Usually we see lightsabers cutting through metals like butter, with a few notable exceptions. And we know it can cut through flesh while cauterizing the wound. But what about material with a different resistance to heat, like a wet log? Could a lightsaber cut a tree down with a slice or by just thrusting it into the wood, as trees don't really "melt"? What would the physics be of doing something like this?

  • 30
    The physics are best described as, "Yeah, that'd be AWESOME!"
    – Jeff
    Feb 27, 2012 at 15:57
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    At some point, everything melts.
    – bitmask
    Feb 27, 2012 at 16:23
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    ...wouldn't wood incinerate before melting? Feb 27, 2012 at 16:34
  • 12
    Busy visualizing a woodchuck with a lightsaber. Feb 27, 2012 at 19:47
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    And how much wood would a lightsaber light if a lightsaber could light wood? Oct 27, 2016 at 23:34

2 Answers 2


In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we see both the antagonist Kylo Ren (using his funky red saber) and protagonist Rey (using Luke's lightsaber) cutting through trees with gay abandon. They seem to present no more impediment to the blade than a vibro-knife through butter.

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  • 1
    I’m sort of surprised this question got as many upvotes as it did, but this is a nice answer nonetheless.
    – Adamant
    Oct 27, 2016 at 23:20
  • @Adamant - The question is ok-ish. The previous answer is definitely lacking.
    – Valorum
    Oct 27, 2016 at 23:32
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    There should at least be a badge for first use of the phrase “gay abandon” on the site. Definitely feels like something I would have said at some point. Oct 27, 2016 at 23:36
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    Also what a sci fi simile! "like a vibro-knife through butter". Something you see every day really 😉
    – Danny Mc G
    Jul 17, 2017 at 8:16

Yes, several of the books describe Luke using his lightsaber to cut through jungles.

It also follows physics. A wet log doesn't burn easily, but an oxy-Acetylene torch will go through it in no time.

  • Err, but a light saber isn't hot. You can't really compare it to a oxy-Acetylene torch.
    – user606723
    Feb 27, 2012 at 17:35
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    Actually it takes quite some time to burn through wood with a torch. A laser on the other hand makes pretty quick work of it.
    – Chad
    Feb 27, 2012 at 18:01
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    Lightsabers have to be hot if they cauterize as they slice... Feb 27, 2012 at 20:29
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    @BartSilverstrim - Actually the heat up when the come in contact with matter.
    – Chad
    Feb 28, 2012 at 14:22
  • 1
    In which books?
    – Valorum
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:28

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