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The plunge cut using the portable circular saw

Using the example of a ventilation grille cut-out
Cut-outs created using the portable circular saw are integral to the construction of many items of furniture. Using the example of fitting a ventilation grille, this illustrated guide explains how to precisely position this type of plunge cut. The same procedure can also be used for stoves, monitors or similar elements. This guide does not explain how to then fit and secure the ventilation grille.
Plunge cut


    In general, installing typical ventilation grilles is an easy task. The only slightly tricky aspect is the plunge cuts that must be made using a portable circular saw. This illustrated guide therefore describes how to safely create a cut-out for a ventilation grille in an existing wooden object. To make this plunge cut, you will need a jigsaw and a portable circular saw with a corresponding saw blade.


    The following tools and accessories are recommended for use in this application example:


    • Determine the position of the cut-out and mark it on the surface. 

      Drawing the cut-out
    • Next, set up the guide rail. A number of cuts of the same length are needed; therefore, this work will be carried out using the quick-action clamp and corresponding stops. 
      After placing the guide rail and aligning it with the scribe mark, secure the guide rail using the quick-action clamp. 

      Setting up the guide rail
    • Next, place the plunge-cut saw on the rail and set the depth stop to the maximum cutting depth. 

      Positioning the portable circular saw
    • Move the machine so that the mark on the machine is positioned directly above the mark on the workpiece. 

      Aligning the mark
    • A piece of wood with a right-angled corner can be used as a guide.

      Using wood as a guide
    • Use the kickback stop to set the start position and to prevent the saw from deviating upwards or backwards when beginning the plunge cut. To do this, push the kickback stop onto the base plate of the saw and tighten it.

      Kickback stop
    • You can now saw forwards slowly and carefully. 

      Sawing slowly and carefully
    • Alternatively, another stop can be fastened at the front, following the same procedure as above. The advantage of this method is that it enables users to produce plunge cuts of equal length. The stop limits the cutting length and prevents the user sawing any further.

      Fastening a stop at the front


    • For the plunge cut, place the portable circular saw on the rear stop. Switch on the saw and slowly lower it into the material. 

      Positioning the portable circular saw
    • Now saw slowly up to the second stop. When the stop is reached, carefully remove the saw from the material. Repeat this process as required.

      Sawing up to the second stop
    • Next, saw the short sides using the jigsaw. The jigsaw is used for these cuts as the short sides are not long enough for a plunge cut using the portable circular saw. Additionally, the plunge cut must be finished at the corners using the jigsaw. This allows users to quickly achieve the perfect cut-out for the required ventilation grille.

      Cut-out with jigsaw
    • Once the plunge cut is complete, the ventilation grille is inserted. The use of Festool machines and accessories in this step ensures perfect results in no time at all.

      Inserting the ventilation grille
    1. Our illustrated guides and work results are documented working steps that we have performed in practice. They are individual examples and do not guarantee or promise that users will obtain the same results. The results will depend on the user's experience and skill, as well as the material being used. Illustrated guides do not replace any Festool operating manuals and/or safety instructions. Liability for ensuring that the information, instructions and applications are free from content defects and defects of title, in particular with regard to the absence of defects, correctness, freedom from third party intellectual property rights and copyrights, completeness and fitness for purpose, is excluded. Claims for damages made by the user, regardless of their legal basis, are excluded. These liability exclusions are not applicable if the damage was intentional or caused by gross negligence, or in cases of statutory liability.

      We cannot accept liability for damage resulting from defects.