What Size Circular Saw to Cut 4×4 – Detailed Comparison


There is a variety of arsenal available to cut sizes such as 2x6s and 2x4s. The challenge comes when you have to cut through wider or thicker dimensions such as 4x4s. 

Many power saws can make cuts this big through reciprocating saws or chainsaws but they will not be as precise. Small miter saws, circular saws, and table saws do not provide the appropriate depth for deep cuts. 

So to accomplish this task you need saws that can make deep precision cuts. In this post, we will help you discover which saws are most suitable for the task. 

Quick Summary

In this post you will find information on:

  • Use of a 4×4 Post
  • Size of Circular Saw Required
  • Types of Circular Saws – Wormdrivers and Side winders
  • How to Cut a 4×4 Post With a Circular Saw
  • Alternatives to cut 4×4
  • Final Verdict

Let’s get started!

Use of a 4x4 Post

A 4×4 post is an outdoor woodworking staple that is structurally strong enough to support fencing and decking because of its large diameter. 

Posts such as the 4×4 are treated with pressure to ensure they can handle outdoor applications and they can be buried partially underground. 

With lumber of other dimensions, a 4×4 is always half an inch shorter than its measurements making the post 3.5×3.5.

Size of Circular Saw Required

Most people believe that circular saws are the best tool to cut 4x4s. Their versatility, mobility, and preciseness make it extremely easy to make cuts from the ground.

The size of the circular saw is determined by the diameter of the blade. The most common ones are the 6.5” and 7.25” saws. Circular saws can make quick and straight crosscuts, rip cuts, and bevel cuts. 

Components of a circular saw include:

  • A shoe or footplate that helps steady the saw against the workpiece
  • A bevel adjustment that allows the footplate to tilt against the blade for bevel cuts
  • A depth adjustor to allow the blade to cut different sizes of workpieces
  • A blade cover to hide the blade when the saw is not in use

Types of Circular Saws

According to your needs, you can decide which circular saw is most suitable to perform the task.

Worm Drivers

Worm driver saws have the motors placed perpendicular to the blade

These motors allow torque to the blade by using gears which makes worm drivers suitable for heavy-duty tasks. Moreover, these saws make very little noise. 


Sidewinder saws, also known as inline saws, are the most common circular saws. The motor is placed on the same axis as the blade which is connected through a shaft

These saws are lightweight and compact which allows them to be most suitable for most circular saw projects.

How to Cut a 4x4 Post With a Circular Saw?

A circular saw of 7.25” has a cutting depth of 2.5” at 90 degrees. The 6.5” saw can cut 2.18” at 90 degrees and 1.58” at 45 degrees

This means that the saws cannot make a 4×4 cut in a single pass which means you will have to cut halfway and turn the frame over. 

You can follow these steps to cut a 4×4 post easily.

Step 1

Choose the right flat surface. The best place to make cuts is on the floor of your garage or your trustworthy, woodworking table. 

Step 2

The measurements you mark on your workpiece will impact the accuracy significantly. We recommend that you should use a speed square and a pencil to make markings.


Ensure that all the marked lines intersect each other at exactly the right angle.

Step 3

Gently press down the saw’s blade to the workpiece to start cutting. After you have the initial cut, turn the piece over for a second pass, and turn it once more for a third pass


Maintain a gentle but firm hand on the saw.


Alternatives to Cut 4x4

Many other saws can help accomplish the task to cut 4×4 posts.

Reciprocating Saws

Reciprocating saws consist of long blades ranging from 3 to 12 inches which renders them capable of making deep cuts of up to 3.5 or 4 inches.

These saws are designed to cut fencing posts that have already been installed in the ground. 

However, the major drawback of these saws is that they are designed for demolition which is why they cannot make precision cuts. 

12-inch Miter Saw

A 12-inch miter saw is the best option to use when making 4×4 posts because the 12-inch blade is just enough to make a clean sweep cut of 4 inches. 

It not only provides precision in a single pass but you also do not have to change the safety precautions to turn the workpiece over.

10-inch Miter Saw

The 10-inch miter saws are quite capable of handling the job but they can make 3.5” cuts at best due to their small blade. The circular blade does not allow it to go deep enough to cut 4”.

You will need to make an initial cut and turn the workpiece over to make the second one, much similar to circular saws. 

Slide Saw

Slide saws are larger power tools that are most often found in a pro’s workshop. However, they are no better than a 10-inch miter saw. 

A slide saw also has a 10-inch blade and has a circular saw attached to its long arm that permits the saw to move perpendicularly across the board.

The only difference between a slide saw and a miter saw is that the sliding action of the slide saw allows it to overcome its blade’s limitations to make 4×4 cuts. 

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