What Will Cut Through Nails Or Screws

What Will Cut Through Nails Or Screws?

Sometimes you may need to remove old, rusty screws or nails that do not have a proper head anymore to get them out.

Then, the only option to remove nails or screws is to work with some power tools.

We take a look at the three ways that help you to remove bent nails or stripped screws, including grinding, snipping and sawing, using things such as a bolt cutter, or even a hacksaw.


If you want to get rid of the head of a nail or a screw that’s protruding through the material, then the easiest way to do this is through snipping.

This can be done using either bolt cutters or wire cutters, and you will need to choose your tool depending on the hardness of the metal and the fastener’s diameter.

This can be time consuming, but will ensure a perfect cut that preserves the look of the finished product, provided you are using the ideal tool, and one that can allow you to apply enough power.

Wire Cutters

The common wire cutters have a couple of beveled blades which bypass each other or they cut against each other.

Beveled blades that strike against each other are usually also call anvil cutters, and they are ideal for cutting screws and nails, which means that they can require less effort to use than even the best tool.

It’s best to buy a wire cutter with long hands as this will give you more leverage and power.

However, this type of wire cutter isn’t easy to handle, so may not fit into your tool belt, which can make it more difficult to get access to precise cutting.

Bolt Cutters

Another way of snipping a nail or screw is with bolt cutters. They are the heavy-duty type of wire cutter.

Bolt cutters have long handles which make them easier to apply the right force to snip the screw or nail.

Bolt cutters are particularly good when you want to cut fasteners that have a larger diameter.

However, this also means that they are large tools meaning you will need some space around the nail or screw to get near.

This doesn’t make bolt cutters ideal for every job.

When you are working with both wire cutters and bolt cutters, you need to make sure that the tool fits fully around shank of the screw or nail you want to cut.

If the nail or screw is embedded in the material, then you will need to create some room. For example, you may need to chisel out some wood.

The tool needs to sit closely to the pivot point. This is essential to get the maximum force for the cut.


While the snipping method is a good option when you want to cut the head of a screw or nail off, it can be faster to saw through the fastener, especially if it’s a thicker screw or nail.

Another use case for using the sawing method is when you want to cut through a nail or screw that connect two pieces of plastic, wood or metal.

If you use this option, then make sure that you are using metal-cutting blades which can saw through almost anything.

With these blades, you can also use almost any type of saw for cutting metal, including circular saws. They typically have around 10 teeth per inch.

However, the best saws used for cutting screws and nails are using a reciprocating action

Reciprocating Saws 

Also known as Sawzalls, reciprocating saws are the go-to sawing tools for cutting screws and nails that are used on construction sites. You can also find them on demolition sites.

Reciprocating saws can cut almost any size and diameter of fastener.

Thanks to the design, you can insert them into a small space around the screw or nail, and ensure the tool is fastened to a solid surface.

This will reduce vibration and makes the cutting much more effective.


Jigsaws work in a similarly powerful way as reciprocating saws but their disadvantage is that they need to rest on a solid surface where the blade hangs over the edge.

Saying this, the jigsaw’s design makes it a much more accurate and effective tool to cut screws and snails but unfortunately, it isn’t as versatile as a reciprocating saw.


A hacksaw is essentially a manual version of a reciprocating saw or a jigsaw. Hacksaws have a straight blade, and their large frames keep the blade tight.

This makes sawing easier and more effective.


Keyhole Saws

A keyhole saw has a blade that tapers to a point at one end, and a handle at the other.

Keyhole saws are also manual saws that can be used to cut nails and screws easily.

Thanks to their smaller frame, you can use them as cutting tool if you do not have enough clearance around the fastener.


With a grinder and its diamond grinding wheels, you can smoothly cut through bolts, nails and screws.

These strong and durable grinding wheels can be usually attached to small or large rotary cutters, so you can choose the right size tool for the job.

Angle Grinders

Probably the most powerful metal-cutting tool on the market is the angle grinder. It typically comes with large cutting blades with a diameter of 4.5 inches

Angle grinders are very popular with metal workings when they want to cut heavy bolts.

As a rotary tool, angle grinders use their grinding wheel to cut through any kind of material.

One big advantage with an angle grinder is that it is small in size, so you can maneuver it in small spaces.

Oscillating Tool

Oscillating tools are very similar to angle grinders. They also have a small size, and you can attach almost any kind of blade to them.

Oscillating tools are very versatile because they come with a large range of attachments which can be used to cut fasteners, or even for other DIY projects.

But they are also popular with electricians, plumbers and other tradesmen.

This type of cutting tool is also used for sanding, so you can smooth a surface once you cut a nail or screw.

If you select a multipurpose oscillating blade, it can cut through almost any material, including metal, wood and plastic.

The specific blades available for your oscillating tool depend on the manufacturer and what type of tool you have.

Final Thoughts

When you are looking to remove a nail or screw from wood, plastic or other surfaces, then you will need a power tool to either extract the fastener or cut through it.

All the tools we mentioned above cut through screws and nails effectively, as long as you use a specific blade that cuts through metal.

You will also need to make sure that the blade has at least ten teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Blade Should You Use For Cutting Through Nails?

If you want to cut through metal nails or screws with a saw or any other tool, then you will need to ensure that you use a metal-cutting blade suitable for the job.

This specific type of cutting blade should have at least 10 teeth and it should be specially coated to make sure that the material is durable.

There are a number of different tools that you can use to cut through nails, as long as they use the correct metal cutting blade.

How Many Teeth Should Your Blade Have For Cutting Through Nails?

You should use a metal-cutting blade that has a minimum of 10 teeth to cut through nails and other metal fasteners.


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