I've got to cut a section of rectangular stainless tube (1/8" thick, 3" x 3", or about 3mm, 7x7cm) but I'm not allowed to use a grinder because of local rules. A circular saw with a grinding blade is also not allowed. What are my options?

I've got a mini oxy torch, but I've heard they don't work well on stainless. I've got a drill, but I'm not sure how I could do much with it. I'm open to buying a decent hand saw, but I imagine that something this thick and big will take forever.

The cut does not have to be neat or clean at all, and will never be seen.

Any ideas?

  • Oh - and a plasma cutter is out - I don't have one and the only ones I can find to rent are about a hundred bucks a day, unfortunately.
    – Cutting
    Nov 5, 2018 at 12:17
  • The question isn't clear without knowing what the "rules" are attempting to prevent. You either cut or you grind. Why is one approach not an option?
    – isherwood
    Nov 5, 2018 at 13:45
  • @isherwood The rules aren't clear or available to me either, unfortunately. I believe it's to do with the noise, so for example I could use hand tools (or waterjet/plasma cutter if I had the cash.)
    – Cutting
    Nov 5, 2018 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


Welcome to DIY Home Improvement!

1/8" thick really isn't that bad.

You could use a:

  • Hack saw (cheapest method)
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Band saw
  • Reciprocating saw and band saw are most likely out (would probably be considered too similar to a circular saw/grinder) but thanks for the ideas! How painful would a hack saw be? I've got to cut the whole thing, so about a foot of cutting distance in total. I'll be outside, in chilly weather, in an uncomfortable position. Am I looking at 20 minutes? An hour? Three hours? Thanks!
    – Cutting
    Nov 5, 2018 at 13:20
  • @Cutting The time it takes depends on your tools, how easy it is to access the pipe and your own skill. I'd say less than 20 minutes but it all depends. Are you able to take the pipe out? Nov 5, 2018 at 14:16
  • If it's just one cut, it should take less than five minutes with a hacksaw with a good blade. I used a hacksaw this past summer to cut similarly-sized stainless square tubing for the solar array I put up. About 15 cuts in all. Start on a corner and let the saw work down both sides until you get to the opposite corner.
    – stevieb
    Nov 5, 2018 at 14:46
  • @Cutting The hacksaw being referred to is a 12" version, not a 6" junior hacksaw, in case that's what you were thinking of. The former is much more effective. Nov 5, 2018 at 16:45
  • I would get several hack saw blades,you can use leftovers for other work. Try different tooth counts to find what works best. Be sure to use oil. Nov 5, 2018 at 17:27

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