Reinforcing bars, also known as “rebar,” are staple items in masonry construction. Commonly made from steel, rebar is used to reinforce all types of concrete structures -- from basic sidewalks to foundations. Also used in the building of highways and bridges, rebar usually comes in 10- and 20-ft lengths. So if you’re using rebar sticks in a small project around your home, you’ll need to know the proper way to cut them into more manageable segments.
You can quickly and easily be cut rebar into pre-marked lengths using a hand-held or table-mounted circular saw. If you use a diamond blade rather than a standard metal blade, it will cut through the rebar faster and the blade will last longer.
Although bolt cutters are typically thought of for cutting chains, padlocks and bolts, they are practically custom-made for cutting rebar. With sharp, scissor-like blades that can provide 4,500 pounds of cutting force, a good pair of bolt cutters is a valuable tool to have on hand when you need to snip through a stick of steel.
You can also use a manual saw to cut rebar; however it's helpful to have a clamp or vise when using this method -- to keep the rebar from slipping or moving around. Because repeated cutting of rebar can dull the blade of an inferior saw it's important to always use a quality blade.
Cutting torches are made to cut through metal, making them useful for cutting rebar. The torch will heat the stick of rebar at the point where you aim it, melting the metal and allowing you to cut clear through the rebar. Although you’ll be able to cut quickly, unless you are skilled with a cutting torch, the resulting cut might be imprecise. Therefore, it's important to keep in mind that the extreme heat from the torch, which causes the steel to melt, can give the cut ends of the rebar a rounded or uneven surface.