the microstructure, anatomical structure, bending resistance and the energy required to cut stems of three varieties of sugar cane cultivated in the valle del cauca ( colombia ), were studied in order to have useful data for the development of cutting blades. microestructural and anatomical characterization tasks were performed by optical microscopy ( om), and scanning electron microscopy (sem). the physical and mechanical properties were determined after adaptation of astm standards (which were developed for wood), while the consumption of energy during cutting was evaluated by using a modified charpy type impact pendulum. the fibers and silica particles showed different geometry and distribution in the stems of the three studied varieties, and a relation was established between the microstructure of the stems and the energy required to cut them in the modified charpy pendulum. generally speaking, cutting the internodes required higher specific energy than cutting the nodes, and the use of blades with cutting angle of 20° led to lower levels of energy consumption. also, a relation of proportionality between the effective cross-sectional area of fibers (atef) and the specific energy consumed in cutting, as well as between the flexibility coefficient and the modulus of elasticity in bending were found.