How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

It’s happened to all of us. You’re trying to tighten or loosen a bolt, but you just can’t get the darn thing to turn. In some cases, it’s because the bolt is too tight, and in others, it’s because the space around the bolt is too tight. If you’re dealing with a stuck bolt in a tight space, don’t worry – there are ways to get the job done. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to cut off a bolt in a tight space using various techniques and tools. Stay tuned for tips on how to make this process as easy as possible!

How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

Whether you’re a mechanic or just trying to fix a broken shelf, sometimes you need to cut a bolt off in a tight space. It can seem daunting, but with the right tools and some know-how, it’s not too hard. Here are some tips for cutting bolts in tight spaces.

Why Do You Need to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space?

1. To Replace the Stripped Bolt

Stripped bolts can often be difficult to remove, and replacing them can provide a more secure fix. So, cutting off the damaged bolt is necessary in order to replace it with a new one.

2. To Make Room for Wider Fixings

In certain situations, the bolt may obstruct access to the area and hinder the installation of wider fixings such as brackets or supports. In these cases, cutting off the bolt can create more space for these larger fixings.

3. To Make Room for Larger Bolt Sizes

In some cases, the current bolt may not be able to support the weight or hold the necessary tension for the application. Cutting off the current bolt allows for a larger size to be installed in its place.

Tools You Will Need to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

  1. Angle grinder
  2. Cut-off wheel
  3. Safety goggles and gloves
  4. Wrench to hold the bolt in place
  5. Vice grip (optional)

How to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space in 6 Steps

Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools

Make sure you have a hacksaw or angle grinder and protective gear such as goggles and gloves. Gathering all necessary tools is important before starting the process. So make sure you have everything you need before beginning.

Make Sure You Have a Hacksaw

Step 2: Determine How Much Bolt Needs to be Cut Off

Measure how much of the bolt needs to be cut off in order to have enough space for a wrench or socket to fit. Mark the measurement with a pen or marker on the bolt. But make sure not to cut off too much of the bolt, as it may weaken its structural integrity.

Step 3: Secure the Bolt

Make sure to clamp down or secure the bolt before cutting to avoid any accidents or injuries. It is very important to ensure that the bolt is stable and immobile before proceeding to cut. Otherwise, the bolt may move while being cut and cause harm to yourself or damage to surrounding objects.

Step 4: Cut with a Rotary Tool

Using a rotary tool, such as a Dremel, begin cutting through the bolt. Make sure to continuously move the tool in smooth, steady motions to ensure an even cut and avoid damaging the surrounding area.

Step 5: Use a Bolt Cutter

If a rotary tool is not available, a bolt cutter can also be used to cut through the bolt. Place the jaws of the bolt cutter over the bolt and squeeze the handles together to cut through it. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this may also damage the surrounding area.

A Bolt Cutter Can Also Be Used

Step 6: Remove the Remaining Bolt Pieces

Once the bolt has been successfully cut, use pliers or a wrench to remove any remaining pieces from the area. Dispose of these materials properly and clean up any excess debris from the cutting process.

Remember to always use caution and proper safety measures when using tools, especially during the cutting process. And always double-check to make sure you have enough space for a wrench or socket before beginning the cutting process.

Some Additional Tips to Cut Off a Bolt in a Tight Space

1. Use a Flexible Metal Cutting Blade

These blades are designed to bend and fit into tight spaces, making them perfect for cutting off bolts in tight areas. Otherwise, a standard metal cutting blade may not be able to fit or maneuver around the tight space.

2. Use Electrical or Pneumatic Power Tools

Manually cutting off bolts with a hand tool can be time-consuming and physically strenuous, especially in a tight space. Using an electric or pneumatic power tool with a flexible metal cutting blade can make the job much easier and faster.

3. Use a Bolt Cutter

If all else fails, using a bolt cutter may be the best option for cutting off a bolt in a tight space. However, this method may not work for larger bolts or if there is not enough room for the jaws of the bolt cutter to fit around the bolt.

4. Use a Sawzall or Reciprocating Saw

Using a saw with a metal cutting blade can also be effective in cutting off bolts in tight spaces. However, be cautious when using power tools in tight spaces to prevent injury and damage to surrounding materials.

5. Consider Alternative Methods

If none of the above options are feasible, consider alternative methods, such as using a hacksaw or grinder to cut off the bolt. However, these methods may not be as efficient and may result in rough cuts on the bolt. Overall, properly assessing the situation and choosing the right tool for the job will make cutting off a bolt in a tight space much easier and safer.

Always use caution and follow proper safety guidelines when using tools to cut off bolts. And remember to assess the situation before beginning in order to choose the right method for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Determine the Best Tool for Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space? 

Consider the size and material of the bolt and choose a corresponding cutting tool, such as an angle grinder or hacksaw. Make sure the tool can fit and maneuver easily in a tight space.

Consider the Size And Material of the Bolt

What Safety Precautions Should I Take Before Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space? 

Wear protective gear, such as goggles and gloves, to protect against flying debris. Secure the object to prevent it from moving while cutting. And ensure that any nearby flammable materials are kept away from the cutting tool.

What Can I Do if My Cutting Tool Gets Stuck on the Bolt? 

Try using a lubricant, such as 40, to loosen the bolt before attempting to cut it again. If the tool is still stuck, consider using a different cutting tool or enlisting the help of a professional.

What Can I Do With the Remaining Bolt Stump After Cutting? 

Depending on the size and material, you can use pliers or a bolt extractor tool to remove the remaining stump. Alternatively, you can fill in the hole with a plug or patch. Always dispose of any metal scraps properly.

Is It Possible to Avoid Cutting Off a Bolt in a Tight Space? 

In some cases, it may be possible to loosen and remove the bolt without cutting it off. Use penetrating oil and try using pliers or a wrench to turn the bolt before resorting to cutting. If all else fails, carefully plan and follow the steps for cutting off the bolt in a tight space.

Remove the Bolt Without Cutting It


If you’re ever in a situation where you need to cut off a bolt, but there’s not enough space to use a saw, power drill, or even pliers, don’t worry. With a little ingenuity and the right tools, you can get the job done quickly and easily. Next time you’re stuck with a tight space-cutting dilemma, remember these tips on how to cut off a bolt in a tight space.

So, whether you’re a professional mechanic or someone who just likes to work on their own car, remember these tips the next time you need to cut off a bolt in a tight space. With the right tools and techniques, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. And if you ever have any trouble, our team of experts is always here to help. 

Jennifer Branett
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