How to Cut Bamboo

What You'll Need
Masking tape
Sharp hand pruner
Sharp straight tooth saw
Sharp knife

It is a very simple task to cut bamboo. The plant is hardy and difficult to kill as long as it has water. It does, however, have a tendency to splinter. When you are pruning, a splinter is not going to ruin your work, but if you are building something with it, split bamboo can seem like a disaster. Once your bamboo is cut to size, you can use it for all kinds of projects.

Step 1: Prepare the Wood

Depending on your project, you will need either green or dry stalks. Green wood is generally easier to work with. Heat the bamboo plants if the weather is cold, as this helps prevent splitting. Another useful tool to is masking tape. Place this where you wish to cut. The tape isn’t necessary in preliminary cuts or when trimming a plant, but it can still be helpful in preventing splinters. A sharp piece of wood in your finger tends to stop production, especially if you're bleeding.

Step 2: First Cuts

The size of the bamboo determines how you should originally cut it. If it's less than 1 inch in diameter, use a sharp pruner. If it's more than 1 inch in diameter, use a sharp hand saw. The teeth must be straight so that you don’t tear the plant fibers. When you trim a bamboo plant, cut directly above the node. This helps eliminate unsightly stumps. Anything else you choose to do is up to you. Bamboo is hardy and can be cut into many different shapes.

Step 3: Final Cuts

Different projects require different cutting styles. These final steps are where the masking tape is most useful. If the fibers were to splinter now, you would have to begin again.

If your project is a small one, like creating beads, roll a sharp knife through the stalk. Be sure you are very slow and methodical. Don’t saw your way through. Once you have cut through you can remove the tape and continue with the project.

For a larger project you need to use a sharp handsaw and a table. Place the bamboo on the table with the part you want cut barely hanging over the edge. Hold the end of the stalk firmly on the table and saw the end off. Again, once your bamboo cutting is complete, you can remove the tape. Once all your pieces are cut, you may want to pre-drill holes for your final project. Cover the area with masking tape and slowly drill your way through. The slower you work the better.

Now that your bamboo is cut and the necessary holes are drilled, you can begin to put your project together. Good luck.