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Will A Circular Saw Cut Through Nails?

Eventually, in a home DIY project, there will come a time when you need to cut through a nail, screw or a fastener on a piece of wood, this often happens when the nail is bent and can’t be removed, with the only choice being left is to cut it off. 

If you have a circular saw on hand, you might be wondering if you can use it to cut through nails, we would not recommend using a circular saw to do this as they offer less control, but you might be able to remove it with a metal cutting blade and vice. 

To help your cut through those annoying nails and screws, we have listed the best types of tools for cutting through nails below as well as how to cut through nails the proper way if needed. 

What Tools Can I Use To Cut Through Nails 

Many tools can cut through nails with ease, whether you need to remove jagged nails or nails from wood, we will list the tools you can use for cutting nails below to see if you have any handy for the task. 


If you are looking to remove a nail from wood that is sticking out then your best option will be to snip it with either a bolt cutter or a wire cutter. 

  • Wire cutters – These pairs of bevelled blades strike against each other to cut nails and the long handles allow for more cutting power. 
  • Bolt cutters – Bolt cutters are a great choice if you are looking for a more heavy-duty tool to cut nail fragments with.


Sawing is the best way to remove nails that might be stuck between two pieces of wood or jammed in, you can use nearly any kind of saw tool for cutting nails but the saw will need a metal cutting blade and ones with a reciprocating action are often the best. 

  • Jigsaws – Jigsaws are very accurate for cutting fasteners but are not as versatile as reciprocating saws for the job as they will need to be held with the blade over the edge of a stand. 
  • Hacksaws – These saws are the manual version of reciprocating saws, the straight frame and large blade make it easy to saw through nails.
  • Reciprocating saws – Reciprocating saws are the most preferred tool for cutting through nails as they are strong and can get into tight spaces with ease.
  • Keyhole saws – These saws are very tapered for nail cutting and can get into tight spaces with ease when no other saws can be able to fit.


Another way to cut nails is by using a grinder with a diamond grinding blade, this will effortlessly remove nails from wood without a nail puller or saw needed. 

  • Angle Grinders – Angle grinders can cut through bolts with ease thanks to their protruding wheel when grinding.
  • Rotary tool – Rotary tools fitted with a diamond grinding wheel are excellent for taking nails off delicate furniture of wood with its small size allowing you to get into awkward places.

Which Blade Should I Use For Cutting Through Nails?

If you are planning to use any kind of saw to cut through a nail, you have to make sure that this saw is fitted with a metal cutting blade. 

This metal cutting blade should be coated and have over 10 teeth for the best results and durability.

You can use a standard wood cutting blade with this amount of teeth for cutting through nails with a saw.

How To Cut Through Nails 

Cutting through nails, screws or fasteners is simple to do once you have the right tool fitted with the correct blade, for cutting nails we would always recommend using a reciprocating saw if you use a circular saw you have to be much more careful throughout the cutting process. 

We will take you through how to cut nails below.

  • Step one – Draw on the piece of material exactly where you want to cut the nail, you can use a pencil or marker for this so as you know where to make your cut.
  • Step two – Clamp the material with the nail onto your work surface and make sure you are wearing essential safety equipment such as goggles in case any nail fragments fly off during the cutting process.
  • Step three – Hold your saw with two hands for a reciprocating saw and one hand firmly for a circular saw then position the blade at the end of the line where you have marked which passed through the nail.
  • Step four – Apply a firm amount of pressure on the shoe of the reciprocating saw and pull the speed trigger to make a fast cut, keep the blade straight while you cut through the nail until you reach the end of the material. 
  • Step five – Disconnect the saw and lay it on its side after use then inspect the wood to ensure the nails has been fully cut.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Circular Saw To Cut Through Nails

Why is a circular saw not good for cutting through nails? 

Circular saws are not the best for cutting through nails as they do not have a small blade that offers more precision and control, they also do not have a forward and backwards motion which can make cutting difficult.

Can I cut through screws with a saw? 

You can cut through all kinds of metal with a saw as long as you use a metal cutting blade.

How many teeth should my blade have for cutting through nails?

For cutting through nails your metal cutting blade should have at least 10 teeth.

Final Words

To conclude, a circular saw can cut through nails but only with a metal cutting blade, it is not the most preferred kind of tool for this job however, it would be more suitable to choose a reciprocating saw for the job instead thanks to their forward and backward motion which cuts through material such as nails with ease.

If your nail is hanging off you might not need to cut it all and instead, you can use a grinder or bolt cutters to get rid of the nail.

Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley

I'm Scott, a Woodworker by day and book geek by night. I love making things out of wood. While I have and still, on occassion do, work with metal and plastics, I find them to be cold and somewhat boring. Wood is warm and I feel close to nature with it. I started as a means to help like minded creative folk to answer burning questions. I hope you enjoy reading and learning, and always feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions!

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