July 14, 2023

How To Cut Stair Stringers

Planning and Preparation

Before you begin cutting stair stringers, it's important to make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials ready. Here are a few things you'll need:

- Tape measure
- Pencil
- Framing square
- Circular saw or handsaw
- Safety goggles
- Work gloves
- Lumber for the stringers
- Stair tread material

Measuring and Marking

The first step in cutting stair stringers is to accurately measure and mark the dimensions on your lumber. Begin by determining the total rise, which is the vertical height from the bottom of the stairs to the top. Measure this distance and divide it by the height of the risers you prefer to use. This will give you the total number of risers.

Next, determine the total run, which is the horizontal distance the stairs will cover. Measure the length from the bottom of the stairs to the top and divide it by the width of your stair treads. This will give you the total number of treads.

Using a framing square, mark the rise and run dimensions on your lumber. Ensure that the square is positioned correctly and your measurements are accurate.

Calculating Stringer Cuts

To calculate the individual cuts on your stringers, start by dividing the total rise by the total number of risers. This will give you the height of each riser.

Next, divide the total run by the total number of treads. This will give you the length of each tread.

Using the rise and run measurements, mark the first riser and tread on your stringer. From there, continue marking the rest of the risers and treads along the length of the stringer.

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Cutting the Stringers

Now that your stringers are marked, it's time to cut them out. If you're using a circular saw, set the blade depth to slightly deeper than the thickness of your stringer. This will allow for a clean and accurate cut.

Carefully follow the marked lines to make your cuts. Take your time and ensure the cuts are straight and precise. If you're using a handsaw, use caution and take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.

Finishing Touches

Once your stringers are cut, it's always a good idea to give them a thorough inspection. Check for any imperfections or uneven edges that may need to be trimmed or smoothed out. Sanding or filing any rough spots will ensure a professional finish.

Finally, you can attach your stringers to the deck or structure that will support the stairs. Use screws or nails to secure them firmly in place, ensuring they are level and plumb.


Cutting stair stringers may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a bit of careful planning, it can be easily accomplished. By following these steps and taking your time, you'll be able to create sturdy and functional stairs that will enhance the aesthetic and accessibility of your space. Remember to prioritize safety at all times and seek assistance if needed. Now, go ahead and confidently tackle your stair stringer project!

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I possess a profound passion for conceptualizing and orchestrating immersive experiences, whether in the realm of virtual environments or within the tangible three-dimensional world. My educational foundation includes a Bachelor of Architecture degree conferred by the esteemed Illinois Institute of Technology. Currently, I am actively engaged in the professional practice of architecture, simultaneously overseeing multiple entrepreneurial endeavors.


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