How to Cut a Square Hole in Wood – Step by Step Guide

Last Updated on October 25, 2021

Whenever you are working with wood, or are planning to make something out of wood, you are going to have to cut holes of different shapes in them.

The shapes could be square, round rectangle, and a few other geometric figures.  This might be a more difficult task, then most people anticipate it to be, especially the inner figure.

The best way to cut a square hole in a piece of wood is to use a wood chisel. This tool can be used for other projects as well. However, the chisel is not the only way to cut a hole out of wood. There are plenty of other tools that can be used as well, such as a circular saw, drill and jigsaw.

There are a few things you are going to need with you when you do this job. Along with them, you are going to have to really know how the job is done so that you don’t end up wasting the wood you are planning to work with.

So here, you are going to find a detailed guide on how to cut a hole in wood.

Things to Keep in Mind

Like it was mentioned before you are going to have to use the right tools and equipment so that the work you are doing goes smoothly and without any problems. Make sure that your attention is on the job at hand rather than somewhere else; this is especially important if you are new at this.

When it comes to cutting holes in the wood, squares and rectangles are the easiest shapes to cut out, so you don’t have to be too worried about the process.

Safety Precautions Are Must

For this job, you are going to be working with sharp objects and tools; your safety is of utmost importance. You will have to follow along and abide by a few simple rules when you are hard at work.

Firstly, when you are cutting the hole in the wood, there will be a whole lot of fine particles of the wood flying in the air, which could easily get into your eyes. So, to prevent any sort of damage to the eyes, you should have some safety goggles on at all times.

Moreover, your eyes are not the only ones that can be harmed by the dirt and fine particles; your respiratory system might be harmed too if the room you are working in does not have a good ventilation system.

As you will be working with sharp objects, don’t forget to put some gloves on, because the last thing you would want is to lose a finger to a machine.

And lastly, every tool you are using has some sort of instruction manual or the other, follow along with what they have instructed for the best outcome of all your time and efforts.

Tools You Should Use

In order to cut a square hole in the wood, you will need to get a few things that will make it possible for you to complete the task.

You are going to need a pencil to make all the markings, a measuring tape, so that all the cuts are exact, a framing square and a straightedge.

Now for the cutting tools, there are many things you can choose from to get the work done. You could opt for a multipurpose wood cutting tool, a jigsaw is a good option, a chisel would do too. Whichever one you choose; you are going to have to adopt a different technique to make it work.

And lastly, you will need to use sandpaper to smooth out all the new edges you create with the cuts on the wood.

How to Cut Square Hole in Wood?

While cutting the wood, you will need to decide first where the cut has to be made, because if the cut is wrong, you will have to throw the sheet of wood away and start over.

Another thing you should always keep in mind is that you must ensure all other parts of the sheet are not being damaged or scratched up because of the cut you are making.

Now, from here onward, we will tell you the step-by-step guide on what to do, and also explain how to do the work using different tools.

Step 1: Drawing the Square on The Wood

At the very beginning, you need to make some measurements and try to pinpoint where would like to make the hole. Once that has been done you will use the pencil to make it out.

Now, you should lay the framing square on the sheet of wood and then make the drawing of the square on the wood. In case you don’t have a framing square, you can make use of a ruler and a protector to draw the straight lines which have the exact 90-degree angle.

Drawing the right shape is crucial. Otherwise, the hole in the sheet of wood will look weird and ruin your efforts.

Step 2: Cutting the Hole

There are so many tools and equipment that can be used to make this cut, and once you have determined which one you are using, just follow the instruction and technique you can adapt to do the work.

Make the Cut Using A Saw/Jigsaw and A Drill

These are the most common tools used to make a square hole in a sheet of wood. And the main reason behind this is the easy and the availability of the tools. They can be used to undertake both small and big projects with sheets of wood which have varied thickness.

At first, you have to install a drilling machine, then drill one hole on each corner of the square you have drawn. The holes you made will enable you to cut the corners easily. Be sure to turn off the power completely and set the drill aside to move on to the next tool.

Now all that’s left for you to do is use the saw or jigsaw to cut along the line you have drawn with the pencil. When you are cutting the four sides, use a swing motion to do the work.

Make the Cut Using A Chisel

This is one tool most people are likely to have in their workspace, as it is used for many things. But, in order to perfect the task at hand using a chisel, you are going to need a lot of effort and some time. It is the best tool to use when you are working on a smaller project. It is not suitable for thick sheets of wood.

In the beginning place, the tip of your chisel on the very corner of the square you drew. Then take a sledgehammer which you will use to tap on the chisel. The tap has to be hard enough so that the chisel can go through the sheet of wood.

The same motion has to be followed until the chisel goes all the way through. And then take it out to do the same thing over and over again until you have gone across the four lines you drew as reference.

Step 3: Using the Sandpaper to Perfect

The very last step of the process is to use sandpaper over all the corners and cuts you have made. This step has to be undertaken no matter which tool or equipment you choose to do the work with, otherwise, the edges will be too rough, and you might end up with a little cut.


Cutting a square hole in the wood is not a very difficult job; you just have to know what you are doing and also use the right methods with the right tools.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started now.