I've got the top of an old rusty bolt sticking out the ground in a corner (see image) I've tried flattening it with a heavy hammer. Can't get a hacksaw in there. Suggestions for leveling that bolt to the surface?

enter image description here


Since it appears to be in dirt, dig it out would appear to be an option. If there's actually concrete under the dirt, chisel it out is still an option.

I'm unclear as to how that's not accessible to a hacksaw - looks plenty accessible to me. Other than a hacksaw, a sawzall (reciprocating saw) or angle grinder with cutoff disk are typical powertool approaches. An oxy-acetylene cutting torch would be another way.

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    I like an angle grinder with a thin blade for cutoff's like this if you hit the cement the disk can handle it.+ – Ed Beal Jul 10 '16 at 17:51
  • It's in concrete, it just looks like dirt. Thanks for the ideas. I'll look for some tools at Home Depot this week. The problem with the hacksaw is that it's flat against the concrete below and there's only a tiny distance to move it. – Guy Jul 11 '16 at 4:58

Try one of those oscillating multi-tools. They can cut metal (with the right blade), and cut flush to the surface, even in a corner.

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    @DMoore Even if the objective wasn't to flush cut a bolt on the ground (meaning you can basically lay the tool on the ground as you cut) my oscillating multitool is very easy to handle and would take it over my angle grinder or sawzall in this case for sure. – statueuphemism Jul 13 '16 at 11:21
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    @statueuphemism - I have used oscillating with a great bit, and it take 4-5 mins to get through rebar compared to 15 seconds with angle grinder, plus the bit wouldn't last more than two rebar sticks. – DMoore Jul 13 '16 at 14:21
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    @DMoore The angle grinder provides a rough cut that still wasn't perfectly flush with the floor, correct? Not that it needs to be perfectly flush in all cases, but for a perfectly flush cut to the ground, it's hard to beat an oscillating multitool in my opinion. – statueuphemism Jul 13 '16 at 14:58
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    @statueuphemism - Actually I have found the opposite. The oscillating tool will give you a flat cut and pretty close to flush but not exactly flush. There is always a lip no matter how hard I try to fix it. The angle grinder can grind it down flat once it is cut in a matter of second. I cut rebar from concrete all the time and I wouldn't be leaving nubs. – DMoore Jul 13 '16 at 19:24
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    Do I get points for the answer that stimulated the most commentary? – Daniel Griscom Jul 13 '16 at 20:28

Since you were able to flatten it with a hammer, it may be soft enough that a single-jack and a cold chisel might do the trick. There are also some small hacksaws where the blade extends by itself without the surrounding bow, but they are usally fairly awkward to use.


You could always drill it out with a HSS drill bit.

(Probably cheaper than buying a new tool if you don't already have one; but if you do have one, Daniel's answer is better.)

  • how do I stop the drill bit from slipping off the top of the bolt when using it? – Guy Jul 13 '16 at 22:22
  • @Guy - You can try making an initial dent in the bolt with a hammer and a bradel of some sort; the drill bit will then tend to sit in this (a bit) rather than slide. Also, start with the drill turning slowly - the faster it is turning, the harder it is to control. – AndyT Jul 14 '16 at 10:06

Whether it is rebar, nails, or any kind of metal I use an angle grinder with your discount blades (the $5 10-pack from HF).

You can level something like that in 15-20 seconds and dirt doesn't matter (I might choose my $20 angle grinder if dirt was in the way).

Wear glasses if you value your eyes but it is a quick job. Also more expensive blades are useless. If I use a cheap blade I can go through 5-6 rebar rods. If I use a great blade that is 10 times the price I can go through 7-8.


An angle grinder is probably going to get the job done (Yes, Daniel, it's been mentioned!) but if it couldn't simply grind off parallel with the surroundings, due to lack of space (which doesn't look like a problem), a slightly longer job is to grind it parallel to the rod 9downwards), working across it.


Torch and a sledge hammer, that should do it

  • What type of torch? How would you use the torch and sledge hammer to cut the bolt flush? – Tester101 Jul 25 '16 at 11:10

An angle grinder or oscillating multitool would do the trick.

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. If you have a new answer it would be helpful, but both of these ideas have already been suggested. – Daniel Griscom Jul 13 '16 at 12:59

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