How to Cut Open a Acetylene Tank

Many people don’t know that acetylene tanks can be cut open and the gas inside used. So if you have an empty tank lying around or have come across one, you can save money by cutting it open instead of buying a new tank. Acetylene is great for welding, brazing, melting metals at high temperatures, and creating flames hot enough to cut metal.

How to Cut Open a Acetylene Tank

If you’re interested in using this ability, then keep reading this blog post on how to cut open a acetylene tank! There are several ways to go about cutting open an acetylene tank, so we’ll cover them all here. Keep in mind that there’s no right way because everyone has the method they prefer to use, but these are some common ones. Let’s get started!

10 Ways on How to Cut Open a Acetylene Tank

1. Find the Fill Valve

The acetylene tank will have a metal or rubber cover at its head. First, find the fill valve, and get a good grip on it with pliers if possible. Then, carefully cut around the valve using the most significant bit you have (preferably a Sawzall).

2. Make Holes in the Side of the Tank

Before Proceeding, You may want to make 2-3 small holes in the side of the tank. The idea here is that when you force acetylene gas through water (which is inside all the air-acetylene bubbles), it will separate into hydrogen and oxygen.

Make Holes in the Side of the Tank

These gases are highly flammable, so if they build up pressure inside the tank, the entire thing could explode. The small holes will allow these gases to escape safely through the top of the tank. When you are done cutting, use a rag or some other object to plug these holes so they won’t leak gas everywhere.

3. Slice Through the Metal

Using your most significant bit again, carefully cut around where the tank’s head meets the side. Make sure you are putting on a slight diagonal angle downwards so that when you cut through it, there will be more bottom-to-side strength than top to bottom power.

Once your cut is about halfway down the side of the tank (be careful not to cut all the way), stop cutting and insert another bit from your saw. This bit will make a perfect scoreline, and once it is through, the entire tank will fall open like a clamshell.

4. Use a Shrapnel Guard

A shrapnel guard is an object made to catch the pieces of steel after you cut through them. These are usually used by people who have to cut many pieces of metal very quickly, so using one will save you time. If you don’t have one, it’s not that big of a deal if some pieces of steel fall in your area.

5. Use a Sawzall with a Blade Cover

A blade cover is the cheapest alternative to using a shrapnel guard. It works by covering up the saw blade when you aren’t cutting through something. If you are trying to cut open the tank, this may be good enough for you.

6. Cut the Top of the Tank Off First

Using the same technique as before, cut through one of the top corners of the tank. This will leave you with a triangular piece still attached to the bottom part of the tank. Cut through this triangle until everything falls open like a clamshell.

7. Use an Angle Grinder With A Cutting Wheel

An angle grinder with a cutting wheel is excellent for cutting larger pieces of steel very quickly. If you plan to make more than one tank; then, you can keep the blade wet with water or acetone. Just be careful not to hit any gas-filled portions of the tank because it will blow up.

Use an Angle Grinder With A Cutting Wheel

8. Use a Plasma Cutter

A plasma cutter cuts through steel by sending an electric arc through a gas channel (like oxygen or acetylene). A good idea for this process is to make the channel as small as possible, so that’s why we suggest making a few small holes in the side of an acetylene tank. After you cut it open with the plasma cutter, plug up the holes so there won’t be gas everywhere.

9. Use a Bull Saw

If you have access to one, using a bull saw is great because you can tilt it at an angle and go through the side of the tank quickly and easily. Just be careful not to hit the fill valve, and make sure there aren’t any gas-filled parts of the tank on either side of where you are cutting.

10. Use a Grinder

Using a grinder is the most challenging way to cut through an acetylene tank. If you have no other option, try using a rough grinding wheel so it won’t take as long to get through the side of the tank. After that, keep cutting on top of where you left off, and eventually, all that will be left is the top part of the tank.

Some Tips and Suggestions

1. Never use a dull chainsaw or cut-off tool as it will take longer and won’t be as effective.

2. Ensure that you have thoroughly drained all of the gas out of the tank before cutting by first removing the regulator and outlet valve; this will also make it easier to cut.

Do Drained All of the Gas Out of the Tank

3. Always wear proper personal protective equipment like gloves, eye protection, and hearing protection (foam earplugs).

4. Wear old clothes that you don’t care about as they will probably get ruined. Wear strong shoes or steel-toed boots as well. Also, wear a dust mask if the tank is really dirty because the dust will get everywhere.

5. Always have a well-ventilated area to cut the tank in. If you are cutting indoors, have the exhaust fan on high so that it can dissipate all of the fumes from inside your shop/house.

6. Ensure that nobody is standing near you when you cut open the tank because any acetylene gas will be released, and you don’t want anybody else to be exposed to it.


Use an oxygen-acetylene torch or an oxyacetylene welder to cut open an acetylene tank safely. Acetone is highly flammable and can cause serious injury if not handled with care. We recommend that you always wear safety goggles when handling acetones and gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals in this product. 

Lastly, be sure to take appropriate preventive measures before cutting into any gas cylinder so that there’s no risk of accidental release during operation due to human error or equipment malfunctioning! We hope this blog post on how to cut open a acetylene tank has been helpful. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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