10 Places That Will Cut Wood For You (Free and Paid)
I don’t know about you, but I love being able to get a little bit of convenience when it comes to doing my projects. Convenience, especially when it comes to tedious or repetitive things like wood. Sometimes, it’s less about convenience and more about not owning the right saw. That’s why I was thrilled when I found out that you can find places to cut wood for you.
There are several home improvement stores that will cut wood for you, given you purchase it from their store. Places that will cut wood for you include stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Menards, and True Value. Additionally, you can get wood cut at a local workshop, lumber yard, or by hiring a handyman.
Some of the best places to go if you want to get precut wood include:
- Home Depot
- Lumber Yards
- Hardware Store
- Local Makerspaces
- Local Woodshops
Getting your wood cut for you seems like kind of a minor issue, but it’s really not. To help you get a better understanding of what you can expect from these store services and why you might want to get it done, keep reading. We’ve got the answers for you.
Why Would You Have Someone Else Cut Wood For You?
There are a bunch of reasons why you might want to employ these services. The most common reason is that you might not be able to fit wood in your car or truck otherwise. However, some people just don’t own the right cutting tools for wood and may not want to saw wood on their own. It also can act as a pretty convenient way to get to the fun parts of DIY.
Where Can You Get Your Wood Cut For Free?
Here’s the important thing to know: not all wood cutting services will be free of charge. In fact, the current trend is to charge people, even if it was a free service before. These venues below still offer free woodcutting, if you ask real nice:
1. Home Depot
Home Depot’s wood cutting services vary from place to place, and many are switching to a fee-based model. However, most stores will cut your wood so that it fits in your car and will also give you a set number of cuts if they have the time to do so.
After speaking with a Home Depot employee on the phone, I was told I can get a few pieces of wood cut for me, given I buy the wood at the Home Depot store. Granted, it’s possible other stores won’t do this. This is especially true if you need a more precise cut.
The best bet is to call your local Home Depot store and find out. The wood cutting section at Home Depot is usually located in the back of the store, by the lumber section. Ask for a store associate and they’ll direct you to the qualified person.
The associate should be able to cut and handle various wood products, like shingles, decks, lattice, plywood, timber, and other types.
Lowe’s currently is the most generous “big box” store to offer wood cutting services. In most locations, they will do it for free as long as you buy the wood from their store. For the most part, you can get standard cuts as well as some quick miter service done here.
I called my local Lowe’s and the associate told me that they will cut as many pieces of wood as I need. It seems that they are trying to compete with Home Depot and offer a better or equal service. Lowe’s offers some miter cuts and any simple straight cut.
However, if you need wood cut to specific dimensions, it’ll cost you. The actual cost will vary by store.
3. Lumber Yards
Local woodshops are now increasingly offering cutting services as a way to compete with their big-box counterparts. Some people are intimidated by going to the lumber yard because it’s a place that many DIY professionals go to.
If you don’t already have the wood, you can obviously buy it at the lumber yard. Wood at lumber yards will be of higher quality with fewer dings, more layers, and more finishes. Needless to say, lumber yards will cut the wood according to your specs if you buy the wood from them.
And, if you need to rent specific tools (handheld tools and saws), your local store may just have them. They also usually have glues, dust collection tools, and other things you may need. For pre-cut wood, you can even get it delivered to your house.
4. Local Hardware Stores
Much like their lumber yard counterparts, many Main Street hardware stores are now going out of their way to tout their wood cutting services to help gain an advantage over their Wall Street counterparts. I’ve mostly seen this in smaller towns.
Any large town has too much competition from Home Depot and Lowe’s. The only one in my town closed down years ago when Home Depot moved into town. Most times, the smaller hardware stores are only able to compete when the big box stores are not available.
As unfortunate as it is, if you do have a local hardware store, it’s a hit or miss if they have the tools or time to cut wood for you, but it’s definitely worth a try.
5. Ace Hardware
Depending on where you live, you might also be able to get wood cutting service at your local Ace. However, not all locations have this. I called my local Ace Hardware in New Jersey, but the store owner told me he doesn’t have the tools.
Otherwise, he would have cut it for free. So, it seems that most Ace Hardware locations may not have the tools and personnel to do it, which is why I ranked Ace Hardware lower on the list.
Understanding Free Wood Cutting Services
While you can get your wood cut for free, there’s going to be a limit to how many cuts you can get as well as how complex the cuts will be. If you were hoping to find a place that will do that perfect dovetail cut, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. These stores tend to have limits before they charge you.
Most places will have no problem cutting wood so it’ll fit into the cut or adding a miter to a couple of pieces of wood. However, if you need more professional services, you might need to call a handyman to help you out.
Are There Any Conditions You Need To Abide By If You Get Free Wood Cuts?
Along with making sure that you go to a store that offers free wood cuts, there may be certain things you need to be aware of when it comes to company policies.
- You might have a maximum number of freebies you can have. Most stores that offer free cutting services stop at five or 10. If you were hoping to do some unlimited cuts for that house remodel, you’re out of luck.
- It may also be a matter of convenience. If the store is busy, they will most likely turn down requests in order to ensure they can serve others.
- Some cut styles may be out of reach. Don’t expect to get fully lathed, sanded, and prettied up cuts with free services. Most of the time, free services are supposed to be more about being able to fit your lumber in your truck or to just add a quick trim to your two by fours.
- The vast majority of places that offer free wood cutting services will require you to buy the wood there. To be fair, it’s kind of a jerk move to bring wood you bought elsewhere to them, just so you can get it cut for free. It’s a reasonable request, really.
How Good Are Free Wood Cutting Services?
Wood cutting services are generally pretty decent, but they’re not going to be “over the top” good. It’s going to be straight, it’s going to be a clean-cut, but it’s not going to be fancy. You may need to pay a specialist if you want your wood to be specially cut or carved.
Where Can You Get Your Wood Cut For A Fee?
Though it’s possible to find exceptions to the rule, most major hardware stores will charge a nominal fee after you get past a certain point of cutting work. These stores and locations below tend to be open to cutting your wood for a small fee:
1. Home Depot
While Home Depot does have a policy that allows them to cut your wood for free if it’s to fit in your car, other cuts are going to cost you. With that said, Home Depot also has a slew of other services like fence installation or plumbing repairs. So if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop, it’s a good place to go.
With company policies changing at a breakneck pace, some stores are starting to charge a small fee for wood cuts. This tends to happen most after you reach a certain threshold of cutting. Like Home Depot, you can also get additional services like installations here. It’s not a bad look.
Menard’s is growing in popularity and is another great store if you need wood cutting services. They offer quality lumber and boards for any project and will get any cut done for you. When I called a store in West Virginia, they said there will be a charge but would not provide a quote or price per cut over the phone.
It’s worth noting that there are virtually no Menards stores on the East Coast. The company has stores in 15 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Menards also offers primed boards in various sizes that have a smooth, ready-to-paint surface.
4. Local Lumber Yards/Woodshop Stores
Specialty stores that work specifically with wood tend to have cutting services that go beyond the norm. Did you get your lumber from a woodshop store? While many are open to doing freebies, some still charge a fee. If you have a unique cut you need, this is a good choice.
5. Local Hardware Stores
Smaller names may need to charge a small fee to keep their business afloat. It’s wild, right?
Makerspaces are a unique breed because they generally exist by renting out their tools and worksite to people who want to practice woodworking or create their own projects. However, some will also cut wood for you for a fee. Of course, you can also just go to a makerspace and find a member who will do it for you, if you are open to finagling things.
7. Local Handyman
You can easily go on a service like Home Advisor to hire a licensed handyman or carpenter. If you prefer negotiating with a carpenter and paying less, you can hire someone on Craigslist, but I don’t recommend you hire someone unless you are sure they can get the job done.
Anyhow, such professionals can come to your home or job site and cut the wood for you there. That way, you don’t have to make the drive to the store. You can also ask friends and family for a referral (if they used the services of a handyman before).
How Much Should You Expect To Pay For A Wood Cutting Service?
If you have more difficult cuts to make, the amount you pay may be pretty surprising. Home Depot typically charges $0.25 per cut and Lowe’s will charge around $0.50 per cut. (We actually have a whole article on the price of wood cutting services on our site, if you need to get more details.)
Obviously, there are going to be differences from place to place as well as the cut. Some cuts you might want to do, such as a miter or a dovetail, may be barred from being done in major stores. For these cut services, you might need to pay a woodworker to do them for you if you can’t do them yourself. Specialty cuts vary greatly in price, so we can’t really put a tag on it.
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What is the best tool to cut wood?
The best tool for cutting wood depends on the thickness of the wood, the type of cut that you need to do, as well as other similar factors. In most cases, a hand saw, a power saw, or a jack saw will suffice. If you need to cut wood at a specific angle, a miter saw tends to be the best option.
What is the best wood to work with?
For most DIY projects, getting pine wood seems to be the best choice. It’s sturdy and strong enough to make furniture with, but at the same time, it’s easy to cut. Pine also takes to wood stain pretty well. If you can’t get pine, oak or cherry can both be equally good.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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