When it comes to cutting a chain without bolt cutters, there can be many methods available depending on what kind of equipment you have and the type of chain that needs to be cut. There are ways to use other tools such as hacksaws, angle grinders, and even power saws in certain situations. However, these tools require special knowledge, skill sets, and protective gear. In this article, we’ll go through some safe methods of cutting a chain without bolt cutters and explain the different materials that can be used for a secure cut.
Use a Hammer
This is a simple, tried-and-true method of cutting through a chain without bolt cutters. Using a hammer as well as a chisel or cold chisel, the chain can be cut into smaller pieces. To do this, you’ll want to use an appropriately sized chisel with width slightly larger than the links of the chain. You’ll need to place the chisel in between two links of the chain and hammer it firmly, working your way around until it cuts through.
Use Channel Locks
Channel locks, also known as pliers or locking pliers, are a great tool for cutting through metal chains of any size. To use them to cut a chain without bolt cutters, start by wedging the teeth of the channel locks into the links of the chain. Make sure to angle it so that it is not too close to one side or another and that it is firmly secured. Then, press down on the handles of the channel locks to exert pressure on the chain links until they break apart. This method can be used to cut through more pliable chains, such as bicycle chains or small gauge metal chains. 
Use a Car Jack
Using a car jack is one of the easiest ways to cut a chain without bolt cutters. All you need is an adjustable wrench, a piece of pipe, and your car jack. Start by placing the chain in the pipe so that it runs along its length. Then place the adjustable wrench at one end of the pipe and put pressure on it with your hand. Now, place the car jack at the same end of the pipe and start to push it up until it is firmly against the wrench. As you continue to press on the jack, it will slowly start to cut through the chain.
Once your chain has been successfully cut, be sure to properly store any leftover pieces for future use. It’s also important to note that using a car jack is not recommended for heavier chains, as they may be too thick and difficult to cut. Additionally, you should never try to force the jack into the chain – it needs to fit comfortably before cutting. 
Cut It Off With Wire Cutters/Clippers
If you don’t have access to a bolt cutter, one of the best options for cutting through a chain is with wire cutters or clippers. This can be a very effective way to remove a lock from your bike, or even break into an abandoned house! All you’ll need is some strong wire cutters and you’re good to go.
One thing to keep in mind when using this method is that the wire cutters must be strong enough to get through the chain. If they aren’t, you won’t be able to cut it at all! Make sure your tool can handle the job before attempting to use it.
When cutting the chain with wire cutters, start on one side of the link and slowly work your way around. It’s best to take it slow and steady, as too much pressure on the links could cause them to break off before you’ve finished cutting through them. 
Use an Angle Grinder/Disc Cutter
An electric angle grinder, often referred to as a disc cutter, is the most common tool used for cutting through chains. It can quickly and easily cut through thick links of metal chains and is far more efficient than bolt cutters. To use an angle grinder:
- Put on safety glasses and gloves before beginning to use your angle grinder.
- Secure the chain to be cut into a vice or clamp it onto a stable surface and make sure it is firmly secured.
- Place the angle grinder’s blade against the link of the chain you want to cut, then slowly turn on the power switch and let your disc cutter grind away at the metal.
- Make sure that the blade stays on the chain’s link while spinning it and keep a steady pressure onto the chain.
- When the disc cutter has gone through the entire width of the metal link, turn off your power switch and remove the angle grinder from its position.
- Move to another section of the chain you wish to cut and repeat steps 3-5 until the chain has been fully cut.
- After you have finished cutting your desired length of chain, be sure to properly dispose of the small bits of metal and remove the angle grinder’s blade from its position. 
Use a hacksaw
Using a hacksaw is the most popular way of cutting a chain without bolt cutters. It may take some time and effort but it can be done with some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Start by firmly securing the chain in place, making sure you don’t clamp too tightly as this could damage the chain links. Then use a hacksaw to start cutting through each link. It’s best to start from one end and work your way along the chain, making sure you don’t cut yourself in the process! When all of the links have been cut, you can easily break the chain apart with some pliers or a hammer.
This method is not recommended for thicker chains as it can be quite labor intensive and time-consuming. However, if you have the patience and the right equipment, it can be a great way to cut a chain without bolt cutters. Be sure to wear protective gloves when handling the chain links as they will be very sharp after being sawed off. Also, always keep in mind that while this method may seem simple, it is best handled with caution and care. 
Cut With Duct Tape/Cable Ties
Using duct tape or cable ties is a relatively simple way to cut through a chain without the use of bolt cutters. The method works best when you have something to tie around the link you want to cut, like a piece of rope or some other material.
To begin, take the piece of rope and wrap it tightly around one link in the chain. Next, take a long piece of duct tape or cable ties and wrap it around the rope several times until it is secure and secure to the link. Finally, use a pair of pliers or wire cutters to snip through the cable ties or duct tape, which will effectively cut through the link.
This method does not require any special tools and can be done with items that are commonly found at home. It can even be done in a pinch if you find yourself without any other tools and need to cut the chain for some reason. However, it is not as secure nor reliable as using bolt cutters, so use this method of cutting only when absolutely necessary.
Finally, you should always take extra precaution when attempting to cut a chain without bolt cutters, as the rope or other material you use can easily slip and cause injury if not properly secured. Ensure that the duct tape or cable ties are tight enough before snipping through them and always wear protective gear when doing any type of cutting. 
Tin snips are an effective, cost-efficient solution for cutting chains without bolt cutters. Tin snips are versatile tools that can easily handle thin chains and wire fencing. To use tin snips to cut a chain without bolt cutters:
- Put on safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying metal pieces.
- Place the chain on a flat, stable surface.
- Position your tin snips at the point where you want to make the cut.
- Squeeze the handles and press down firmly until the Tin Snips puncture through the chain links.
- Cut all of the way through using steady pressure and small movements until both ends are separated by the desired length.
As with any cutting tool, keeping your limbs away from the area of operation is always recommended when using tin snips.
Cordless Drill and MAPP Gas Torch
If you don’t have access to a bolt cutter, you can also use a cordless drill and MAPP gas torch to cut through the chain. This is less precise and more dangerous than using bolt cutters but can still be done with some time and patience.
First, make sure that the area around the chain is clear of any flammable materials. Then, take your cordless drill and drill a hole through the middle of the link you want to cut. Make sure not to make it too big or else it might weaken the integrity of the chain.
Once you have drilled a hole in both sides of the link, attach either a high-temperature MAPP gas torch or an oxy-acetylene torch. Put on safety glasses and work gloves to protect yourself from any sparks or debris. Carefully heat up the chain until it begins to glow and then slowly cut it with the torch. 
If you don’t have access to bolt cutters, a rotary tool (like those manufactured by Dremel) is an excellent alternative. To use a rotary tool to cut through the chain, you’ll need to attach a cutting disc or abrasive wheel to it. You can then hold the rotary tool in one hand and guide it along the chain with the other. As you do this, the abrasive wheel will slowly cut through the chain.
To prevent injury, be sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses while operating a rotary tool. You should also avoid touching the metal after it’s been cut as it may be hot from friction caused by the cutting disc.
If you don’t have a rotary tool and don’t want to buy one, you can often rent them from hardware stores. However, if you do have access to bolt cutters, they will usually be faster and easier to use than a rotary tool. 
A reciprocating saw is a great way to cut through a chain without using bolt cutters. It’s easy to use and relatively safe, if you take the proper precautions. First, make sure your saw blade is designed specifically for metal cutting. Then, secure the chain firmly in place and put on protective safety gear before making any cuts. Start by cutting through one link at a time, and then remove the chain from the saw by using needle-nose pliers to pull apart each link until it’s completely separated. Keep in mind that this method can be quite slow and tedious, so if you need to cut multiple chains quickly, a bolt cutter may be your best option. 
Pliers and Pincers
Pliers and pincers are another tool you can use to cut a chain without bolt cutters. Pliers and pincers have different types such as curved-jaw pliers, flat-nose pliers, needle-nose pliers, side-cutting pliers, end-cutting pliers etc., which can be used for cutting a chain. It is important to choose the right pliers and pincers for the job. For example, if you need to cut a bicycle chain, it’s best to use end-cutting pliers as they are designed with sharp blades that can easily cut through metal.
When using pliers and pincers, make sure that you wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses. This will protect your hands from the sharp edges of the chain links as well as protect your eyes from any pieces of metal that may fly while you are cutting. 
Use a Dremel
Using a Dremel tool is one of the most common methods for how to cut a chain without bolt cutters. You’ll need to have an abrasive grinding stone attachment for the Dremel, and you’ll need to go slow and steady when using it on the chain in order to avoid damaging the metal. Place the stone against the chain where you want to make the cut. Turn on the Dremel and gradually begin grinding away at the area until you have cut all the way through. Be sure to wear protective eyewear, as sparks will fly when using a Dremel on metal. This method is great if you don’t have access to bolt cutters or other tools, but it may take some time to get the job done. 
Use a Propane Torch and Hacksaw
A propane torch is a great way to cut through a chain without using bolt cutters. This method involves heating up the metal until it becomes malleable and then cutting it with a hacksaw.
First, you’ll need to set up your work area and safety equipment. Make sure you have eye protection, gloves, and proper ventilation. Clear the area of any flammable materials and always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.
Next, attach a propane torch to your fuel source and light it. Once the flame is burning brightly, direct it onto the chain you want to cut. Heat the metal until it starts to glow red-hot – this usually takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the amount of heat you’re applying.
Once the chain is hot enough, you can use a hacksaw to cut through it. It’s important not to apply too much pressure when sawing as this can cause the metal to become brittle and break off unevenly. 
Use a Cutting Torch
A cutting torch can be used to cut a chain without the need for bolt cutters. You will need a propane or acetylene tank, goggles, and a metal file to use this method. The process itself is also relatively easy; start by wearing safety gear and setting up your torch in an area that is well-ventilated. Once it’s ready, point the flame of the torch at the chain and slowly start to move it around. The heat from the flame will eventually weaken and cut through links in the chain. When you have finished, allow the metal to cool before handling it. 
How do you break a chain without a tool?
There are several ways to break a chain without the use of tools, such as bolt cutters. The most common way is to use leverage to snap the chain by hand. This can be done by holding one link in each hand and pulling them apart with enough force to create a break in the link or links. It may take some effort, but it is possible!
How do you cut a chain with scissors?
Another way to cut a chain without the use of tools is using scissors. Simply secure the chain in place and cut through each link with a pair of sharp, strong scissors. This method works best if you have access to an old pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears or industrial snips.
Can you cut the chain with a grinder?
Yes, you can cut the chain with a grinder. This method is best used on metal chains as it takes more effort than cutting with scissors and could potentially spread sparks and heat from the grinder. Start by securing the chain in place and then use the grinding wheel to slowly cut each link until it breaks apart. Make sure to wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves when using a grinder.
Can I use a grinder as a cutter?
Yes, you can use a grinder as a cutter if you have an appropriate cutting disc. Again, this method works best on metal chains and should only be used when wearing protective gear to avoid sparks and heat from the grinder. Start by securing the chain in place and slowly cut each link with the grinding wheel until it breaks apart. Make sure to wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves when using a grinder.
Can bolt cutters cut the bike chain?
Yes, bolt cutters can cut the bike chain if you use the correct size for the job. When selecting a pair of bolt cutters, make sure they are designed to fit your chain and that they have strong enough handles to provide enough leverage. Once you have selected an appropriate pair, secure the chain in place firmly and then squeeze the handles together until it cuts through the link or links.
Can all chains be cut with bolt cutters?
No, not all types of chains can be cut with bolt cutters. There are several different materials used to make chains ranging from steel to aluminum and titanium. Each material requires a specific type of cutting tool for best results. It is important to research what kind of chain you have before attempting to cut it with bolt cutters as using the wrong type could cause damage to the chain or even injury.
Can bolt cutters cut steel?
Yes, bolt cutters can cut steel. Make sure to select a pair of bolt cutters designed for cutting through steel and that has strong enough handles to provide enough leverage. Once you have selected an appropriate pair, secure the chain in place firmly and then squeeze the handles together until it cuts through the link or links.
Are bike chains easy to cut?
Bike chains can be easy to cut depending on the type of chain, the material it is made of, and the tools you are using. For example, a steel bike chain can easily be cut with a pair of bolt cutters or scissors. However, titanium and aluminum bike chains require power tools such as grinders for best results. It is important to research what kind of chain you have before attempting to cut it as using the wrong type could cause damage to the chain or even injury.
Useful Video: simple ways to cut off the chain
So there you have it: several ways to cut a chain without the use of bolt cutters. Whether you’re trying to replace a broken bike lock or just need some extra security for your home, these methods can help. Of course, remember that safety should always be your first priority when working with any tools and materials. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when cutting, and always use caution when handling a chain or any other sharp object. Good luck!
Thanks for reading our article on how to cut a chain without bolt cutters. We hope you found it useful and feel confident tackling your next project. If you have any questions or additional tips, please share them in the comments section below!