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Cutting steel punches


Hi! For you’ve hornworm with steel, I have a question. My husband
recently bought me some really nice and wide diameter drift punches.
So of course these are very long. Can these be shortened with a cut
off saw? Or must these be heated first?


HI Brenda,

Err. why do you want to cut them down?

Drift punches are pretty cheap. Why not just save these as big, long
mandrels, and go get some smaller punches for whatever smaller use
you need? Long ones are hard to come by. Cutting these down will
just make them less useful.

What are you trying to do with them? (and what do you mean by 'wide’
and ‘very long’? My definition of ‘very long’ would be measured in
feet, not inches. I suspect yours might be smaller than that.)

Let’s figure out what you’re trying to do. (and thus what you need)
and proceed from there.



About using a cutoff saw - aka ‘chop saw’, with a 12" by 1/8" resin
and fiberglass reinforced abrasive wheel, or similar industrial tool
and wheel, right ?- to shorten drift punches. The answer is yes, that
will work, and no, you don’t have to heat the punch first. Those
wheels don’t care much if you cut soft or hard steel.




Ok, I measured my punches:

  1. 18" X 7/8" diameter
  2. 16" x 5/8" diameter
  3. 14" x 1/2" diameter
  4. 10" x 3/8" diameter

The only reason i want to cut the ends off is these first to
especially, are long and heavy to put in a vise and to carry to

What would you suggest?

Oh, and my intended use is for rings, and jump rings and chain.



Hi Brenda,

Which end are you trying to cut off? The tapered end, or the
straight ‘handle’ end? Some drift punches have very long tapered
sections, and some have shortish tapered sections and long
’handles’. Which are yours?

If you’re just trying to hack off most of the handle end, yes, that
makes sense. But don’t cut the tapered part, that’ll be useful. If
you cut off the handled end, leave about 6" of it to grab in a vise.

Any smaller, and it gets hard to hang on to.

Hope that helps.