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Common DIY Cuts Explained

Free DIY plans are awesome. They’re readily available so there’s no shortage of inspiration. Unfortunately, not all DIY plans are beginner friendly.

Let’s set the scene. You’ve found DIY plans you’re excited about. Gathered up your power tools. Arranged all the materials you need and now you’re ready to start your project. You get to step one and it asks for a bevel cut, and then a compound cut. If either of those things sound confusing don’t worry, we’re here to help.

There are four common cuts you need to know when using a mitre saw, circular saw or drop saw, they are:

Cross cut

Cross cut illustration

A ‘cross cut’ is simply a straight cut, 90 degrees across the grain of the board. This is the most straight forward and common cut of the lot. If you’re cutting timber to a desired length then a cross-cut is usually the way to go. It’s recommended that you look out for knots in the wood before making your cross-cut to ensure a clean, straight finish.

Mitre cut

Mitre cut illustration

The ‘mitre cut’ is a straight edged cut on an angle across the length and width of the board. It’s used when you want a neat and tidy joint across two pieces of wood. Mitre cuts are often used on frames including picture frames, window frames and door frames.

Bevel cut

Bevel cut illustration

The ‘bevel cut’ is an angled edge cut across the thickness of the material. The angle of the cut can vary depending on the desired finish. Bevel cuts can be used in furniture and cabinet making to add a softer, more stylish finish.

Compound Mitre Joints / Cuts

Compound cut illustration

Compound mitre joints (also called compound mitre cuts) are a combination of the bevel cut and the mitre cut. The board will be cut on an angle across the length and width but also along the thickness. Compound mitre cuts are mainly used when two pieces of wood need to meet at different angles.

That’s it for the basic cuts you’ll need to know, now it’s time to find your next project and ‘Do It With Ozito’. If you’re looking for the perfect tool to try out the cuts above check out the Power X Change 18V Cordless Circular Saw.