How To Give Wood The Ultimate Paper Cut

It’s like a Bizzaro World version of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” where the paper manages to beat everything and scissors are pissed.

A video posted by John Heisz shows that while paper is considered flimsy, it’s tough as nails and can actually cut through wood—with the correct circumstances.

Heisz replaces his buzzsaw with a piece of plain printer paper with “no special treatment,” he writes on the woodworking website I Build It. He begins small, cutting a piece of paper with another piece of paper (paper-ception?). But then he moves on to bigger fish and it’s kind of mind-boggling.

The paper saw cuts pretty smooth too, although he mentions that this experiment doesn’t have any practical uses, as a lot of the footage in the video was sped up.


“There are sections of the video where I’m cutting that are sped up as much as 16 times, so it’s not the fastest way to make a cut!” he wrote.

The saw, sadly, has limits. While it’s not pictured, he stated that he also tried the flimsy blade on aluminum, but that only managed to polish the edge without cutting. So it doesn’t seem to work on anything tougher than wood. That’s good to know when we decide to become Paperwoman, with paper powers of wonder.

But paper can be very sharp and not just because paper cuts hurt more than they have any reason to. It’s about pressure mostly. The thinner the edge of an object, the more focused the force, and therefore the higher the pressure. The thicker the edge, the more force needs to be applied if you wanted to cut something. When you rotate a wheel with that edge at around 2,000 rpm, something is going to give away.

Weekend editor and night person at Gizmodo. More space core than human.

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See, I replaced my table saw with a sheet of computer paper. Can it hurt me? Oh no! See, watch? OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, my arm.....OH GOD! THERE’S SO MUCH BLOOD, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP FILMING AND CALL 911! OH GOD OH....OH.....HEY IT CUT THE POPSICLE STICK.