How to Cut Wood Without a Saw Using Other Wood Cutting Tools

How to cut wood without a saw

If you are thinking that using a saw is the be-all and end-all of woodcutting, think again.

Say ‘Hi’ to 9 more tools that you can use to cut tools in different shapes.

In this particular guide, I will tell you how to cut wood without a saw using different wood cutting tools.

After describing the step by step procedure of using the different tools, I will answer some of the most common questions related to woodcutting.

So, without any further delay, let’s get to the business. Shall we?

How to Cut Wood Without a Saw Using Other Wood Cutting Tools

#1. Woodcutting Using a Sharp Knife

Woodcutting Using a Sharp Knife

A knife won’t be able to cut through the woods like butter.


Because of the configuration of the wood and the resistance that the wood offers.

However, you can easily cut a slice of wood with a sharp knife if it’s a thin slice of wood.

Moreover, if you use a sharp knife and cut wood lengthwise, you can easily split the wood into two pieces.

Another practical example is cutting the extra length from a long piece of wood.

Don’t forget to sharpen the knife before using it for cutting.

The slanting technique is the most common technique that I follow while cutting wood’s extra length using a sharp knife. Here I hold the wood with my non-dominant hand and cut it at a slanted angle using the knife.

You can use the same knife to trim the wood to make it usable.

Our recommended Best Knife to cut wood on Amazon is Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife.

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch, Black (M-12141)
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Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch, Black (M-12141)
  • Versatile fixed-blade outdoor knife with a 4.1-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade is ideal for carving, food prep, and cutting tinder
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  • Includes a color-matching plastic sheath with belt clip; manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty; made in Sweden

#2. Cutting Wood using a Drill Machine

Cutting Wood using a Drill Machine

Your drill machine is not made for cutting wood, but your saw is.

Being said that, you can use a drill machine to cut wood for some instances.

Like you can set up a wood cutting blade/ circular saw blade with the help of washer, nuts, and bolts. Then place the blade into your drill machine.

You are done!

Now you can use your drill machine to cut the wood.

You will want to use this method to cut through the breadth of most of the cases mainly if the breadth is thin.

You can even use your drill machine with drill bits and cut the wood by making several perforations. Meaning here you are using the drill machine without the wood cutting blade.

I would use this technique only if I don’t have any saw and drill machine is the only option for me.

Our recommended Best Drill Machine on Amazon is BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill.?

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver, 3/8-Inch (LDX120C)
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BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver, 3/8-Inch (LDX120C)
  • Ideal for drilling into wood, metal plastic and all screw driving tasks
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#3. Wood Cutting using a Sharp Machete

Wood Cutting using a sharp Machete

Cutting wood using a sharp machete is more convenient than using a sharp knife. Because here you are getting more control and strength from your weapon.

You will want to use a machete mostly to cut raw wood from the forest.

The application is not only limited to that, though. You can use a machete to sharpen the edge of any wood piece.

The procedure is super simple.

  • Sharpen up the machete first.
  • Mark the point where you want to cut the wood.
  • Start chopping keeping the wood at a slanted angle if possible.
  • Chop until the wood breaks into two pieces.
  • Use the same machete to trim the edges if required.


Our recommended Best Machete on Amazon is Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete.?

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete [31-002289]
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  • Lanyard cord, acts as guard, enhancing grip security, comes with nylon sheath

#4. Cutting Wood using a sharp Ax

Cutting Wood using a sharp Ax

If you don’t have any saw around, you can use a sharp ax for cutting wood.

Here you will want to cut the raw wood from the forest as you did with the machete. But this time you can cut any thick wood which was a bit difficult using a machete.

Remember, using an ax is a tiresome but not a complicated process.

The working procedure is precisely similar to the one that I described for a machete. Although keeping the wood at a slanted angle is not a must in this case. But if you keep it at a slanted angle then it’s better.

Our recommended Best Ax on Amazon is Estwing Sportsman’s Axe.?

Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14' Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
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Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
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#5. Wood Cutting using a Chisel

Wood Cutting using a Chisel

The wood chisel is a pretty standard tool to cut the wood. The process is not laborious either.

Here are simple steps you can follow to accomplish the job:

  • Get a chisel with a sharp edge.
  • Keep the wood on a hard surface.
  • Put the chisel on the wood and hold it with your non-dominant hand.
  • The bevel side of the chisel should face up, and you can put the flat side at a 15-20 degree angle if required.
  • Hold the hammer with your dominant hand and hit the chisel.
  • Smooth the wood off with the same chisel.

This way, you can do the general cutting. However, you can use a chisel to cut wood in multiple ways. Like:

  • Mortise cut.
  • Chopping cut.
  • Paring cut.
  • Scraping.
  • Chop and pair.

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#6. Wood Cutting using Planes

Wood Cutting using Planes

Instead of calling it woodcutting, I would rather call it wood shaving when you are planning to use planes.

That’s right. You will mostly want to shave the wood or make them smooth using a plane.

Here are some necessary steps to use a plane:

  • Sharpen up the blade of the plane.
  • Adjust the depth wheel based on the depth you want to cut.
  • Now plane the whole length of the wood, side to side and following the direction of the grain.
  • You will find different types of planes like the smoothing plane, scrub plane, bench plane, jack plane, and jointer plane, etc. Use the appropriate one based on your need.

Our recommended Best wood hand planes on Amazon is Taytools 469607 Jack Smoothing Bench Hand Plane.

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#7. Cutting Wood using a Router

Cutting Wood using a Router

A wood router is another tool that can come in handy for cutting wood.

Follow these steps to do the task:

  • Fit the router bit.
  • Adjust the routing depth.
  • Check your router’s instruction manual to find the right routing speed.
  • Now connect the router with the power cord and turn it on.
  • Pull the trigger and slowly push the tool down.
  • Guide the wood router along the workpiece.
  • First, operate the router on a scrap sheet to check if everything is working fine.

I just explained the necessary procedure here. You should follow the operation procedure of your particular wood router.

Our recommended Best Wood Router on Amazon is DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit.?

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#8. Cutting Wood using a Lathe

Cutting Wood using a Lathe

When you need to make some advance cutting for furniture, you can use lathe instead of a saw.

Here I am going to tell you the necessary lathe cutting procedure.

  • Mark the center of the piece of wood at both ends.
  • Line up the center of the piece with the lathe centers.
  • Bring the tool rest closer to the stock right about the center point of the turning. Make sure you kept the tool rest close but not touching the stock.
  • Initially run the lathe at a slow speed to avoid any rough cut.
  • Now hold a chisel and place it on the tool rest then touch the wood piece with that chisel.
  • Use the chisel moving back and forth, also rotate left to right to make your desired cutting or design.

Our recommended Best Wood Lathe on Amazon is Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe.?

JET JWL-1015 10'x 15' Wood Lathe (719100)
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JET JWL-1015 10"x 15" Wood Lathe (719100)
  • SIX SPINDLE SPEEDS: 500/840/1,240/1,800/2,630/3,975
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#9. Cutting Wood using a Hookaroon

Cutting Wood using a Hookaroon

I have a fantastic Hookaroon which helps me a lot while cutting the wood. You can also try.

Hookaroons carved spike which can grab the wood and allow you to drag it easily.

Its long non-slip grip helps me to keep a firm hold while moving logs for storing and as well as cutting. A Pickaroon can also help, read the Hookaroon and Pickaroon differences.

Our recommended Best Hookaroon on Amazon is Fiskars Hookaroon (28 Inch).?

Fiskars Hookaroon 28 Inch, Orange/Black (360070-1001)
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Fiskars Hookaroon 28 Inch, Orange/Black (360070-1001)
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Let’s watch the video to know more about cutting wood without a saw

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question#1. Can you cut balsa wood with scissors?

Answer: Although balsa wood is lightweight, I don’t recommend using scissors to cut it. Use a sharp razor blade or a sharp knife instead of scissors.

Question #2. What do you use to cut wood?

Answer: I don’t have any definitive answer on this. In most cases, I use different saws to cut wood.

I also use the alternatives mentioned above, particularly chisel for woodcutting.

Question #3. What type of saw is best for cutting wood?

Answer: Out of so many options, I think any top quality circular saw and traditional handsaw are the best types you can bet.

These two types serve most of my requirements as I can use a circular saw to cut short or long lengths as well as different angles.

Question #4. Can I use a jigsaw to cut wood?

Answer: Yes, of course. But better if you cut plywood using a jigsaw. Jigsaw is made particularly for cutting curves and non-straight lines.

Usually, the blade of a jigsaw is weak and small; hence controlling it during the operation is a challenge.

To get the best result use a quality jigsaw with an appropriate blade.

Question #5. Can I use a hacksaw on wood?

Answer: Yes you can. Hacksaw is one of the common types of saws. You can use it to cut wood, tube, metal.

It is one of the lightest and versatile saws as well.

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

Answer: Rotorazer saw is proves to be a useful tool for small projects where you don’t need a bigger circular saw or a saber saw.

So yes, you can use a Rotorazer saw to cut wood.

Final Words

That’s it from me.

Now it’s your turn.

I’m sure you are now clear about how to cut wood without a saw.

You can use any of the tools based on your needs and application. Just don’t forget to use proper protective gear where it is necessary.

Do you want to suggest any other tools for woodcutting except these?

Comment below.