Will a Recip Saw cut Rebar?

JPSzcz's picture

Just a short question - Will a recip saw cut rebar?

I have some rebar sticking up through concrete and I want to flush cut it to the concrete.

Thanks in advance,

(post #123311, reply #1 of 15)

Yes.  Use a metal cutting blade (hacksaw tooth pattern).

(post #123311, reply #2 of 15)

A metal cutting blade should work fine.  I think I would cut it a little "proud" so the blade doesn't scrape on the concrete then use a grinder to take the rebar flush.

(post #123311, reply #5 of 15)

If you've got a grinder to start with, keep your sawzall in it's box. Rebar will eat up those not so cheap sawzall blades in no time. If you have to use it..definately follow the advice about scoring then bending to break....but then your back to needing the grinder to cut it flush.

(post #123311, reply #13 of 15)

I noticed that McFeelys had a offset flush cutting attachment for recip saws in their last catalog.

Kinda pricy, about $30 IIRC.

Could be cheap at twice the price if you really needed it. And, if it works as good as they claim.


I invented Coke with Lime.

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

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(post #123311, reply #14 of 15)

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Standard Flush Cut Recip Blade Adapter

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I invented Coke with Lime.

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

We have an abundant supply of domestic natural gas. Let's get busy solving problems.

(post #123311, reply #3 of 15)

Just cut up some 1/2" rebar yesterday with my cordless recip saw at the lumberyard (so it would fit in my van). In my case, I just scored the rebar on both sides and snapped it in half (no need to waste the life of the blade cutting all the way through.

In your case, if you have a RAG w/ metal cutting wheel, that would work even better, but either would work.

(post #123311, reply #4 of 15)

You could cut it with a recip and a fine tooth metal blade

If you have an angle grinder with a metal blade it would be faster.

Team Logo

(post #123311, reply #6 of 15)

Angle grinder.  Larger ones work better (disks last way longer and cut faster) but even a 4" will do.  Far less of a PITA than the recip saw will be.

(post #123311, reply #7 of 15)

You could use one of those $8, cordless, metal cutting saws.

You know, a hacksaw. But if you've got a bunch, yes a Sawzall or anyone else's recip will do nicely. You may be surprised how much the bi-metallic blades cost. And what a short time the cheaper blades last.

And, as others said, an angle grinder can bring it flush, and/or do the whole pretty quick.

It is possible (but not the most desireable) to use a circular saw with a metal abrasive wheel/blade. You need to keep it pretty steady, so you'd probably run the metal base plate against the concrete and angle the blade down towards the re-bar. If you already have the circ saw, that is a $4 solution.

David Thomas   Overlooking Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska
David Thomas   Overlooking Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska

(post #123311, reply #8 of 15)

"It is possible (but not the most desireable) to use a circular saw with a metal abrasive wheel/blade"

You are right there. It will cut...but getting it flush -  forget about it.

The grinder by far is the way to go, with a thin metal cutting disc it will zip right thru it. If he doesn't have one of those, get $10 attachment for drill that will also work with those discs. you will have to keep your hand steady with that.... but it beats the circ saw. that's what I did when I needed to cut a bunch of bolts in a simular scenario and I was w/o grinder. almost  as fast as the grinder...grinder is faster 'cuz you can put more force on it, with the better hold you can get on a grinder.

Edited 6/8/2005 11:20 am ET by nails2

(post #123311, reply #9 of 15)

got a buddy with an oxy torch?  poof, zip, all done.

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(post #123311, reply #10 of 15)

A torch can damage concrete, making small chunks come flying off, but it can be done with some concrete.  A grinder would be safer, though.

Just don't do what someone at work did and run the hose for his pneumatic grinder from a compressed oxygen line instead of a compressed air line.  The bystanders said it was quite a show.  He did not stay working there very long.

(post #123311, reply #11 of 15)

Thanks for the info. While I don't have an angle grinder, I think I am going to look into getting one now. I think DeWalt has one for about $50. The price of 6 bi-metal blades was $20 alone, so it won't be too much of a jump in price.


(post #123311, reply #12 of 15)

I've cut off all of the rebar using an agle grinder that I borrowed from a friend. It was pretty easy. I couldn't get the cut as flush as I would have liked, but - as was stated mentioned earlier in the thread - I ground the rebar ends flush with the block.

Thanks for all of the advice. Breaktime has done it again.


(post #123311, reply #15 of 15)

JP - If you go with the grinder, make sure you match the speed of the grinding disk to the speed of the machine. Someone I know had a grinder set up by his foreman in a shop, the disc shattered and they set him up with another one. Nobody checked the speed rating and when the second one shattered, it tore him up pretty bad (3 operations, 300 stiches to his face and they cleaned up the blood with Speedy Dry). I think the calculations were it was like getting hit by something at 80 mph. The face shield was meaningless, it went through that too.