How many times has it happened to you that you had to buy a whole new chain just because of one or two partially damaged links? Or, you had to discard a perfectly good chain because you wanted to have a slightly short one? Well, worry no more! In this article, we will throw light on the tips and tricks to cut a chain. So, read on to learn how to cut chain.
How To Cut Chain Using Different Methods?
Method 1: With Bolt Cutters
Well, bolt cutters are the most commonly available and easy to use the tool. It is quite efficient in cutting chain links. So, you can use it for the purpose without a doubt.
Total Time: 1 Hour
First of all, you need a bolt cutter. Now keep in mind that there are various sizes of bolt cutters available in the market. So, pick a suitable size according to the circumference of your chain. The bolt cutter should be large enough for the chain you want to cut. It is safe to buy a large pair of bolt cutters. It will be equally useful for the chains of almost all sizes. So if you have big bolt cutters like 24 inches or 61 cm (approximately), then it will be perfect for cutting virtually all kinds of chains.
Once you get the correct size of bolt cutters, it is time to choose the link of the chain you want to cut. It is essential to determine which link of the chain should be cut.
If you want to shorten the chain, you should first measure the total length of the chain and mark the link from where you want to cut. However, if the chain is damaged and you are willing to repair the whole thing by replacing the damaged part, you need to mark both ends of the part which you want to remove. Use a marker for this purpose. It will help you in cutting the damaged or unwanted part precisely without damaging the chain.
Now that you have marked the chain, it is time to move on to the next step. Place the bolt cutters on the link of the chain you want to cut. Keep in mind that you need to open the blades of the bolt cutters and place the chain links you want to cut in between the blades properly. Try to fit the chains in the bolt cutters as far as you can. It will help you to apply maximum pressure on the chain links. So, it will be easy for you to cut them.
However, if you only want to cut one side of the chain, you should put only one side inside the bolt cutters.
Once again, analyze what you need before moving forward. If you want the chain to break apart, then cut only one chain link. But, if you’re going to replace a part of the chain, cut from both sides. Also, if you keep the chain positioned far inside the blades of the bolt cutters, it will provide more leverage. So, it will be easy to cut it.
Method 2: With Hacksaw
Many times you will find bolt cutters to be not useful in cutting chains. If the chain is too thick or is made of hardened metal, it is challenging to cut chain with the bolt cutters. So, in situations like that, you can use a hacksaw.
The first step in this method is to choose a hacksaw suitable for your requirement. Make sure to use a hacksaw with a fine-toothed blade. It will make your job easy.
Now, this is a similar and straightforward step. You must decide which link you want to cut. Before cutting the chain, you must mark it. Use a marker to mark the specific spots on the chain where you want to cut chain.
Also, keep in mind that if you cut a link once, it will be permanently damaged. So, measurements need to be taken accordingly. Be sure of the required length of the chain and measure it by excluding the link which you are about to cut to maintain the accurate length.
Now that the length of the chain is decided and it is appropriately marked let us move on. Now take the chain and put it on the workbench. Also, secure it with a clamp or vise to ensure that it should not move while cutting. Also, it is essential to keep in mind that you should keep the chain secured but in a position that allows you to cut the portion you want to cut.
Another possible scenario that you may face is if the chain is already attached to something. In that case, you need to keep the chain steady with the help of your hands or by the support of the item it is attached to. Although, it will be tough to hold it in your hands while cutting.
Now that the chain is all adjusted, let us start sawing. Put the blade of the hacksaw at the position of the chain-link you want to cut. Begin sawing the chain. Keep sawing until the chain is cut into two parts. Be patient as the process is going to take time as well as strength on your part.
Method 3: Angle Grinder
It may happen that manual tools or strength are not entirely enough for cutting the chain owing to its size, thickness, or constituent metal. In such cases, you can resort to a power tool like an angle grinder.
At first secure the chain on a vise or clamp. Make sure that the chain is on a flat surface. Place the chain in a fashion that keeps it steady and exposes the link, which is to be cut to make your job easy.
Mark the chains properly. It does not matter which tool you are using to cut the chain; you must mark the chain accurately. You should measure the chain and mark the desired spots with the help of a marker to make sure that you cut on the right spot.
Also, ensure that you are using the correct blade. You must use a metal cutting wheel to cut chain link. If you use incorrect blades, it will jeopardize the whole project. You will not get the desired results. If the blade is not right, it could damage the chain and also harm you.
Now you need to stop for a moment and arrange for the safety gear. Since you are working with a power tool, be sure to use all safety equipment and take all measures to ensure a safe working environment for yourself. You must wear gloves, protective eyewear, ear muffs, and a face shield. It Is advisable to wear a shirt with long sleeves and a full pair of trousers.
Now that you are all ready and secure let us start working. Plugin the angle grinder and turn it on. Start cutting the chain. Place the blade on the marked spot of the chain in a manner that it is at an angle of 90° from the chain-link you are cutting. This is a power tool. So, you do not need to apply much pressure. Just hold the grinder firmly and apply minimum but steady pressure.
When you are done with one side, you should wait for a few minutes as the chain must be hot where it has been cut. Then carefully turn it over and put the chain in a reverse fashion. Secure it with the clamp or vise. Repeat the whole process of cutting. Keep cutting until the chain is divided into two completely separate parts.
Method 4: Small Pliers
This method is helpful when you need to cut through small and delicate chains. For example, chains of jewelry or necklace, etc. Since the chain is delicate and extremely small, not to mention very expensive, you do not want to damage it by roughly cutting it. Moreover, big power tools and muscle power are not going to help in this case. You need something small and sharp. So, to solve this problem, you can use pliers.
For this method, you need a small plier. The small pliers are of many types and are designed differently to suit different purposes. The one you need is commonly called ‘Nipper.’ Nippers are explicitly designed to cut thin metal, like chains or wires, etc.
Now put the chain on a flat surface. Place the part you want to cut inside the pliers. Adjust the chain carefully between the blades so that it cuts only the part that you want to cut. As the chain is not very hard or thick, it will not require much pressure while cutting.
Things You Need
- Bolt Cutters
- Angle Grinders
- Clamp or Vise
- Small cutting pliers
Cutting a chain seems to be a challenging and tiring job. But it is pretty easy and fun. With the help of the tricks we have listed above and some readily available tools, you will be able to cuthow to cut chain chain in no time.
Just make sure that you take all necessary precautions while working with power tools. So, go ahead and try the methods.