3 Different Ways How to Cut a Circle in Wood (Explained!)

Being able to cut a perfect circle in wood comes in handy. There are a few ways to do that, using different power tools and jigs. In this article I will show multiple different methods of how to cut a circle in wood.

While working in the workshop, sooner or later you will come across a situation where you will need to cut a circle for your project. You might need to cut out small circles to serve as coasters, or perhaps large ones to serve as table tops. Whatever the need, being able to cut out a circle of different sizes comes in handy.

There are several ways how to cut a circle in wood using a number of different tools and approaches. You can cut a circle in wood by hand using a drill and a saw or you can use power tools for the job. In this tutorial, I will show you 3 different ways to cut a circle in wood using 3 different power tools – a trim router, a table saw, and a jigsaw.

How to Cut a Circle with a Router Circle Cutting Jig. A router circle jig is a great woodworking jig that will help you cut perfect circles in wood.
Circle cutter for corded routers

The best way to cut perfect circles in wood is by using a power tool together with a specialized woodworking jig. A dedicated jig for a specific tool not only helps you achieve the best results but also allows you to repeatedly cut circles of the same size.

The use of individual circle jigs varies. Some are better to use if you are cutting through thick material, while others are better for cutting precise edges or circles of exact diameters.

I have already built several circle-cutting jigs. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The circle jigs listed in this article are sorted according to my preferences and frequency of use.

The circle cutters I like to use most are the ones used in combination with a trim router. Cutting circles with a router is very comfortable and the resulting cut is accurate and precise. On the other hand, circle jigs that I don’t use that often are designed for a jigsaw. There are several factors that affect the quality of the cut and the overall result.

A circle jig for router for cutting circles.
Circle Jig for Cordless Routers
How to Cut a Circle with a Router Circle Cutting Jig. A router circle jig is a great woodworking jig that will help you cut perfect circles in wood.
Circle Jig for Corded Routers
How to cut a circle on a table saw. Cut a perfect circle with a table saw circle jig.
Table Saw Circle Jig
Jigsaw circle cutting guide for cutting circles in wood
Jig Saw Circle Jig

These are the TOP 3 circle cutting jigs designed for a trim router, a table saw, and a jigsaw. Read below how to make these circle guides, how difficult it is to build them, and what material you will need.


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Table of Contents

  1. How to make circle cutting jigs
  2. How Circle Jigs Work
  3. Best Way to cut circles in wood
  4. 3 DIY Circle Cutting Jigs – How to Cut a Circle in Wood
    1. Router Circle Jig
    2. Table Saw Circle Jig
    3. Jig Saw Circle jig
  5. My Experience

How to Make Circle-Cutting Jigs

There are multiple approaches and tools you can use to build a circle cutter. While it’s ideal to use the tool for which you’re building the jig, sometimes the complexity might require additional tools. To get the best result very often it comes to a combination of hand tools and these power tools – a table saw, a circular saw, a trimming router, or a jigsaw. However, you don’t need all of them and can interchange them as needed.

How Circle Jigs Work

All types of below-mentioned circle jigs use a pivoting pin to mount the workpiece and to cut out the circle. The pin defines the center point of your circle around which the workpiece rotates. Moving and adjusting the pin will change the radius of the circle. The diameter of the pin is the same for all the circle jigs, which enables their interchangeability. This allows you, for example, to cut a rough circle with a jigsaw guide and fine-tune it using a router guide.

To cut the circle you start by drilling a pilot hole in the piece of wood you want to process. You set the diameter, then you mount the workpiece onto the pivoting pin and make your cut.

“Pin-less” circle jigs are another option. These jigs rely on alternative mechanisms to identify the center of the circle and to rotate, eliminating the need for pins that leave a hole in the workpiece. This feature ensures a clean finish without any center marks.

For more details on each type of circle jig, be sure to check out the relevant article.

Best Way to Cut a Circle in Wood

When making circles in wood, it’s crucial to think about a few key aspects. These factors determine the best power tool and jig for your task.

  1. Circle Size – For tiny circles, ranging from a few millimeters to around 30 mm, a drill press with a Forstner bit or hole saw works best. For smaller circles that span from a few centimeters up to several tens of centimeters, most circle jigs are suitable. For larger circles, pairing a router with a router circle jig is the best way to go.
  2. Circle Thickness – Cutting through thicker materials becomes more challenging. While a table saw can make precise cuts, it’s limited by material thickness. Jigsaws can handle deeper cuts, depending on the blade length, but might not always offer precision; the blade can flex, leading to uneven cuts. On the other hand, routers provide accurate cuts through wood, but you’ll need to work in several passes to avoid damaging the bit or burning the wood.

 The table below shows which circle-cutting jig is most suitable for various scenarios.

Circle Jig for Precision Circle Size Circle Thickness Ease of Use Safety
Router High, very precise Small, Medium, Large Any thickness - depends on the length of the router bit Easy to use, comfortable Safe
Jigsaw Medium Small, Medium, Large Thin / Medium thin materials - precision depends on thickness and type of material Easy to use Safe
Table Saw High Medium Thin Moderate Moderate
Bandsaw High, very precise Small, Medium Any thickness Easy to use, comfortable Moderate, Safe

3 Best DIY Circle Cutting Jigs - How to Cut a Circle in Wood

Best overall jig for cutting circles in wood. Easy to set up, safe with great results. This is my preferred and favorite method of cutting circles in wood.

Whether you need to cut small circles or even large ones, this jig will easily help you do it. It is easy to set up, and easy to operate. Using this jig is safe and the resulting cuts are perfect.

The router circle jig has an adjustable t-track bolt with a pivoting pin included with which you can precisely set the diameter of the circle.

Router circle cutting jig - how to cut a circle with a router

The quality of the cut mainly depends on the router bit used. There are 2 main router bits in particular designed for cutting circles with a trim router – a straight bit and a spiral bit.

To build the jig you will need a router, a circular saw, and a hand drill.


  • The edges of the circle are precise, clean, and without burrs, which is great for cutting table tops, serving trays, or bar stool seats.
  • Both small and large circles can be cut.
  • Adjustable circle diameter.
  • Easy to set up, easy to operate.


  • The length of the router bit determines the depth of the cut. Usually, it is less in comparison to a jigsaw or a table saw.
  • It is necessary to make several passes with the router to fully cut through the material.
Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood, MDF
Wood Glue, Epoxy, Screws
Double-sided tape
Router bit
Trim Router
Circular Saw
Several hours (around 5 hours) Several dollars Beginner/Advanced

Woodworking jigs that can help in the building process (not a necessity though):

CONCLUSION: Out of all circle-cutting jigs these router circle jigs are by far the best without a doubt. You can cut circles of any size, the cuts are clean, the result is great and they are easy to use.

The table saw circle jig is great for cutting medium-sized circles. Once set up you can quickly cut a circle with great results.

Follow all safety precautions and use additional safety devices like push pads, push blocks, magswitches, t-track stoppers, and others, which will facilitate the work and ensure greater safety when working with a table saw.

To build it you will need a table saw, a trim router, and a hand drill.


  • Cutting a circle on a table saw is quick and the results are great.
  • Suitable for cutting medium-sized and large circles.
  • Adjustable circle diameter.


  • Not recommended for cutting small circles. It is more convenient and safer to cut small circles using a router or a bandsaw.
  • Takes some time to properly set it up and find the right position between the jig and the table saw blade.
Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood, Oak
M6 Bolt, M6 Washer, M6 nut
Epoxy, Glue
Table Saw
Mini Table Saw
Hand Drill
Trim Router
2-3 hours Few dollars Beginner

CONCLUSION: The table saw circle jig is easy to build, it doesn’t cost much and the results are good. The circle edges are clean without burrs (provided you are using the right blade). It is suitable for cutting medium-sized and large circles. However, cutting a circle on a table saw can be intimidating, and I don’t recommend using it for cutting small circles. Other tools would be more convenient and safer for that.

Great for quickly cutting rough circles. Easy to set up and simple to use.

The jigsaw circle jig can be used both as a guide for cutting circles as well as a fence for making straight cuts. It is more suitable for cutting medium-sized or large circles, but not convenient for cutting small circles.

One of the common drawbacks of cutting a circle with a jigsaw is ending up with a skewed cut. That can be avoided by following these jigsaw-cutting tips.

To build it you will need a jigsaw, possibly a table saw.


  • Easy to use, easy to set up, quick cuts.
  • Enables both circular cuts and straight cuts.
  • Great for cutting rough circles.
  • Clean unburnt edges (provided the right jigsaw blade is used).
  • Adjustable circle diameter.


  • Cutting a precise circle can be somewhat difficult.
  • The right jigsaw blade needs to be used.
  • Cutting through thick material might result in skewed cuts.
  • Not suitable for cutting small circles.
Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood, MDF
Brass Flat Bar, Brass Rod
Hand Drill
Around 4 hours Few dollars Beginner

CONCLUSION: If you only have a jigsaw then this guide will serve well. It is not the best jig to cut a perfect circle, although it is achievable. There are a few factors that determine the quality of the result – mainly the jigsaw blade and the jigsaw type. However, if you have either a trim router or a table saw, it is better to cut a circle with these tools. At least, that is my preferable way.

My Experience

All these circle-cutting jigs are very useful and so much necessary in the workshop. Soon enough, you will encounter a project where you will need one.

The first circle jig I built was for a jigsaw. However, this is not my preferred way of cutting circles. Ending up with a perfect circle might be a challenge. You need the right blade (both for curved cuts and the type of material), and preferably a jigsaw with a blade roller. Cutting a circle with a jigsaw often ends with skewed edges. The way I use this circle is to cut rough circles and then finish them on another jig.

The second circle jig I included in my workshop was a trim router circle jig. This is my favorite and most used circle jig. It is easy to operate, and safe and the cuts are perfectly clean. I created 2 versions of this jig – one for corded routers, and the other for cordless routers.

So far, the last circle cutter I made was for a table saw. I was quite surprised with the results. However, using this jig might be a bit intimidating and one can be nervous about it, but the results are good and you can achieve nice results.


How to Cut a Perfect Circle in Wood

3 Different ways how to cut a circle in wood. Bet DIY Circle Cutting Jigs.
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About the author, Lukas
About the author, Lukas

Meet the creator of AllFlavor Workshop! As a passionate DIYer and woodworking enthusiast, Lukas is always looking for ways to make things himself rather than buying them off the shelf. With a keen eye for design and a knack for working with wood, Lukas enjoys sharing his craft with others and helping them discover the joy of building. Whether you're an experienced woodworker or a novice looking to try your hand at a new hobby, you're sure to find plenty of inspiration and tips on AllFlavor Workshop.