Q & A

Can a Jigsaw Cut a 2×4 and 4×4? Tradies Tricks

You rely heavily on your jigsaw because it is one of your most dependable woodworking tools. You are wondering how thick of wood a jigsaw can cut without burning out the blade. Do you know if it can slice through a 24? Shouldn’t you get a four-wheel drive?

Jigsaws are capable of cutting through 2x4s, but not 4x4s due to their thickness. Cutting through a 44 requires a mitre saw with a 10-inch blade and a 3.5-inch depth of cut.

In this article, I will provide you with a wealth of useful jigsaw puzzle data and advice. I’ll explain how to use a jigsaw to cut a 2×4 and which tool is best for cutting through a 4×4.

C’mon, then, and we’ll get going.

How Thick Wood Can a Jigsaw Cut?

Jigsaws can be used to cut in both straight and curved lines. Blades in this power tool are constructed of hard materials like tungsten carbide or high-carbon steel.

However, how well does a jigsaw perform when cutting through thicker wood, such as blocks or planks?

Jigsaw blades should have a cutting depth between 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) and 3/8 inches (10 mm) (40 mm). The thickness of a 24 (about 1 1/2 inches) is just within the allowable range for a jigsaw.

One of the most common causes of a bent blade is attempting to cut through wood that is too thick. Read this post I wrote to find out why jigsaw blades bend.

How thick of wood can a jigsaw cut?

How Do You Rip a 2×4 with a Jigsaw?

Ripping the wood is a necessary step in some woodworking operations. There’s no suggestion of destruction here; wood just cannot be torn apart. Ripping, on the other hand, involves making lengthy, straight cuts with the grain of the wood.

There are many uses for the skill of wood ripping. The term “ripping” usually refers to the action of cutting against the grain of a piece of wood with a handsaw or power instrument such a table saw, band saw, circular saw, or radial arm saw. So, you want to know how to tear a 24 with a jigsaw, but you’ve never done it before.

Cutting thick timber might cause your jigsaw blade to become loose. See the rationale here.

Here’s how to rip a 2×4 using a jigsaw:

Choose a sharp knife.
Turn up the oscillation all the way.
Lead the jigsaw blade through the opening.
Clearing up the sawdust I’ll go into more depth on how to clean the wood now.

First, you must select the appropriate blade.

You can get the jigsaw blades that I use on Amazon.

You should go out and get some better jigsaw blades after reading my latest piece where I go into great detail on the subject. That’s a plus, as you can’t use just any jigsaw blade to rip a 2×4.

It’s better to make a blade that’s optimised for scrolling. You should pick a heavier blade with larger teeth. Keep the blade’s teeth clean, sharp, and ready to use.

In the second stage, the oscillator is adjusted.

Most high-quality jigsaws feature an oscillating blade that can be adjusted via a switch located on the side of the tool. In doing so, the blade angles outward as it cuts upward, rather than remaining in a perfectly vertical position. The blade is affected most by the different settings, with the third position having the greatest impact.

When ripping, which requires cutting with the grain, I always use the oscillation setting. With this adjustment, slicing with the grain is quick and simple. The toggle may be seen in the image below.

Switch on the jigsaw’s oscillator (Step 3) and start cutting.

Use the pencil line as a guide for your jigsaw. With the fence attached to the base of some jigsaws, tearing is much simpler. However, I rarely use them since I dislike how they limit my manipulation of the blade.

The fourth step is to get rid of the saw cuts.

If you followed the instructions well, you shouldn’t have any large saw marks. If any of them got through, you can smooth them down with some sandpaper or a block plane.

One of the neat features of using a jigsaw to rip wood is the ability to create bevelled rip cuts. The only deviation from the procedure outlined above is the adjustment of the angle.

Jigsaws are capable of slicing through 24 lumber.

nevertheless, 4x4s

What Size Saw Do I Need to Cut a 2×4?

By its own designation, a 24 must be four inches in width and two inches in depth, right? But it doesn’t work that way. In contrast, the dimensions of a 24 are 1 1/2 inches deep by 3 1/2 inches wide.

A circular saw with an 8-inch blade or a 10-inch mitre saw blade is recommended for cutting a 2×4. Thanks to the rigidity of the blades, your cuts will be clean and precise.

That being said, what is the best saw size for cutting a 24? I suppose it would depend on how you planned on slicing the 24.

In order to cut through a 24 at a 45° angle with a saw whose blade is 5 3/8 inches long, you would need to make two passes.

However, if you use the same saw, you can cut a 90-degree angle with a single stroke.

What about a longer, wider blade? A 24 can be cut in half at 45 degrees if the blade’s capacity is greater than six inches.

Still, for some electric equipment like circular saws, such blade diameters are on the low end of the spectrum. The typical size of the blade on those saws is 7 14 inches.

What Can You Cut a 2×4 With?

A jigsaw, as I mentioned before, can easily slice through a 24, but perhaps you loaned it out or broke it. You don’t want to put off cutting the 2x4s for your woodworking project any longer than necessary.

Also, you may always use one of the other saws available to you in the meanwhile. Can anyone recommend the best saws for cutting a 24? Some saws that can handle a 24 are as follows:

Tools with a circular blade
Tools with a reciprocating blade
Circular saws
Angle cutters
This jigsaw comes well recommended from me! For me, this has always been effective.

Besides jigsaws, which I’ve already mentioned, I’ll now go into depth on how to cut a 24 using each of the saws listed above.

Circular Saw

As I mentioned before, circular saws are perfect for chopping up 2x4s. In my opinion, worm drive circular saws are superior to inline or sidewinder circular saws when it comes to cutting wood planks.

Describe the sidewinder saw and its functions. The blade and the engine spin on the same axis, making this a more conventional design for a circular saw. A shaft in the motor spins the blade. Sidewinder saws often aren’t too big or heavy, making them convenient to use.

Verify that the blade is oriented properly.

In contrast, the saw blade of a worm drive saw is perpendicular to the motor. Motor gearing boost torque for greater efficiency. The blade of the circular saw receives the resulting torque.

A worm drive circular saw would be an excellent tool for cutting thick chunks of wood or other materials. You don’t need quite that much cutting power when working with 2x4s though.

Each and every one of these circular saws can also make precise mitre cuts. In my essay, I detail the process, so be sure to read it if you’re interested.

Reciprocating Saw

Instead of whirling the blade like many power tools do, sawzalls and reciprocating saws move the blade in a back-and-forth motion.
Although jigsaws belong to the larger category of reciprocating saws, which also includes rotary reciprocating saws, sabre saws, and scroll saws, I’ve decided to treat them as their own subcategory for the purposes of this discussion.

Cutting or ripping a 24 using some types of reciprocating saws won’t result in the cleanest of cuts. It’s common, and it usually doesn’t spell disaster. For the sake of repetition, let me remind you that sandpaper and a block plane will be your greatest friends when it comes to finishing the rough edges of each wooden component.

Table Saw

The blade of a table saw is similar to that of a circular saw, however unlike a circular saw, it is not portable. The arbour is not part of the table saw, despite the name. It still has a motor that rotates its parts with the help of gears, a belt, or electricity.

In and of itself, a table saw is not an asset for slicing 2x4s. However, with the addition of a crosscut sled, you can reduce kickback and make cleaner cuts.

Miter Saw

A mitre saw is ideal for making crosscuts. In order to cut 24 planks at a precise angle, you will need a mitre saw. You won’t need a heavy duty circular saw to make bevels, angles, or crosscuts. The 10-inch version will do just fine. The mitre saw is excellent quality. The bosch tools are fantastic.

In any woodworking project where you need to make identical cuts frequently, a mitre saw is an excellent tool due to its dependability and precision. The consistency of the outcome will be beneficial to your work.

Japanese Pull Saw

What do you think about some handsaws? Cutting a 24 with a handsaw will need significantly more time and energy than using a power tool, but it is possible, and that is why I will be discussing it.

Because of their resemblance to a meat cleaver, Japanese pull saws aren’t the most popular style of handsaw. The pull stroke is what actually does the cutting, hence the saw gets its name from that. With a pull saw, you can make precise, tiny cuts. However, not all power tools will provide you with such assurance.


A backsaw is another option for cutting 2x4s with a handsaw. Adding ribbing to the back improves the item’s manageability and longevity. The blade’s teeth are extremely close together, but this gives the saw a sharp edge that makes quick work of cutting through wood planks like 2×4.

Can a Jigsaw Cut a 4×4?

Obviously, if the dimensions of a 24 aren’t exactly two inches by four inches, then the dimensions of a 44 aren’t exactly four inches by eighteen inches, either. Yes, you are correct; they do not. A 4×4 is 6.5 centimetres (2.5 inches) in height and 6.5 centimetres (2.5 inches) in width.

While many power and handsaws can easily cut through 2x4s, this is not always the case once you move into thicker 4×4 material. Can a 4×4 be sliced with a jigsaw?

A 44 is too thick to be cut using a jigsaw, which has a maximum depth of cut of only 1 1/2 inches. They barely pass muster for chopping a 24. Long blades in jigsaws cause the saw to flex and wander as you cut.

What if you didn’t measure anything and tried to use your jigsaw to cut a 4 by 4? Nothing positive could come from doing that.

Your jigsaw might break if the blade gets jammed. The jaw could start bouncing or hopping, making it difficult to control. Here are the 9 causes and solutions for why your jigsaw jumps.

The top of your jigsaw blade, closest to the machine, is often fixed, but the bottom, or end, of the blade typically bends and follows the grain of the wood, so it, too, will wander.

I don’t need to tell you that trying to force your jigsaw to do something it can’t do greatly increases the likelihood that you may get hurt.

If you try to cut a 4×4, you run the risk of breaking your jigsaw, which will cause you emotional (and financial) distress even if you avoid serious injury.

You should avoid taking any chances. A jigsaw isn’t the ideal tool for the task if you need to cut any 4x4s; rather, a 10-inch mitre saw is what you need.

How Do You Cut a 4×4 Post in the Ground?

If you’re into constructing fences, you may eventually find yourself in a position where you need to cut a 4×4 post that has been buried in the ground. The post’s measurements are 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, the same as a standard 4 by 4 inch board. In what conceivable way could you possibly attempt to slice it?

In order to remove a fence post, all you need is a handheld circular saw with a 7 1/4-inch blade. Cut right through the 44 by tracing a square around the post and making at least two cuts.

Cutting in this manner requires you to hold the saw at an angle while following your pencil line, making for a little more challenging cut. There’s a greater chance of backlash with this sort of cut, making it even riskier.

Here are the measures for digging a hole for a 44 post:

Square a Line Around Post

Using a square like this one, initially draw a square line around the post’s circumference. This is necessary because a single pass with the saw won’t be enough to get through the material.

Make sure the blade is square to the base

Make sure the saw blade is perpendicular to the saw base by using a square like this one. This is crucial since making two cuts with a crooked blade will result in a jagged final product.

Make 2 cuts

The initial slash will be made in one direction. After that, you should move to the opposite side of the post and make another cut. The cut will be finished after the scrap material drops off.

You can undoubtedly use a saw to remove fence posts from the ground, but you should take extra precautions to ensure your safety and keep a strong grip on the saw.

Here’s a video that can show you the ropes.


Although a jigsaw is a useful power tool, it cannot cut through wood thicker than a 24, which measures 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Wood of that size and thickness can be easily cut or ripped with a jigsaw.

Simply put, a jigsaw will not be able to cut through a 4 by 4. The timber is too thick for this style of saw!




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