I was shopping for Wood at Lowes the other day and saw a board that I could barely lift, let alone put in my car. Since the project was a side table, I didn’t need the wood to be a large sheet. I just couldn’t find smaller panels of the same thickness. At that point I wondered – does Lowes cut plywood? Here is what I found.
Lowes will cut plywood as long as the wood has been purchased at that specific Lowes store. Lowes only do straight cuts to help make wood more manageable to transport.
I was pleasantly surprised by the answer and had a long chat with the manager while the staff was handling my woodcutting request. In this article, I will cover the different things I learned about the types of cuts they can accommodate at Lowes and how much they charge for certain requests.
By the end of this post, you’ll know all you need to know about Lowes woodcutting services. But first, let’s explore the extent to which wood cutting is accommodated at all Lowes locations.
Will Lowes Cut Plywood?
Lowes will cut plywood if the store has a woodcutting corner and the staff is able to accommodate your request. Most Lowes stores have woodcutting capabilities and will help you size down large sheets or boards that might not fit your car.
Most wood buyers can glean as much from just looking at the cutting section at their local big box store. But they might not be sure to what extent their requests can be accommodated.
For instance, many people erroneously believe that Lowes cuts wood only if it is too big to fit in a car. While that is one of the most common reasons for requesting woodcutting, Lowes doesn’t limit its woodcutting service to sizing down huge boards.
Will Lowes Cut Wood To a Smaller Size?
Lowes will cut wood boards of any size to a smaller size upon request. You can take simple measurements (width and length) to the woodcutting corner and get your wood board sized down to project-ready specifications.
For many customers, this might sound too good to be true, but from Lowes’ perspective, it is just smart business. It removes a common buyer objection: I don’t have the tools for that. Once you know that you can get wood cut at your local Lowes, you don’t have any reason to delay buying lumber even if you don’t have a saw.
For a few simple projects, I got my wood cut from Lowes down to my plan’s specs and didn’t even need to use any cutting tool in my shop.
Dozens of intermediate woodworkers recall using Lowes and Home Depot woodcutters for project-ready wood when they didn’t have enough money to build their own table saws. Just remember, Lowes cannot really go beyond simple cutting requests.
Will Lowes Cut Wood At An Angle?
Lowes does not cut wood on angles because its wall-mounted cutter is capable of making simple horizontal and vertical cuts on a wood board. Lowes service staff is also not trained to make advanced cuts.
As mentioned earlier, the most common reason for customers requesting wood cutting is to fit wood boards in their trucks or cars. Lowes staff can pull this off. Some people have complained about the wood not being cut to certain specifications.
Aside from not accommodating requests to cut at an angle, Lowes service staff can miss the mark cutting wood horizontally and vertically to a specific size as well. The more popular a location, the better trained the staff.
But no matter how good Lowes staff is at wood cutting, the best you can hope from them is to cut wood to the exact size you want with simple vertical and horizontal cuts.
Will Lowes Cut Wood In A Circle?
Lowes will not cut wood in a circle, but you can get a straight cut on a circular piece of wood. All angular cuts, as well as circular cuts, need to be executed by the customer at their own workshop. Lowes woodcutting is for sizing down only.
In some instances, simple horizontal and vertical sizing is all you need to get wood to your project specifications. But any project that requires angular cuts or circular wood cannot be implemented without your own woodcutter.
This leaves you with two options. If you don’t have your own woodcutting tools, then you can select projects that require wood squares and rectangles only. And if you have your own wood cutter, you can mentally prepare to do the angular woodcutting work yourself.
When I first found this out, I decided to cut wood at angles in my workshop and have Lowes do the straight cuts. My project, however, required angular cuts to be made first, so I took the wood out of the store.
After cutting at angles, I started wondering if Lowes would even entertain cutting the rest since I would effectively be bringing wood into Lowes.
Will Lowes Cut the Wood That You Bring In?
Lowes won’t cut the wood that you bring in unless you have a receipt to prove that you purchased said wood at Lowes. In some locations, managers can be flexible and even allow you to have wood from elsewhere cut at Lowes.
In other locations, they get precious about even Lowes wood being cut in-store. Ultimately, it comes down to your people skills. As long as the wood is purchased at Lowes and you have a receipt, you can get it cut to the best of the store’s ability.
What Types Of Wood Will Lowes Cut?
Lowes can cut almost any solid wood lumber you can purchase at the store. This includes Cedar, Douglas Fir, Oak, Teak, and Eastern White Pine. The store has a large industrial saw that can even cut plywood and other wood boards with ease.
Just because Lowes can cut Oak, Teak, and Plywood doesn’t mean any type of Oak, Teak, or Plywood is entertained by the store. You should not bring outside wood for cutting at the store, even if you intend to pay for the cutting services.
Will Lowes Cut Wood For You For Free?
Lowes will cut wood for free under two conditions. Firstly, the wood should be purchased from that specific Lowes location, and secondly, you must not need more than four cuts. Different branches have different limits on free wood cutting.
But after a few cuts, all Lowes locations start charging for the cutting services. There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule regarding the number of free cuts, but you can get up to four without any issues. I have noticed that they charge you if they think you’re getting all your woodcutting done at the store.
Downsizing wood to fit it in your car is free, even if that means making a dozen cuts on multiple wood pieces. But if you seek even 3 to 4 cuts on a small wood piece, the store might expect you to pay.
If the manager bends the rules and allows wood from elsewhere to be cut at his branch, he might ask you to pay for the service.
How Much Does It Cost To Cut Wood At Lowes?
It costs up to 50 cents to cut wood at Lowes if you request more than 3 to 4 cuts. Initial woodcutting is free, especially if the wood is purchased from the specific Lowes store.
The woodcutting charges might increase based on the following factors:
- How busy the store is – The busier Lowes employees are the more you might have to pay to get wood cut. In stores where employees have little to do, complicated wood-cutting requests can be entertained for free.
- How recently the wood was acquired – The best time to get wood cutting at Lowes is when you have acquired a board but haven’t walked out of the store. If you take the wood home and then return to request wood cutting, you might have to pay.
- How many cuts are needed – Initial cuts are free but the more cuts you request, the more likely you are to be asked to pay.
- How big the wood board/sheet is – It might seem like larger wood might incur a cutting cost while smaller wood would be cut for free. In reality, Lowes is more understanding of requests to cut large wood boards and might consider cutting smaller wood panels as non-essential requests that must be charged.
- How often you request wood cutting – This is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, you being a frequent face at a store works in your favor. In other cases, it backfires. Depending on how much the staff likes you, you might get more woodcuts free of charge or might have to pay from the get-go.
Remember that a cutter breakdown is the only instance where Lowes will downright refuse to cut wood purchased from Lowes. During a brief period in 2020, some Lowes stores were short-staffed and didn’t have people who could execute the cuts.
If you’re a woodworker, you might want to use the Lowes woodcutter yourself if there is no one available to help out.
Will They Cut Wood For You At Lowes?
They will cut wood for you at Lowes using an Industrial woodcutter. You will not be able to use the cutter yourself but can give the cutting specifications to the lowes employee. All cuts are horizontal and vertical, which means no angular cuts are accommodated.
Once they cut the wood for you, you have to purchase it and cannot return it. All wood cut at Lowes is expected to be acquired. In some instances, you might be asked to wait while the best staff member at woodcutting can execute the cuts. This individual is usually an intermediate woodworker.
I was surprised at not just how accommodating Lowes was but also how good the cuts were. The staff really downplays their cutting abilities, which kind of results in a positive surprise towards the end.
But if you want to be cautious, just avoid requesting that are too close to your project specs. Leave an inch of extra wood that you can end-trim in your workshop.
Will Lowes Rip Plywood?
Lowes will rip plywood on their machine provided you only need 1 to 2 cuts to enable you to get your sheet into the car.
How To Get Lowes To Cut Wood For You
Here are some proven tips that I have used to get your plywood and wood cut at Lowes without fuss. The idea here is to make it seem that cutting your job is simple and straightforward to them.
This is what I do:
- Prepare ahead of time – Organise yourself with exactly what you need cut and in what order before you get to the store. The idea here is to appear very organized to the staff which will lead them to go the extra mile for you.
- Get wood close to the loading area – By bringing all your goods close to where the cutting bay is, will help your wood get cut before anyone else.
- Mark where the cuts need to be made – If take an extra 15 minutes of time here, it will make your cutting job seem simple for the staff. Bring a pencil, tape measure, and straight edge and mark out the cuts you need including marking the waste side of the line.
- Ask for help – Did you know most people just assume Lowes staff will cut their wood without even asking? Be polite and strike up a conversation with the staff and ask them nicely about cutting your wood. It works for me.
Will Lowes Or Home Depot Cut Wood For You?
Lowes and Home Depot both offer woodcutting for wood purchased at the respective stores. Home Depot charges to cut wood from elsewhere, while Lowes is generally aversive to cutting wood from any non-Lowes source.
Both Lowes and Home Depot offer woodcutting for sizing purposes. That means you cannot expect the cuts to be complicated. The simpler your woodcutting request, the quicker it will get executed. And if your instructions are drawn out, the waiting time can be longer than you’d like.
How Long Does It Take For Lowes To Cut Wood?
It takes Lowes 2 to 7 minutes to cut wood, depending on the kind of cuts you request and the size of the board that is being cut. The actual cutting time is as low as 15 seconds and can be almost as quick, and evidently easier than using a miter saw.
As you may know, most of what is in this post comes from what I learned from a Lowes manager. I was surprised by the fact that they cut wood with such readiness but more so by how quickly they did this. It takes a few steps off my workflow, and the wait isn’t that long, either.
Final Thoughts – Does Lowes Cut Plywood?
Lowes can cut plywood for you, and that means you can eliminate at least one step from your woodworking. Most often, this step is the initial sizing and excess cutting. In some cases, you can get wood to a project-ready size from Lowes, but that requires extra cuts, and you might have to pay for that.
If you don’t own a table saw, that might be worth it.
1. Can Home Depot/Lowe’s Help Me Cut Wood to a Desired Size?
Both Lowes and Home Depot have a cutting service and can cut wood and plywood to help you get it in the car. They usually perform 3 – 4 cuts for free. I would not rely on the cuts being accurate and you should cut to the finished size once you get them home.
2. What are the Benefits of Having Lowe’s cut my Wood?
The benefits include breaking full sheets down into more manageable sizes so they you can fit them in the car to transport them.
3. Where Else Can I Get Wood Cut?
Other than Lowes, Home Depot does cut wood to size. If they do not suit then you may have to find a local woodworker that has the tools to reduce large sheets down in size.