Help support TMP

"cutting matchsticks?" Topic

11 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

In order to respect possible copyright issues, when quoting from a book or article, please quote no more than three paragraphs.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Scratchbuilding Message Board

Back to the Tools of the Hobby Message Board

Action Log

05 Jun 2022 3:37 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "cutting matchsticks?" to "cutting matchsticks?"Removed from Cold War (1946-1989) board
  • Changed starttime from
    05 Jun 2022 11:52 a.m. PST
    05 Jun 2022 11:51 a.m. PST

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Showcase Article

Transporting the Simians

How to store and transport an army of giant apes?

Featured Profile Article

Featured Book Review

1,176 hits since 4 Jun 2022
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

wardog05 Jun 2022 10:52 a.m. PST

on another thread someone mentioned cutting matchsticks with a craft matchstick cutter (2mm armies scratch building thread)
great for cutting across the matchstick ,but how do you cut matchstick accurately lengthwise

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2022 5:52 p.m. PST

Mark it with a pencil and use a scissors?

DyeHard05 Jun 2022 8:04 p.m. PST

As matchstick building is a hobby of its own.

You will find not only How-To guides but specialty tools:




But for repeatable cuts, model railroad folks makes some nice tools:


Dagwood06 Jun 2022 7:29 a.m. PST

I would use a strip of 1mm balsa wood instead.

Andrew Walters06 Jun 2022 8:42 a.m. PST

Cut it a little long and then use sandpaper or a dollar-store emery board to get a square end of the precise length. If that sounds like it takes too much time, it doesn't. You can make the initial cut much pre quickly, and two swipes is usually enough to get good results.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2022 3:11 p.m. PST

With so much scale basswood lumber available, why would you even consider trying to cut match sticks?

DyeHard07 Jun 2022 5:39 a.m. PST

Well, it is hard to beat the price:



Dagwood07 Jun 2022 7:26 a.m. PST

Most of the comments are about cutting across the matchstick, not along the length as the poster requested.

Maybe put the matchstick into a matchstick-sized trough of some kind, then use a safety razor blade (only one edge, the other edge with a thicker metal rim attached). Perhaps it could be carefully aligned before pressing downwards.

Personally I would not try to cut a matchstick at all but would cut a thin sliver of thin balsa or basswood.

DyeHard08 Jun 2022 10:36 a.m. PST

OK, I blame myself.

I skimmed the question and thought it wanted accurate lengths not splitting the matchstick.

This is a real pain as the wood has very strong grain. Splitting rough bits is OK, but cutting a plank of anything like consistent dimensions is hard with this wood. Sanding down would be better.

That said, there are lots of tools.
The best, and most expensive is a purfling cutter.
Like: link


Next would be a leather strip cutter: link


More in the modeling world are: link


Printable thing like:


Basically a rail with a blade.

But again, not easy with match sticks.

Elenderil08 Jun 2022 11:26 a.m. PST

If I were making my home made 2mm blocks again I would seriously think about laser cut MDF.

Melkior29 Nov 2023 2:58 a.m. PST

using pruning shears to cut matchsticks is the best way i have found as they are designed to not to crush when cutting, I have used various cutting machines and although they cut well they are far too slow

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.