Plywood, it’s a great product and we use quite a bit of it. You will find it from the furniture and cabinets in your home, to the roof over your head. Cutting it is simple and straight forward… cutting a straight line, on the other hand, can be a bit more challenging. In this blog post I will be using and reviewing the Kreg Rip Cut Jig.
The Kreg Rip Cut Jig
This looked like a neat little jig, that works with your circular saw to make long rip cuts, as opposed to having one of those big track saws like they use at the big box stores or setting up all manor of straight edges and clamps to make a straight cut. A poor mans track saw, if you will, that runs under $40.00. So I put it on my Christmas wish list and lo and behold… look what I got, Santa was good.
Just after Christmas we had some down time… we also needed to put plywood in the bottom of our dump trailer as the sheet steal was finally rusting through in several areas. Bill decided this would be a good time to get it done and asked me to give him a hand.
I know, you had to be there.
While Bill went and purchased the plywood, I thought this would be a good time to try out my new jig. So, I got out my tools and assembled the jig. It is quite forward with easy to understand directions.
Once assembled you set the red pointer on the slide to the width of your cut using the gray clamping tab. Next, attach your circular saw under the two set screw pins, making sure you line up the red pointer with the blade. I set the saw for 24″, half a sheet which is the maximum width on the guide. Bill ask… What if I want to cut 36″… OMG, I am so glad he was just kidding. That’s what I get for giving him the … oh never mind. (If your wondering about my answer… see the conclusion below)
When I was originally looking at this jig, I read someones comment that it does not work with all saws and in particular does not fit the craftsman circular saw. I used it with my Bosch 18v circular saw and it fit just fine. I have a craftsman that I may try in the future, if I do, I will let you know how it works out.
The jig was fairly easy to set up and use. It made a relatively nice cut, although it had a tenancy for the outer edge guide to stick as it slid along. I found I needed to assist it as I worked my way down the sheet to keep the saw from wandering off and binding.
After the cut, I measured several areas and the cut was consistent through the whole length.
As you can see, I used it on plywood, but I am sure you can use it on dimensional lumber as well and I will most likely try it when the need arises.
My Conclusion on the Kreg Rip Cut Jig
Pros- Handy addition to my tools that makes rip cuts clean and fast. Fairly compact and easy to store. Great price compared to other systems.
Cons- The end guide and saw track are made of plastic- I am concerned about how well these parts will hold up. You need to be diligent as you cut and help the edge guide so it does not wander and bind. Thumb screws, instead of set screw would be better for attaching the saw unless you have a dedicated saw for the jig. Bill had a valid point… you can not cross cut a 4 x 8 sheet into 3 x 4 and 5 x 4 pcs.
Over all- There are more expensive track systems out there, such as the Festool track saw, for cutting sheet goods such as plywood and paneling but, they run in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars and for safety, rip cutting thick plywood on a table saw typically needs two people. I really like this jig because one person can make the cut by moving the saw- not the plywood. With a bit of care, this jig will make cuts that are accurate enough for most of your projects and it’s reasonably priced. Over all, I would recommend the Kreg Rip Cut jig for your home work shop, as a quick, easy way to rough cut plywood down to a manageable size.
For more information here is the video from their YouTube channel.
Until next time…