How to Cut a Square Hole in the Wood

Interested in learning how to cut a square hole in the wood with perfection?

This is a fundamental approach that all of us need to know. For the woodcutters, this is crucial to be aware of as it helps them earn their living. Besides this, let it be a science project or building something for fun, this art is required by all of us.

If you have some woodworking knowledge, then this is a very simple task for you. What you should learn is the proper way of handling the tools used in this task. If you were looking for a step-by-step approach to this woodcutting skill, then you are at the right place.

 What is required? 

For this task, you will have to search your toolbox for the following things:

Power drill: It is a powerful tool used for creating round holes or for driving fasteners.

Large drill bit: This is a cutting tool used to remove material to create holes.

Jigsaw: It is a saw that uses a rotational blade to cut irregular curves, including stencil designs, in wood, metal, or other materials.

Oscillating tool: An oscillating, battery-powered, or mains-powered power tool is called an oscillating tool.

Framing square: It is a tool for square layout structures.

Sandpaper or file: A paper or file with sand or another caustic stuck to it, used for smoothing or polishing woodwork

Work gloves: It is protective equipment worn during projects to cover and protect the hands.

Carpenter’s drawing marker or pencil: Is a pencil or a marker with a body with a rectangular or elliptical cross-section to prevent it from rolling away.

How to Cut a Square Hole in the Wood


 Step 1: Measure and Mark 

The first thing that you should focus on is measuring the square size that you wish to cut out. Then, mark and label the square’s size on the back of the wood you are planning to cut.

You should concentrate well while measuring the required size that needs to be cut out. This will ensure that your hole is placed precisely at the point where you wanted it to be. Take your time to measure accurately, and do not rush up at this point.

Once you have decided on your square measurement, pick the carpenter’s pencil up to mark the wood’s dimensions. By using a pencil or either a marker, depending upon your choice. One thing that must be remembered while marking is that the tracing should be dark enough for your cutting. Not only dark, but it should also be a thick line to guide you better while cutting.

 Step 2: Create a Pilot Hole 

In the second step, you need to create a hole in the wood. A drill is used to do this. This pilot hole tells you the position from where you should begin cutting your hole.

The size of a drill bit that needs to be used is not of much concern to us. However, it should be large enough to ensure that your jigsaw blade fits through it.

While creating a pilot hole, you should make sure that the hole lies inside the lines you have traced for your square. To ensure this you need to start a drill near the square’s edge.

 Step 3: Cut Out the Square 

Now that you have drilled a point in the form of a pilot hole, you are all set to cut out the square. Let me remind you, before using a power saw, you must take the necessary precautions. Wearing your work gloves is a crucial step for your safety.

To start cutting:

  1. Place the blade of the jigsaw on the pilot hole and dig in.
  2. From there onwards, begin following the marked square line by turning your saw according to the shape.
  3. Again, focus on the inside and not the outside of the line while cutting.
  4. Don’t worry if the square turns out to be small.

As if the final square you have cut out seems smaller, you can always widen it. This is where the use of oscillating paper and sandpaper comes in. However, if the square turns out to be larger due to cutting it on the outside of the line, there is no way to correct it and alter it. The only option left then will be to start all over again.

Using a jigsaw is the complicated part of this task. But once you learn and follow the techniques mentioned above, nothing will appear to be complicated.

 Step 4: Provide Finishing To Your Work 

After you have cut out the wood’s square hole, the final step is to clean up your work. The time taken for this step depends upon the way you have used your jigsaw. If you did everything following the tips, there is no finishing left to be done. But if not, then you can always provide finishing.

Firstly, use the file to get rid of the rough spots remaining inside the square that has been cut. If you think that the lines are not fine enough, you can always use an oscillating tool to improvise them. Be careful in sanding away the wood as a little attention diverted can lead to too much sanding.

You know that it is done when you are satisfied with the shape and size of your square. Lastly, to improve the smoothness, you can use sandpaper. Repeat using the sandpaper until you believe your work is now perfect.


So now you learned that this task is not as difficult as it is claimed to be by many. Following the guide’s steps, you can cut out a square hole in the wood professionally and smoothly. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions while using the power tools and drills to prevent accidents.