Need to retire some old fence posts? There are many methods that I have either researched or used myself to cut fence posts very efficiently.
You can cut any type of fence post, but depending on what material it is you will need certain tools. Most fence posts require a chainsaw, a handsaw, or a reciprocating saw to cut the surface smoothly. It is important to always use proper safety equpment.
There are so many different types of fence posts out there and each type of fence post needs a different technique to cut it. I have included three ways to work with the most commonly used fence post (wood), then some other type of fence posts if you need any more techniques.
These methods are used for wood fence posts:
What you will need: wood fence post, dark marker, chainsaw, steel square measuring tool, wood grinder
- Collect your work materials. Be sure to wear safety equipment (glasses, ear protection, etc.) the entire time you are handling the material as cutting any sort of fence post can be dangerous.
- Measure the height you would like your fence posts on the top and the sides facing you.
- Get your chainsaw in a position where you can cut with a thirty-degree angle.
- Slowly cut the wood fence post, making sure that you are still positioning the wood on a slight thirty-degree angle.
- Make your wood fence post smooth by using a grinder to thin out the rough edges.
To Put A Post Top On (If Applicable)
- Place the fence top on top of the wood.
- Use a nailing gun to ram it in.
- Make sure one more time that it still on a thirty-degree angle. Sometimes when you put the nails inside the wood it will become steeper than a thirty-degree angle. If that is the case for you, be sure to take the nails off the grinding the material more to make it the angle you need. Source
What you will need: wood fence post, dark marker, fence measuring square
- Measure your wood out at a 30-degree angle. Use a framing square, measure out one inch and then go to inches down and make another lien and then an inch down from that.
- Connect the left side of the bottom line to the right side of the top line. You should get a 30-degree diagonal angle.
- Cut at the bottom of that angle using a saw. Source
What you will need: fixture to stabilize wood (explained below), wood fence post, and a reciprocating saw
- Measure out where you would like to cut the wood fence post.
- Stabilize your saw so that you can create a clean cut. The individual in the video created a wood fixture with three-quarters of plywood and a sheet of metal positioned around the edges. You can see what he came up with on timestamp 0:22 of the video below.
- If you are using the fixture, pop it on and nail it into the fence post so it can remain stable.
- Cut using the reciprocating saw.
- Pop off the fence post, no other refining process is needed. Source
Other types of fence posts that you might need some help with:
Concrete Fence Posts
What you will need: angle grinder and dark sharpie marker
- Use a standard angle grinder with a masonry blade.
- Mark out the cutting line on all sides.
- Use the blade to cut around those edges very slightly.
- You can easily “snap off” the concrete fence post after the edges are clear cut. Source
Vinyl Fence Posts
What you will need: circular side, dark sharpie marker, a spare piece of wood
- Prepare your circular saw. Be sure to use a smaller blade so it is easier to cut through the vinyl since the material is a lot more brittle.
- Measure out each side you would like to cut.
- Anchor the blade against a piece of wood (or anything to keep it stable).
- Cut along each edge, don’t try to cut it all at once, and being careful not to cut anything but that edge. Rinse and repeat to every edge till it is completely cut. Source
Chain Link Fence Posts
What you will need: hack saw (or reciprocating saw), power grinder
- “Measure and mark the fence post at the desired length.
- Clamp the post in a heavy-duty vise with a mark about 4 to 6 inches from the end of the vise. Alternatively, you can lay the post flat on a firm surface where the end to be cut can hang over the edge, such as a workshop table or the edge of a deck. In this case, a second person will have to hold the post firmly to the surface to prevent it from moving while it is cut.
- Cut the fence post with a hack saw or reciprocating saw. Make sure to use a blade intended for cutting metal.
- Smooth the jagged metal edge where the post was cut with a file or power grinder.” Source
Steel Fence Posts
What you will need: saw with carbide blade, chisel, safety gear
- “Fit your saw with a carbide blade. Carbide is an extremely hard material mixed into metal saw blades to allow them to cut steel and other metals. Although it is easiest to find circular carbide blades that fit on table saws and circular saws, carbide-tipped blades are also available for bandsaws and hacksaws at most home improvement stores.
- Mark a line for your cut using a chisel or the edge of a saw blade.
- Secure the pole. If it is lying down, elevate the pole above your work surface and clamp a vise on either side of your cut point. If you are cutting a standing pole (such as one supporting a basketball net), have someone wearing safety gear hold the pole up and straight.
- Cut the pole. If using a circular saw, squeeze the trigger hard and push the saw firmly, evenly, and slowly into the pole until it has cut all the way through. With a hacksaw, this will take much longer, as you will be relying on the power of your arms and hands. Start the cut with a few tentative strokes to build a groove along your cut line, then pull the saw back and forth hard to cut the pole. If the pole is small enough to fit in a bandsaw, set it across the bandsaw deck, start the saw, then get a good grip on the pole on either side of the blade and push it through firmly and slowly.
- Smooth the cut edges. Use a coarse file to take off any uneven burr left by cutting, then use a fine file and sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.” Source
Aluminum Fence Posts
What you will need: Wood cutting saw with a blade that is 1/4 inches or lower. You will also need cutting lubricants and a c-clamp.
- Use a wood-cutting saw with carbide-tipped blades to cut most aluminum. If your blade is over 1⁄4 inch thick, do not cut with it. Use a fine-toothed blade that isn’t too worn. Preferably, choose a saw blade that creates narrow kerfs.
- Apply cutting lubricants on your blades.
- Reduce the diameter of the cutting blade for the best results.
- Use a c-clamp to position your piece of aluminum.
- Feed the aluminum through the cutting saw. Go slowly, and apply pressure to each side of the aluminum as you feed it through.
- Stay away from directly behind the saw, where bits of aluminum can oftentimes cut through the fence post.
- Adjust the blade depth so the blade extends exactly 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) when you are cutting. If the blade length is smaller, replace the blade. Source
Brick Fence Posts
What you will need: marker, drill, hammer
- Mark the top of the brick where you would like the top of the fence post to be.
- Drill two holes right below each brick (on the mortar) that you would like to knock off.
- Use a hammer to knock out all the bricks. Source