When it comes to most DIY projects, cutting wood is going to be a major cornerstone of creating your finished product. Unfortunately, not all of us have cutting tools at home. Even if we do, cutting wood at home can raise the hackles of a landlord.
It’s always good to know where you can get your wood cut for you. Let’s take a look at the most likely places where you can get custom cuts and more.
Places That Will Cut Wood For You
1. Your Local Lumber Yard
Lumber yards are one of the best places to go for custom cuts, especially if they make a point of advertising their cutting stations. This is a place where you might find panel saws, saws that do custom cross-cuts, miters of all sizes, and more.
To find out more about your lumber yard’s wood cutting services, call them up and ask what they offer. Some stick to rudimentary straight cuts, while others will do additional cuts and custom precision work for a small fee.
Local lumber yards are great if you need to grab multiple types of wood, pre-cut wood, or need to have the expertise for a specific woodworking project. Unsurprisingly, they often are “in the know” on where you can get additional cutting services.
2. Home Depot
As one of the biggest store chains in America dealing with lumber, it should come as no surprise that many Home Depots offer complimentary wood cutting services to buyers. If you want the wood cut here, you have to buy the lumber in-store.
Home Depot offers straight cuts that meant to make the lumber easier to fit in a car. With that said, most stores have size limitations and a limitation on the number of cuts that you can order. You may have to pay an additional fee for more.
Does Home Depot cut wood all the time? No, this is a service that varies from store to store. Call ahead of time to find out whether they offer free cutting services. If they do, expect their services to do little other than trim your wood so it can be hauled away.
Some stores also require you to plunk down a nominal fee for any cuts that you get done.
Lowe’s is another one of the big names in home improvement niche. Unlike Home Depot, Lowe’s makes a point of advertising the fact that they will cut wood for you. They actually mention it directly on their site.
If you want to try Lowe’s wood cutting station, it’s best to give your local store a call. Not all stores will have a good one and you want to make sure that they can slice your wood in the angles you need it to be.
It’s worth noting that Lowe’s doesn’t just cut wood with standard rough cuts. They also can cut blinds, offer angled cuts, cut pipes, and more. Specifications and size restrictions still apply, so always double-check.
Rounding out the trio of major home improvement stores is Menards. Much like with their competitors, what Menards offers clients depends on the individual store. Most still will offer some kind of wood cutting service.
In most stores, you can get free (or cheap) wood cuts as long as you purchase the wood at the store you’re getting it cut at. While most stores offer a free cut on the house, you may need to pay as much as $2 per cut in some branches. Bring extra cash if you want to try this.
PRO TIP – If you buy and cut lumber at Menards, you can use their rental trucks to bring it home. Because of company policy, renting a truck means you’ll get free loading service in-store.
5. Mom n’ Pop Shops
If you have a hardware store that’s more of an “indie” option in your neighborhood, there’s a good chance that they will be willing to cut wood with you. Obviously, family-owned businesses have a very wide range of functions.
Most mom n’ pop stores will not have the equipment needed to offer quality cutting services, but some do. In many cases, indie stores take pride in doing what other lumber providers won’t. This includes having employees who are masterful at precise cutting techniques.
What is a makerspace? It’s simple. This is a place where people go to make things, whether it’s a new robotic doodad or a beautiful new cabinet. Makerspaces are heavily equipped with all kinds of blades, tools, and saws to help you cut lumber.
These spaces are somewhat rare, but you can usually find one near urban areas. If you choose to go to one of these venues for a quick cut, there are a couple of things you may need to know:
- You will need to purchase your lumber from a different place and bring it to the makerspace. Makerspaces don’t typically sell wood at their venues. These spaces are just there tolet you build what you want to build.
- Some spaces may ask you to pay a membership fee. They may also have specific rules about who can and cannot use the space. (Some are STEM students only.) If you are unsure of their membership policies, call in advance.
- You may have to cut the wood yourself. This varies from space policy to space policy, but many want to see members work on their own projects exclusively.
- Some spaces also allow you to hire a professional to cut the wood for you. This is a good move if you don’t want to pay a monthly fee or if you are worried about being clumsy with a buzzsaw.
7. Local Wood Shops
Wood shops are a little bit different from makerspaces, since they tend to be geared specifically towards woodworking needs. This means they often will have specialty gear that will work well for unique wood cuts, such as lathes.
Wood shops are there to cut wood for you. All you need to do is tell them the dimensions, give them the wood, and add any extra notes for them to work with. These shops almost always carry a fee, but their work is good and their expertise can’t be beat.
8. ACE Hardware
While ACE Hardware doesn’t always carry much lumber, they occasionally still have a wood cutting service. This store is known for being a “rough cuts only” type of store, and not all locations even offer that. Call ahead of time to find out their policies.
Out of all the major hardware store chains, this one has to be the most unreliable when it comes to wood cutting. Lumber just isn’t really their focal point, so it’s understandable. ACE Hardware still makes an effort to help woodworkers when they can, though.
9. Local Handymen
Handymen really do live up to their names, especially when it comes to odd jobs that don’t quite have a specific person to hire. One of the best and most affordable ways to get that wood cut without having to go anywhere is to call a handyman for help.
Handymen will be happy to show up at your work site and give you a helping hand. Since you will be able to watch them work, you can usually give them instructions on how you want your wood cut. At times, you can even have them help you out on other portions of the project too.
Carpenters can act just like local handymen in the sense that they will show up to your home and cut wood for you. However, they tend to be more expensive than a typical handyman would be and some just won’t take this job. It’s (kind of) beneath their skills.
If you cannot find a local handyman in time for your job to be completed, then it makes sense to have a carpenter on the task instead. The same can be said for jobs that require extremely precise or difficult cuts.
11. Local Schools
This is a reach, but it depends on the community and the school system. Some schools have woodshop that students use as part of their studies. If you have a kid in the school system, ask them to cut the wood for you during shop…if that’s allowed.
Sometimes, talking to the teachers can help, too.
If you want to get your wood cut, the best place to get it done is in a store that offers fresh lumber. Most lumber stores and mainstream hardware stores have a wood cutting service for cheap.
Can’t find a store nearby? A little bit of creativity can help you find the cutting service you need. All you need to do is find a person or group that has access to saws, then ask. You would be surprised at how easy it can be.