Cutting Metal Closet Rod

Suggestions for saws, blades, and cutters for cutting metal closet rod material. October 27, 2011

I have a job coming up that will involve cutting quite a bit of 1 1/6" closet rod (all to the same length). Whatís the best way to go about this?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:

A couple of ideas:

1. Mitre saw with a stop and a blade appropriate for cutting ferrous or non-ferrous metal, depending on what the rod is made out of. If the lengths are longer than what you can do with a stop attached to the saw's fence, it is pretty easy to rig up something.

2. Metal cut-off saw with a rigged-up stop.

Use gloves, long sleeves and eye protection! Metal bits can bounce off the back of a miter saw and head toward you. Also, don't hook up your dust collection - not a good idea to suck all those hot little shards into a pile of sawdust just waiting for an ignition source.

From contributor F:
Do you have a budget in mind for buying equipment, or are you looking more for DIY style tips? On the fairly inexpensive side I have a horizontal metal cutting bandsaw from Enco that does a great job of cutting steel. It does not have a great stop system for longer lengths, though you could probably come up with something.

On the higher end you can get a cold saw which will probably cut a bit faster and maybe cleaner? Same situation with stops though. Most closet pole stock I've seen is steel so I would not recommend ever trying to cut it on a wood chopsaw regardless of blade. If it's aluminum then you can cut it safely.

From contributor U:
We use an older B and D miter saw that was not being used for wood cutting any longer. I put an abrasive metal cutting blade on there to start with, thinking I would buy a better toothed metal cutting blade on later. Funny thing is I still use that blade after doing quite a few closets. I built a 2 x 4 fence and put a Bismeyer stop on, to get consistent lengths. I already had the stop, so other than time my setup cost was pretty cheap. We do hit the ends where cut on the grinder to smooth them out, to remove burs etc. A typical closet order may have 12 to 36 rods, depending, and we can usually cut them and clean up the ends and wrap them to go in about an hour, usually less.

From contributor K:
Triton steel cutting saw! I have had mine for about four years now and use it for cutting steel and aluminum closet rods. This thing is great and I have recommended it to other guys that might have a use for one. It uses a carbide tip blade to cut mild steel and the blade is fully enclosed while cutting. No sparks like an abrasive blade. It would be well worth the money if you continue to install closets. When I bought mine it came with a stop system for repetitive cuts. The only thing I needed to provide was 1 1/4" square tubing for the stop to slide on.

From contributor H:
I cut chromed steel closet rod with a HolzHer chop saw. It has a two position pulley and I picked the slower blade speed. I use a normal carbide wood blade and the stops that were on the saw. It works very well.

From contributor E:
I've used a saw and I've used a pipe cutter - hands down, the pipe cutter is the way to go. Fast, leaves a nice end as mentioned, and most importantly to me - zero mess. Just don't scrimp on the cutter - cheap ones are exactly that.

From contributor O:
Aluminum is a soft alloy, as mentioned above the pipe cutters can work in addition to any miter saw. Miter saws are better for high volume runs where you will need to cut multiple pieces at, letís say, 36". Otherwise pipe cutter is a great field tool.