How to Cut Railroad Ties?

Learning How to Cut Railroad Ties?

Railroad ties apart from being used to lay track for the railway train can also be used for other things. They can be used to erect road barriers where the road is towards a cliff. More so, it is very useful for landscaping. The uses are not only limited to the two stated functions but can be used for several other things. This implies that they have to be cut to suit a specific demand. The question is, how do we cut these railroad ties? What type of saw can be used in the cutting? Read through the article for more useful information.

Can the railroad ties be cut?

Yes, railroad ties can be cut. It, however, requires you to invest a lot of effort into the process since it could be a thick metal. There are those saws that can do the work pretty easier and within a very short time.

How to Cut Railroad Ties

Which saw can be used to cut the railroad?

Many types of saws can be used to cut the ties. There are some which are not specialized and can take a lot of time to accomplish the mission. Recommended saw types which can get the work done at the shortest time possible and with little effort includes:

  • A circular saw.
  • The chain saw and
  • The reciprocating saw.
  • Demolition saw fitted with a carbide blade.

The chain saw is the slowest of all but it still gets the work done. It tends wearing out easily too. Demolition saw, on the other hand, performs the duty pretty faster than the other saw types. You will have to flip over the railroad ties so that you will be able to cut it from both sides. That way, the work will be done in a short time.

How then do we cut the railroad ties?

# Using a chain saw.

First things first. Since you are dealing with metals and sharp objects, you are advised to protect yourself. Put on the hand gloves, eyeglasses, and nose masks before beginning the cutting. You will also need to protect your legs by putting on long pants as well as shoes.

Steps to be followed.

  1. Place the railroad tie on two objects such as pieces of wood.

This is to help prevent the saw from cutting on the ground. The ground makes the saw wear out quickly and to become blunt frequently. Ensure you are working from an even ground for more stability. Also, avoid an area where there is some debris. You can fasten the tie to the two pieces of wood using some rope to avoid it falling off the support.

  1. Cut through the first half and flip to complete the cutting from the second half.

You should cut it halfway before flipping over to the other end. When you are through to the middle, stop and turn the tie. Cut it again from the second side till it meets at the center. Be a bit slow as you approach the center. This is to help you avoid hitting the ground with the saw.

what saw to use to cut railroad ties

# Using a circular saw.

The process is pretty much the same. Hopefully, you still have your protective gear on.

The steps to follow.

  1. Raise the tie between two pieces of wood.

This is essential to avoid cutting either the ground or grass. This is a recommendation no matter the type of saw which you are using. Cutting the ground is unhealthy for a saw blade.

  1. Adjust the saw blade in readiness for the cutting.

This is by ensuring that a large part of the blade is exposed. The aim is to have it cut through the metal almost halfway through. This is done by adjusting the shaft. Refer to the saw manual for more information on how to do the adjustment.

  1. Cut through the tie.

Since you had adjusted the blade, you will need to drive in through until the maximum cut is achieved. When the saw is fully immersed, you will need to stop and pull it out before flipping the railroad time. Flip the tie and complete the cutting from the second side. It may be difficult for the saw to do a complete cut from the two sides. So you can flip it on its four sides. Exercise caution, you do not need to break you saw during the exercise. Remember that the circular saw is quite small in size and the weight of the tie could be enormous.

  1. Step on the railroad tie and break it.

Because the saw might not have the capacity to cut through entirely, you will need to break it physically. With your shoes and the saw away from your hand, stomp on the railroad tie. Do not forget about your safety. Put on heavy-duty shoes. This exercise should be done when only a small part of the metal is still holding. If you are not comfortable with breaking using your feet, you can use a heavy object such as another metal or stone. Be careful that the object does not return to you as it could be dangerous if it hits you back.


Cutting the railroad tie is a duty that needs a lot of care. Protect yourself all the time as metals are a bit dangerous to deal with. Several kinds of saws can be used for the function. Whereas some are too slow for the work, others can do a perfect job in the shortest time possible. Learn how to use the saw before revving it on. Always observe safety as a priority.

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