How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

When assembling furniture, repairing parts on a car, or building something from scratch, there may be times when you need to remove a bolt from an area with limited space. Cutting off the head of the bolt is the quickest and easiest way to remove it, but doing so in a tight space can feel like an impossible task. In these situations, it is important to have the right tool and techniques so you can complete your job without damaging the surrounding material.

How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

The main advantage of learning to cut off a bolt in a tight space is that it can save you time, energy, and even money. Removing a stuck or rusted bolt without the right tools can be extremely difficult and time-consuming. By using the proper technique to cut off the head of a bolt, you will be able to remove it quickly and easily. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to cut off a bolt in a tight space.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

Step 1: Inspect the Bolt

Before you attempt to cut off a bolt in a tight space, make sure the bolt is actually unusable and needs to be removed. You can inspect the bolt using a wrench or socket to check if the head of the bolt is still usable, allowing you to unscrew it rather than cutting it off.

Step 2: Choose the Tool

Once you’ve determined that the bolt needs to be cut off, choose the appropriate tool. If possible, use a reciprocating saw to reach into tight spaces and make cuts on either side of the bolt head. This will ensure minimal damage to surrounding surfaces and make it easier to remove. Alternatively, a cutoff wheel or hack saw can be used as a more economical option.

Step 3: Secure the Bolt

Secure the bolt to prevent it from spinning while cutting. You can use a pair of locking pliers, a vise grip, or an adjustable wrench to securely hold onto the bolt head and keep it in place. Based on your chosen cutting tool, make a cut through the bolt. Start with one side and cut until the bolt’s threading emerges from the other side. Keep in mind that if you’re using a hack saw or cutoff wheel, you may need to finish the cut by switching to a smaller blade.

Make a Cut Through the Bolt

Step 4: Remove the Bolt Head

Now, you can gently remove the bolt head from the surrounding material. If needed, you may need to use a chisel or screwdriver to pry it out carefully. If necessary, you can cut through the threading by using a hacksaw blade or cutoff wheel. This will ensure that all of the remaining threads are removed from the bolt hole, and removing any remaining pieces of the bolt from tight spaces is easier.

Step 5: Clean Up

Now that you’ve successfully cut off the bolt clean up any metal shavings that have been created by your chosen cutting tool. You can use a soft brush to gently sweep away the debris from around the area and ensure there are no sharp edges or pieces of metal that could pose a hazard. Measure the depth of the cut-off bolt to determine what size replacement bolt you will need.

Step 6: Purchase Replacement Bolt

Purchase a new bolt that matches your measurements and is appropriate for the application. Make sure to select one that fits both the hole diameter and thread pitch, as this will ensure an easy installation process. Once you’ve purchased the replacement bolt, install it using a wrench or socket and make sure it is securely tightened. This will ensure that your new bolt is strong enough to withstand any future stress or strain.

Install It Using a Wrench

By following these simple steps, you can easily cut off a bolt in a tight space and replace it with a new one. Remember to take safety precautions when using any tools, such as gloves and protective glasses, to avoid unnecessary injuries or accidents.

Safety Tips for How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

  1. Wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, before starting to work on the bolt.
  2. Make sure that there is adequate ventilation for fumes from the cutting process.
  3. Secure the area around the bolt with clamps or a vice to avoid injury if it moves when being cut off.
  4. Check that any nearby wiring or pipes are cleared before starting to cut.
  5. Ensure the blades used to cut off the bolt are in good condition and sharp.
  6. Use a lubricant on the bolt so that it is easier to cut through and reduce friction, which can be dangerous.
  7. Disconnect power sources such as batteries or mains electricity before starting to work on a tight bolt.

By following these safety tips, you will be able to safely cut off a bolt in a tight space with minimal risk of injury or damage to the surrounding area.

What Are the Common Mistakes People Make When Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space? 

One of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to cut off a bolt in a tight space is not properly measuring the space. Accurately measuring the accessible area and determining which tool fits in that area is essential for the successful completion of this project. Another mistake is using an incorrect reciprocating saw blade for cutting off a bolt. A 24-TPI (teeth per inch) blade is ideal for cutting off a bolt in tight spaces.

Finally, many people make the mistake of not bracing the saw against something solid during the process. Using a clamp or vise to steady the reciprocating saw will ensure that it remains secure and can prevent accidents.

It is important to properly measure the space you are working with and use the correct tools to cut off a bolt in a tight space. Additionally, bracing the saw against something solid will greatly improve accuracy and help ensure safety during this project.

Ensure Safety During This Project

Is There a Specific Technique or Method for Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space? 

Yes, you can employ several specific techniques and methods to cut off a bolt in a tight space. The first step is to use the right tools for the job, including an angle grinder, hacksaw blade, or rotary tool with a cutting disc. You should also have some vice grips or another type of locking pliers to hold the bolt. Once you have all your tools ready, you’ll need to position yourself so that you can access the bolt from an angle that gives you plenty of room to maneuver.

This may require adjusting the angles and lengths of the extension cords attached to your tools and using adjustable arms on stands or other objects for extra stability. Next, you should slowly begin cutting off the bolt. Be sure to use a slow and steady pressure for best results. Depending on the bolt size and type of metal, it may be wise to cut twice in opposite directions so as not to put too much stress on any side.

How Can You Protect Yourself and the Surrounding Area When Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space?  

Safety should be your top priority whenever you attempt to cut off a bolt in a tight space. To ensure that the entire process is done safely and correctly, there are several precautions that you can take while cutting off a bolt in a tight space:

Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space
  • Wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves to protect yourself from flying debris or sparks.
  • Make sure that the area around you is clear of any combustible materials so that it does not catch fire if sparks are produced during cutting.
  • Secure your workpiece to a workbench or other secure surface so that it doesn’t move around while you’re working on it.
  • If the bolt is rusted, use a lubricant to make it easier for you to cut off.
  • Make sure that your cutting tool is sharp and in good condition before using it. A dull or damaged cutting tool can cause the bolt to be more difficult to cut off and even risk damaging the surrounding area.

By following these safety precautions, you’ll be able to cut off a bolt in a tight space without putting yourself or the surrounding area at risk.


The main disadvantage of cutting off a bolt in a tight space is the potential for sparking, which can be dangerous and damaging. Sparks can ignite flammable materials nearby, create a fire hazard or spark an explosion. It also increases the possibility of injuries from flying sparks, so safety goggles should always be worn when working on any type of project with a cutting tool.

In conclusion, cutting off a bolt in a tight space is not easy, but it can be done. Having the right tools and supplies, such as a hacksaw, power drill, and an oscillating saw, will make the job easier. Using proper safety measures to protect yourself from injury will also help keep you safe during the process. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to cut off a bolt in a tight space. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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