Tool Tips: How to Cut a Square Hole in Wood with a Jigsaw

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No matter if you are a beginner or a pro, being a woodworker, knowing how to cut a square hole in the wood with a jigsaw, is a handy skill to have. Broadening your woodcutting skills will let you enjoy woodworking projects even more.

This article can be beneficial if you are working on a project where you need to cut square/ rectangular holes in the wood. Using a jigsaw is pretty easy if you know how to master it. Once you pick the right blade and a reliable quality jigsaw, you are all set to cut any shape you need.

Things you’ll need

To start your job, you will need to gather some tools and materials. This includes:

  • A jigsaw
  • Board with marking
  • A sander or sanding block
  • Eye goggles and ear protection gear
  • Clamps
  • Protector
  • Drill with 0.25” bit
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Steel square

Step by step process of cutting a square hole in the wood with a jigsaw

Cutting a square hole in the wood with a jigsaw can be easy if you follow the process strictly. You certainly do not want to ruin the entire project by cutting a shabby hole or so.

Step 1

You should start with drawing a layout on the board/wooden plank you are willing to cut. Use a pencil & measuring tape to mark the length and width of the hole and ensure that the final layout is exactly what you need. 

Step 2

Jigsaw has made this job a lot easier. Unlike the conventional method, one can easily use a jigsaw, router and electric drill to cut a perfect square hole on any wooden piece.

Once you have the drawing ready, take a drill and place it at the inner side of the square, in the corner. Drill a hole and make sure that the hole is big enough to touch two sides of the corner of the square.

Step 3

Take the jigsaw & place the cutting blade at the hole you just drilled. Switch on the jigsaw and with a firm hold move it along with the marking. Note, you must stay inside of the marking to ensure that you do not ruin the board in case you deviate from your path.

Step 4

Use a sander and sand the edges of the square to a smooth finish. A jigsaw might leave some marks and uneven edges.  You can use a sandpaper to sand them off by hand as well.

Square hole in wood

This image “Rectangular cut out” is a derivative of “cut out the hatch openings” by Dale Simoson, used under CC BY-SA 2.0. “Rectangular cut out” is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 by Kasia.

Safety Precautions

Like most of the woodworking jobs, cutting a square hole in a wooden piece demands protection. You certainly don’t want a bleeding finger or a splinter in the eye.

The flying particles from the wood can hit you in the eye or you might hurt your hearing from the loud noise a jigsaw makes. Here are some safety precautions that you must take:

  • Wear eye and ear protection gear before you start working on any wooden project.
  • Ensure you do not have any loose clothing.
  • Tie your hair in a bun in case you have long hair.
  • Keep your hands away from the jigsaw.
  • Do not exert extra pressure on the machine
  • Use clamps to hold the jigsaw in place.

Tips to ensure a precise cut

Here are some tips & tricks that will help you cut a precise hole in your wooden project:

  • It is important to draft the marking correctly to ensure the cut is precise. You must use a measuring tape, protector, set-square and any other to require for marking the lines.
  • Use a pencil instead of a marker, this way you can erase any wrong marking if any.
  • Use the right type of blade and your job is already half done.

If you want to know how to cut a square hole in the wood with a jigsaw but you haven’t got a power drill at hand check the video below for some awesome tips.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions leave a comment in a box below and I’ll do my best to help you :)


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