How To Cut Plywood With A Jigsaw Without Splintering

JigsawA jigsaw is one of the powerful machines every woodworker would wish to have in their woodworking projects. Jigsaw can cut every material and provide you with a suitable wood design for your project. Nonetheless, when cutting plywood using a jigsaw, it is advisable to be more cautious than when cutting other materials. This is because splintering is a popular mistake that normally happens to newbies and expert woodworkers when cutting plywood.

Even though everyone loves using a jigsaw for their cutting projects, it wouldn’t be very effective to use a jigsaw if you fail to produce smooth surfaces on wood. Yes, everyone is prone to make mistakes, but when the error is repeated, it sucks. That’s why when cutting plywood with a jigsaw, the issue of splintering might piss you off.

The good news is you can avoid the issue of splintering. And so, if splintering was a common issue when cutting plywood with a jigsaw in your woodworking project, we got you covered. In this article, you’ll get to know how you can cut plywood with a jigsaw without splintering to provide a smooth and excellent field to play on.

There are several reasons why splintering might happen when cutting plywood with a jigsaw. You can be a professional woodworker but still, encounter this problem in your project. Is there something wrong you are doing and you don’t know? Read on to find the possible cause of splintering when cutting plywood using a jigsaw.

Why Does the Plywood Splinter?

Splintering is also known as tear-out. Therefore, when you are cutting plywood, a thin layer of wood normally breaks out, taking a jagged form at the edge of the plywood. In this case, when your plywood has grain marks on it, a tear out might be evident.

Generally, you can see these grain marks in a straight line on your plywood. Thus, when you eventually run your blade through grain marks, the tear-out or splintering occurs. That’s said, tearing out in plywood is something that can be avoided, provided you know the possible reasons behind plywood splintering.

So, there are three common reasons why your plywood might splinter. Check the out;

  1. Wrong selection of the blade
  2. Use of a blunt blade old blade for your cutting projects
  3. Applying too much pressure when cutting plywood using a jigsaw might result in splintering
  4. Using poor plywood; thin and cheap
  5. Poor preparations

It is possible to avoid the first and the second reasons for splintering from the aforementioned reasons. Thus, select the right blade for your cutting projects and ensure your edge is clean or brand new before cutting your plywood. On the other hand, the third reason might now compel you to familiarize yourself with the best plywood cutting techniques.

Knowing the reasons behind splintering when cutting your plywood, why should you avoid it? Let’s find out:

How To Cut Plywood With A Jigsaw Without Splintering

Why Should You Avoid Splintering?

Splintering gives plywood an ugly appearance. Apart from that, this problem might cause physical damages to your plywood, as well. For instance, if you tolerate splintering when cutting plywood with a jigsaw, this problem might keep on occurring in your plywood cutting and entirely damage your plywood.

Additionally, if you attempt to take off the pieces that resulted from splintering by your hand; you might damage your plywood again. Similarly, attaching plywood that has splinters with glue might not stick together, thus wasting your glue and board, as well.

Therefore, these are some of the problems you’d face when working with splinter plywood. That’s why it is so essential to avoid splintering when cutting plywood with a jigsaw. The following are the best technique to employ when cutting plywood with a jigsaw without splintering.

How to cut plywood: Methods to Prevent Plywood Splintering

So, by now, you are familiar with why splintering might occur when cutting plywood with a jigsaw. Therefore, the following are the best method to implement when cutting plywood with a jigsaw to avoid splintering.

Purchase Quality Plywood

One of the reasons you splintering might occur is poor plywood. That means; you are using cheap or thin plywood in your cutting projects. Using low-grade plywood at some point, might act strange and result in undesirable pieces of wood, causing you troubles in your woodworking projects.

So, you must buy quality plywood from the market. Typically, there will be a difference in price between low quality and high-quality plywood. If you want to avoid splintering, ensure you select a high-quality one. Yes, it might be expensive, but it saves you lots of hassles in your project.

Note; even if you are using a powerful tool to cut your plywood, provided it is of poor quality, your work will not be awesome as expected.

Cutting Plywood With A Jigsaw Without Splintering

Use the Best Jigsaw and Apply reasonable pressure

It is needless to say you must use the best jigsaw for your plywood cutting. Generally, if you have powerful tools for your cutting projects, you’ll have great results. However, it is not guaranteed to produce smooth surfaces when using the best jigsaw in the world. If, in any case, you don’t apply the right speed and pressure when cutting your plywood, you won’t end up with perfect results. That means; the best jigsaw goes hand in hand with the proper cutting techniques.

Select the Right Jigsaw Blade

This is another cutting technique woodworkers don’t employ. Having the right blade matters a lot in any cutting endeavor. And so, plywood is sensitive and thin. Running an inappropriate edge through it will lead to tearing out.

So, ensure to select the right blade for smooth cutting of your plywood. Thus, this is another critical cutting technique to master if you want to get a perfect job and avoid splintering at all costs. Therefore, a thin blade designed with upward teeth can better cut plywood to prevent tear-out.

Note a jigsaw comes with different types of cutting blades. So, ensure you pick the right blade for your plywood cutting for excellent cutting projects. Meaning, as a woodworker, you should be familiar with TPI, teeth per inch.

The rule of thumb has it the more TPI a blade has, the smoother and more refined the cut will be. Therefore, consider such simple cutting tricks to help you have desirable end projects. Similarly, if you are looking forward to selecting the best jigsaw blade for cutting plywood without tearing out, here are four things you need to consider;

  • The sharpness of the blade; a sharp blade will prevent tear-out when cutting plywood
  • The thin kerf
  • The teeth deration; means upward teeth are generally the best for preventing splintering when cutting wood with a jigsaw
  • The more tooth count a blade has, the more satisfactory and cleaner the cut will be.

You can’t afford to select the wrong blade having all the factors to consider when selecting the best jigsaw blade for your cutting projects.

Use of Splinter Guard

Using a splinter guard is more effective to prevent tear-out from your plywood. And so, splinter guard is most used by beginners when cutting plywood. The guard will primarily protect and help them produce more satisfactory and smooth cuts.

However, splinter guards are not bounded only to newbies in woodworking; even experts can fail to produce more delicate cuts. Thus, you can also use a splinter guard to be on the safer side. In this case, you can remove wicker and substitute it with a splinter guard.

So, using a splinter guard minimizes the chances of splintering when cutting plywood with a jigsaw. This serves to be the best and easiest cutting technique.

Use of a Mask Tape

Unlike using a splinter guard, this is considered an old technique to minimize tear-out when cutting wood. To use masking tape, attach the tape to the specific area where you intend to cut. By so doing, mask taping will further hinder fibers from coming out of the plywood hence curb splintering.

Always Begin the Cut from the End

Plywood cutting should always be strategical. That means, as a woodworker, never attempt to cut your boards starting from the middle. To get a clear and more pleasing cut, it is recommended to always start from the end of the plywood. Then, move your blade slow as you approach the borderline. Above all, ensure to use the proper pressure when passing your blade through the plywood.

Make a Scoring line

Typically, scoring lines help to guide you on which way to cut. Meaning when you have a line to follow when cutting, you won’t deviate, hence resulting in a straight and more delicate line. Tons of woodworker employs this technique because it guides them and minimizes the risks of injuring your plywood when making cuts with a jigsaw. Therefore, you must make clear scoring lines before you start your cutting tasks.

Final Thoughts

Splintering is a popular issue most of woodworker might face when cutting plywood with a jigsaw. You can simply avoid splintering by implementing the best cutting techniques such as making a scoring line before cutting, use a splinter guard, selecting the right jigsaw blade and more as explained in the article.


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