For cutting decking components you will ideally have a few different types of power saw. It is not impossible with hand saws but it will take much longer and will be extremely hard work.


cut decking joist

Cutting the deck joists by hand is not really practical as they are 150mm*50mm timber and are treated. A chop saw like this will make light work of any joists, posts or deck boards.

These machines can be hired from most hire shops and will make the job much easier. Alternatively you could use a large mains powered circular saw.

reciprocating saw in use

A reciprocating saw comes in handy for cutting the deck posts to length or for trimming off joists when they are in position. This is much easier than sawing by hand!

cutting deck board

The chop saw is also the saw of choice for cutting deck boards. You can fit all the deck boards to the deck and then trim them after they are fixed using a circular saw if you like.

cuts around newel posts

To get neat cuts around the newel posts like in this picture you will need a decent quality jigsaw. Cheap jigsaws are difficult to use and are great at cutting curved lines even when you are trying to go straight!

mark cut out

Here is how to cut out around the deck posts in a few easy steps. I have marked the back of the board in this example but you can mark either side. This is the shape we need cutting from the deck board.

jigsaw cut wood

Cut a straight line using a jigsaw and stop when you get to the line that is going in the opposite direction.

cut wood

Then cut another line and stop at the line that is in the opposite direction.

cut curve

Now do a curved cut and stop exactly in the corner where the two lines meet.

cut line

Now cut across the line at the end.

cut out

You are left with the correct size cutout for the post.