What Tool is Best for Cutting Screws

By  Enda McLarnon

In this article we explain the best tool to cut screws. You can use the same tool to cut nails as well. We assume when people ask what is the best tool to cut screws, that they don't all mean exactly the same thing.

After all there are different sizes of screws, different materials and some will want to cut screws flush to boards and others will just want to chop them off.

In many cases, it is actually much simpler to just screw the screw the whole way into a piece of material, rather then try to cut it flush. We have also seen some people just hammer the screw down into the material.

However, we want to look at what tools can be used to cut screws, so let's get on with that.

The best tool for cutting screws is a bolt cutter as they are affordable, effective and can be used on all screw types. They are also safe, sturdy and easy to use.

Option 1- Bolt Cutters

Roughneck ROU39114 Professional Bolt Cutters 350mm/14"

Bolt cutters are made to cut chains, padlocks, bolts, nuts, rods and wire mesh so they will easily cut through screws.

Most of the better ones, like the Roughneck bolt cutters shown to the right have a compound cutting mechanism that makes them easier to use

These are still light as they have tubular steel handles covered with a soft grip and they can quickly apply the necessary pressure to chop through any unwanted screws.

You can buy cheaper versions of these for around £10, but when reading the reviews you will find that they go blunt easily and also break quite easily. The Roughneck bolt cutters get very good feedback.

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What can you use to cut screws?

If you don't own or don't want to buy bolt cutters, then what other tool options do you have to cut screws? We have listed those just below. So if you happen to own any of these, then they will do the job.

  • Hacksaw
  • Jigsaw with a metal blade
  • Reciprocating saw with a metal blade
  • Multi-tool with a metal blade
  • Angle grinder

Option 2- Hacksaw

Stanley Pistol Grip Hacksaw 1 15 122

The hacksaw is always going to be the cheapest option for cutting through screws.

A word of warning though - this is going to be painfully slow and requires an amount of manual work so be aware of that.

The Stanley hacksaw will cut through screws easily enough and the blades are easy to change.

Hacksaws are designed specifically to cut metal so they work well.

Hacksaws are a useful tool to own for cutting pipes, bars, rods etc and can also cut wood and plastic. If you only have a couple of screws to cut then this tool does the job. Anything more than that will just take you a very long time.

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Option 3- Jigsaw Blades

25 x TopsTools T118A Metal Cutting Jigsaw Blades Compatible with Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee and many more

Our least favourite option for cutting screws is a jigsaw - however, if you happen to own one, then you can buy metal cutting blades to cut screws.

These type of blades work well and cut very quickly

The reason we are not a huge fan of the jigsaw for cutting screws is that they are big and hard to get at the right angle to do the cutting.

For a few screws these would work OK, so we have included it as an option on our list.

Check Amazon UK for jigsaw blades

Jigsaws were made to cut shapes in wood. They have just developed over the years to be able to do better straight cuts, fast cuts and also to cut through thin metals by changing the blade.

Most of these come with blades suitable for wood so make sure to change the blade to the right type, before attacking any screws.

Option 4- Reciprocating Saw

5 x SabreCut SCRS922BF_5 150mm 14 TPI S922BF Fast Wood and Metal Cutting Reciprocating Sabre Saw Blades Compatible with Bosch Dewalt Makita and many others

Reciprocating saws are a handy tool to own for most types of rougher cutting

Like the jigsaw these were made primarily to cut wood, but, there are metal cutting blades available for these as well

The ones shown to the right from Sabrecut work really well for cutting screws quickly.

These blades are slightly longer than a jigsaw blade so you get a little more reach and the saw is easier to move around as well.

In most cases these blades give a fine cut as he blade has a 14TPI set of teeth which means you get quick clean cuts. If you happen to own a reciprocating saw which cost around £70-80, then these blades do a very good job of quickly cutting screws.

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Option 5- Multi Tool Blades for Metal

5 PC Oscillating Tool Blades LEILUO Titanium Oscillating Multitool Blades for Hard Material Metal Nails Wood Oscillating Saw Blade fit Dewalt Rockwell Milwaukee Makita Ryobi

Multi-tools become more and more popular in the UK as they can be used for lots of tasks such as grout removal, sanding, cutting out floor traps, cutting plasterboard holes, cutting pipes, scraping and cutting nails and screws

They cost around £40 for a cheap one and around £90 for a good brand like Makita or Dewalt

Add a metal cutting blade, like those shown to the right and screws will disappear really quickly.

This is our favourite power tool for removing screws really quickly and it also gives you a lot of control. If you don't own one, then we know if you decide to get one, you will be amazed at what they can do.

Check Amazon UK for blades

Option 6- Angle Grinder

Makita GA4530R Angle Grinder Slim 720W 240V, Multicolour, 115 mm/S

Finally the last option is the good old angle grinder - the tool that people pick when all else fails

These are used by welders, fabricators and masons for working with metal

Place a cutting wheel on one of these and you get a fast, precise and clean cutting performance with minimal burr.

Cutting off screws is fast and they work on any type of screw.

Check Amazon UK

These are 6 good options for cutting screws and nails. They will also cut bolts. You can also use a Dremel tool if you happen to own one of those.

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