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How hard can following a line with a circular saw be? It turns out that without a lot of practice, it can be a lot harder than the pros make it look. Hell, you even see pros using their speed square as a fence. There’s one problem with this method, though: Because of the width of the saw base, the cut line and where the square goes are two different places. So you play the game of trying to line up the blade with the cut line and the square with the fence all while holding the board, square, and saw.

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Kreg has come up with a simple solution, the kind that’ll make you slap your forehead (like I did) and wonder why you didn’t think of it. They add a small arm to their Square-Cut that you set to the width of your saw’s base. Then you just line up the end of the arm with the cut line and the square is in perfect position to act as a fence for the saw.

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The Square-Cut works with any circular or jig saw and can be easily changed to fit a different saw base. Kreg claims the “low-profile” design means it won’t get in the way of the saw motor while cutting — ever clamp a fence to a board or sheet only to get stopped by the motor hitting the clamp? It also has rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding around if you have a less-than-perfect grip.

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The Square-Cut retails for $17.

Square-Cut [Kreg]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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15 Responses to Kreg’s Square-Cut Adjusts For Your Saw’s Base

  1. BigEdJr says:

    I like it…but I am left handed.

  2. John says:

    BigEd: just put the guide on the other side (away from you) of the board

  3. BigEdJr says:

    I was thinking about that. Is there any danger to cutting towards your hand like that? I like the idea of this tool, but I like my fingers even more…

  4. brian says:

    I actually made a similar item with my speed square, a piece of scrap wood and a bolt. I just measured my saw offset from the base and bolted it in.
    It works well for short cuts, like the one showed above. For big cuts I bought the eurekazone guide rail.

  5. JKB says:

    It does look like they may want to come out with a lefty version since there are features that make the unit unable to mirror image.

    On the upside till then, this does reduce the saw control to trigger pull and push making use with your weak hand more doable.

  6. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    I have a few home made versions of this that take it a step better: I use thin tempered Masonite as a platform for the saw to slide along, and another with a straight edge glued to it to guide the saw. On the back at one end is a cross piece (scrap wood) to make the Tee. Once the guide Masonite is glued to the base Masonite, the first pass of the saw cuts the base Masonite to exactly match the saw base. I have a couple of sizes – one short for cross cuts, one longer for trimming door bottoms. Using the Masonite for the saw to slide on protects the paint on the door, and having the Masonite tight against the cut edge of the door reduced chip out. The cut edge of the Masonite is also easy to line up on the cut line.

  7. @MeasureOnceCutTwice:

    I did the same thing without the cross piece. Just recently I grabbed it to trim the bottom of a door. When I got it lined up I noticed it was cut for my old circular saw which I threw away. Of course the new saw’s base was wider.

  8. thomas says:

    I’ve seen a jig that was used for that. basically a piece of masonite attached to a fence. Only this jig had adjustable angle so you could repeat an angle. And the masonite you just cut with the saw. So all you have to do is line up your line with the jig and cut. (It was in shopnotes somewhere, I believe.)

  9. Andy says:

    I’m with brian. I have two speed squares (std and large), each with a piece of square scrap screwed on as a fence. You don’t even need to measure the offset to your blade – just make the first cut on a scrap 2×4, and the offset is automatically set to precisely the edge of your blade. Cheap and VERY effective! I find cuts made with these guides, and a decent blade on my circ saw, are at least as clean and accurate as those made on my miter saw.
    Andy

  10. Dave says:

    I see a bunch of people cutting the guide arm off a $17 piece of plastic cause they don’t tighten the nut down well enough.

  11. IronHerder says:

    I make jigs for this out of a longish straight piece of 1X2 as a cleat to a piece of 1X6 (or 1X4 or 1X8, etc.; parallel sides are more important than any particular width). The 1X2 cleat is squared up to the 1X6 saw guide and the pieces are joined securely. The 1X2 is cut to length by the first cut (actually cuts, because both sides of the 1X6 can be used: one for the wide side of the saw base, and the other for the narrow side). Minor downside: a separate jig is necessary for each circular saw in regular use (four and counting, excluding only my dad’s 8.25 inch skil saw from 1955; I have yet to replace the brushes and bearings). Theoretically, two jigs may be needed for each saw, if you place the jig on the near edge of the cut piece sometimes and use a jig on the far edge of the cut piece at other times. I’ve never needed a jig for the far edge, but you never know. FWIW, the untrimmed jig makes a nice (read cheap) present for friends.

  12. fred says:

    The advantage of making a sawing jig like this or a ripping jig up on a jobsite is that the first cut with the saw sets the edge – as othrs have said no – need to measure – but you can be off if you change saws or switch blades to a much thinner kerf. We also make up this sort of jig to cut manufactured “I” joists – holding the saw level from flange to web to flange.

  13. Brew says:

    I have had this one for years. Can’t say I have ever used it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bench-Dog-10-019-Portable-Circular/dp/B0007VO0GM

  14. Dan says:

    Lee Valley has a square with built-in holes, to make this a little bit easier:

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=53802&cat=1,240,45313,53802

  15. AndyD says:

    ChopShot is interesting in its simplicity. It’s a square edge with two holes to screw it down. Also they use the idea of pushing the piece into guide, which help keeps its position. I am not sure that I like pushing any blade towards my precious body parts. I prefer the cut-off boards others have described. See MeasureOnceCutTwice.
    Also the ChopShot does not have the Masonite cutting surface. Not only does this surface provide something for the saw to ride on, it provides zero-clearance (at least on one side of the saw). Remember that a circular saw cuts up against its base, the reverse of a table saw. This helps avoid marring and chip out. If your are trimming 2 by lumber as shown in the ChipShot.
    The remaining problem is seeing where the saw path will be. The platform is superior for this since it shows the entire path.
    One jig I use to “measure” / see the blade offset is made by scribing a path across with a small piece of Plexiglas. By setting the blade to just touch the surface I cut a dado across the Plexiglas. The Plexiglas edge is aligned flush with the edge of the tool. This creates a single purpose ruler for that offset.
    I have done this for multiple saws, blades, routers and router bits. Its real value is that I can see both sides of the saw path, making it easier to see what is going to be cut away. Sometimes it is just easier to have the waste side of the line under the tool.

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