Skip to Content

What Can You Use To Cut Timber? (How To)

Wood comes in many different shapes and sizes. You sometimes have to cut down the tree but at other times, you may just be cutting timber. What can be used for cutting timber?

The most common tool that is used for cutting timber is a circular saw. With the right type of blade, it can cut timber quickly with a rough edge or more slowly with a clean, smooth edge.

Wooden timber

Of course, a circular saw is only one of the many tools that can be used for this purpose. There are other types of tools that can be used when it is necessary to cut timber in a special way. We will discuss a number of those tools in this article.

It is also a good idea to think about what we mean when we are actually saying timber. Timber is a word that had an original meaning of building or house and it eventually came to mean trees or building material.

Essentially, when we are talking about timber, and for the purpose of this article, we are talking about wood that has already been made into something that will be used as a building material. There are also times when it can stand for a living tree but that isn’t typically the case.

What Can You Use To Cut Timber? (How To)

As you will see throughout this article, there are numerous ways to cut timber and each of them has its own specific purpose. There is a principle that is often said, however, and it applies to any type of woodwork.

Measure twice, and cut once.

Essentially, once you cut a piece of timber, you cannot add material to it. That is why it is important to always measure carefully and make your cut accurately.

There are going to be some suggestions that we provide below about making the cut and then cutting additional if necessary. This is also a common practice when cutting timber and it can keep you from wasting wood.

Another important factor that must be kept in mind when cutting timber is safety. This is not something that should be taken for granted and it is important that you follow the essential safety rules to protect yourself and others that are nearby.

1. PPE: When doing any type of DIY project, it is a good idea to wear PPE. Generally speaking, however, this would include only gloves and safety glasses. When cutting timber, you need to consider much more.

OSHA has specific requirements and even if you aren’t in a work environment, you may want to follow those suggestions. They require that you wear eye and hearing protection, foot protection, and hard hats. If you are operating a chainsaw, which is not typical with cutting timber, you will need to wear cut-resistant protection for your legs, or chaps.

Essentially, however, you want to protect your senses. This would include wearing safety glasses and hearing protection at a minimum. Gloves may also be necessary in some cases, depending on what you are doing but you have to make sure they don’t create an unsafe atmosphere.

2. Guards: One of the reasons why accidents happen frequently when cutting timber is because guards are not in place. It is essential that those guards are in place because they aren’t impeding progress, they are safeguarding you and others nearby.

If the guards are not in place, try to find them and put them back where they belong. They are there to protect you and they are generally the last step before an accident occurs.

3. Housekeeping: It can be easy to allow your work environment to get cluttered and dirty when you are cutting timber. Although it is not necessary to sweep the floor every time you make a cut, be sure that tripping hazards and other issues do not exist.

One part of housekeeping is to throw away items properly. You should not have timber and other items that are protruding outside of the trashcan or other trash receptacles because they can injure people walking by.

In addition, be cautious of how you are stacking items because they could fall over and cause injury. If you keep these few things in mind, you will be in a much better position to cut timber safely.

Let’s consider some of the different tools that can be used for cutting timber. We will also look into the specific method of cutting timber that can be used in almost every instance.

Can You Use an Angle Grinder To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

One tool that is sometimes considered for cutting different items is an angle grinder. Can this tool also be used for cutting timber?

If an angle grinder is equipped with the proper blade, it can be used for cutting timber. It’s a great tool to use when you need to cut something quickly and you don’t have much space available.

Angle grinders are exceptionally strong and they certainly do have the ability to cut through even large pieces of timber. That being said, they do have some limitations and you need to make sure you are not pushing them too far because it could result in a poor cut or even injury.

If you need to cut in a smaller space and do so with accuracy, an angle grinder is often the best choice to make. They also work well when the timber is already in place.

Can You Use Grinder To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

If you have a benchtop grinder, you might be considering it for any number of different projects. Is a bench grinder a good choice for cutting timber?

You can cut timber with a bench grinder but it is not the best tool for doing so. It often is labor-intensive because you have to bring the timber to the grinder and if it isn’t equipped with the right blade, it can burn the wood and cause any number of different problems.

Typically, a bench grinder is a much better tool for shaping the timber after it has been cut if needed. There are also many other tools that are better for that general purpose.

Can You Use Circular Saw To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

If you have a circular saw available, can you use it for cutting timber?

A circular saw is the most common type of power saw used for cutting timber. If you use the proper blade, it can cut straight across a piece of timber or cut it at an angle.

Some important factors to keep in mind when using a circular saw are setting the blade properly and having the guard in place. The guard will protect your safety and setting the blade will ensure that you are cutting the wood properly.

Don’t forget that your circular saw is often able to tilt the blade so you can even make a beveled cut if necessary. With the circular saw in hand, you have a very versatile tool at your disposal.

Can You Use Multi Tool To Cut Timber?

confused man standing

We might use an oscillating multi-tool for various purposes around the home. Can it also be used for cutting timber?

A multi-tool can cut timber easily if it is equipped with the proper blade. Some blades can even cut through timber quickly enough that it rivals a circular saw.

Undoubtedly, you will want to have a multi-tool at your disposal when you are working with timber. It may not be your go-to tool when making cross-cuts or bevel cuts but in a pinch, it can work very well.

Can You Use Chainsaw To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

We know that a chainsaw is one of the quickest tools used for cutting wood. Can you also use it for cutting timber?

A chainsaw is not the appropriate tool to use for cutting timber. Although it can cut wood, it tends to be too cumbersome for some of the finer cuts that may be necessary for the building trades.

You also need to consider safety. In the hands of the right person, a chainsaw is fairly safe but on a job site cutting timber, it is not going to be the most appropriate choice.

Can You Use Cricut To Cut Timber?

confused man standing

A Cricut is an excellent tool for crafting and can be used to cut a variety of materials. Can you also use it to cut timber for crafting purposes?

Although a Cricut can be used to cut wood, it is not going to be strong enough to cut through timber. Generally speaking, you will only cut basswood or balsa wood with a Cricut and timber is going to be much too hard for the blade.

Even if you were able to cut through timber, you will generally need to have a piece of wood that is 1/16 inch or less in thickness when cutting on a Cricut so it is not the best choice available.

Essentially, you should stick to either basswood or balsa wood when cutting with a Cricut. Trying to cut timber or some other hardwood is going to ruin the blade quickly and will not give the desired results.

Can You Use Jigsaw To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

We sometimes use jigsaws for cutting wood but is it a good choice for cutting timber?

A jigsaw is an excellent tool for cutting timber if you have to cut an odd shape. It is commonly used when you have to cut around an obstacle to put the timber in place. It’s a great tool to have on hand when cutting timber or doing any type of construction.

Although a jigsaw is typically used for cutting circles and other shapes, it can also be used for cutting straight lines as well. Some people have used it for ripping a long line in a piece of timber.

It may take longer to use a jigsaw in this way, but it can be done.

Can You Use Dremel To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

If you have a Dremel tool, can it be used to cut timber?

You can use a heavy-duty Dremel tool to cut through timber but it is not something that can typically be done by a crafting Dremel tool. It is also important to choose the proper cutting bit so it will go through the timber without ruining the blade in the process.

There are a number of different Dremel tools on the market. Make sure you choose the right one for the job you are doing.

Can You Use Table Saw To Cut Timber?

Tool used to cut timber

We know that a table saw works quickly but is a table saw the appropriate choice for cutting through timber?

A table saw is a great tool for ripping through timber along the long edge. It makes a long, straight cut quickly and easily. As long as you have the tool set up properly, it can be used all day long to cut timber for a variety of purposes.

Even though a table saw is good for ripping timber, it is not typically used for cutting across the length. That job is typically done by a chop saw or circular saw.

How To Cut Timber Properly

confused man standing

Now that we have discussed some of the many different tools that can be used for cutting timber and a few that shouldn’t be used, how do you cut timber properly? Consider the following when you are cutting timber.

1. Determine the Cut – One important step is to determine the type of cut that you will be making. This will make a difference in the type of tool you are using. For example, a rip cut is typically made with a table saw but a cross-cut is usually made with a circular saw or chop saw.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on December 16, 2022.

Here are the different types of cuts:

Bevel Cut

Compound Miter Cut


Miter Cut

Rip Cut

There may also be times when holes need to be cut in timber as well. These are in a category by themselves.

2. Choose Your Saw – This is a very important step because it will make a difference in the finished product, your safety, and how quickly the job gets done. Try to choose a saw that works well for the project but is not going to hinder the work.

There are times when you may have limited availability of tools. Sometimes you find yourself working with a handsaw or a circular saw and you don’t really have many other options.

You can make many different types of cuts with a limited amount of tools but you need to consider your safety when doing so. Don’t take a chance that is going to put you in danger.

3. Measure and Mark – It is necessary to measure the size you will need and then mark the timber at the appropriate spot. Generally speaking, you will mark a line where you can cut unless you are using a tool, such as a chop saw, for cutting across smaller pieces of timber.

Remember the axiom to measure twice, cut once. It may seem redundant but it is important to measure carefully because if you cut timber too short, you cannot add something to it.

You will generally mark the timber and then use a straight edge or square to mark a line where the cut will be made. This can even be beneficial if you are using a tool such as a chop saw, which is designed to make right-angle cuts.

4. Position the Board – The timber should be positioned in the tool so that you will be cutting on the waste side of the line. If you marked the timber precisely to where you want to make the cut, you want to leave the line rather than take it.

This is a mistake that is often made by beginners but even some seasoned experts can make it from time to time. Don’t take the line when you are cutting

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on December 16, 2022.

5. Cut – Turn the power on to the saw but don’t do so with the blade in contact with the timber. Wait until the blade comes to full power and then begin cutting the timber along the line.

If the blade is in contact with the timber when you first start the saw, it is likely to tear the timber at that point. Allowing the blade to get up to full speed will ensure that it is cutting rather than ripping.

6. Adjust – The final step is to adjust the cut if necessary. Sometimes, you may cut the board a little long and that is perfectly fine. If it doesn’t quite fit in the place, shave a little off the end and then try it again. It is much better to have a board too tight at first rather than to lose.

This is just a basic overview of how to cut timber properly. There are so many different factors to consider that it would be difficult to review them in the scope of a single article.

That being said, as long as you choose your tool wisely and use it safely, you can generally get through the project in a reasonable amount of time and without many problems, if any. That is really the goal, isn’t it?

Circular saws are typically used for cutting timber because they make the cut quickly and cleanly. You can adjust the type of blade you are using depending on the type of timber that is being cut and the reason why you are cutting it.

Related Articles

What Can You Use To Cut Steel Bar?

What Can You Use to Cut Ceiling Tile?

What Can You Use To Cut Cultured Marble? (How To)

What Can You Use To Cut Shingles? (How To)

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 16, 2022.

What Can You Use To Cut Galvanized Wire? (How To)