How to Cut Composite Decking

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Things You'll Need

  • Composite decking

  • Chalk line

  • Circular saw

  • Stiff electrical wire

  • Jigsaw

Composite decking cuts much like natural wood.
Image Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Composite decking is a molded engineered wood product made up of wood pulp and recycled plastics from a variety of sources. It is available in a variety colors--some smooth, some textured with artificial wood grain. Composite decking has many of the characteristics of natural wood. It has the added benefit of being impervious to pest and rot and a finish that allows it to maintain its appearance throughout the life of the product.

Cutting Composite Decking to Length

Step 1

Cut single pieces to length using any standard wood saw. Two commonly used types are circular saws and miter saws. It cuts similarly to traditional wood. Use a sharp medium-tooth blade for best cutting results. Use a quick square to mark the board. Hold the quick square against the face of the board to act as a saw fence for circular saws.

Step 2

Miter the decking with a miter saw by holding the board against the saw table and the fence. Line up the blade of the miter saw on side of your mark away from the piece you plan to keep. Keep your hands well clear of the blade. Start the saw, and pull the blade smoothly down and through the material. Release the trigger, and allow the blade to stop before moving the piece.

Step 3

Cut decking after installation by leaving extra length hanging over the edge of the deck. Mark the line of the deck edge using a chalk line across all of the overhanging ends. Set a circular saw to full depth and cut across all of the decking boards in one motion. This saves time on individual cuts, and provides a smooth line for the end of your deck.

Cutting Notches in Composite Decking

Step 1

Notch your decking to fit around any obstructions such as deck posts. Set the deck board in place, and cut to length next to any object that you must cut around. Mark the edges of the obstruction on the decking piece to indicate the proper location.

Step 2

Use a heavy piece of insulated electrical wire to bend around the shape of the obstruction. Set this template on your decking material lined up with the position marked in the earlier step. Trace the shape of the obstruction onto the face of the decking.

Step 3

Cut away the decking inside the outline with a jigsaw and a medium- to fine-tooth blade. Use a file to smooth out the edges of the cut and to ensure a proper fit.


Mark Morris

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.