Rebar is one of the most important and most used materials in any construction project. It even has uses other than its main purpose of reinforcing concrete.
Rebar is mostly made up of 95% recycled material. Recycling steel to make rebar saves a lot of costs. It is also beneficial for the environment.
When manufactured, rebar can have lengths more than 60 feet. Different structures and purposes require different lengths of steel. So most of the time rebar requires cutting. If you’ve never done this task before then this guide will make you confident in cutting rebar.
There are different ways to cut rebar, some of which we will mention below:
Using a hacksaw to cut rebar is the most basic, cheapest, and labor-intensive method. The user requires a lot of patience and arm-strength to cut reinforcement steel.
To use a hacksaw, first, you have to measure the rebar and mark the points you want to cut. Then you have to clamp the rebar for safety.
After that, make slow cuts on the marked points until you form a groove on it.
Finally, start making long steady cuts until the rebar is cutted off.
This option should always be your last resort. This is because the blades dull out too soon.
You can find angle grinders in any place where power tools are sold. You can buy them in different sizes but the most common ones used for cutting rebar are the 4 in. and 4.5 in. grinders.
People prefer them because of their ability to give quick and rough cuts. You can use these to cut rebar, angle irons, rusted bolts, and welding wire fences.
The important thing about angle grinders is to be cautious of them. These devices spin at a rate of 10000 to 11000 rpm and can be dangerous.
A word of advice is to avoid using thick wheels as the extra friction will make the process slower.
Circular saws are the first priority for most people. These are popular because they can cut through anything very easily.
It cuts metal like a hot knife through butter. The most important point to remember is to use the diamond blade for the circular saw.
You use diamond blades for quality cuts and to avoid problems that arise from using dull blades.
It uses electricity to operate. It also has a long extension cord.
The power of this device should not be underestimated.
This device is mostly used to remove padlocks and chains. But they are also efficient in snapping rebar.
The bolt cutter has sharp blades like scissors and has a metal cutting force of more than 4000 lb.
It is a handy yet powerful tool to keep with you for chopping rebar.
The jigsaw is a powerful handheld tool for cutting rebar.
You press the trigger in the handle to operate it. It is suitable for cutting metal from 10mm to 30mm.
The jigsaw contains a metal base called the shoe. Always place the top of the shoe at the surface of the object you want to cut.
When using a jigsaw, hold it steady and use gentle pressure. Take breaks to oil the metal to avoid damaging it.
If the blade gives a feeling that it will break, stop it immediately and move it away. Safety should be of top priority.
You can also cut rebar using a miter saw.
It can cut the metal straight at a 90-degree angle or even at other angles. You will find the device more suitable to use for cutting timber.
It has some common features with other power saws like chop saw or circular saw.
The purpose of cutting torch is to cut metal with heat.
The torch will heat the part of the metal where you point it at and make it malleable or soft. After you heat it, use a stick or pipe or bend it and snap it.
Even though you can cut fast, if you are not an expert then the result may be irregular. It is important to keep in mind that the cutting torch can give the rebar a rounded or uneven cut section.
You should always avoid the use of plasma torches or oxyacetylene torches for large jobs. This is because of the way they operate.
A drawback of using plasma or oxyacetylene is the generation of slag or wastage around the cut. Plasma also takes up a lot of time and electricity, making it costly.
These are mostly used for rebar tying more than rebar cutting.
These do not have the power required to cut a 4mm rebar since you use it like a pair of scissors. Although, they can cut metal wires.
The cutting wheel method is very similar to the table saw method, but without the table.
This steel cutting wheel works efficiently when cutting reinforcement bars.
Hold the bar with a clamp and then make slow cuts. You have to make sure that your surrounding is safe before using this device.
A rotary hammer is just like a drill machine. It has its advantages in the cutting of the reinforcement bar.
It is a precise, fast, and less labor-intensive method.
To cut rebar, you have to use the rotary hammer in the rotation mode instead of the hammer mode.
Like any other handheld, it also has a long extension cord.
A chop saw is a very important tool when discussing rebar cutting. It is similar to a miter saw but differs in its blade. It uses a type of large carbide blade.
You have to adjust the speed of the device to your desired setting and cut through the reinforcement bar.
It is a one-time investment of about $200, but this is one of the most ideal options for cutting rebar in a large quantity. This is because of its very big size.
The resulting cuts formed by the chop saw are very clean and smooth. This is more accurate than the angled grinder and the circular saw.
Its only drawback is that it makes a very loud noise and is not easily portable.
Hydraulic Bolt Cutter
It is a very preferred method and is just like the simple bolt cutter. It is very cheap, portable, lightweight, and does not make any sound.
The device requires pumping to build up pressure. It is then used to cut through the metal rebar very smoothly.
No extension cord, electricity, or batteries are required in this method. It is best suited for small jobs.
Rebar can also be cut using a reciprocating saw. It is also known as teeth saw.
The method is to set the device in the straight mode instead of the oscillating mode. To avoid damaging the blade, set the speed to slow.
For thin metal, choose a blade of 20 to 25 TPI (teeth per inch). 10 to 17 TPI for medium thick metal and around 7 to 9 TPI for thick metal.
To extend the life of a blade, buy a carbide tooth blade. Using a blade with a hacktooth pattern will prove to give the best results.
Portable Rebar Cutter
One of the newest inventions in the market is the use of the Portable rebar cutter.
It is a handheld portable device that works on both electricity and hydraulics. It can cut upto #8 bar Grade-60 in 5 seconds. It also has a lock trigger switch for safety.
The best part about this machine is that it does not produce any sparks or flame.
It is also the easiest way. It is a 450-600 Kg machine with wheels, making it portable. Professional companies use this machine to cut rebar at the site cleanly and quickly.
There are many variations of the machine and each machine has a separate limit of rebar it can cut.
The machine consists of a cutting clutch that allows the user to control the process. Support brackets are provided in the machine to support the cutting process safely. The machine has a lifting ring that allows you to carry it anywhere you like. The machine operates on oil and has an oil hole on it. It uses a three-phase power source.
This is one of the safest and fruitful investment for a company.
It is better than buying cheap tools for rusty works. Different variations are GQ40A, GQ40B, GQ45A, GQ50A, etc.
We have mentioned various methods above.
Some give better results, while some are cheap. Some are handheld while some are fast. No matter what the method, safety should always be of top priority.
From this, you can clearly conclude that a single perfect method to cut the rebar does not exist.
There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a method. Some of these factors are: