How To Cut Bamboo Poles

Not many people know that bamboo is actually grass. In fact, this is the main delicacy preferred by the Panda bear, at least the fresh ones. In Asia, bamboo, those that are thick and mature, is usually used to build houses and scaffolding due to its wood-like durability and strength. It will take a person with the weight of ten men to break a suspended bamboo pole while standing on it. Yes, it is that strong.

Another use for bamboo is for decorative purposes. For instance, some people use bamboo for walls, fences, borders, and torch poles for an oriental themed garden or backyard. Of course, this would involve cutting the bamboo to the desired length which is never an easy task since bamboo poles are tough and circular; thus simply sawing a piece of a pole off may prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, here are some steps to help make your job easier.

  • Mark the bamboo. The first step when cutting bamboo poles will be to actually measure the cut. Take a measuring tape or ruler and start measuring up where you want to make the cut. Mark this area with a pencil or marker.
  • Score it. Once the measurement marker is set, you will want to score it along the circumference of the bamboo. This step is only appropriate if you are making a flat and straight cut. To score the circumference of the bamboo, start by lining the circumference with a pencil than engraving that line with a knife all the way around. This will ensure that the saw will stick to the score once you start cutting the bamboo.
  • Suspend the bamboo and make the cut. Here is where the hard part begins. Basically, sawing the bamboo without clamping or suspending it will only make things difficult for you. What you want to do is to place two blocks of wood underneath the bamboo at the right and left side of the score. You can use your left hand to hold the left side of the score firm so that it does not move or roll as you start cutting. For the right side of the score, you can set two nails on the wooden block at either side of the bamboo as a clamp or have someone hold it for you. Once the bamboo pole is stable, start sawing away.
  • Cut it into strips. If you are looking for strips of bamboo, normally used for small fences or for decoration, what you want to do is stand the bamboo pole horizontally (of course, if the bamboo is taller than your waist, you may need to cut it down a bit). Use a machete, bolo, axe, or kukri to chop the circumference of the bamboo is half all the way down. When that is done, take one half and start cutting it into strips using the same tool you used. The process is pretty much the same: stand it and cut it in half all the way down.

If you are cutting the bamboo at an angle, then you may want to use a compound miter saw with presets integrated. This will allow you to set the angles on the saw for a more effortless but accurate and precise cut.


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