How do i prevent Baltic pine from chipping when cutting?

I am new to woodworking and i have used the Mitre, Circular, Table saws and all of them produces an unclean cut, is it to do with my technique or the equipment, the particular wood or any other factor?

  • Is it chipping onto the faces and edge that you're most concerned with or the quality of the cut end? You can minimise face/edge chips by various means and get better blades (usually expensive) to help with achieving superior cut surfaces, but really if you want the best results possible on the end grain you shouldn't expect to get it directly from the saw. You either need to sand (quite a bit) or to 'shoot' the ends using a hand plane to perfect end-grain surfaces.
    – Graphus
    Jul 2, 2018 at 12:34
  • Related question, possibly this is a duplicate: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/2/… Jul 3, 2018 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


This question is a little broad, but I'll take a shot at answering it.

There are generally two ways that you can prevent chipping/tearout when cutting, sever the surface fibers in advance of your cut and support them during the cut.

Severing the fibers is pretty self-explanatory - instead of marking your cutline with a pencil use a marking knife to cut the surface of the wood. This doesn't have to be too deep.

Supporting the fibers during the cut can take a few different forms. The most common is a "zero-clearance" insert/guide on the side of the material the blade rotates out of. On a miter saw and table saw this is the table surface, on a circular saw or jigsaw this is the saw side.

You can also support the fibers with a sacrificial piece of wood, again on the side that the blade is coming out of. You can also get a similar effect with a piece of blue masking tape. Just be careful when removing the tape to pull it so that it doesn't lift the fibers.

In addition you should make sure that you're using a sharp, high-quality blade, and that you have appropriate RPM and feed rates.


I'd like to add on to SassafraS1232's answer about using a sharp high-quality blade.

Using a blade with 60 or more teeth will also help get a cleaner cut when crosscutting. Just make sure you switch it out when you need to make a rip cut with your table/circular saw.

What is the difference between a rip-cut and a cross-cut?

  • Also make the cuts very slow... essentially fewer teeth but slower cut gives similar results to more teeth faster cut. You can get surprisingly clean cuts in soft wood by taking crosscuts very slowly.
    – aaron
    Jul 9, 2018 at 18:53

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