How To Cut Wood Without Power Tools

How to Cut Wood Without Power Tools


Before wood can be used to build homes, construct furniture and make other decorative items, it has to be cut just the right size and shape. When it comes to cutting wood, you need the right tools to do the job. Aside from basic hand tools, there are also power tools like routers, table saws, hand saws, miter saws, and reciprocating saws. These tools will make cutting wood more efficient and a lot quicker

Can you cut wood without power tools?

With a variety of cutting power tools that can make cutting and sizing wood more efficient, can you still cut wood without the help of these tools? The answer is a big YES! You can still cut wood according to the right size for your different projects using the following non-powered, hand tools.

Things you will need

  • Wood you will be working on
  • Sharp pencil
  • Hand saw
  • Sharp knife
  • Machete

Using a hand saw

Hand saws are the pioneer wood cutting tools. This type of saw is light, easy to use with varying teeth sizes and counts. There are different types of hand saws for wood and the best thing about choosing a hand saw is that it is easy to find anywhere.

1) Mark the wood or the stock you will cut. Use a thick, sharp pencil.

Using A Hand Saw Step 1


2) Place the wood on a sawhorse and arrange it so you can easily see the marks.

Hold the saw firmly with your dominant hand and take the upper 1/3 of the saw and position it over the mark or line.

Using A Hand Saw Step 2


3) Move the blade down by pushing the saw teeth toward the mark.

Alternately move the saw down and up until you have made the cut

Using A Hand Saw Step 3


Using a sharp knife

Using A Sharp Knife 1


If you want to remove long pieces of wood that may have exceeded the appropriate lengths you can use a sharp knife. A knife will be able to cut thin and small pieces of wood but make sure that it is very sharp before use. Hold the wood with your non-dominant hand and use the sharp knife to cut the wood at a slanted angle. When you are done, trim the edges of the newly cut wood. Use the sharp knife to clean the wood and prepare it for use.

Using a sharp axe

Using A Sharp Axe 1


A durable, balanced axe is a woodworker and outdoorsman’s top tool for cutting trees and for harvesting wood from felled trees. If you need raw thick wood from the forest, a perfectly sharp axe will surely work well. However, using an axe to cut wood takes time and it is not for everyone. You must have superior strength to just lift an axe as well as to swing it.

Mark the wood with a clear line along the point where you need to make a cut. Use the axe to start cutting the wood a few inches from the marked line. Once you have created a suitable groove to start cutting the wood away, begin using the axe with powerful blows. Don’t give up until you have managed to go halfway through and when you are done, do the same on the other side of the marked line.

Make repeated cuts until the wood has weakened and ready to break.

Finally, take one good blow on the wood using a hammer to completely separate the two pieces. You can use an axe to trim the edges of the newly trimmed wood.

Using a machete

This cutting tool will give you thin wood ideal for many woodworking projects. Like any other cutting tool, a machete needs to be very sharp to cut through wood. But a machete will cut through wood bit by bit, not in one large cut.


Cutting wood without power cutting tools is indeed possible and in fact, people from all walks of life have cut wood without the use of these powerful tools. You can use a variety of hand cutting tools like a handsaw machete and a knife for as long as these are sharp. Keep safe as you cut wood no matter what type of tool you want to use.