July 18, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    The "Skillsaw" with the cutting blade to the left is one that has got my attention. We call a circular saw a skill saw here in New Zealand, which is strange…. we don’t have "skillsaw" here.
    I am interested to know how I can get one here as a left hander.

  33. ben k on July 18, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    What are your thoughts on the Makita DHS680Z 18V LXT Cordless Brushless 6-1/2” Circular Saw vs the Makita 5007f 7-1/4" Corded Circular Saw that has a higher RPM?

  34. alvin fanechigiy on July 18, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    Aren’t you on the wrong side cutting,other side is a lot better I guess unless you’re left handed.another rule is never make a cut between two pieces of wood underneath unless the wood under your saw is higher.

  35. AXNJXN1 on July 18, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    Excellent, thorough commentary! Well done!

  36. Luqs Mhmd on July 18, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    Great teacher.
    Thanks bro 👍

  37. Sam Mitoubsi on July 18, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    Very important and critical instructions. Thanks

  38. One_True_God_777 on July 18, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you!

  39. Roy Ruther on July 18, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    yeah… no… I’ll be using a guide 😀

  40. Mavrik9000 on July 18, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    4:11 The term "cut line" is confusing. At first, I thought you meant the saw blade cut away or the actual kerf line. Upon rewatching, I realized you meant the pencil mark line. Perhaps referencing it as the "line," "pencil line," "mark," or "mark line" might be better than calling it the "cut line."

  41. Dianella Gonzalez on July 18, 2023 at 3:28 pm


  42. P.InsPiraTeSucks No Kmaluan vs Ori on July 18, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    Hi matsaleh the issues are we need a big table&garage to cut wood straightly&perfectly 🤡

  43. Setofan1 on July 18, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    When will you make a video on sidewinders vs worm drive saws? It’s been over a year.

    By the way I’m new to your channel and saws. You’ve been very helpful for me.

  44. michael knight on July 18, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    Wonderful! A detailed explanation, the kind that experienced workers think are too obvious to explain. Thanks.

  45. Bamba on July 18, 2023 at 3:38 pm

    i’v been freehand since my first time using circular saw. still hasnt found a reason to use a guide 🤷‍♂

  46. david loew on July 18, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    i just bought a bunch of power tools, and the first one i needed to use was my new circular saw, your video on 11 mistakes helped me do it right the first time, thanks.

  47. Just Jay on July 18, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    you can’t just pick which side of the line you are more comfortable cutting on….blade always stays on the outside of the cut line or you are losing the thickness of the blade…

  48. Lamborn Peter on July 18, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    This is a great vid. I tended to think first of the table saw as being the most dangerous. However, you’ve shown me that this is not the case. The circular saw, with its ability to fly out of my hands or just jump up in my face makes it the most dangerous of the 3 saws that employ the circular blade, table saw, chop saw and circular saw, because it’s the only one that can spontaneously reach escape velocity! 😂

  49. Atilla Da Hung on July 18, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    Watched several of your videos – lots of useful info. Learned a lot ! BUT – I have never heard you mention Eye or Hearing protection !!!! Should always be FIRST order of business !!!

  50. Carmen Rivas on July 18, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    why didn’t you use the end of the table instead the middle , was cuz the bored was to big.. newbee over here