How To Cut Rebar Safely And Effectively (Detailed Guide & Tips)

Rebar (short form of reinforcing bar) is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires used as a tension device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry constructions to strengthen and assist the concrete under stress. As a result, we can’t build constructions without rebars. 

So, many people come with the question of how to cut rebar safely and effectively. Keep reading this article to get all the must-know information before getting to the cutting work.  

source – alt tag: how to cut rebar safely and effectively

Cautions Before Cutting A Rebar

It’s critical to take control and safety precautions when cutting your rebar.

Firstly, you should never cut ungraded rebar or when the on switch is locked in and manually turn on and off the switch for each cut or you might injure yourself or damage the cutting tools. 

Another precaution is when cutting rebar, always use safety eyewear and cut away from your body while wearing thick gloves. Furthermore, you should work in a large workplace and stay away from others. 

When using tools to cut rebar, be careful if these following tripping/impalement dangers occur:

  • Concrete formwork pins protrude at low levels
  • Concrete footing rebar protrudes into walking spaces
  • Rebar protrudes from concrete foundation work
  • Rebar scraps are left lying around the worksite

source – alt tag: be careful while cutting rebar

Things You Need Before Cutting Rebar

Rebar comes in many different sizes, grades, and types. That’s why there are many specific tools you can use to cut the specific rebar. However, if you’re new, I’d recommend using a power tool since cutting rebar using a hacksaw is time-consuming, and rebar tends to eat through hacksaw blades. 

So, you can choose a cutting tool depending on your personal choice (a saw, a grinder, or a simple hacksaw, etc.) and prepare some other items to optimize your work and safety. Here are what you’ll need to have the job done well: 

  • A saw or a grinding machine. For example, an angle/ bench grinder, a chop, a miter/circular saw, or a hacksaw in a pinch
  • Diamond blades or cut-off blades 
  • A workbench (You can set a bench vise also depending on what you’re using to cut)
  • A piece of chalk
  • A tape measure
  • Work gloves
  • A safety goggle

How To Cut Rebar Safely And Effectively (Detailed Guide)

Step 1: Put on safety equipment

Keep in mind that you’re cutting a metal surface with a metal blade while working with a rebar. It will cause flying sparks and flying metal shavings in the air. 

For these reasons, please remember to wear safety goggles, long sleeve shirts, long pants, gloves, and even strong boots to protect yourself from injuries.

And as mentioned above, you also should work in a well-ventilated location, away from combustible chemicals or any people (especially children).

source – alt tag: measure and mark before cutting

Step 2: Measure and mark where you need to cut

After putting on safety protections, the next step is to measure it. Rebar is often offered in 20-foot lengths. Because you’ll most likely be working with lengthy sections of rebar, it’s critical to obtain precise measurements before cutting.

More than that, you should add a little more inches (usually 0.5 inches) to your dimensions if you need to bend it in any way. Then, measure and mark each cut with a piece of chalk using a tape measure. You’ll be able to see where to start cutting if you do it this way.

source – alt tag: use a suitable tool to do the job

Step 3: Make the cut

First of all, place the rebar on a workbench and put it on a bench vice if you need to. Because rebar tends to roll about when you cut, it is essential to tread on it or otherwise maintain a solid grip while cutting it. And please note that the approach to the cut will change depending on the sort of tool you’re using.

If you use a chop saw or a circular saw equipped with a diamond blade, you can quickly work on this. All you need to do is load the bar onto the screw and place it so that it’s exactly beneath the blade of the screw. Then turn on your screw and cut it off. Again, don’t apply undue pressure downward when cutting. 

If you use an angle grinder or bench grinder, turn on the grinder and start cutting with it perpendicular to the rebar. After that, just simply apply minimal pressure on the rebar as the wheel passes through. Before you start cutting with a grinder, it’s a good idea to put the rebar on saw horses or within a bench vise. If your grinder’s cutoff wheel has any symptoms of wear, it’s advisable to acquire a new one before going to work.

FAQs

1. Is it easy to cut rebar?

Yes, it is. According to those who usually do this job (cutting rebar), rebar is simple to weld and cut. Still, there are many different methods to execute the latter, and having the correct equipment is genuinely important.

2. What’s the best tool to cut rebar?

Rebar is made up of long steel rods sized to meet the needs of concrete construction projects for which the reinforcing steel bar is designed. 

There are suitable tools available for each size of rebar or your purpose, so here is the best advice:

  • Use a chop saw or a circular saw for cutting thick rebar, or when you need to cut a lot of them, as it can cut several steel bars at once.
  • Use an angle grinder or bench grinder for a thinner one or when you don’t have many to cut. Besides, an angle grinder will help you a lot if you have to cut bend rebar.

3. Can an oscillating tool cut rebar?

Absolutely yes. A good-quality tool can be helpful for a wide range of applications. However, when using oscillating saw blades to cut rebar, you should start at a slower speed. You may raise the pace and cut quicker if you’re comfortable with the material you’re cutting.

In addition, you should delegate the majority of the job to the metal cutting blades of the oscillating tool. Applying too much pressure on the blade might cause it to wear out. A competent oscillating tool with a sharp metal cutting blade should be able to do the task without requiring excessive force from the operator.

Further Reading: How to Cut Metal With Your Oscillating Tool

Conclusion

Cutting rebar is not a difficult job, but it needs a lot of prudence and qualification. If there are any mistakes, even the smallest, it may cost both your money or strength. By the end of this guide, I hope you have grasped our valuable tips on how to cut rebar and avoid any potential risks. 

Besides, please note that if you are not a person who has good knowledge about tools and construction materials, don’t do this on your own. Instead, find someone well-qualified to help you with the job to not cause any damages to yourself or your property. Have a good day!