This is the best thing I ever found. Ratcheting PVC Cutter by BrassCraft. Bought it from Home Depot for $16. It cuts dowels and pillars with ease and perfectly straight and smooth, no additional trimming needed. Be careful - it can take a finger off with ease too!!! (So I have been told)
Thanks for the tip!
I hate cutting those things! Anything to make life easier!
I have to agree with Suebee about the PVC cutter. They do work great. But I always tape all dowels for each layer together into one bundle with masking tape before cutting. That way they are all exactly the same length. I still have to use my miter box and back saw to cut the larger bundles.
On the subject of the PVC cutter...I have found that using "potable" water PVC pipe makes great dowels. I had noticed that sometimes the wooden ones had a smell and after being in the cake it was worse.
There is a thinner schedule of it, and a heavier one, I like the thinner. It does have some writing on it, but I go over it with a kitchen scrubber and it comes off, it may leave a little light wording, but it beats the smell of the wood, and it really is not that costly when you consider how many you can cut. It also helps with traveling for support.
Just a thought!