How To Cut A Square Hole In Wood

As a builder, a sculptor, a craftsman or anyone who works with wood in general: Knowing how to cut a hole other than the traditional round slot can be very useful.

Not only it’s a testament to your ability, it’ll also allow you to be more flexible with your creations and constructions. There are many projects out there that require you to know how to cut a square shape on a wood sheet. Not knowing how can be a total bummer and a gigantic snag for your work.


If you are having problems with cutting this peculiar shape, this article will definitely be of use to you.

The Preparation

Just like any other projects, you will need to gather up some tools and materials before you can begin:

  • Power tools. This can be anything from a chisel, a saw, a router, a woodcutting multi-tool… It depends on your preferences.
  • Stationery such as Sharpies, tapes, protractors… for measurements.
  • A sheet of wood.
  • Hands.
  • You :).

If you’re an avid woodworker or a professional you can forego all of the troubles with a quadsaw. A quadsaw is a tool specifically made to cut a neat, square shape on any material’s surface, including wood.

This guide is more inclined toward folks who don’t really need or can afford a quadsaw.

The How-To

STEP I: Draw a Layout:

As with any handiwork, you will need to draw out a layout on the surface first before you can begin cutting.

Use sharpies and tapes or rulers to measure the exact size that you need – width, height and all the data.

If the sides of your square are parallel to the sheet’s sides, it is important to ensure that the angle at the corners of your square is roughly 45o. Use a protractor just to be sure, but if you’re good at eyeballing then go ahead with discretion.

A tri-square, if you have one would come in much handier than a protractor. But not everybody has one.

Step II: Cut!

• With the drill and saw:

Place the drill bit at a corner of your square, it should lie right on the sides but never past it. Turn on the drill and cut a pilot hole there.

After that, just switch out your saw and continue to slice, angling up and follow the line. Do this for all four sides and a square piece will fall right out.

• With a router:

As the drill and saw is a bit primitive and take more work, woodworkers would prefer using routers instead. There are many routes you can take with a router in hand to get a square cut:

1. Just guide the router through the entire sheet if you have a steady hand. Run through the entire sheet and remove most of them. Sharpen the entire thing up with a chisel and you’re done.

2. If you have some straightedges or battens, lock them in place and just run your router through for your desired shape.

3. Last option is to make a template (Which, if you haven’t already known, will need another lesson for). Then just follow the entire scheme to get a square in one, continuous cut

.However, be aware that using a router might not result in the squarest corner you could possibly have. Most often times, they’ll come off rounded and will need some more cutting to gain their absolute shape.

• With a chisel:

Place your chisel on top of the lines you’ve drawn on the sheet and align it carefully. When you’ve gotten a good alignment, thump the chisel with a hammer and follow the cut through all four sides.

Remember, you have to hit the chisel hard so that it’ll cut deep into and through the wood. The rest is just time and repetition for a square piece.

• Using a quadsaw:

All of the aforementioned methods need a lot of time and effort that you might not be willing to spare. Thus, someone thought of making a quadsaw – you can make a square right out of anything in a couple seconds.

Quadsaws are made to cut through plaster or drywalls, and initially, not wood. So not only you need to buy a basic quadsaw, you also need to buy blades specifically tailored to cut wood.

But for a lot of people, the benefits far outweigh the cost. You just place the cutting end of the saw on the surface, place a separate drill into the powering socket and turn it on.

• “Cheating”:

Work smarter, not harder – so this is not really cheating, per se. But if the aesthetic quality of the work isn’t important to you, you can employ this method instead.

Make the box out of two separate pieces.

‘Cheating’circumvent the problem of making the flat bottom of the box completely. A thick piece of wood will act as the body of your box, something that you can easily drill straight through. Clean up all of the sawdust and superglue a piece of wood to the bottom as the base.


  • If you are just beginning to do woodwork, make sure that you know what each tooldoes and how to use them.
  • Wear proper protective equipment. Gloves, glasses, mask… debris can be a major hazard. Also, if these tools can cut through wood, they sure can cut through your fingers and hands.
  • Be cautious while using the drill.
  • Lock down your place and ensure that no children are in the area.

In a nutshell:

Overall, woodworking is a great hobby and work to immerse yourself in. The concentration and the satisfaction of creating something great out of nothing is well worth your time and effort.

Even some of the most difficult tricks and methods in woodworking only require a fundamental set of tools. And as you can see, you just need to learn how to manipulate them to get the result you need.

We hope that this article be of great help to your work

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