In the process of implementing sustainable management in the eastern Canadian boreal forest, we tested two selection cutting methods and compared them with two widely used practices in the boreal forest: clearcutting with protection of the advanced growth and soils and irregular shelterwood cutting leaving small merchantable stems. We used old-growth irregular stands as references in comparing the impact of these silvicultural treatments on the diversity and abundance of beetles. Three groups were targeted: saproxylic flying beetles, epigaeic saproxylic beetles and epigaeic non-saproxylic beetles. A sampling design including 320 pitfall traps and 80 multidirectional flight-interception traps was deployed in 2007. A total of 26 906 beetles was captured including 407 taxa distributed among 52 families. We found that clearcutting with protection of the advanced growth and soils and irregular shelterwood cutting leaving small merchantable stems had a greater impact on beetle communities than both selection cuttings. Canopy opening as well as the presence of snags and downed woody debris appear as important attributes for several saproxylic and non-saproxylic species. Beetle communities in selection cuttings remained more similar to those found in controls; these silvicultural treatments are new tools to implement ecosystemic and sustainable management in irregular boreal forests.