People have discovered and employed many methods when it comes to cutting and bending rebar. Reinforced steel bars are made to be durable, as they are used to provide a solid structure and support system for concrete buildings. That being said, you can’t expect to simply grab an ordinary set of snips to get the job done. Rebar is manufactured in lengthy steel rods which have to be correctly sized and bent before they can be installed. There are a number of ways contractors perform this process, and some can be considered unorthodox. While specialized tools do exist for these projects, this hasn’t stopped people from getting creative. If you lack the proper equipment and need to cut or bend rebar, you may want to consider taking advantage of one of these clever ideas.
Always remember to wear the proper safety gear and be very careful when working with rebar. The edges of this material are jagged and can easily impale a person, which is also why you will want to invest in some rubber caps to place at the end of the finished product. After you have cut and bent the rebar, simply insert a cap on the exposed edges. This will prevent any potential accidents from occurring and will make for a safer workspace.
The Art of Cutting and Bending Rebar
- Don’t underestimate the power of a bolt cutter; these devices are primarily used to remove padlocks and chains, but they are also effective at snapping rebar. The cutting force alone is enough to chop through reinforced steel like butter. This is a handy tool to have around when you need to quickly trim a piece of rebar down to size or if you have a number of sticks to tend to.
- Use a circular saw; the go-to machine for most people, saw blades that are made to cut through metal can make short work of a rebar slicing job. Remember to use a diamond blade to ensure consistent quality cuts and to avoid other problems that can result from a dull tool.
- Torch it; due to how they operate, plasma and oxyacetylene torches aren’t recommended for large-scale jobs, but they will work nonetheless if you don’t have access to dedicated equipment. The reason being that the melting process often leaves the edge of the rebar uneven. Bear in mind that cutting with a torch often takes longer and will cost more.
- Cut it by hand; cutting rebar with a manual saw should be a last resort, but it is still a creative way to finish a job. Be sure to secure the material properly in a vice and use a blade that won’t easily dull.
- Bending rebar is easy with a bar and a pipe; insert the stick into the slot of a hickey bar and use a steel pipe to bend the protruding end downward.
- Secure the stick of rebar in a vice, add heat via a torch to make the steel malleable and then use a pipe to bend it.
Despite all of these clever ways to cut and bend rebar when in a bind without the appropriate tools, the safest work environment is created when one has access to the right tools, such as portable or stationary rebar tools.