The paper presents assumptions which allow determination of energy demand of a machine which uses a simple guillotine cutting of a specific material of low elasticity e.g. soft wood. A simple manner of experimental determination of cutting resistance and a coefficient which characterizes properties of material and a cutting device has been suggested. A numerical value of coefficient was determined based on the principle of maintaining mechanical energy and the principle of labour and mechanical energy balance. Based on the determined coefficient, average load and the power of a cutting unit of a shredder for energy willow were determined.