Cutting IPE Wood With Circular Saw Like a Pro: 6 Steps You Need to Know!

IPE is a tropical or Brazilian hardwood that is harder to crack and cut with any woodworking tool. However, if you must cut the IPE board, a circular saw is certainly the best option.

Due to the dense and grainy pattern, it is difficult for the blade to penetrate. You have to use a high teeth count, carbide-tipped blade for cutting IPE wood.

If you have a pile of IPE wood and no idea where to begin, you have landed on the perfect article.

Cutting IPE Wood With Circular Saw

Why Cutting IPE Wood With Circular Saw Is Difficult?

IPE wood is one of the toughest woods to conquer with a circular saw. You will need intensity and rigor to overcome one IPE panel. Of course, with the right blade and technique, you can cut them. But you also need to have a thorough idea about why IPE wood and circular saw have some issues in between.

Dense Texture

IPE wood has a very intricate and dense texture which is very hard to penetrate. It is very testing to cut through this dense material and keep the blade in position. This density creates intense pressure on the circular saw blade, and it heats up easily.

Pattern Of The Grain

The grain pattern of the wood is different from each other. IPE wood’s grain pattern is certainly unique and quite impenetrable. The interlocking and irregular pattern makes the blade go off track. This pattern creates uneven cuts on the wood as well.

Blunting The Blades

The texture and the grain pattern make the blade impossible to stay sharp. This is called the blunting effect of the wood. IPE has the quality to make the blade dull fast and rapidly. This is truer when the blade is not qualified to cut IPE panels.

What Kind Of Blade Should I Use For Cutting IPE Wood?

As you have learned, you can’t use a random circular saw blade when it comes to IPE wood board or panel. The blade should have certain attributes which make it qualified for cutting IPE wood. When you are surfing for a circular saw blade for IPE panels, keep the following attributes in mind.

High Tooth Count

Tooth count denotes the number of teeth one particular blade has. To penetrate inside the IPE properly, you will need a higher number of teeth. It must be at least 40 teeth and can go up to 80 counts. High teeth blade will provide you with a precise and clean cut.

Negative Hook Angle

The hook angle denotes the angular shape of the teeth. The teeth’s angular position relating to the core of the blade refers to a hook angle. A hook angle can determine the force and power of a blade.

A circular saw blade with a negative hook angle has a benefit over the IPE wood. The teeth of this blade are a tad backward. This unique composition will aid in reducing the issue of kickbacks, especially when the opponent is IPE wood.

Size Of The Blade

The blade must be of good quality and the right size. Too large and too small blades will make the cut blunt and rough. A 7 ¼ inch blade is perfect for a panel of IPE wood. The blade’s bore size should also correspond with the arbor size of the circular saw to stop the circular saw blade wobble.


It must be confusing to determine the right blade material among so many options. However, if you know the material you are cutting with the blade, you will be able to determine the right blade material for that. For IPE, a carbide-tipped blade will be the best as it will reduce the heat generated by the dense IPE wood.

Width Of The Kerf

A thinner kerf generates less waste and provides a smooth cut, but it also produces a high amount of heat. A thicker kerf puts too much pressure and strain on the motor of a circular saw. For cutting IPE wood, the perfect kerf is 1.6mm, which is neither too thick nor too thin.

How To Cut IPE Wood With A Circular Saw

I hope you have found your desired blade by now following the guideline prescribed above. Now the part you have been waiting for. You are ready to overcome the dense and tensed IPE wood with your newly fetched blade. All you need is good instruction, and I am about to blurt out that exactly.

Adjust The Blade Depth

The thickness of the IPE wood will determine the blade’s depth. Measure the width of the IPE wood panel you want to cut. Now, extend the blade’s depth by 1/4 or 1/8 inch lower than that width. This way you can prevent binding and kickbacks.

Draw The Cutline

For precise cuts, you have to have a precise vision. And for the vision, you will have to draw a clean and clear line on the top of the board. You can draw the line with a straight edge and a pencil. However, due to the dense texture, the pencil line might seem invisible. In that case, use a grease pen or masking tape for marking the cutline.

Clamp The IPE Board

Without clamping the IPE board properly, it will have the risk of moving while cutting. You should find a clamp appropriate for the IPE board, depending on its thickness and size of it. Bar clamp and C-clamp work best for the IPE wood. The clamp should be tightly attached to the workbench and positioned at a perpendicular angle to the cutline.

Put On The Safety Gear

This step is often overlooked but is the most important step. As IPE wood is very dense and creates too much tension, it creates too much sawdust and noise. Your ear and eyes should be protected against the cacophonous noise and the flying sawdust and debris.

Cut The Board

Once your board and the circular saw blade are ready to cut, start cutting the board following the cutline. Make sure the saw is held firmly and tightly with both of your hands. Start slowly and move at a certain pace without rushing the process. Do not force the circular saw blade upon the board which may cause kickbacks or binding.

Finish The Cut

When you are at the end of the board, don’t take the blade off while the switch is still on. First, pull the trigger to turn the blade off and wait till the blade stops moving and spinning. Then, slowly remove the blade and unclamp the divided board. With the help of sandpaper or a chisel, you have to smoothen the edge and clear out any splinters.

Some Tips To Remember

  • As the texture of IPE wood is very dense, try making some shallow cuts on the top with the blade instead of cutting through the board in a singular cut.
  • Use a circular saw with a dust collection system. As IPE wood produces excessive sawdust and debris, the collection system will deter you from making a mess in your workstation.
  • Do not rush the process of cutting the IPE board. The pace should be slow and steady. Do not put too much pressure on the blade to penetrate through the board.
  • For marking the cutline, you can use chalk to draw a straight line in case you don’t have a straight edge. You can use an old board for guiding you to draw a straight line.
  • Apply sealer on the cut edges of the IPE panel as soon as you finish the cut. This way it will deter moisture from invading and can prevent the board from decaying.

People Also Ask


How to make angled cuts on the IPE wood with circular saws?

While making angled cuts, you have to adjust the circular saw base plate as per the cutline. You can adjust the base plate by loosening the lever or knob. According to the IPE board, adjust the depth of the blade and cut slowly. For accuracy, you can use an angle finder or a protractor.

What other tools can I use to cut IPE wood?

A circular saw is undoubtedly the best tool for overcoming the dense IPE wood. However, if you are looking for other options, you can use a miter saw for angled cuts and crosscuts. For rip cuts, you can consider a table saw. If you want to make intricate and detailed cuts on the board, a jigsaw will be the best option for you.

What should be the RPM rating of a circular saw for cutting IPE?

RPM or revolutions per minute denotes the motor’s power to rotate the blade at a certain time. For cutting IPE wood, the circular saw must have at least 4,500 RPM. Without the high speed of the blade, it will fail to penetrate through the dense texture.

Final Words

IPE wood cutting doesn’t have to be daunting as long as you have the right circular saw and the right blade for it. Prepare the board and the blade beforehand. If you are a novice in the circular saw world, practice your skill by working on some scrap material first.


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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