3 DIY Circular Saw Guides You Will Ever Need

If you are building a workshop there is no need to spend a lot of money on equipment, instead, you can build a lot of the gear yourself, like these 3 DIY Circular Saw Guides. There is a ton of projects you can make with these saw guides, they are easy to make and will help you so much in the workshop.

Using a circular saw guide is vitally important to make accurate cuts with your circular saw. From making short precise cuts to ripping large sheets of plywood a circular saw guide can help you achieve your goals. In this blog post, I am listing the top 3 DIY Circular Saw Guides you will ever need for your workshop.

When I started with woodworking a circular saw was one of the first tools I got for my workshop. However, I soon found out that making long straight cuts and crosscuts or ripping large sheets of plywood freehand is not that easy. And very often the result was not what I was hoping for. Experience is so much needed.

Making long straight cuts and crosscuts with a circular saw guide is much easier. A circular saw guide will help not only in terms of cut precision and accuracy but also in terms of safety as well. A circular saw can be a little intimidating, especially if you are new to the tool and it is important to feel comfortable using it.

I was looking for a few circular saw guides for my workshop but the prices are quite high and for a starting woodworker it can be a decisive expense. And honestly, an unnecessary expense too. I decided to make my own circular saw guides and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

If you make your own saw guides, you will not only save money that can be spent elsewhere in the workshop but you’ll have a few extra projects to work on where you can get additional experience.

A completed guide for a circular saw
A circular saw track with 2 guide rails for straight short cuts

Over time I have built several circular saw guides but these are the top 3 DIY Circular Saw Guides with which you will be able to complete almost any project.

Read below how to build these saw guides, what material you will need, and what is the best way how to use them. I have built them and tried them all. Read through the article to find out their benefits and how much money and time it takes to create them.

RELATED: You might be also interested in these 5 essential DIY Jigsaw Guides.

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Table of Contents

  1. What are the most important things when making a DIY Circular Saw Guide?
  2. DIY Circular Saw Guides
    1. DIY Circular Saw Guide for Long Straight Cuts (Straight Edge Guide)
    2. DIY Circular Saw Track for Short Straight Cuts
    3. DIY Circular Saw Guide for Straight Cuts and Crosscuts

*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!

Circular saws are powerful and you should treat them with respect. Make sure to follow all safety precautions.

What are the most important things when making a DIY Circular Saw Guide?

1. Safety

Safety is definitely the most important thing when building a guide for a circular saw. Every circular saw is different and the build of the saw guide needs to be tailored to the type of circular saw used. A circular saw is a powerful tool, you should treat it respectfully and follow all safety precautions when working with it.

2. Design

Spend some extra time to validate the design of your guide. Think about how you will handle it, how you will use it, and what are the main cuts you will be making with it.

3. Build

The build must be solid. The construction needs to be strong enough to withstand all kinds of different cuts. If using glue is not enough and screws are needed, add them. Adding a sturdy guide rail is a good option. A guide rail typically holds the circular saw in position and prevents it from wobbling or tilting.

4. Saw blade

Use the right circular saw blade for the job. Depending on the type of material and the type of cut you should be using the right blade. A suitable blade will make sure the cuts are clean and will prevent the wood from splintering.

Below you will find a summary of how to make these DIY circular saw guides.

They are ordered by frequency of use (how often I use them for my projects).

In most cases to build the saw guides the only power tool you will need is a circular saw, which you probably already have, but in some specific cases an additional tool might be needed (trimming router, jigsaw).

For more details on each type of circular saw cutting guide, be sure to check out the relevant article.

DIY Circular Saw Guides

The saw guide can be used to make both long straight rip cuts and crosscuts. It can be used to cut and break down larger sheets of plywood and can make any degree miter cut.

The circular saw track contains several pre-drilled clamping holes along the board for fixing the guide and material cut to the workbench as well as an anti-slip tape attached to the bottom of the guide that helps when used without being attached to a desk.

This is the most difficult guide to make but definitely worth it. The circular saw is attached to a shoe that slides on the track. The shoe holds the circular saw the entire time straight in position making sure the cuts are always straight and precise.

To build the saw guide you will need a circular saw, a trim router, and a hand drill. Some of the cuts can be made with a jigsaw instead of a circular saw.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood
Aluminum L Angle
Aluminum flat bar
Drill bit - 2mm
Forstner bit - 35mm
M6 Bolts, M6 Wing Nut
Wood screws, File
Sandpaper, Anti-slip adhesive tape
Double-sided tape
Several hours (around 3 hours) Few tens of dollars Beginner Advanced

Woodworking jigs that can be used to make the straight edge guide (not a necessity though):

CONCLUSION: This multipurpose circular saw guide will help you make straight cuts, and crosscuts and will let you cut large sheets of plywood. This is my preferred and most used guide.

The saw guide can be used to make short straight and precise cuts.

The circular saw moves on a track and gets support from two aluminum rails on both sides. The rails keep the circular saw straight during the cut and prevent the saw from tilting, resulting in nice perpendicular cuts. 

The guide can be used freely or can be clamped down to a workbench for better stability and accuracy. Out of the 3 guides, this is the easiest one to make that requires the least material.

To build the saw track you will need a circular saw and a hand drill or a jigsaw.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood
Handle
Aluminum guide rails
Bolts, Washers, Nuts
Double Sided tape
Forstner bit
Few hours (around 2-3 hours) Few tens of dollars Beginner

Woodworking jigs that can be used to make the circular saw track (not a necessity though):

CONCLUSION: I have been using this saw guide for a lot of shop projects. It is easy to build and quick to set up and use due to its size. You don’t need a lot of tools and materials to build it. A perfect guide for quick short straight cuts.

The saw guide can be used to make both straight cuts and 90-degree crosscuts.

The build is solid, and the straight edge guide and the crosscut fence are made of aluminum L angles. The guide can be easily set up and used right away. The crosscut fence on the bottom of the guide makes sure you will be able to cut at 90 degrees.

It can be used freely thanks to the anti-slip tape on the bottom of the guide or can be clamped down to a workbench using predrilled clamping holes.

To build the guide you will need a circular saw and a hand drill or a jigsaw.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood
Aluminum L Angle
Handle
Double Sided Tape
Wood Glue
Anti-slip adhesive rape
Several hours (around 5 hours) Few tens of dollars Beginner

Woodworking jigs that can be used to make the circular saw crosscut guide (not a necessity though):

CONCLUSION: A great guide to making both straight cuts and crosscuts. It is really easy to set up and make a cut. This is the best guide for crosscuts, especially if you want to cut wood prisms.

To be able to make precise 90-degree crosscuts you have to ensure during the build, that the crosscut fence is perpendicular to the blade. This is the most crucial part of this build.

Personally, I am not using this guide that much since the majority of the cuts I am able to make with the other ones. It is quite time-consuming to build it and since the circular saw gets support only from one side the resulting cuts are not always perpendicular and sometimes you end up with a beveled edge.

My Experience

All these circular saw guides are very useful in the workshop and you will be able to finish the vast majority of projects only with these guides. Save some money and build them. You can easily do it yourself and invest the extra money elsewhere.

I have been using them for a few years now and they have been serving really well.

3 Must Have DIY Guides for a Circular Saw

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Best DIY guides for a circular saw for a workshop you can make yourself. Circular saw guides for straight cuts, crosscuts and long rip cuts.
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