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, and with the use of woodworking jigs, you will achieve great results. This tutorial will show step-by-step 3 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. 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.

The best way how to cut a perfect circle is by using a 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. The resulting cut is perfect, and working with these jigs is very comfortable. 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.

RELATED: 3 must-have DIY Corner Clamps for your workshop.

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Table of Contents

  1. 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
  2. My Experience

Below you will find a summary of how to make these different types of circle-cutting jigs.

There are multiple tools I have been using to build the circle cutters. Very often it is a combination of these power tools – a table saw, a circular saw, a trimming router, or a jigsaw. Not all of them are necessary though and some can be easily replaced with another tool.

All types of below-mentioned circle jigs use a pivoting pin to cut a circle. The pin defines the center of the circle around which the workpiece rotates. 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 with a router guide.

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

3 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.

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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 me-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.

3 DIY Circle Jigs For Every Workshop

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3 Different ways how to cut a circle in wood. DIY Circle Cutting Jigs.
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