How do I love thee Kreg Rip Cut? Let me count the ways…

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Tools

Thanks for the warm welcome back everyone!!  I’m excited to be posting again.  Well I finally got to use my birthday presents, just a few mere months after buying them!  And let me tell you, I am in love with the Kreg Rip Cut.

It came in pieces, which took some of the wind out of my sails about getting back to woodworking.  I just wanted to start!  But it didn’t take too long to assemble the parts.

Nothing difficult about it, but makes sure you have a phillips screwdriver on hand to tighten up the parts.  I also used a pair of pliers to get all of it out of the package (there are some white pins you need to pinch to open it up).

Here it is all ready to go:

I also took a few minutes to square up my saw blade with the plate of the saw.  Please do this if you use a circular saw.  Please.  It is so easy and it made such a difference.  Loosen up the knob that allows you to make an angled cut, square up the blade (I used my combination square), and tighten up the knob.  If you are a visual person, here is a video explaining the process.  Actually, if you don’t know a thing about circular saws, there are 15 videos in this series and it explains everything to the complete beginner.

That all was the hard part and nothing about it was hard.  Here is the accuracy I got.  Beginning part of the board I cut:

And the end part of the same board:

That’s pretty accurate.  And I was able to get that accuracy immediately.  And it’s looking like I need to replace my circular saw blade–I’m getting some rip out…

The most amazing part for me was that I worked at my job, picked out and bought the plywood & boards, put together the Rip Cut, cut out the parts I needed for the actual hutch (no drawers), and started assembling it ALL IN ONE DAY.  Part of that was the miracle of straight 1x2s one after the other at Home Depot, part of it was the low number of cuts I had to make, and part of it was how fast the Rip Cut makes cutting plywood!

Now for the issues I had with it.  I still used my set up that I had in my how to cut plywood video with the 2x4s.  Without the Rip Cut attached to the saw, I am able to cut with the saw to the side of my body, so any kickback incidents happen with the saw to the side of me.  With the Rip Cut attached, the saw is still to my side, but the Rip Cut is in front of me–and if the saw kicks, the Rip Cut is going with it, and I’m behind it.  I don’t see a way around this–I’m short.  Short arms come with short legs.  Even if this were elevated on a table, I just don’t think I can reach that far!

I also had a problem with 1/4″ plywood wanting to travel with the saw.  With my homemade straight cut jigs, the jigs weighed down the plywood and it stayed in its spot.

This is also a problem with thicker plywood once you’ve gotten most of it cut up.  It wants to move with the saw.

If you need a piece that is larger than the width of the Rip Cut (which is 24″), you need to do a little finagling with the numbers.  Say you wanted a piece 36″ wide from the 48″ width.  You have to cut away 12″ from the other side, because you can’t cut larger than 24″ with the guide on the Rip Cut.  But wait!  Remember that the width of your saw blade (the kerf) is going to eat away some of the measurement.  My current blade is 1/8″ wide, so I would need to set the saw at 11 7/8″ (which will cut away 12″ from the waste side of the board) leaving you with 36″.  Not a deal breaker, but you’ve got to be on your toes when cutting like that.  I would just nick the plywood with the blade enough to get an imprint of the blade without cutting too deep.  Then I double checked my measurements before taking up the saw again, and completing the cut.

Last, but not least, you need to eyeball the last part of the cut, because you run out of guide before you run out of saw in the board.  I still got a straight cut each time, but just be aware that you need to keep moving straight forward and don’t swing the saw either way.  You’ll end up taking off the last corner of what you are cutting if you swing it.  This also happened with my homemade straight cut jig until I got used to it, but the Rip Cut seems to leave me feeling like I’m on my own sooner than the jig I was using.

Now after all the issues I listed, I will remind you that I said that I loved thee Kreg Rip Cut and I was going to count the ways.  60 seconds in every minute.  60 minutes in every hour.  The Kreg Rip Cut is going to be saving me quite a bit of time and when time is precious, you love what helps you conserve it.  I won’t be throwing out my homemade jigs, but I won’t be dragging them out as much either!
**Although Kreg did take notice of my initial posts about the Rip Cut, the only thing I received from them was a nice comment–no compensation for this post.

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