How to Cut a Square Hole in Wood Without a Jigsaw?

How to Cut a Square Hole in Wood Without a Jigsaw?

Cutting square holes in wood without a jigsaw is possible. It’s not easy, but with the right tools and some practice you can achieve great results! With this article we aim to provide you with the information needed to successfully cut square holes in wood without a jigsaw. We will cover frequently asked questions, as well as providing useful tips to make your task easier. So let’s get started!

Use a Hammer

One of the most common tools used to cut square holes in wood without a jigsaw is a hammer and chisel. It’s an inexpensive tool that can get the job done if used properly. Begin by marking out your desired hole, then use the chisel to remove small chunks of wood around the perimeter of the hole. Be sure not to remove too much wood at a time, as this could cause splintering and damage to the wood. Carefully chip away until you reach your desired depth, then use the chisel and hammer together to make sure the corners of the hole are square. [4]

Use a Hammer

Use Channel Locks

Channel locks are also known as locking pliers, they are one of the best tools for cutting square holes in wood without a jigsaw. To use them, you need to set the correct size of channel locks on the hole’s desired location. Once it is securely attached, you can use your strength to cut the wood around the edges of the hole.

Make sure to move slowly and smoothly when using channel locks, as it will create a clean cut and reduce the chances of splintering the wood.

It is important to note that channel locks are best for cutting small-sized holes, as they may not be able to make large cuts accurately. Moreover, if you do not use them correctly, they may lead to uneven, jagged edges on the wood. Therefore, it is important that you practice in a scrap piece of wood before using channel locks on your intended material. [4]

Use a Car Jack

Using a car jack is one of the best ways to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw. This method requires two tools: a drill and a car jack, as well as some practice and patience. To start, measure and mark the area you’d like to cut out. Then, using the drill, create pilot holes around the perimeter of the square. Once these holes have been made, insert the car jack into two of them and move it back and forth until the wood is cut away. This method might take a bit more time than using a jigsaw, but with the right tools and techniques you can achieve a perfectly square hole in no time! [4]

Cut It Off With Wire Cutters/Clippers

Wire cutters or clippers are a great tool to use for cutting square holes in wood. This method is ideal for thinner pieces of wood, as the wire cutter can easily cut through them without damaging the material.

To start, you’ll want to measure and mark off the square hole on the piece of wood. Then, use your wire cutters or clippers to cut around the perimeter of the square. Be sure to hold the wire cutter firmly and use a steady, consistent motion when cutting the hole.

After you’ve finished cutting, clean up any excess wood with sandpaper or a file to make sure the edges are smooth and uniform. With this method, you can achieve a neat and precise square hole in your wood without having to use a jigsaw! [4]

Use an Angle Grinder/Disc Cutter

Using an angle grinder or disc cutter is the most effective way to cut square holes in wood without a jigsaw. It’s also the most dangerous, so safety is paramount and you must follow all recommended safety practices.

Use an Angle Grinder/Disc Cutter

To begin, mark the corners of your intended hole with a pencil, then use a felt marker to draw a line connecting them. This will help you keep the cuts straight.

Next, equip your angle grinder with a cutting disc and clamp it securely to the piece of wood. Use a pair of safety glasses and ear protection during this step.

Once the disc is in place, start making small incisions by holding the grinder at an angle so that only a portion of it touches the wood. It’s best to make shallow cuts that gradually deepen until you reach your marked line. Once all four sides have been cut, the square hole should be complete.

Finally, use a chisel and hammer to smooth out any rough edges. Take care not to damage the surrounding wood and keep your safety gear on while doing this part as well. [4]

Use a hacksaw

As an alternative to using a jigsaw to cut a square hole in wood, you can use a hacksaw. This will require more effort and patience than using a jigsaw but is certainly doable. To begin, mark the area of your board where you want the square hole to be with a pencil. Then, starting at one corner, slowly work your way around the marked area with a hacksaw, making sure to keep your saw blade as straight as possible. As you go along, check to make sure that you are maintaining an even depth and width of cut. Once you’ve gone around all four sides of the square hole, put down your hacksaw and use a chisel or small sawtooth file to carefully remove any excess wood and smooth out the edges of your square hole.

With the right tools, a steady hand, and some patience you can quickly and easily cut a square hole in wood without having to use a jigsaw. Whether you decide to go with the hacksaw method or one of the other options listed above, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to get the job done in no time. [2]

Cut With Duct Tape/Cable Ties

If you don’t have a jigsaw, but do have duct tape or cable ties, then these can be used to make the shape of the hole for you. Simply draw your square onto the wood and wrap it with duct tape or secure it with cable ties. Make sure to get as close to the edge as possible. Now take a hand saw and cut along the edges of the duct tape or cable ties to form your square hole. This method is relatively simple, but it can take some time for larger holes. Also, make sure you stay very close to the shape you have formed as it may be difficult to get a perfectly clean cut if you deviate too much from the pattern. [2]

Tin Snips

Tin snips come in three common styles: straight, right, and left-cut. They are ideal for cutting square holes in thin sheet metal, but can also be used on wood if you’re careful. To start off with, make sure your tin snips are sharp and well oiled so that the blades slide smoothly and easily through the material. Start by marking the area where you want to cut, then place the snips along one side of the marked area and use a sawing motion to carve out your square hole. Keep in mind that tin snips are designed for cutting thin materials only, so if you’re using them on thicker wood, it may take longer or require more effort than desired. Make sure to keep your movements slow and steady, especially when cutting curves.

If you notice any signs of the snips slipping or struggling, it’s best to stop and take a break or switch to a different tool.

Once the square hole is cut out, smooth down any rough edges with sandpaper or a file. [2]

Tin Snips

Cordless Drill and MAPP Gas Torch

If you don’t have a jigsaw handy or if your jigsaw is not capable of cutting square holes, the next best option is to use a cordless drill and MAPP gas torch. This method involves drilling several small holes around the perimeter of the square hole to be cut and then using the MAPP gas torch to melt away the wood in between each hole. You will need to use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the width of your hole so that the drilled holes are not too big and leave visible gaps between them.

Start by drilling one hole at each corner of the square you want to cut, and then fill in the sides with additional holes spaced between 1/2 and 1 inch apart. To ensure a smooth cut, make sure all holes line up at the same level. Once you have drilled the perimeter of the square hole, use the MAPP gas torch to melt away the wood in between each hole. This method will produce a clean and precise square hole. [2]

Rotary Tool

Rotary tools are one of the most popular options for cutting square holes without a jigsaw. These versatile power tools come with different attachments to help you make precise cuts in wood. When using a rotary tool, it is important to use safety gear such as goggles and ear protection. You should also make sure that the workpiece is securely clamped down before beginning.

To start, mark the outline of your square hole with a pencil or marker. Then, insert an appropriately-sized bit into your rotary tool and begin cutting along the marked lines. Make sure to go slowly so that you don’t end up damaging the edge of your cutout. When you’re finished, use a chisel to clean up any rough edges.

You may need to make several passes with your rotary tool in order to get the desired result. Not only will this help ensure a cleaner cut, but it can also prevent any burning or fraying of the wood at the edges. For best results, use a sharp bit and keep your cutting speed slow. [1]

Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a power tool that looks like a jigsaw, but has a much wider blade. It has an adjustable speed setting and can be used to cut straight or curved lines in wood. For cutting square holes, you’ll need to make sure the blade is wide enough so it can fit inside the hole you want to create.

To use a reciprocating saw:

  1. Set up the saw in a secure and stable position.
  2. Mark the area of wood where you want to cut the hole. Use a ruler or other straight edge to help draw a perfect square if necessary.
  3. Place the blade of the reciprocating saw inside your marked lines and turn it on at an appropriate speed for the type of wood you’re cutting.
  4. Move the saw in a back-and-forth motion and stop once it has gone all the way through your lines. [1]

Reciprocating Saw

Pliers and Pincers

Using pliers and pincers is an easy way to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw. To do this method, start by outlining the area you want to cut out with a pencil or marker. Then, grab your pliers and pincers and place them so that their tips are touching the edges of the square outline. Gently begin to pull the pliers and pincers away from each other. This will create a snapping action that will cut through the wood along your pre-drawn outline. Be gentle but firm when pulling, so you don’t break or splinter the wood too much. After you’ve finished cutting out the square hole with your pliers and pincers, use a sandpaper or file to smooth down any rough edges.

This method is great for small, precise cuts in wood. It’s also very easy and requires minimal tools, making it an accessible option for novice DIY-ers. However, you can use an electric sanderander to smooth out the edges. [1]

Use a Dremel

Using a Dremel tool is another great way to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw. It requires you to be more precise and careful, however, so it’s best suited for smaller holes. Start by marking the shape of the hole on the wood. Next, attach a carbide bit onto your Dremel tool. This will allow you to make more precise cuts. Then, slowly start cutting in a clockwise motion along the outline of your square hole. As you do this, make sure to keep the Dremel tool at an angle so that it can cut deeper into the wood. When you have finished making all of your cuts, clean up any jagged edges with sandpaper or a deburring tool. With a little bit of patience and careful maneuvering, you can easily make a perfect square hole in wood without the need for a jigsaw! [1]

Use a Propane Torch and Hacksaw

This method works best when cutting into thinner wood. To begin, use a hacksaw to cut two straight lines around the perimeter of the square hole you’d like to create. Make sure these lines are as close as possible to each other and that they follow a precise line. Once you have finished cutting your two straight lines, heat up a propane torch and carefully heat the wood along the inside of each line. This will soften the wood fibers and make it easier to cut out cleanly. With a putty knife or chisel, break off any loose pieces until you have a smooth, even square hole in your wood. [3]

Use a Propane Torch and Hacksaw

Use a Cutting Torch

Using a cutting torch is one of the easiest ways to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw. A cutting torch is an incredibly powerful tool, so it’s important to take all necessary safety precautions. It’s also important to note that using a cutting torch can be quite dangerous, and it should only be done by experienced professionals or those working under the guidance of a professional.

To get started, you’ll need to make sure that the wood is securely held in place and that there are no flammable materials nearby. Once the wood is ready, you can begin heating it with the torch. The flame should be directed at an angle so as not to burn through too much of the wood at once. When the wood is hot enough, you can slowly cut the square hole with a chisel or other cutting tool.

It’s important to take your time when using a cutting torch and be mindful of safety precautions at all times. Make sure to wear protective clothing, eye protection, and a face mask while using this tool. [3]

Use a Shim

One way to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw is to use a shim. A shim is an object with one or more sides that are slightly thinner than the surrounding material. For example, if you are trying to cut a square hole in wood, you can use a shim that has four sides that are slightly thinner than the wood itself. To use a shim to cut a square hole, first measure the area where you want the hole and mark it off with a pencil or marker. Then place the shim over the marked-off area and trace its edges as closely as possible. Finally, use a hammer or other blunt tool to tap along the lines of the shim and cut out your square hole. [3]

Putting It All Together

Once you have all the necessary tools and materials in place, it’s time to get started! Here are the steps for cutting a square hole in wood without a jigsaw:

  1. Measure and mark the size of the hole on the wood using a ruler or other measuring device.
  2. Drill four pilot holes at each corner of your desired square hole using a drill bit and drill.
  3. Connect the four pilot holes with a jigsaw by cutting along the lines you marked in step one.
  4. Sand down the edges of the hole to make them smooth. [3]

Safety Considerations

Before attempting to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw, consider the safety hazards involved. Make sure you are wearing appropriate protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, and that your work space is well-ventilated. Remember to be extra careful when dealing with sharp blades or tools. It is also important to make sure that your hands are away from the blade at all times and that you have a firm grip on whatever material or tool you are using.

If you are cutting a square hole in a large piece of wood, consider securing it to a bench with clamps so that it does not move around during use. This will make it easier for you to keep your hands in safe positions and away from the blade while you work.

Finally, it is important to make sure that the blade of whatever cutting tool you are using is sharp and free from any debris or nicks.

A dull blade can cause kickback which could result in serious injury. If the blade does become damaged during use, be sure to replace it before continuing with your project. [3]

Safety Considerations


What can I use to cut a square hole in wood?

There are several ways to cut a square hole in wood without using a jigsaw. You can use tools such as chisels, hole saws, circular saws, spade bits, routers and even drills to create the perfect square shape. Depending on the complexity of the project you have in mind, one of these methods may be best suited for your needs.

How do you drill a square hole in wood?

Drilling a square hole in wood is fairly simple with the right tools. You’ll need a drill bit that’s slightly larger than the size of your finished square hole, and you can also use some masking tape to ensure that you get an even shape. Mark out the area where you plan to cut, then start drilling at each corner and move slowly towards the middle, angling the drill bit towards the center. Make sure to keep the drill bit perpendicular to the surface of the wood and don’t press too hard. Once you have made it to the middle, cut out the remaining corners with a chisel or similar tool.

Can you use a square hole drill bit in a hand drill?

Yes, you can use a square hole drill bit in a hand drill. Make sure that your drill bit is compatible with your specific hand drill model before attempting this project. You’ll also need to move slowly and carefully when drilling the hole, as any rapid or hard motion could cause splintering or breakage in the wood. Always wear safety glasses and gloves.

Useful Video: Few People Know This Jigsaw Trick | How to Cut Clean With Jigsaw


The jigsaw is a great tool for making neat, square cuts in wood and other materials. However, if you don’t have one, or just want to try something different, there are plenty of other methods to make perfect square holes! With the right tools, patience, and practice you can create any shape cut that you need with minimal effort. Remember to always take safety precautions when working with wood and power tools, such as wearing protective eyewear, a dust mask, and gloves.

By following the steps outlined in this article you should have learned how to cut a square hole in wood without a jigsaw. Whether you are an avid DIYer or a beginner just starting out on your projects, you will be able to make great looking square cuts in wood with the right tools and technique. With practice and patience, you can even create more intricate shapes for a truly unique look. So get out there and start creating!

Happy cutting!