A Dremel is not the optimal tool for cutting rebar. The cutting discs for the Dremel are small and the tools are not that powerful. Dremel rotary tools are really not designed for cutting these thick pieces of metal. But when it comes down to it, could a Dremel be useful for cutting rebar?
To cut rebar with a Dremel we use the EZ456 Reinforced Metal Cut Off Wheel. Before we start cutting we secure the rebar and put on safety gloves and glasses. Now we are ready to slowly start cutting. A Dremel can cut through rebar that is 1/3-inch ( 8.5mm ) thick.
A Dremel will not be the MOST effective tool for cutting rebar. But if you are in a pinch and cannot get your hands on an angle grinder, circular saw, or even a hacksaw, the Dremel might just save your day.
How To Cut Rebar With A Dremel!
1. Choose Dremel Model For Cutting Rebar
The best Dremel for cutting rebar is the most powerful Dremel. Dremel models like the Dremel 3000, 4000, 4300, 8220, and 8260 will be suitable for cutting through rebar.
Weaker Dremel models like the Dremel stylo+ 2050 or Dreme Lite are not suitable for cutting rebar. They will give you a hard time.
2. Choose the Right Bit For Cutting Rebar
The best bit for cutting through rebar with a Dremel is the #EZ456 Reinforced Cut Off Wheel(Amazon) . You can also use the other reinforced cut-off wheels. Some are thinner, some use a different mandrel. But the most important thing is that you use the ones called reinforced cut-off wheels.
These cutting wheels are reliable and will not break on you while cutting that easily.
The other option is to use the smaller more fragile cut-off wheels. Like The 409 cut-off wheel. But I do not recommend using these. They are brittle and fragile, they have a tendency to break during the cut if you put a little bit too much sideways pressure on the bit. That is a safety hazard.
3. Safety Gear For Cutting Rebar
When cutting rebar we always want to use some safety gear. The absolutely most important piece of safety equipment we have to use is the safety glasses to protect your eyes from projectiles like small pieces of metal or the cutting disc shattering.
It can also be a good idea to wear some solid gloves to protect your hands.
You can also use a face shield if that is what you prefer. Or both, to be extra safe.
4. Find Somewhere Spacious To Cut
Cutting metal with a Dremel will produce sparks. So it is important to be in a spacious area when cutting so that the sparks do not hit anything. It is especially important to not let the sparks hit anything that is highly flammable. For example oils, gasoline tanks, cleaning agents, and so on.
Being in an open space will also be more comfortable for cutting.
5. Secure The Rebar Before Cutting It
Make sure that the rebar is secured before cutting. This can be done by putting it on a flat surface, securing it in a vise, or laying something heavy on top of the rebar.
The most important thing is just that the rebar sits firmly and secure and is not subject to falling over or wobbling too much.
The rebar I’m cutting on the picture was a little bit shaky because it was so thin, so the cut took longer than it preferably should.
6. RPMs When Cutting Rebar With A Dremel
When cutting rebar with a Dremel we use an RPM between 20 000 and 35 000. We always want to use a high rpm setting when cutting any type of metal with a Dremel.
What rpm you use depends on how comfortable you are with using the Dremel, and also what type of metal you are cutting. So do not be afraid to experiment with different RPMs. I usually stay at about 25000 RPMs when cutting metal.
7. Initiating The Cut
The actual cutting of the rebar is fairly simple, but there are some things to keep in mind.
- If it is your first time cutting metal with a Dremel, use two hands on the Dremel to keep a steady hand.
- Turn on your Dremel
- Slowly start cutting the metal by applying some pressure with the cutting wheel
- Keep a steady hand
- Put some pressure into your cut, but not try to force the bit through by using excessive pressure.
- When you get a little bit deep into the cut, the tool might catch the sides of the cut and do a “JUMP”. This happens a lot more often if the cut is not completely straight.
- It is not that dangerous, but make sure to keep a steady hand, this will happen less with practice.
8. Finishing The Cut
When you get to the end of the cut you have to use less force so that you have control over the tool when it goes through the metal.
9. The Metal Is Hot After Being Cut
After cutting metal it will most likely be hot. Do not make the mistake to try to touch the metal too early, this is said from a personal experience.
Metal will stay hot for longer than you would expect.
10. Clean Metal Edge After Being Cut
After most cuts of metal, burrs and sharp edges might form. So after cutting rebar with a Dremel, you might want to use one of the many grinding stones to clean up some of the metal debris.