Best Way to Cut Threaded Rod to Your Desired Length

Updated: Aug. 13, 2023

When you’re shortening a bolt or threaded rod with a hacksaw, you always mangle the threads at the sawn end, making it tough to get a nut threaded onto it.

The Family Handyman

When diving into the world of DIY, one often comes across the challenge of cutting a threaded rod or bolt. This task might seem straightforward, but without the right technique, it’s easy to damage the threads, rendering the bolt or rod unusable. Imagine trying to screw a nut onto a bolt with damaged threads – it’s a task easier said than done. But fret not! We have a solution that not only ensures a clean cut but also keeps the threads in perfect condition.

The Problem:
Every DIY enthusiast knows the struggle – you shorten a bolt or threaded rod with a hacksaw and almost inevitably, you end up damaging the threads at the sawn end. This makes the task of threading a nut onto it much more difficult and time-consuming.

The Solution:
Larry LeMasters, a long-time reader and DIY expert, shared a foolproof tip that ensures a clean, damage-free cut every time. Here’s how you can replicate his technique:

  1. Mark the Cutoff Point:
    Begin by marking the spot on the bolt or threaded rod where you wish to make the cut. Ensure that the mark is clear and visible.
  2. Thread Two Nuts:
    Take two nuts and thread them onto the bolt, aligning them at your marked cutoff point.
  3. Secure the Nuts:
    Once aligned, tighten the two nuts against each other. This will not only secure them in place but also act as a guide for your hacksaw.
  4. Make the Cut:
    Position your hacksaw against the shoulder of the upper nut and begin sawing. Using the nut as a guide ensures that your cut is clean and at a perfect right angle to the bolt.
  5. Bevel and Clear the End:
    After making the cut, there will inevitably be some minor burrs. To address this, use a file to create a slight bevel around the freshly cut end. This removes any sharpness or imperfections and helps in smoothly threading the nut.
  6. Clean the Threads:
    The final step involves loosening the two nuts you had tightened earlier. As you spin them off the bolt, they will naturally clean and realign any minor discrepancies in the threads.

This technique is simple, effective, and ensures that your shortened bolt or threaded rod remains as functional as a brand-new piece. So, the next time you’re faced with the task of cutting a threaded rod, remember Larry’s tip, and you’ll have a bolt that’s ready for action in no time.F