Everybody can cut a square hole in wood. But can everybody cut an accurate, clear, and impeccable square hole to get their work done? 


And, now you are facing the same problem of cutting a square hole in a wood.

As you know, every problem comes with a solution.

It has a solution, too.

All you need to have is guidance and different tools with safety precautions to get an expected result of a square hole in the wood.

Before getting into the task, you need to examine the wood quality, sources, and tools you have. 

Now, What is the need for a square hole in wood?

Your purpose of creating a hole in a wood may be to have mortise and tenon joints, any functional motive, to use as decor, and many more.

Whatever it can be. We care to sort out your problem. So, get detailed guidance on the required tools and materials and different methods to cut a square hole in wood.

What Tools & Materials are Needed To Cut a Square Hole in Wood?

Make sure you have accumulated all the tools to use amid the process before getting into cutting work. Of course, check the state of the tools and equipment that you have to use. For instance, enquire about the shape and edge of power tool blades.

List of required tools and materials:

  • Dark Pencil and Large scale.
  • Framing Scale or the T-square to have exact 90 degrees angles on the four corners.
  • Measuring Tape and a Ruler to measure the length-breadth of a square to cut out.
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Sandpaper & Wood file
  • A Straight Edge
  • A Protractor
  • A Calculator

Prepare the Wood to Have a Clear and Perfect Square Hole

It is not child’s play for everyone to be accomplished at exact measurements and curb square wood plank. Follow the guidelines to know about preparing the wood to have a fruitful result of the expected square hole.

  • Measure the entire wood piece to get the exact position for the square to be drawn out. Missing the measurement is like you can cut a rectangle with intentions for a square.
  • Usage of the proper instruments like a T-square scale and pencil.
  • Dot the center position for the square with a pencil on the wood.
  • Draw the square shape using the square frame.
  • Make sure of the exactness of the shape by measuring with the help of a square sketch.
  • Fix the wood firmly using any support to avoid any mishappening while working. Use sawhorses or two tables to secure the wood. 

10 Ways to Cut a Square Hole in Wood

There are several methods that you can use to cut a square hole in wood but are listing the 10 mostly used methods.

1. Using a Drill & a Square Drill Bit

Square drill bit to cut a square hole in wood

Use a drill and a square hole bit together to get the desired result of a perfect square in the piece of wood. This handful method can be used regardless of the thickness of the wood. Particularly in the case of the wooden piece in your hand having differing thicknesses.

Is this technique for you?

If you have practiced using a hole saw. Then, you can go for this method.

Follow these steps:

  1. Do all the necessary measurements required to draw a square.
  2. Place the drill on the corner point and pass through it to the wood layer. Repeat this process for the four points of the square.
  3. Just after the starter hole, use a square hole saw to cut through the drawn lines by considering one of the corners as a starting point.
  4. Take out the wood plank.
  5. Smooth the edges of the square by sanding it.
  • The drill works quickly and saves time.
  • The best suitable tools for hard and thick wood.
  • Easy to set up and monitor the drill.
  • Time efficient method.
  • Not appropriate for ultra-hard wood.
  • Use it with full awareness and focus. Otherwise, the wood can be distorted.
  • Dust is another result of a square hole during the cutting.
  • Chances of burning because of the consistent friction with every spin.

2. Using a Chisel & Hammer


The method using a chisel and hammer is a long-established tool that is usable for DIV tasks too. It is the easiest method to cut a square hole in wood. Even a novice can use it easily.

You can prefer a square chisel for a better experience while cutting a square hole. It is the best go-for tool if power tools are out of your approach.

Ensure correctness by measuring and working gently and slowly. 

How to use this method?

Just follow these steps:

  1. Do all measurements and draw the shape.
  2. Keep the point of the chisel on the drawn point to cut. Operate the chisel in the straight position and use the hammer simultaneously. Keep something strong underneath the wood because of the hard hitting on the chisel. 
  3. As you continue the process and push the plank with little force, and furnish the wood.
  • Safest and long-lasting tool.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to approachable at home.
  • Operates slowly.
  • Labor-intensive task.
  • Time-consuming method.
  • Craggy boundaries of the square hole.
  • This method demands your strength.
  • Pay more attention & need practice for the clean outputs of the chisel.

3. Using a Jigsaw To Cut a Square Hole In Wood


Jigsaw is lightweight and easy to handle due to its small size compared to other bulky machines to cut a square hole in wood.

The reciprocating blade of the jigsaw moves backward and forwards.

It is handy for usual tasks on small wood pieces. Use a sawhorse in this method as a support for the wood.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Use a drill to make four starter holes; as jigsaw blades can not pierce holes. So, create starter holes according to the size of the jigsaw blades.
  2. Move the jigsaw blades correctly on a 90-degree angle at a straight line. Use a jigsaw to saw along the straight lines by turning it on each point of four corners.
  3. Get rid of the dust created from the cutting. 
  4. Apply sanding on the irregular surface using sandpaper or a power sander.
  • LED light for clarity during work.
  • Ease up and swift the work due to the powerful motor in the jigsaw.
  • Ensures safety and comfort.
  • Optimal and clean cutting.
  • Jigsaw blades are appropriate for thick wood.


  • Neither suitable for enlarged tasks nor a long-lasting tool.
  • Once deteriorated, tough to get mended and restored.
  • Chances of fire.
  • Be aware of the dangers of electricity.

4. Using a Hand Saw To Cut a Square Hole

Small Woodworking Hand Saw

Hand saw is another crucial tool on the list of methods to cut a square hole in a piece of wood. It involves manual work using a hand saw to saw along the four lines of the square.

It includes similar steps as using a jigsaw, whereas the difference is only in the method. Following the measurements, start by creating starter holes using a drill, then cut the shape through a hand saw.

Points to be noted:

  • Create large starter holes through drill because of the blade width of a hand saw.
  • Various options of hand saws, you have to choose from, such as a hacksaw, ripsaw, coping saw, or keyhole saw.
  • Ascertain you have practiced drawing straight lines using a hand saw before using it directly on the project.
  • Skillful work as you have to do it yourself rather than the automatic working of any tool.
  • Prefer a hand saw with a thin blade.
  • Use sandpaper to smooth and plain the edges.
  • Convenient tool to work with.
  • Easy to store in a toolbox and movable anytime at home.
  • Advantageous and handy in the absence of power.
  • Cost-efficient.
  • Manual tools come with lower risk.


  • Ends with the jagged edges of a square.
  • Time-consuming to use a hand saw.
  • Dust is also there along with the work done

5. Using a Router Tool

Router Machine

A router is the best and most accessible technical device to cut a square hole in the wood.

Make sure to choose a bit for the router after examining the thickness of the wood where to cut the square piece.

A router helps to get work done swiftly. And it penetrates the wood easily, regardless of the wood type – hard, soft, or mild.

Follow these steps:

  1. Secure the wood with support and make four holes in the wood using a drill.
  2. Turn on the router, insert the blades of the router into the wood, and move it easily throughout the lines. 

It is a much easier task using a router as compared to a hand saw.

Pros & Cons of this method:

  • Appropriate for modish styles.
  • Easy to use and handle the router.
  • Powerful and durable tool.
  • The appropriate tool for large and heavy work.


  • Consumes high electricity.
  • Not suitable for small tasks.

6. Using a Circular Saw With a Square Hole Cutting Attachment

If a jig saw and router are not handy for you, the better option is to use a circular saw to cut the desirable square shape in the wood.

Circular Saw

Better for you to adjust the circular saw as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Most circular saws come with large size blades in the market. So, pay heed to taking a circular saw having small blades for a better work experience.

Follow safety measures and wear goggles while using a circular saw for wood-related tasks.

Follow these steps to cut a square hole:

  1. Draw lines and the center point while measuring the square. And do not forget to leave enough space around the four sides of the square.
  2. Use a circular saw while aligning all the straight lines. 
  3. Take out the wood plank. 
  • Beneficial tool for heavy projects like wood cutting.
  • Less loss of material and an energy-saving tool.
  • The power tool increases your productivity.
  • The blades of the circular saw are durable.
  • Get accurate output.


  • It has to charge for hours. So, it can waste your time and energy, too.
  • Creates noise pollution and dust particles are the by-products of wood cutting.
  • Expensive tool.

7. Using a Mortising Machine

Mortise And Tenon Machine

A mortising machine is a large-sized machine. Prefer using Forstner bit for quick work. Mortising machines are highly used by professionals. You need to work gently to have a precise square shape in the wood.

  1. Draw a fine square after making measurements. Point the center of the wood.
  2. Place wood beneath the blade. 
  3. Use a knife to deepen the mark of the center line. Doing this way will make it easy to place the blade points exactly on the line.
  4. Push and pull the handle to take out and in the blade to bore an array of holes in a straight line.
  5. To turn these joining holes into a square: Use a wide chisel. Use a chisel on the edges to remove the extra wood to form straight lines of the square. Give shape to outer edges. Now, similarly, give shape to its width using a chisel.
  • Robust and long-lasting machine.
  • Convenient machine for a variety of wood tasks.


  • Creates dust and noise.
  • Carefulness is required; otherwise, a power tool is hazardous too.
  • Difficulty in specific measurements.
  • Not handy at all to get the tool at home.

8. Using a Bandsaw With a Square Hole Cutting Jig

Band Saw

The bandsaw is a bulky and large-sized machine accompanied by an electric motor. It is broadly used for wood, metal, and lumber work.

Most bandsaws have two wheels that move in the same plane. In fact, various band saws come with three to four wheels to decrease the load by distributing among these wheels.

The bandsaw is adaptable as per the wood characteristics because of the variation of blade sizes and tooth pitches. 

In a nutshell, it is a versatile machine since it is employed for ranging from wood to plastic materials.

This single machine is enough. So, no use of any other tool except the means of measurement.

  • Raise the saw to adjust the position of the wood under the blade.
  • Switch on the saw. Now the bandsaw blade plunges into the wood to cut its shape.

So, place the wood, adjust the machine blade, and cut the square hole. A switch stumbles on the completion of the cut, and the saw shuts out automatically.

  • Versatile and fast operating machine.
  • Gives a clean and tidy shape.
  • Comparatively creates less wastage.
  • Fewer production costs and uses less power.
  • Only the specialized can use this machine better.
  • Not approachable for minor houses works.
  • It has a poor cut finish as compared to a table saw.

9. Using a Scroll Saw

Scroll Saw

Scroll saw eases your work to cut a square hole in wood as it is another power tool. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Draw the shape on the wood and place it on the metal surface underneath the blade of a scroll saw. 
  2. Operate the machine.
  3. While operating the machine, change the position of the wood to have a 90-degree angle of the blade to get it straight on the wood. You just need to change the wood position as per the direction to cut, and else things will be done by the machine.
  4. Stop the blade and check the fine square shape.

Points to be noted:

  • Most scroll saws come with alterable tables to adjust the piece of wood for cutting. 
  • Before you operate the machine, make sure the blades are not too fastened because blades can break. On the other side, too loose blades can remain in the wood.
  • Easily operable machine for swift work.
  • The process is dust-free.
  • Provides plain edges of the square.
  • Blades can break or get into the wood; if they are too tight or too loose.

10. Using a Nibbler Tool

Nibler Tool

Last but not least, a nibbler tool is one of the best suitable methods to cut a square hole in wood.

Follow the below steps:

  • Make measurements and draw the square shape.
  • Insert the nibbler tool’s blade into the wood to cut the shape of a square by pressing the button of the tool.
  • As you contract the button, the punch of the nibbler will penetrate the wood, and separate the center square shape from the wood.

Points to be noted:

  • Grab the tool tightly.
  • Handle the device carefully as you change direction.
  • To turn the direction of a nibbler tool on a 90-degree angle, take out the tool, and then drive it again in the new direction.
  • Time-saving device.
  • Provides a clean edge of the square hole.
  • The tool makes a lot of noise.
  • It is more suitable for metals.

Finishing The Square Hole

As you see the square shape in wood, your work is not over here. The last, but crucial task is to finish the hole by sanding it.

You may observe rough edges in a hole regardless of which method you have followed. So, finish it using a wood file, sand power, or sandpaper.

So that you will be elated and content as you see your efforts give you a fine, neat and clean square. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Follow all the safety measures and put up security gear:

  • Preventive Gloves
  • Protecting Goggles
  • Dust Mask
  • Wear clothes covering your complete body with full sleeves and long pants.

Yes, eye protection is a must while using a chisel since dust and debris are by-products while cutting the lines of a square in the wood.

Use a coping saw to cut thin and lightweight wood. Its lean and pencil-thin blades are the most functional for short and intricate designs. An Easier handle tool that can be driven by a newbie too.

Winding Up

Have a recap on the critical steps to be followed while cutting a square hole in the wood:

  • Examine the state of the wood, and secure it using appropriate support.
  • Put together all the tools needed to cut the square hole.
  • Mark measurements.
  • Operate the tool.
  • The last step is to finish the edges of a square hole.

Use the appropriate tools according to the required shape of a hole and the strength of the wood. Manual tools to machines; all are mentioned above.

Pick up the one which is relevant to your needs. Additionally, your safety is the priority; wear all safety gear before you start cutting the square hole in a wooden piece.

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