So our new place came with an old antiquated huge satellite dish in the yard. Getting it down wasn't much trouble, but I'm stuck trying to figure out how to get the big steel post it sat on out of the way.

The original plan was to just sawzall the thing down below ground level, cover it up, and forget about it. Except this thing pretty much just laughs at my sawzall while the blade just tickles it.

So without having to potentially dig multiple feet down to dig the whole thing out, can someone recommend a better blade? It's my first time trying some longer than usual Diablo steel cutting blades you see in the image.

Or would I need to find a buddy with welding gear? I could swear I've cut stuff worse than this before with the sawzall so I'd prefer to go that route if possible.

enter image description here enter image description here

EDIT : So far I've found that the Diablo Steel Demon DS0908BFD AND The Diablo Diamond Grit "Cast Iron Cutting" blades were pretty much worthless against this thing. I sat there for about 15 minutes with the diamond grit blade expecting something and got nothing but disappointment. Pipe 1, Sawzall 0 :(

  • A cut off saw with a steel and a metal cutoff wheel should cut it down. Maybe a saw blade will work but it would take a long time.
    – treeNinja
    Jul 3, 2014 at 18:53
  • @treeNinja ya see that's what I'm afraid of. Do you know a good hand held model to recommend?
    – Chris W.
    Jul 3, 2014 at 18:59
  • Added an edit update to end of the question. Going to have to try something else.
    – Chris W.
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:29
  • 1
    Chris, it has been almost two years. What was the outcome?
    – wallyk
    Apr 24, 2016 at 22:50
  • Traditionally cast iron plumbing was cut using a cold chisel as described here. There is also a "snap cutter". Sep 11, 2017 at 15:47

6 Answers 6


It will probably be 3 to 6 hours of non-skilled labor (neighborhood kids?) to dig up the concrete and remove the whole assembly. Don't cut the post off: it will help wiggle out the base.

Dig a hole immediately to one side of the concrete base of a convenient size. (There is no need to dig all around it.) A post hole digger works great. Make the hole at least as wide (front to back) as the concrete so you can tip the concrete into the hole. The hole need not be as wide (left to right) as the concrete; only enough to detach it from the surrounding soil. The concrete depth should be at least 36 inches below the frost depth, but that is hard work and most people would go 24–30 inches and call it good. (Also note that link says a standard parallel-sided hole is not desirable, but most installers use an auger or post hole digger so it is unlikely to be pyramid shaped.)

The block of concrete will weigh up to 250 pounds, so no need to be polite and dainty when trying to move it. Roping it to a heavy vehicle, tree, boulder, etc. and jumping on the line would not be overkill to gain sufficient force.

Once it is out, use a sledgehammer or blunt end of a splitting maul on the concrete to break it off the pipe and into easy-to-carry and easy-to-use pieces for trimming a garden, driveway fill, etc. Then you'll also have a sturdy pipe to build a fountain, chime, etc. too.

  • 2
    This is close enough to what we ended up doing, except I just took some quick swipes with a breaker bar and a sledge to brake the base and yank it out. Thanks.
    – Chris W.
    Apr 25, 2016 at 0:29

The first thing is to check is that you are using the correct blade type. The one in you picture looks like it might be a wood blade, but I can't be certain. There are various qualities of metal blades, so considering the thickness, you might opt for a higher quality (more expensive) blade. Don't be surprised if you go through a few blades on this.

Alternatively, an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel would probably do the trick - slowly though.

  • I think an angle grinder may have to be the next attempt, thanks for the suggestion.
    – Chris W.
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:31

That pipe is most likely cast so your bi-metal blades aren't going to cut it (forgive the pun). You need one of the Lenox Gold recip blades. There's few varieties but any of the Gold line should cut that pipe, or there's some specifically designed for cast although I believe those are more expensive. I've cut hardened steel concrete anchors with the diamond encrusted Lenox blades and it zips through them like butter.

  • I might just have to try and find one of the blades your recommend, I tried a Diablo Diamond grit "cast iron cutting" blade with no joy so far.
    – Chris W.
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:33
  • Yeah they're a little harder to come by. My local plumbing supply place carries Lenox because plumbers use them to deal with old cast and galvanized pipes. They're worth the search though, they make Diablo's look like a nail file.
    – user23534
    Jul 9, 2014 at 3:13
  • Hell at this stage in the game a nail file makes them look like a nail file lol. First and last time trying them for me, too bad home depot's apparently married to them since it's pretty much the only selection in the store nearest to me...
    – Chris W.
    Jul 9, 2014 at 3:22

You need a sawzall blade with a diamond grit rather than teeth. That way, it abrades the metal rather than really cutting it--same approach that angle grinders take.

It'll be cheaper to buy a top-of-the-line abrasive blade than an angle grinder, so I would do that, especially seeing how you already have a nice sawzall (I have the same one and love it). I have used the Milwaukee Torch blade on mine, and it cuts through cast iron pretty well.

  • Or carbide grit. Serious metal-cutting blade in any case.
    – keshlam
    Jul 4, 2014 at 6:29
  • Tried the Diablo Diamond "Cast Iron Cutting" blade, and it barely scratched the surface after a 15min attempt. Disappointing, I may try to find a Torch blade to try. That Bosch has done awesome in the past, and I could swear I've cut worse before with it and the bosch brand metal blade.
    – Chris W.
    Jul 8, 2014 at 15:31

I just cut down a 4" steel basketball pole at my daughters house. I used my 4" side grinder. If it takes you over 15 minutes I would be surprised. Any brand of grinder would be fine. Odds are that is carbon steel, not cast iron. Good luck. Try this method first.


You can hit the concrete with a sledge and it may put out. Go around all the way with the sledge.

Another option is to cut it off a foot or so off the ground and then hit the pipe with a sledge to knock it though and break free of the concrete.

If you have a bobcat or an good ole truck you can pull it over by attaching a rope or chain to the top of the pole and pulling it over.

A torch would be the fastest, but be careful of the concrete as it will pop.

Wear eye protection, and ear protection!!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.