I'm comparing two budget rebar bender and cutter products (Crescent or HIT Tools), not sure the grade of steel Crescent is able to handle other than "soft or mild steel", HIT mentions up to grade 60.

Is there a relative grade range that is considered soft or mild? The most common grades available seems to be 40, 60, 75, 80, and 100.

  • In terms of steel specifications , "mild , and soft" do not mean anything ; so they can mean whatever the the tool maker wants. Mar 27, 2021 at 20:14
  • My understanding is that rebar can often be harder than you might expect - too strong not being a problem. I suggest skipping the mechanical shear approach and moving right to abrasive cutoff wheel in a grinder. So either buy "just a bender" or pick to tool based on how it bends.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 28, 2021 at 3:03

2 Answers 2


The International Residential Code (IRC) requires a minimum of 40,000 psi (Grade 40). (See ICC IRC R404.4.6.1)

I think most architects and engineers design for Grade 40 or 50, because they are readily available.

If your working in a high seismic zone or high wind area, they may use a higher grade. Also, commercial work is often Grade 80.


I would get the best cutter that you can find. I have not read an ASTM rebar specification in many years , However , they were relatively tolerant . So they can be double stamped ; A mill can make all one grade which simplifies their operation . So they could make all Grade 75 and supply it for all lower grades because it easily meets the tensile requirements. So 40 could be ordered and 75 is supplied. So you may need to cut something harder than you expect. Although when they cut rebar for my house they used an abrasive wheel where the grade makes little difference.

  • I am not experienced in dealing with rebar, but why would people use an abrasive wheel? Aren't there "bolt cutter" type devices which can cut rebar easily with no sparks, no power requirements, etc., etc.? Is it that there will be a circular saw on any job and so the incremental cost of an abrasive wheel makes it the cheapest method? Mar 28, 2021 at 19:22
  • 1
    It was awhile ago ; I think is was a "chop saw" and could use wood saw blades or an abrasive disc. Mar 28, 2021 at 23:07

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