How to Cut Rebar Easily and Safely With Different Tools

cutting a rebar with and angle grinder

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Rebar is not a cheap construction material and is not the safest to handle either. So if you do not know how to cut rebar, you might end up hurting yourself and spend more on materials. 

Read our guide below and know everything you need to know before starting the cutting process.

What is Rebar and What Is It Used For?

Rebar is a type of steel bar commonly used in the making of concrete. When steel bars are embedded, the material is transformed into reinforced concrete.

Posts,  walls, and floor slabs benefit from a rebar’s ability to prevent cracking and subsequent collapse. This material and other reinforcements can limit the placement and severity of concrete cracking, even though every concrete is prone to fractures. Thus, it adds structural integrity to the overall undertaking.

Safety Reminders Before Cutting Rebar

1. When cutting metals with a metal blade, its shavings and sparks will be propelled into the air. For this reason, you must take precautions against injury. Use protective gear such as safety glasses, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, gloves, and sturdy shoes.

operating a grinder

2. Avoid working near flammable materials and choose an area with good ventilation, away from people and children.

3. To prevent electrocution, dry your hands well before handling the material, and don’t use the cutter in rain or damp environments. When not in use, the tool should be unplugged.

Cutting Rebar with an Angle Grinder

You can accomplish most cutting tasks with a normal 4-inch to 4.5-inch blade. Whether the procedure goes well reflects how good the angle grinder quality is. As an alternative to hacksaws, this is a very handy tool that makes rapid, rough cuts.

How to Select an Angle Grinder + Conserve Power

To successfully cut a reinforcing steel bar, use a high-quality angle grinder with a cutting wheel and diamond blades. Metal, pavers, stucco, and tile are just some of the many products that may be cut using an angle grinder. 

cutting a rebar with and angle grinder

Pick one with a motor that consumes 5 to 9 amps, as that is the range of the most powerful ones. Also, diamond blades wear over time, so our woodworkers would recommend using this for cutting a piece of rebar.

Cutting Rebar With an Angle Grinder

1. Check if you have the wheel intended for the material. Ideally, it would be powerful enough to sever steel but sturdy enough to last.

2. It’s time to check the material’s safety. Clamping it or placing it in a vise is an effective method.

3. Next is to do a vertical incision. Angle grinders may not provide the cleanest cut, but it is much quicker.

Cutting Rebar with Power Saws

When cutting with a saw, don’t force it to cut anything; instead, relax and allow it to perform the job. Be sure the blade has completely stopped before picking up the finished product.

cutting a metal bar

The quickest approach to cutting this type of material is using a circular, miter, or chop saw equipped with a diamond blade or a large carbide blade.

Circular Saw

The circular saw is one of the most popular power tools because its blades can effortlessly cut through the material. Always make sure you’re using a saw blade designed for metal while cutting. Cut it consistently by clamping it in a vise.

Generally, you may choose between two distinct kinds of sharp blades for circular saws. Cheaper steel tooth blades that you may need to replace more often are serviceable. Although carbide-tooth blades perform similarly, they can be more expensive.

Reciprocating Saw

Metals may also be cut using a reciprocating saw. If you can, avoid using the oscillating setting instead of the straight setting on your saw. Reducing the saw’s pace will lengthen the blade’s lifespan.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw

A thin metal needs a TPI or teeth per inch of 20 to 24. For mid-sized metals, choose 18 to 24 TPI; for heavy metals, go with approximately 8 TPI [1].

Chop Saw

A chop saw is one more helpful rebar cutter. Similar to a miter saw in operation, but with a much carbide tooth blade. Make the necessary adjustments to how fast it is, and you’ll be able to make straight cuts through the metal.

Portable Band Saw

Small, portable band saws powered by batteries are readily accessible at home improvement stores and are sometimes even offered for renting.

They don’t produce sparks, can make precise cuts, and can be taken everywhere. Really, could there be anything negative to say about it?

SKIL 3386-01 Band Saw

Their only significant drawback is that they are too cumbersome to utilize in confined spaces.  Trimming may also be tricky when using a portable band saw.

Miter Saw

You may also use a miter saw to cut the material if you have the correct blade. Miter saws can make compound, bevel, and angle cuts in addition to the standard 90-degree cut. Metals require specialized equipment for cutting.

Jigsaw

You may use a jigsaw to cut the material efficiently, a very strong portable tool. Thicknesses between 10 and 30 millimeters are no problem for this tool.

Maintaining a firm hand and using light pressure when working with a jigsaw are important. Avoid scratching the metal by stopping periodically to apply oil. Stop using the blade and remove it from the workpiece if you have the impression it could break.

Cutting Rebar Manually By Hand

There are several ways to cut through rebar with only your bare hands and a little muscle power.

AIRAJ Hacksaw Set

Hacksaw

The simplest, least expensive, and most time-consuming way to cut rebar is with a hacksaw. Cutting through reinforcing steel calls for a patient user with strong arms.

You can use a simple hacksaw if only a few bars have to be cut. However, if there are more than a handful, the procedure will be inefficient, tedious, and lengthy.

Cutting Rebar with a Hacksaw

  1. Determine the required size of the rebar by using a measuring tape.
  2. Put the material on top of a solid table or floor. Ensure the cutting point is barely an inch or two from the ground. If the rebar is trembling, it will be difficult to make precise cuts.
  3. Fasten the material clamps to the tabletop. Place the clamps as close to the rebar’s intended cutting point.
  4. Put in a few quick cuts with the hacksaw to produce a grove. Now proceed with slow, firm cuts. Take advantage of all the cutting edge has to offer.

Cutting Wheel

Rebar may be easily cut with a cutting wheel. Use a vise or a few clamps to hold the rebar in place. Next, go gently with consistent little cuts. Due to the increased friction, every cut takes more time if you use a thick wheel.

Bolt Cutters

Blades that look like scissors give a bolt cutter its name, and its metal-cutting power may reach up to 4500 lbs. It’s a strong weapon capable of slicing into steel.

cutting rebar with bolt cutters

Cutting Rebar with Bolt Cutters

  1. Bolt cutters should be held with both hands, with their jaws facing the other way.
  2. To fully open it, pull the handles away from each other and as far as they’ll go.
  3. Wrap the rebar with the blades’ center points facing outwards. Cutting at an angle might lead the jaws to distort and slip off the rebar, so be careful.
  4. Squeeze the handles firmly, and cut into the rebar.

Hydraulic Bolt Cutters

The hydraulic bolt cutter is the easiest and most inexpensive rebar cutter. It is convenient, silent, and light.

One must pump the tool to increase pressure which makes cutting the rebar easier. A hydraulic cutter doesn’t call for any power source, such as an extra cable, electricity, or batteries. You should reserve it for little tasks only.

Torch

Since they work differently, you should avoid using oxyacetylene and plasma torches for more substantial projects. It is common for rebar to be left with rough edges after the melting procedure. Torch-based metal cutting is significantly more time-consuming and costly.

torch

For snapping rebar, secure it on a vise and burn it with a torch to make it flexible; this method is ideal for smaller projects. Use a  pipe to allow you to bend or break it afterward.

Rotary Hammer

When cutting reinforcing bars, a rotary hammer can offer several benefits. It’s a more efficient approach that requires less time and effort.

When working with rebar, you have to switch it to the rotation mode rather than the hammer mode for optimal performance. It features a lengthy extension cable, much like any other portable device.

Pincer Pliers

These are utilized more often for tying rebar than for slicing it. Due to their scissors-like design, they do not have the necessary strength to cut through 4-millimeter rebar, but they can slice metal wires.

Other Tools You Can Use to Cut Rebar

Electric Bar Cutters

An electric bar cutter is an effective rebar cutter on this list. It’s a wheeled machine so you can move it from place to place. Professional firms use it to slice rebar at the site accurately and swiftly.

cutting rebar with electric bar cutter

Every model of this tool has its maximum rebar diameter and a good metal cutting force.

With their help, the user may direct the action. It is undoubtedly the safest and most suitable equipment for a corporation.

Hydraulic Bar Cutters

Hydraulic bar cutters are intended to reduce potential dangers. Popular methods for cutting this type of material include cut-off tools, gas saws, and angle grinders. Nevertheless, accidents involving these instruments are a primary source of injuries to workers.

With hydraulic bar cutters, you can avoid danger from the cut-off wheel, exploding wheels, and flying sparks while cutting. It is a time-saving cutting method that boosts production by doing away with needless precautions.

Dremel

A Dremel will work fine for cutting through rebar. Choosing one designed specifically for metal cutting is your best best. 

dremel cut off wheel

For this tool, you need to replace your blade frequently. A Dremel is probably not the best tool when working with heavier objects. However, this power tool is a good choice if you need something light and cheap for a fast task.

FAQ

What is the easiest way to cut rebar?

The easiest way to cut rebar is to use an electric or hydraulic bar cutter; not only will they save you time on every cut, but they can also reduce the risks involved in a rebar cutting job. All you have to do is insert the rebar, which will get cut in a second.

Conclusion

As explained above, it’s easy to learn how to cut rebar using various tools and equipment. First, determine how much rebar you need to cut, then choose the equipment. You must also consider your workspace to accommodate the equipment and the rebar. Finally, you must observe safety precautions before reinforcing concrete and building that solid structure.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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