Terms of the Trade: What Is Kerf?

Someone cutting wood on a table saw.

If you were to look up the simple definition of kerf, you’d find that most use it to refer to the actual incision on a material made by a saw blade. But to woodworkers, it’s more complicated than that, and refers to the width of the material being removed by the cutting process. This is important because the width of the cut itself will impact the final dimensions of the cut piece and needs to be accounted for.