A woodcutting calculator is a computer program that allows a user to input details about a project, including dimensions; the computer then calculates the amount of lumber required. Additionally, the woodcutting calculator determines the lengths and quantity of the necessary cuts. In other words, a given project may call for the craftsman to purchase three 2 x 4s and cut them each into 4-foot-long sections.
Another type of calculator that is sometimes called a woodcutting calculator helps users determine how many board feet a given tree yields. In other words, a user enters the dimensions of a given log, and the program calculates and displays the best way to cut the log to obtain the most usable lumber. There are several different ways of cutting a log into boards, each with different pros and cons. Most logs are plain sawn, meaning the sawblade operates in one plane, taking a slice of the wood out with each successive cut. By contrast, quarter-sawn logs are cut in a variety of different planes.
These types of programs make projects easier for users and reduce the amount of waste created by the process. Additionally, they prevent users from purchasing too much or too little wood to complete a project.