10 Different Ways on How to Cut Rebar

Close up of a man working next to rebars

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​​Reinforcing bars are also known as rebar, and they are staples in construction and masonry. They are most often made from steel. Rebar has many benefits, including being durable and useful for supporting concrete by providing a solid structure. You’ll find them used in sidewalks, buildings, highway, foundations, and bridges.

Purpose of Rebar

Rebar may be used alone or with steel mesh wire as reinforcement in concrete products. It is often made locally and from old cars and appliances. Most rebar is made from 97% recycled materials. Steel rebars are usually cut into very long lengths, up to 60 feet, so when you’re working with them, you’ll need to adjust it for your project.

  • ​Makes sure that the tension and compression in the concrete remain equal
  • ​Is environmentally friendly

Rebar Qualities

There are a few different kinds of rebar. The first step is to select the right rebar, and your cutting method will depend on the length and diameter.

Any residential work, like landscaping or concrete work, typically use #3 rebar, which measures 3/8 of an inch in diameter. Larger diameters of rebar usually are only used in industrial or commercial applications because it requires specialized equipment to cut it, just like you would cutting galvanized pipe.

Group of men in construction with some rebars

The most common type of rebar is used by hobbyists is rebar #4, which is a ½ inch in diameter. Rebar of this size can be cut with a hacksaw. Larger rebar such as the kind used and industrial concrete work would need a different tool.

It is easy to bend to fit the shape of what you need for your project. Bending it is easy to do if it is less than .5 inches in diameter. The most important thing while you’re bending it is to have sufficient leverage.

Qualities of rebar are that..

  • ​It is made from a soft iron resistant to cracks or breaks
  • ​Sizes are in incremental 1/8 inch steps
  • List Element

Before You Begin Cutting

There are a couple of setup and safety procedures to observe before you start cutting. Make sure to pause and set yourself up properly for success before diving right in.

  1. 1
    ​The first step to cutting rebar is to measure it. It is usually sold in lengths of about 20 feet. It’s likely that you’ll be working with long pieces of rebar, so before you cut it is important to take accurate measurements.

If you need to bend it and it any direction you should also add that to your measurements. Use a tape measure to measure each of your cuts and mark it with a piece of chalk. This way, you will know where to begin your cut.

  1. 2
    ​Take the proper safety precautions when cutting steel. Rebar can be very heavy, and the ends are sharp. While you’re working with it and using a metal blade to cut a metal surface, it will make sparks, and there will be metal shavings flying in the air.

Use caution and wear proper safety equipment. Consider wearing a mask, some goggles and gloves as well as a long sleeve shirt, pants, and work boots.

  1. 3
    ​Be sure that your workspace is large enough to accommodate rebar. The length of them can vary from 8 to 60 feet. When working with it being an open space is it ideal and clear of any obstructions.

Also, because rebars produce sparks when you’re working with them, be sure that your area is clear of any flammable elements such as any cooking supply or your fire pit essentials.

Cutting Rebar With an Angle Grinder

The most recommended tool to use to cut rebar is an angle grinder.

Using a​ highly rated angle grinder with a cutting wheel will do an excellent job with getting your rebar cutting job done. When you’re using an angle grinder, the first step is to find one which is the correct size for doing the job.

A grinder that is too small and is used for simple tasks might not be effective in cutting the rebar. Also, very large grinders can do the trick, but they will be heavy.

​Selecting Your Tool

A standard 4 inch to 4 1/2 will handle most cutting jobs. Also, keep in mind that the quality of the angle grinder will affect how well it cuts. An angle grinder is used to give quick rough cuts to avoid using tools it take longer such as hacksaws.

Especially when you’re cutting rebar, you need to make sure that you’re using the right cutting disk. Even with the best angle grinders, if you’re using the wrong cutting disks, such as the ceramic coating, it could break the disk and not cut the rebar.

Close up of a man working next to rebars

​Cutting the Rebar

  1. The first step is to make sure that you are using the wheel, which is designed to cut metal. It should be durable enough and strong enough to cut the steel.
  2. After, make sure that you secure the rebar. A good way to do that is to place it in a vice or a clamp.
  3. Then approach it directly and make a cut straight down. The cut might not be very clean, but this method is faster than many others.

An angle grinder will save you time. Although it’s possible to cut rebar with a hacksaw, it will take a lot longer. You also won’t need to replace the blade as often as you would need to if you were cutting it with a hacksaw.

Some professionals will use a bench grinder or an angle grinder for cutting rebar to save the wear and tear on their diamond blades. Check the blade before using it and, if you need to, replace it with a new one before starting.

Save Energy

If you are using a grinder, placing the bar on a sawhorse can be helpful. An angle grinder will be more effective. It will save you time and reduce the amount of stress on your joints are in your hands.

Angle grinders are versatile tools that are used to​ cut through a variety of materials, such as tile, stucco, pavers, and metal. Try to choose one with a more powerful motor, that draws 5 to 9 amps. They are all designed for different tasks.

Instead of using an abrasive metal cutting disk try to use a diamond blade that is rated to cut ferrous metal. These last longer cut cleaner and faster and wear down slower than the abrasive disks.

How to Cut Rebar With a Power Saw

A miter saw, chop saw, or circular saw outfitted with a diamond blade will be the fastest way to cut the rebar. Load the under the saw and position it so the mark you made to cut it is directly under the blade on the saw.

Now, turn on the saw and cut the bar. Let it do the work and do not apply any excessive pressure while cutting it. Allow the blade to stop fully before you remove the cut rebar from the worktable.

​Learn about the latest power tool trends that make these options the best one for your project.

Chop saw

A chop saw is another tool that will be useful when cutting rebar. It works a lot like a miter saw, however, it uses a large carbide blade. Be sure the speed is adjusted appropriately, and you can make straight cuts on the rebar.

The large, abrasive disc cuts through anything. It only does 90-degree cuts. You pull down the blade and you get a cross cut

It has a large size that will allow you to cut several sticks of rebar at one time, and it has a locking jig so you can get angled cuts or straight cuts which are very precise--more so than an angle grinder or a hydraulic bolt cutter.

This method is very loud, and it is heavy.

  • ​A chop saw is ideal if you are cutting a lot of steel rebar.
  • ​Makes clean cuts
A top view of construction for a building

​Circular Saw

For many people, when they are needing to cut rebar, they use their circular saw. They are popular because the saw blades can easily slice through a piece of rebar. Remember to use a saw blade that is made to cut through metal. Secure the rebar in a vice or clamp, and make consistent straight cuts.

There are two types of blades you can use. The more inexpensive steel tooth blades, which you might need to replace more, can work. Carbide tooth blades will also work, but they can cost more.

  • ​The recommended blade is a Diamond blade

​​Miter Saw

You can also use a miter saw to cut rebar if you use the right blade. Miter saws cut at 90 degree angels as well as bevels, angles and compound cuts. However, it is more suited for wood, and there are better tools made to cut metal you can use.

Other Tools to Use to Cut Steel Rebar

When you’re looking to cut rebar, there are a few ways to go about it that might take more than just a pair of scissors. Read on to see details on how to cut rebar with various tools.

Bolt Cutters

You can use bolt cutters to cut the rebar. It is a simple solution which is surprisingly strong. These are used to remove locks as well as chains, and they are also efficient at snapping rebar. Bolt cutters are practically made to cut the rebar. Pump the bolt cutters, and slice the rebar. Remember, it only needs to cut through half of it.

They have scissor-like blades that are sharp, and they can have up to 4500 pounds of cutting force. It is a powerful tool that can chop through steel. Bolt cutters can be used any time for when you need to cut a piece of rebar to a certain size quickly, or if you’re trying to cut more than one piece at a time.

Some benefits of using bolt cutters are that they are:

  • ​Affordable
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Silent

There are no batteries or extension cords required. Electric bolt cutters are another option, and they do not need to be pumped beforehand. These have batteries and can plug into the wall.

Cutting Wheel

A cutting wheel works well when cutting rebar. Steady the rebar with a vice or clamps. Then, slowly make short steady cuts. Try not to use a thick wheel because the additional friction will cause each cut to take much longer. It’s a method that many professionals recommend when asked how to cut rebar, and it's similar to​ a table saw, with the exception of the table.

  • ​Solid method
  • ​Thick wheel works better
Man in orange construction attire with a bunch of rebars

​Rotary Hammer

A rotary hammer has a few advantages and cutting rebar. These benefits are:

  • ​Precise
  • ​Faster
  • ​Less manual labor

To cut rebar with a rotary hammer, use it in rotation mode, not hammer mode.

Torching

Another method to cut rebar is to torch it. It’s recommended to avoid using plasma and oxyacetylene torches for bigger jobs because of the way they work. Nonetheless, they will work if you don’t have access to any other equipment.

The reason why it’s not recommended is that during the melting process the edges of the rebar are often left uneven. Cutting with a torch will also take longer and be more expensive. The gas costs a lot and should be saved for cutting bigger metals such as half-inch steel.

For smaller jobs, stick the rebar in the vice and heat it with a torch to make it malleable. After you heat it, use a pipe to bend and break it.

  • ​Use torches sparingly

​Manual Saw

It’s also possible to cut rebar by hand. When thinking about how to cut rebar, this method might be one of your first ideas. A manual saw should be at the bottom of your list, but it is still a viable way to do it. Bandsaws and hacksaws have metal blades you can work with during small jobs. However, the blades wear out too quickly to cut large amounts of rebar

When using a handsaw, be sure to securely place the material in a vice or clamp and use a blade that it is sharp.

​​Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw can also cut rebar. If you have a choice set the saw to straight rather than oscillating. You can extend the life of the blade by keeping the saw’s speed slow. When you’re choosing a blade, select one with 20 to 24 for TPI (or teeth per inch) for thin metal, 10 to 18 TPI for medium thickness and around eight TPI for thicker metal.

You can lengthen the life of a blade by purchasing a carbide tooth blade or bimetal blades

  • ​Use a metal cutting blade with a hacktooth pattern for the best results.

Successfully Cutting Rebar

With all the tools listed, it’s important to note that you don’t need to cut through the entire rebar. You only need to cut through half of it, and you can break it in half easily. Do this by putting your foot firmly on one side of the rebar and then pull the other side up.

When you’re choosing the way you would like to cut rebar, you have plenty ofchoices. Making your decision depends on a few factors.

Top view photo of construction men working

​Think about what tools you have to use. Also, take into consideration how much rebar you need to cut. Another thing to think about is how large is the rebar that you’re cutting. Finally, take a look at the space that you have to work it and try to accommodate that with the tool you choose.