Learning how to use and appropriately cut rebar is crucial for many reasons. And that is especially true for masons and construction workers.
But rebars are not only for industrial works.
DIY enthusiasts or homeowners can also utilize it for different activities such as landscaping and gardening. It is also ideal for arts, DIYs, and other huge building projects. But whatever it is you are working on, one thing is sure: you need to learn how to cut rebar in order to use it efficiently.
How to Cut Rebar Accurately
While cutting rebar is no easy feat—especially for non-professionals—the learning curve is not that steep. However, it is also crucial to know the basics of what you should do and should not do.
- Step 1: Gather safety equipment.
Steels can be very heavy, sharp, and overall dangerous, especially for non-professionals. So, take safety precautions seriously and make sure you are wearing the right gears while doing the job.
Prepare a pair of gloves, a google to protect your eyes, and a mask for your face. It is best to wear pants and long shirts too.
- Step 2: Find a workspace.
Make sure that you have a decent workspace as well. Rebars are typically 8 to 60 feet, and it would be troublesome if you are working in a small space. It is advised to work in an area with no flammable elements around as the sparks of metal could cause a fire.
- Step 3: Measure.
Cutting rebar is a little bit tricky for beginners. So, once you have secured a safe workspace and gathered all the protective gears you need, start taking measures of your desired length. Do not forget to give allowance for the “curve” if you need to bend it or tie it to another piece.
You can use chalk or a wax crayon for marking. Both are great but the latter is waterproof.
- Step 4: Secure.
After taking all the measurements, secure the rebar. Rebar tends to roll while being cut; hence, it is important to hold it steady by either using a vice and clamp or by firmly stepping on it.
- Step 3: Cut.
Finally, cut the rebar by directly placing the blade on it. Then cut it down in a straight manner. That’s it!
What Tools to Use to Cut Rebar?
There are several tools that you can use to bend and cut the rebar. And while all of them serve the same purpose, each piece of equipment offers varying perks.
Take the power saw, for example.
A power saw is a cutting tool with a toothed, circular saw and is used to cut metals, rebar, wood, plastic, concrete, tiles, and bricks. Some come with an abrasive blade that cuts through a rotary motion spinning.
And when it comes to cutting rebar, it is the quickest.
- Circular saw. A circular saw is the most commonly used tool to cut the rebar. It is preferred by many due to its blade that cuts through steel bars effortlessly. That said, professional masons recommend using a Diamond blade as it makes cutting rebar easier.
Other blades such as the carbide tooth blade and tooth blades.
- Chop saw. Unlike a circular saw, a chop saw comes with an abrasive, non-toothed blade that is mounted on a rotating arm. It is also more powerful and is ideal for cutting multiple rebars or if you want to make clean cuts thanks to its large—minimum of 4 inches—blade.
Chop saw can cut up to a 90-degree angle as well. However, it cannot pivot right or left.
- Miter saw. A miter saw comes with a vertical blade mounted on a rotating arm. Its blade—which ranges around 8 to 12 inches—is smaller compared to a chop saw. It is also often compared to chop saw but miter saw is slightly better in terms of capability. It can rotate both left and right. It cuts beveled and angled as well.
Unlike a power saw, a bolt cutter has a scissor-like blade with a sharpness that can cut up to 4, 500 pounds of metal cutting force. It is typically used to remove chains and padlocks but because of its cutting force, it can cut rebar with a small diameter.
Bolt cutters are ideal if you want clean cuts. It is also handy in times that you need a quick rebar trimming.
A manual saw can also be used to cut the rebar. However, it is not highly recommended and is often the last option. Manual saws like hacksaws and bandsaws have blades that can work with lightweight cutting tasks. It is not ideal for cutting multiple rebars too.
Different Types of Rebar
Now, let’s talk about the different types of rebar and how they differ from each other.
- Galvanized rebar. Although it is pricey, a galvanized rebar is corrosion resistant. Its coating is difficult to break, which makes it more valuable than epoxy-coated steel bars.
- Carbon steel rebar. Also known as black rebar, it is the most widely used steel bar for all types of projects—big or small. It is its tensile strength that makes it the best rebar one can use. But the cats, it easily corrodes, unlike galvanized bars.
- Stainless steel rebar. Its corrosion-resistant is 1, 500 times higher compared to black rebars. Stainless steel bar is resistant to any type of damage as well. It is, however, not economical as it is the most expensive of all types.
- European rebar. While it is easy to bend and work with, European steel bars are the least resistant among all types. It is made of Manganese and is not highly recommended for industrial works especially for buildings located in earthquake-prone areas.
On the flip side, it is ideal for DIY and craft projects.
- Epoxy-coated rebar. Clever as it sounds, it is a black bar coated with epoxy. It has the same strength as the carbon steel bar but is now more resistant to corrosion due to the coat.
Accuracy Saves You Time And Money
Cutting rebar precisely and appropriately saves you time, money, and effort. Many homeowners and DIY enthusiasts often fail on this part, which gives them no choice but to do the process all over again.
And that is tremendously taxing for non-professionals.
So, to avoid such a situation, make sure you follow the steps written above.