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How To Cut Threaded Bolts

You don’t have to know how to cut threaded bolts when working on a project, but it often helps to know someone who can. 

There are times when a project calls for bolts or machine screws that are in-between the sizes you’re looking for. Or you may need to shorten bolts for cosmetic reasons. 

How can you now cut these bolts to the right lengths without interfering with the threads? This article highlights some simple and practical steps to shorten screws and bolts with undetectable modifications. 

Step 1: Determine the Required Length

Before starting the cutting process, you need to identify the specific length your project requires. Place your ruler along with the item you want your bolt screwed to, place the measurement along with the bolt, and mark the required length. 

If possible, ensure you measure the threaded area only and determine the number of threads per inch. Take your measurements starting with the threads closest to the head.

Step 2: Ensure You Have the Right Tools

Although most people prefer bolt cutters, it is not the only or a one-size-fits-all choice. Other tools, such as hacksaws or reciprocating saws, can be used for specific reasons. For example, can you use a bolt cutter to shorten a loose bolt without damaging the threads? Absolutely not! You may also require other materials such as a steel-bristle brush, a filter, oil, and a wrench or clamp.

Step 3: Get the Cut

Start by oiling the threads. Place the saw in the predetermined position and begin cutting through the thread by pushing your saw back and forth. You can screw a nut or two onto the bolt above the cutting point to increase the surface area for your clamp or vise. You can also use a bolt cutter, but a hacksaw is preferred for larger or looser bolts.

Step 4: Polish the Cut

Freshly-cut metallic surfaces are usually sharp and contain debris. Use a steel bristle brush or medium or fine metal file to brush metal fillings off the cut rim. Unscrew the cut bolt into a wooden surface to remove excess metal. Concentrate on removing larger pieces only: smaller ones have little or no effect.

Lightly remove the screws from the bolts. When the first nut reaches the cut rim, it may require extra force to keep it going. After removing the first nut, take your steel bristle brush and trim any debris from the edges of the cut. 

The second one will unscrew easily, but you can twist it back and forth several times to remove potential debris. Finally, you can lightly buff with emery cloth on the freshly-cut edge to ensure a smooth slip of your nuts on and off the bolt.

Get In Touch With Us

Whatever your reason for needing threaded bolts, you should always ensure that the company you’re getting them from knows how to cut them.  

Big Bolt has ten cutting machines that can custom produce a product from our wide inventory of blanks to your specific length and needs. From band saws to disc saws, we can handle diameters ranging from M6 to 4 inches.

  • Any length is acceptable. There is no minimum order quantity.
  • We offer a break-in service.
  • Straightness is checked and confirmed with a cambering machine.

If you’re looking for bolts, nuts, and other fasteners, Big Bolt has you covered! We manufacture and supply various fasteners in and out of the United States. We have one of the most-reliable engineering departments that can work closely with your engineers to ensure your project’s success.

We are confident we can find what you need in our $6 million inventory of blanks, customize your fasteners on-site and meet or beat your deadline.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about the products and services we provide.

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