We all know Kreg for their pocket hole jigs, but what about some of their other innovations? Cutting plywood can be difficult no matter what your experience level is. Outside of getting a massive panel saw you’re left with a lot of measuring, marking and praying. Kreg comes in with the Rip-Cut, their solution to the common struggles of cutting down plywood or paneling and doing accurate cuts that are simple to repeat on them as well. So, lets investigate and take a look at the Kreg Rip Cut Review.
Kreg Rip Cut Review Overview
The Kreg Rip Cut, model number KMA2685, comes neatly packaged with pictures on the back showcasing the features of the Rip Cut. Once opened you find only a few simple items:
- Aluminum Track Arm
- Saw Sled
- Edge Guide
- Warranty Guide
The instructions were incredibly simple to follow, and the photos were well thought out for easy set up.
Kreg Rip Cut Review Features
The Rip-Cut’s track cuts up to 24 inches. With a standard plywood sheet being 4 feet by 8 feet, it quite literally allows you to cut it in half. Obviously if they had made the track a full 48 inches it would satisfy more needs, but for the bulk of consumers 24 inches is likely sufficient.
One other thing I felt could use improvement is that the track felt like it should be weighted on the free edge to counterbalance the jig, as it would improve stability when making smaller cuts.
The edge guide was simple to set up. Two screws set easily while two other plastic spacers insert into the unused slots for maximum stability.
The edge guide can be easily flipped to allow for left or right-hand use. I actually tried this assembled both ways, and I could use the Rip-Cut either direction. It truly became a matter of preference and application. The edge guide stayed flush against the plywood while cutting and felt solid and secure to the track.
Prior to attaching the sled, a filler strip can be adjusted to suit your saw. It is packaged with an angle to support saws with an angled front saw base as the DeWalt in the photos had. Should you have a flat saw base, a flat head screwdriver is needed to wedge the strip out and a simple flip creates a flush base. I felt this was a nice touch and indicative of a well thought out tool.
Also, there is a recommendation of using a minimum of 40 tooth saw blade and to increase the depth adjustment on your saw blade to be sure the blade protrudes at least an 1/8th of an inch through the plywood.
You have a simply designed index stop that during set up is removed and reinstalled after adjustments are made. This creates a sort of memory system for the following uses of the circular saw.
The base plate clamps were easy to configure as well. Once you loosened the clamps they were simple to set for maximum security of the circular saw.
The track system slipped into the sled easily. Although at times during adjustments it did stick a little, it wasn’t cumbersome. The sled and track locked together by a plastic lever on the top of the sled and I had no issue with the track slipping when locked.
There is an adjustable cursor that allows you to ensure maximum accuracy. The instructions are simple to follow for this, but I found slight adjustments were still needed to be made to ensure maximum accuracy. This seems to be standard with most jigs or fence devices, and once the adjustments are made you are good to go without interruptions. I always keep scrap wood just for times like this when you want to test something out before getting into a project. Whether leftovers, or a find while raiding the Home Depot clearance rack, scrap is always a necessity for me.
Kreg Rip-Cut Review Performance
The Kreg Rip Cut actually exceeded my expectations for performance. You can see here that once the jig was set up accurately the cut was right on the money. Ultimately the claims Kreg made in terms of what the Rip-Cut could do were met and it absolutely does simplify the task of breaking down plywood sheets. Where this tool really shines though, is that once set you can make accurate and repeated cuts which comes in handy in a lot of fields. The jig overall was simple to set up and use, and I imagine it will just continue to get easier with continued use.
I did find that supporting the wood improved the quality of the cut greatly and made the saw and Rip-Cut combo more comfortable to use. This is generally true with all saws though, so that is to be expected. I have a list of projects that I have coming up that will be simplified by the Rip-Cut’s use such as board and batten, bookshelves, and when I start new cabinet doors for our master bath, this will definitely be a lifesaver.
Kreg Rip Cut Review Value
Honestly the value in the Kreg can be seen from several points of view. Coming in at $39.99 it isn’t an overwhelmingly expensive addition to your tool chest. For the homeowner or DIYer the Rip-Cut is a small investment to make that allows a circular saw to be multi-functional, especially if you don’t own or aren’t comfortable using a table saw. Being able to make consistent and repetitive cuts also appeals to professionals alike as it simplifies the workspace and saves the use of a portable table saw.
Kreg Rip Cut Review Final Thoughts
Kreg is Kreg, they seem to be infinitely tapped in to consumer needs and are constantly coming to market with new innovations or in this case improving upon past models. For the small investment in this tool, you get a lot of pay off and superior results. There are dozens of homemade jigs I have seen people come up with to do exactly what the Rip-Cut does, however Kreg has a way of simplifying and streamlining jigs to achieve superior results. Kreg doesn’t disappoint with the Rip-Cut.