Modelling is the base of planning, forecasting and optimizing of wood cutting processes. Since long time ago many researches trying to find effective possibilities to get useful results therefor. Modelling means the finding of a single formula or a set of equations describing the dependency of certain input variables to certain output magnitudes of the process. The more the inputs and the more the variability of the material properties the more difficult and unreliable is the modelling result mostly. Especially the varying properties of wood as a natural, hygroscopic, inhomogeneous and anisotropic material make the modelling of wood cutting processes to a general challenging subject. Within the cutting process some output magnitudes are of interest representing the efforts and the benefits of the process. In terms of wood cutting the cutting quality, the cutting energy respectively the cutting forces, the tool wear and the emissions of noise and dust are the categories of these magnitudes modelling is aiming. Input variables or influencing factors are the geometrical, kinematical and material properties which can be defined for the cutting process e. g. as wood species, moisture content, cutting direction, edge angles, cutting speed and chip thickness. Part 1 of the publication focuses on an introductory description of the situation, a systematic analysis of the machining process on wood and wood-based materials and the identification of levels of consideration for process modelling. In part 2, different modelling strategies and types as well as related model examples and possibilities of determining quantities using available sensors are discussed against the background of future requirements in autonomous, intelligent machines (smart machines).