If lightsabers can cut through anything, why don't more people (especially bounty hunters) carry lightsabers as a simple cutting tool?

It has been proven here why non-Jedi don't carry lightsabers as weapons.

However, this questions asks whether there are non-weapon items based on lightsaber technology.

But my question is different: If a non-Jedi can get ahold of a lightsaber, such as Boba-Fett, Grievous or Cad-Bane (the latter two who have used them as weapons, in fact), for example, why doesn't he keep one handy? It doesn't take Jedi training to use one safely in order to cut things. Han Solo has done it on occasion (on Hoth, for example, when he opened the TaunTaun) and didn't think twice about it.

And in The Force Awakens, Finn easily used a lightsaber without any training whatsoever, so it's not a matter of possessing the Force that makes the item able to be used.

[reasons why this is not a duplicate]

This question was marked as a duplicate of this: Are there non-weapon items in the Star Wars universe based on lightsaber technology? However, just from the title you can see the scope is different. Perhaps there are non-weapon tools based on lightsaber technology, but my question is whether non-Jedi carry lightsabers, it has nothing to do with non-weapon, non-lightsaber tools.


Some of the replies below maintain that non-Jedi people cannot carry a lightsaber because of various reasons. It seems to me that Jedi would certainly be more skilled with a lightsaber on account of their affinity with the force and the relation of the force to the kyber crystal, but other people could definitely use a lightsaber as a tool.

Here is Mark Hammil saying that "definitely" non-Jedis could use lightsabers.

  • 1
    Different scope. I've already mentioned the link in my post. My question isn't about non-lightsaber tools. My question is about using lightsabers themselves as tools.
    – bgmCoder
    Aug 21, 2014 at 18:55
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    I don't see how the 'scope' is different. Question 1 asks why non-force users don't use lightsabers, question 2 asks whether there are non-weapons based on lightsaber tech. Since a weapon is a kind of tool, you're already covered.
    – Valorum
    Aug 21, 2014 at 19:00
  • Question 1 asks about non-lightsaber tools: my question asks about lightsabers as tools = different. Question 2 asks about using lightsabers as weapons: my question asks about using lightsabers as tools = different. My question is similar, indeed, and related, but logically distinct and not a duplicate.
    – bgmCoder
    Aug 21, 2014 at 19:02
  • 15
    Because hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
    – user8719
    Aug 21, 2014 at 19:06
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    Lightsabers may have the connotation of a uniform: if you wield one, you are a Jedi. Even if others are not open antagonistic towards Jedi, they may not appreciate you pretending you be someone you are not.
    – Raphael
    Jan 11, 2016 at 18:37

3 Answers 3


I think the key issue is acquiring a lightsaber in the first place. Before the Great Jedi Purge there were many Jedi and therefore many lightsabers, but a Jedi would have to lose his lightsaber for a non-Jedi to acquire it -- and any Jedi who lost his lightsaber would try to recover it. After the Great Jedi Purge there were far fewer Jedi and therefore far fewer lightsabers.

The only other way to acquire a lightsaber would be to construct it yourself, but it may be necessary to use to Force to construct one. Even if you don't need to Force to construct one it's probably more difficult to do so than it's worth.

  • But don't you think that Boba Fett should be carrying one? or Cad-Bane? Why would they let them go? They've obviously stolen lightsabers before from Jedi that they've killed.
    – bgmCoder
    Aug 21, 2014 at 19:00
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    Surely after the purge there should be a lot of spares lying around? Lightsabers don't spontaneously combust when their owner dies, do they?
    – Phoshi
    Aug 22, 2014 at 10:39
  • @BGM I don't know much about Cad-Bane but Fett has plenty of tools already, including a wrist laser that can be used for cutting (Jango Fett uses a wrist cutter in the video game Star Wars Bounty Hunter). A lightsaber would probably just be an extra tool to carry around.
    – Null
    Aug 22, 2014 at 14:41
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    @Phoshi I would imagine the clones were ordered to collect and turn in the lightsabers of executed Jedi, and the Sith likely had them destroyed because they had no need for extra lightsabers.
    – Null
    Aug 22, 2014 at 14:42
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    @Null - no, you can't use rockets on blast doors. They are called "blast" doors for a reason. Besides, using personal rockets on them while you are in the close confines of a ship will get you blown up.
    – bgmCoder
    Aug 22, 2014 at 18:07

They probably do, but they are not called lightsabers. Lightsabers are a beam of plasma bottled in field of some sort (magnetic, the Force, other, EU sources contradict) that expresses a strong gyroscopic effect and can be used to deflect other energized beam based weapons like blasters. It is highly probable that the basic technology of plasma in a bottling field would be used other tools like Fire Blades (Dathomir), Glazion energy torches, or Hull Cutting Rings would use it. The Fire Blades on Dathomir could be considered Dagger versions of lightsabers and are used as tools for cutting Kwi claws, as well as weapons. But as it is Dathomir it may be used exclusively by force sensitive users.

Because of the gyroscopic, attractive, and repelling nature of a lightsaber as the energetic plasma reacts ambient fields if you leave one on it can move with some force on it's own. As such it is extremely difficult and dangerous to wield for those without the Force to assist them in controlling it. Without the Force a wielder in close range of say, a door magnetically sealing, the plasma could react with the field and suddenly twist in an unexpected rotation with the power in relation to the strength of the seal.

Civilian tools utilizing bottled plasma would probably include gyro-stabilizers, some sort of safety sheath or hand guard, and fine field controls. They would only be used in situations where heat transferal through atmosphere or the object being cut would make laser based tools unfeasible.

Also, they would probably use some other method than lightsaber crystals to form the bottle field since such tools would not have the hand held requirement and could afford to use cheaper but more bulky equipment to produce the same effect. As natural crystals capable of use in lightsabers are rare, and synthetic ones require use of the Force in their manufacture it is doubtful that the benefits of using them in industrial grade equipment would warrant their cost.

  • I'm not talking about lightsaber-like tools. I'm talking about lightsabers themselves.
    – bgmCoder
    Aug 21, 2014 at 20:30
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    See paragraph 2, without the Force or some external assistance it is hazardous for lightsabers to be used. And paragraph 4 where the economics of using lightsaber crystals in civilian tools more expensive than it would be to replicate the same effect with heavy equipment. Aug 21, 2014 at 20:38

There are actually a few reasons why lightsabers aren't used by many outside of the Jedi/Sith persuasion, whether for use as either a weapon or a tool.

The first, obviously, is supply - lightsabers are not a common weapon, and therefore are not easy to obtain. Constructing a lightsaber is not an easy process, nor is that process easily documented outside of the Jedi/Sith organizations.

Secondly, the materials used to construct and/or repair a lightsaber are ALSO scarce. Many of the components are common, such as the powersupply, diodes, etc., but the key components like the crystal are not. Most of the time, finding a crystal for their first lightsaber is considered part of the testing process for a young Jedi. Acolytes are rarely just given a crystal - they must use the Force to search one out.

Lastly, a lightsaber itself would not make an effective tool for everyday cutting tasks. A lightsaber blade has no weight, which is largely what makes it dangerous for non-Force-users to wield as a weapon. That same weakness makes it ineffective as a tool, since you essentially have something in your hand the size of a screwdriver, but with 3 more feet of deadly plasma extending from it.

Now, all this said, there ARE instances of Jedi using a lightsaber as a simple cutting tool rather than a weapon. In most cases, however, it's because they already have the lightsaber at hand and don't feel the need to carry a separate cutting tool.

There are also cases of non-Jedi carrying a lightsaber, but in such cases the lightsaber is typically employed as a weapon. Addressing your exact example of Boba Fett, the bounty hunter was known to collect the lightsabers of Jedi opponents he hunted down, and he was also known to carry at least one on his person at all times.

  • Not easy to obtain, true. But in one of the Clone Wars episodes, a thief stole Ahsoka's lightsaber and was going to sell it on the black market - so they are obtainable. I was rather thinking about why in the world Boba Fett never used one in the stories. I don't recall any place in Star Wars - neither the movies, nor the books, where a non-Jedi actually keeps a lightsaber (excepting Finn who keeps one in the upcoming Star Wars VIII, apparently).
    – bgmCoder
    Dec 15, 2017 at 3:17
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    @bgmCoder - the short answer is that they're not very practical. Unless you're fighting other people with lightsabers, there are far more convenient and practical tools for the job.
    – Omegacron
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:35
  • Well, if I were anything in the galaxy, I'd want my own lightsaber. It would be awesome for clearing forests, for chopping wood, for quarrying stone, and demolition services. And if I were a bounty hunter - whoah! What uses that could have in the business! So easy to disable someones spaceship, not to mention render your captives helpless without quite killing them.
    – bgmCoder
    Dec 15, 2019 at 0:55

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