The most common. Its first cut is made on a tangent to the circumference. Each succeeding cut is made parallel to the first. This is the most economical way to cut and yields the least waste and the widest planks. Plainsawn planks are flat-grained with some vertical grain thrown in, since the cut becomes more vertical nearer the center of the heartwood.
Plainsawn is less dimensionally stable than quartersawn and will expand and contract more across the width of the board. Plainsawn brings out the annual rings and other aspects that are desirable in planks. Defects like shakes and pitch pockets are less prevalent and extend through fewer boards. Plainsawn wood results in greater aesthetic variation in the planks.
The more expensive way of cutting because it yields less and wastes more. It's done by quartering the log into four roughly equal wedges before sawing them perpendicular to the annual growth rings. Quartersawn planks are relatively narrow and feature a compact vertical grain structure. The vertical grain structure tends to be more dimensionally stable and twists and cups less. Raised grain in the separation of the annual growth rings is less pronounced and, overall, tends to wear more evenly.
Similar to quartersawn, with many of the same advantages and limitations. The angle of the cut is changed slightly from that of quartersawn, resulting in a more even vertical appearance of the grain structure. Riftsawn results in an even lower yield than quartersawn and results in more waste, rendering the process the most expensive way to cut wood.