Johnson Level 98-Inch Aluminum Cutting Guide

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Johnson Level & Tool J4900 98-Inch Aluminum Cutting Guide

The Johnson Level & Tool 98-Inch Aluminum Cutting Guide is a rip guide that is designed to give you a straight edge for ripping plywood stock, doors and other large objects that may be too big to put through a table saw.

It is made up of a simple pair of 49-inch, extruded aluminum rail guides and is joined together with a plate and four screws to make a 98″ long  circular saws or router guide.

Rip guides have been around a long time, my first one was a piece of 1/2″ plywood.

They are used to  obtain accurate cuts or routing over long distances or to cut plywood or doors accurately.

Using The Cutting Guide:

I recently had an opportunity to review this rip guide.  When I used it to cross cut a 48″ sheet of plywood this guide worked flawlessly and provided me with an accurate and clean cut.

When ripping plywood the long way [ 96″ edge] I ran into a bit of trouble.

This cutting guide is only secured on each end with a small C-clap.  The middle of the guide is not secured and as a result it flexes.

I found the cutting guide to flex on some cuts and completely lift up on others. When pressing hard with the circular saw or the circular saw plate drifted under  the cutting guide at it’s midpoint. This was a problem.

I like this rip guide for it’s size, weight and versatility – so I decided to fix the problem with this guide by drilling a  series of small holes in the middle of this guide.  The holes will serve as a temporary hold down for a screw to secure the middle of the guide to the cutting surface.

The only negative to this solution is the resulting screw hole that is left behind.  In my experience there are very few situations where I can’t use wood filler afterwards.   If leaving a small screw hole is not an option than I recommend making a rip guide out of plywood.

How much and where to buy:

The Johnson 98-inch cutting guide is quick-to-assemble and comes with two C clamps. The guide retails for $16.60 online here: Johnson-Level-Tool-J4900-Aluminum


This review contains my opinion of a product. I take pride in providing my readers with honest and objective information as well as a practical approach to using a product. I never accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the tools and products are provided to for free by a manufacturer for review.


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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