How to Cut Wood Without a Saw | 9 Best Alternative Ways

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021 by John Patterson

How to Cut Wood Without a Saw

I am a woodworking lover, and I know cutting wood without a saw.

In this article, I am going to share my practical experience with a few other best wood cutting tools.

Although there are different types of saws that are available on the market to cut the wood, rather than saw, you can also cut wood using other techniques.

Woodcutting is an art for which you have to have skill.

Not only talent, but it should also need care when doing it. A saw is a primary tool for woodcutting, but one may not have this to him.

So, even if a practicing carpenter wants to practice this, can’t he do the job without a saw? He can. I saw most of the carpenters use different decent mini circular saws for their DIY projects.

You will find a lot of other tools to cut the wood. For this, we need to know how to cut wood with other power and hand tools. Let’s know about the tools with their functions. I am going to discuss this, so stay with me.

How to cut wood at home: The 9 Best ways Explained

  1. Using a Sharp Knife
  2. Using a Decent Drill
  3. Using a Machete
  4. A Sharp Axe is an Excellent Tool to cut Wood
  5. You can use Chisels to cut wood
  6. Using Planes
  7. A Good Router can be used
  8. Using a Lathe
  9. Cutting Wood with a Hookaroon

How to cut wood without a saw: Wood Cutting Tools

#1. How to cut wood with a knife:

Cutting wood with a knife

If some pieces of wood exceed the length, then you can fix it with a well-sharpened and decent knife. The process is:

  • First, sharpen your knife using a file.
  • One way is implementing the slanting technique. For this, hold the wood which is to be cut firmly, and using the knife, cut it at a slanted angle.
  • Trim the wood’s edges appropriately.
  • Another way is, cut small bits from the point of cutting with a knife. Then snap the piece of wood using your hand. And after that trim the cut with a sharp knife. Now the wood is ready for use.

Best Knife to Cut Wood:

Cold Steel 49LCKZ Srk SK-5, Clam Package
309 Reviews
Cold Steel 49LCKZ Srk SK-5, Clam Package
  • Overall length: 10 3/4 inch
  • Blade length: 6 inch
  • Steel/material: sk-5 with black Tuff-Ex finish

You can cut only thin pieces of wood with a sharp knife. Let’s see how we can cut dry wood with a buck knife.

#2. How to cut wood with a drill:

Cutting wood using a drill machine

Carpenters prefer certain types of woods for furniture whose breadth is relatively thin.

Other dimensions are much longer. In that case, carpenters use a quality drilling machine quickly and easily without relying on a saw.

  • First, make several perforations on the wood using a drilling machine. The apertures should be online.
  • Repeat the process until the wood gets weaken and then breaks off along the line of perforations.
  • Then trim the wood edges using any tool, i.e. sharp knife or machete. Now your furniture wood is ready to use.

We hope this drilling machine can help:

DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch...
41,559 Reviews
DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch...
  • Dewalt drill has compact and lightweight design...
  • High performance motor of the power drill delivers...
  • High speed transmission of Dewalt 20V drill...
  • 1/2-inch single sleeve ratcheting chuck provides...
  • Ergonomic handle delivers comfort and control....

#3. Using a sharp machete:

Sharp Machete

For cutting the thin raw wood, carpenters apply this tool in place of a saw.

Cutting raw thing wood is not something that needs to have a saw. A well-sharpened machete can do it correctly.

  • First, identify the point from where you want to start the cut and mark the point clearly around the wood.
  • Use your sharp machete for cutting small bits along the marked line at a slanted position. Repeat this on both sides of the wood.
  • Repeat this process until the wood breaks.
  • To have sharp edges, trim the edges using a machete.

You can repeat the procedure for getting as many as woods. So you must not depend on the saw for cutting woods.

Fiskars 29 Inch Machete Axe
1,268 Reviews
Fiskars 29 Inch Machete Axe
  • 18 inch blade is ideal for clearing thick brush,...
  • Axe-like blade head provides powerful, controlled...
  • Blade curve offers pull-cutting great for removing...
  • Includes nylon carrying sheath
  • Lifetime warranty

If you want to cut any dry tree, a sharp machete is one of the best options to get the job done. Let’s watch the below video for more detail:

#4. Cutting wood without a saw: Using a sharp axe

wood cutting axe

A higher thickness of wood you can cut using a top-quality sharp axe if you have no saw in your stock.

Although the process is time-consuming, it is better to use an ax. Undoubtedly this is one of the best tools to cut wood.

  • Mark a clear line where you intend to start from around the wood. And then use a sharp ax for cutting small bits few inches from the line.
  • Do this continuous and then look into the other side of the line. Do the same.
  • Continue this until the wood gets weak to break.
  • After breaking, use the sharp ax to trim the edges.

I think this is one of the easy ways to cut wood without a saw. What do you think?

Fiskars 378841-1002 X27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 36-Inch, Black
7,849 Reviews
Fiskars 378841-1002 X27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 36-Inch, Black
  • Designed for splitting medium to large-sized logs,...
  • Hardened forged steel blade stays sharper longer...
  • Shock-absorbing handle with textured non-slip grip...
  • Included sheath protects the blade and user when...
  • Overall length: 36 inches, weight: 5.85 pounds;...

#5. Using a chisel:

cutting wood with a chisel

In place of a saw, you can also cut wood using a top-quality woodworking chisel. Find the best one from top-rated brands on the market in 2020. The procedure is given below:

  • Find a suitable chisel and sharp it up to its edges. Know how to chisel wood.
  • Secure the wood on a firm surface. After that hold the chisel with both hands.
  • With bevel side up and flat side against a wood surface carve at a 16 to 20-degree angle.
  • Then hold a hammer with the dominant hand and the chisel with the other hand. Put it onto the wood.
  • Hit the chisel with a hammer and then lever it up to remove chipped wood.

Important read: types of chisels and their uses.

Narex 6 pc Set 6 mm (1/4), 10 (3/8), 12 (1/2), 16 (5/8), 20 (13/16),...
545 Reviews
Narex 6 pc Set 6 mm (1/4), 10 (3/8), 12 (1/2), 16 (5/8), 20 (13/16),...
  • 6 piece set comes on a wooden presentation box
  • Blades are made from fine-grained, nicely tempered...
  • Contains the following sizes: 6, 10, 12, 16, 20...
  • Bevel ground at a 25 degree bevel.
  • Handles are made from stained European Beech

Therefore, the wood is cut. Let’s watch the below video for some very essential techniques to achieve crisp dovetails:

#6. Cutting wood with planes:

wood cutting plane

Without a saw you can cut wood using a decent plane:

  • Make sure your plane has a sharp blade for depth and lateral alignment.
  • According to the depth of the wood, you want to cut, adjust the depth adjustment wheel.
  • Plane the wood through the entire length and must follow the direction of the grain. Without minding the grain, you can ruin the surface of the piece of wood.
  • Plane the wood from one side to another and vice versa.
E.C. Emmerich 649P Adjustable Block Plane
37 Reviews
E.C. Emmerich 649P Adjustable Block Plane
  • Lightweight wooden smoothing plane, easy to carry,...
  • Lignum Vitae sole
  • Precision depth adjustment
  • Iron width: 39 mm

Thus you can use a plane as the instruction is simple. Let’s watch the video to know how to use a smoothing plane.

#7. Cutting wood using a router:

wood cutting router

It is one of the most versatile electric tools. How to use a router for cutting wood is given:

  • Install the router bit and adjust the gauge for how much depth you want to go.
  • For engaging it with the wood, pull the trigger. Then push it downward.
  • Move the router in the direction of the cut.
  • When finfish cutting, release downward pressure on the router handle.
  • Use other bits for cutting edges and set the gauge. Again push downward, pull the trigger, move the router from left to right, release pressure on handles.

Related Post: Wood Router Buying Guide.

DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
6,924 Reviews
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
  • Dual LED lights help illuminate the work surface
  • Depth adjustment ring allows for fast and easy...
  • Electronic brake slows the motor down faster after...
  • Variable speed dial allows the user to match speed...
  • Soft start motor with full time electronic...

Let’s watch the video to know how to cut out shapes using a router. 

#8. Using a lathe:

wood cutting lathe

To create a functional furniture component, you can use a top-quality lathe. Without applying a saw, you can do it quickly. The procedure is here:

  • At first, mark the center of the wood piece and place it in between lathe centers.
  • Turn your lathe on at the lowest speed. Watch the chip size is cut from the wood.
  • Move the edge so that it is parallel to the rotation of the wood piece.
  • Push the tool into the stock to remove an equal amount of wood. Thus you can cut wood, its angular corners, and even make a cylindrical shape.
  • After cutting, increase lathe speed to smooth the surface, then move it slowly along the wood’s length.

Now your work is finished with just a lathe.

JET JWL-1015, 10' x 15' Wood Lathe, Variable Speed, 1/2HP, 1Ph 115V...
148 Reviews
JET JWL-1015, 10" x 15" Wood Lathe, Variable Speed, 1/2HP, 1Ph 115V...
  • Six Spindle Speeds: 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630,...
  • 24-Position Indexing: you can turn your object to...
  • Enhanced Tensioning System: Easier access to belts...
  • Increased Rigidity: Bed ways have an increased...
  • Improved Gripping: Tailstock features a live...

See the below video to know more about the topic

#9. Cutting Wood using a Hookaroon

Hookaroon uses

Along with the other eight cutting wood tools I described here, I also use a Hookaroon for cutting wood. The key feature of a Hookaroon I liked most is it can grab the wood so that you can drag it quite easily.

You can also use quality Pickaroon while cutting the wood. Read the Hookaroon and Pickaroon differences with pros and cons.

Our recommended Best Hookaroon on Amazon is Fiskars Hookaroon (28 Inches)

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Can you cut balsa wood with scissors?

Answer: Using a dull blade is not a wise decision. As a woodworking lover, I am suggesting you do not use any scissors no matter how thin is the wood. If you want my suggestion, I would recommend a Stanley knife, a sharp knife, or a quality razor blade.

#2. What do I use to cut wood?

Answer: I use different types of saws like Jigsaw, circular saw, miter saw, table sawreciprocating saw, and door trimming saw.

#3. What saw to use to cut wood?

Answer: My favorite choice is a top-notch Circular saw.  I can use this for cutting short lengths, long lengths, and well as from different angles. A Circular saw is the best for cutting woods, but if you have a top-quality blade, you can also cut stone or metal. I love its straight-cut option.

#4. Can you use a jigsaw to cut wood?

Answer: Yes, you can. But to cut the wood with a jigsaw, you need a proper blade and a quality jigsaw. For cutting wood, Jigsaw uses 1/8 inches embedded nails.

#5. Can you use a hacksaw on wood?

Answer: A quality Hacksaw is best for cutting metal, but sometimes you can use it for cutting woods and plastics also.

#6. Can I use a Rotorazer to cut wood?

Answer: Rotorazer is a versatile and innovative 7 in 1 tool. Crafters, carpenters, interior designers, and as well as construction workers are also using this mini circular saw. We are using rotorazer, and a few of its alternatives to cut wood, plastic, plywood, hardwood, drywall, laminated wall, ceramic tiles, sheet metal, masonry, grout, marble, PVC, pegboard, travertine, and steel.

Final Words

Not necessary that you should have seen to cut wood. As you see, you can quickly cut a piece of wood using various types of tools.

Only you need to know how to cut wood without a saw.

And the processes of cutting wood with some of the tools are given here so that you are the beneficiary.

Now, enjoy your work!

And utilize each job with these tools without giving a second thought.

Related to you:
#1. Woodworking Clamps Buyers Guide
#2. Cutting hard Plastic Without Breaking It.

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.