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I would like to remove two metal clothesline poles in my backyard. I was thinking of doing it by digging around the poles and cutting using a reciprocating saw.

Is this a decent method? It may be important to note that I would be using a Ryobi battery powered saw, which may not have the same oomph that electric saws have. The pole is shown in the back by the fence.

Should I be buying a particular blade for metal? I am a bit of a noob.

Picture of pole

  • How are the poles secured in the ground? Are they cemented? – mmathis May 17 '17 at 17:50
  • I have not yet dug around to check, but I believe they are. They are very stiff when I try to shake them forcefully. – Shinobii May 17 '17 at 17:51
  • There is probably a good chunk of concrete around the pole , I like to remove the entire thing some times a 4x4 strapped to the pole can be used with a chunk of wood for a fulcrum to pop it out of the ground . – Ed Beal May 17 '17 at 18:53
  • I cut mine off 2 feet below ground level using an angle grinder and an abrasive disk. A recip saw is liable to vibrate your arm off before the poll comes down. I left the concrete plug, 2 feet+ deep, in place. That deep, it does not interfere with my garden tiller. – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 29 '17 at 17:09
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IMO the best option is to dig The whole thing out.

A sabre saw with the right blade will cut it but you'll be left with 5cm+ of jagged pipe sticking out of the ground.

A grinder will cut it down further and tidy the edges, but will still be ugly.

Get digging.

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If you have a Circular Saw - attach a nice CUT OFF WHEEL to it - that clothes line pipe will be cut off in a split 30 seconds or less.

I used a cut off wheel to repair the gates on a metal fence - had thought about the saw thing but man the Cut Off wheel route you will love it, or you can return my answer back.

I bought my cut off wheel at Harbor Freight - it was cheap - about $10.

  • Given that cutoff wheels can fail explosively and PPE is really required when using them and they can still injure you, I would not buy any such thing at Harbor Freight, a store reknowned for selling the cheapest possible Cheese junk, with little regard for the tools' durability or safety. – Harper May 17 '17 at 20:01
  • @Harper - yes PPE should be worn whether he uses a saw or other wise. Harbor also known as China Freight does sell some poor quality tools - some you can find in other box stores - I have also found some pretty decent tools there ; they are better than they used to be. – Ken May 17 '17 at 21:42
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Yes, a recipro-saw is a common approach. Use a fine-toothed metal-cutting blade and don't force it. They'll zip off in under a minute.

If you find that you can't get your cut low enough, go as low as you can, then make two opposing vertical cuts down the center from the top. Whack the quarters outward with a heavy hammer so they're below grade.

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Here is a method that requires no digging or hammering, but it does require a farm jack and chain. Once I tried it, I have never gone back to anything else to remove posts. They come up easily and quickly. When I first tried it I had doubts about the chain slipping, but once it is under tension it grips the metal post (or wood) does not slip.

Obviously you will need to proceed slowly at first to make sure the concrete footing isn't under the fence, but the jack allows you to go slow enough to determine that.

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