We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Plug Cutter?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A plug cutter is a wood working or joinery tool used to cut wooden plugs for use as filler pieces to repair imperfections or damage in wooden items where the use of wood putty is undesirable. Such tools are manufactured for use in a hand drill or drill press and have cutting edges designed for hard or soft wood. The plugs produced by a plug cutter have a chamfered or beveled edge for easy insertion and are tapered to ensure a secure fit, making them a superior option to the use of wood putty. Plug cutters can be re-sharpened and typically come in sets of different sizes for both hard and soft wood.

A plug cutter is a hollow tubular tool with a cutting edge machined into one end and a spindle or shaft on the other. The shaft is inserted into the chuck of an electric hand drill or drill press and the tool used to cut a circular groove into wood. The central “pillar” on the inside of the groove is then snapped or cut off and used as a filler plug. The internal profile of the plug cutter is such that the plugs are slightly tapered with a beveled edge. These plugs are coated with wood glue and tapped into place in the hole to be filled.

Using screws, nails, and other metallic fasteners in the construction of wooden furniture is a strong and long lasting option but leaves aesthetic aberrations that are often difficult to disguise. The same applies to knotholes and other natural imperfections. Wood putty can also be a quick and easily solution to mask or fill unwanted holes but it does have several drawbacks such as shrinkage and cracking.

A plug cutter to produce filler plugs can be a far better option and allows for long lasting, almost invisible repairs. When constructing new wooden items, plugs may be cut from the same timber used for the construction; this allows for a match in color and grain that makes the repair work very difficult to detect. Wooden filler plugs also expand and contract with the rest of the piece and thus do not crack or fall out with time as is the case with wood putty.

Plug cutters are usually made of 62c high carbon steel and can be sharpened when blunt. Some plug cutter designs incorporate an automatic plug ejection system though most rely on the plug being manually snapped off with a screwdriver or cut off with a saw. As plug cutters don’t have a central guide or spur, the most accurate and consistent results will be achieved using a drill press. Plug cutters are usually bought in sets which include various sizes of cutter suitable for both hard and soft wood types.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.