How to Cut Rebar Like a Pro With a Sawzall?

If you’re in the construction industry, chances are you’ve got experience cutting rebar with some sort of heavy-duty tool like a reciprocating saw. 

But, unless you cut rebar every day, it can still be hard to make cuts that are straight and clean through the material. 

If you want to see how professionals cut rebar like a pro with just their trusty Sawzall, keep reading to learn about the two different types of rebar and how to tackle them each step-by-step.

Why did I need a Sawzall? 

Although I work with contractors who have specialized tools and they can provide me with all my power tools, there are times when I must take matters into my own hands. Lately, that often includes cutting Reber. 

For example, we’re putting in new posts for an addition at a property I manage and those posts are made of steel beams. The only way to get them down where they belong is by cutting them first and it has become apparent that our contractor isn’t going to do it because he doesn’t have a Sawzall (the tool used to make these cuts). 

That means no post holes for another week because I need another one of these. So what do you do? You go out and buy yourself a Sawzall. 

But how do you use it? How much does it cost? What kind should I buy? These are all questions I had as well so let’s talk about how to cut rebar with a Sawzall.

How to cut rebar like a pro with a Sawzall (step by step)

Using a Sawzall to cut rebar is easy if you have the know-how and are prepared. Here’s an example of what I’ve done in my DIY home improvement projects.

Step 1: Pick a sharp blade: 

First, you need to pick out a good blade for your Sawzall. I’ve found that using an industrial-grade metal cutting blade works best. This is because it’s designed for cutting through steel and will last longer than standard construction blades. 

It’s also worth noting that you should never use anything other than a metal cutting blade when cutting rebar. If you try to use anything else, you risk dulling your blade quickly and even damaging your Sawzall or other tools in your toolbox. 

Step 2: Measure out the length of the bar: 

You’ll want to measure out how long of a piece of rebar you’re going to be able to cut off at one time so that it fits into your toolbox without being too heavy or awkward for you to lift and carry around. 

I’ve found that cutting pieces about 4 feet in length works best for me, but it’s important to remember that every job is different and you should adjust accordingly. 

For example, if you’re working on something small and lightweight like a deck railing, then you might only need to cut 10-inch pieces. If you are building something larger like structural support beams for addition to your home or business, then 6-foot sections will probably work better. 

Also, keep in mind that larger sections will require more weight than smaller ones. So plan and make sure that whatever size piece of rebar you decide on can easily fit into your toolbox before proceeding to step 3 below.

Step 3: Make sure Sawzall is set up for metal cutting blade: 

Before you can use your Sawzall, you’ll need to make sure that it’s set up properly. First, make sure that your Sawzall is in reverse and locked into place. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally try to cut wood or plastic instead of steel. 

Then, check your toolbox and make sure that your metal cutting blade is securely attached and ready for use. If not, then remove any other blades first and replace them with your metal cutting blade before proceeding to step 4 below.

Step 4: Position Sawzall so that it’s perpendicular to the bar: 

You’ll want to position your Sawzall so that it’s perpendicular to your piece of rebar. This will ensure that you get a clean, straight cut and avoid damaging your blade or toolbox. 

It also helps make sure that you don’t accidentally start cutting at an angle and risk nicking your blade in half. If you’re working on something small, then I recommend holding your Sawzall in one hand and using your other hand as support for added stability. 

If you’re working on something larger, then I recommend setting up some sort of workstation so that both hands are free while still allowing you plenty of room for movement.

Step 5: Make sure you’re cutting in a straight line: 

When you start cutting, you must be able to see where your blade is going. This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally veer off course and risk damaging your Sawzall or other tools in your toolbox. 

If you’re working on something small, then I recommend using some sort of guide so that your blade doesn’t go too far past what you’re trying to cut. 

For example, if I’m working on something like a deck railing, then I’ll use my hand as a guide by holding it flat against whatever I’m trying to cut.

Step 6: Cut through the bar in one continuous motion: 

When you start cutting, you must do so in one continuous motion. This will help ensure that your blade doesn’t get stuck or damaged while trying to go back and forth. 

Also, if you’re working on something large and heavy, then I recommend counting out loud as you cut so that you can keep track of how far along you are. 

For example, when I’m cutting steel for structural support beams for an addition to my home or business, then I’ll count out loud as I go by saying things like one after every foot or two after every two feet. 

This helps me keep track of where I am without having to stop and look at my progress every few seconds. You can also read the cutting guide of Steel Pipe With Sawzall.

What type of blade should I use?

Sawzalls come with a variety of different blade sizes, as do their replacements. It’s important to know which ones will fit on your machine. When working with metal bars such as steel rebar, use either a steel-reinforced concrete cutting blade or one designed for masonry (i.e., mortar). 

If you plan on cutting thick steel bars, you may need an extra-large blade capable of moving in and out quickly-smaller blades can get stuck in heavy metal and send sparks flying if not properly lubricated. 

Make sure to keep your blade sharp at all times; dull blades are more likely to crack when they hit something hard.

Read more Reciprocating News

Safety Measures

When cutting rebar you should always wear protective gear. Safety glasses, dust masks, and earplugs are all good items to have on hand. It’s also important that no one else is around while you’re cutting because of flying debris. 

You can protect yourself by wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants as well as thick gloves. If you have any cuts or scrapes it’s best to cover them up with bandages so they don’t get infected. 

You should also make sure your area is well ventilated so there isn’t too much dust in the air from cutting rebar.

Conclusion

The right saw is important when cutting rebar, but so is knowing how much pressure you’re exerting and where. If you’re going slow, that’s one thing; if you don’t keep your hands safe, that’s another. 

For example, many people use sharpies as guidelines-which are great if they end up on top of your rebar (you can see them). But it takes only a moment for an inexperienced worker to slip and slash his hand open on your blade. 

That injury could have been prevented by keeping your hands behind or to either side of that sharpie marker, rather than placing them beneath it in line with the blade. Safety first.

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