Tools for cut off ??

What seems to work best to cut the VEX material? I am thinking of something like the Dremel Sawmax. What about a DeWalt cutoff tool with a standard fiberglass reinforced wheel? What works best for you?

Thanks in advance for any help
Teams 2118 A,B,C,D

My personal choice is a good old hacksaw. Fast, easy, almost completely safe, and cheap. The perfect tool.

For tight spots, a Dremel with a fiber cutoff wheel works well. Don’t use a Dremel on aluminum as they cut poorly.

For flat pieces, a good metal cutter (tin snips) works well – just don’t use one on axles.

Students generally think Dremels are magic, but a hacksaw is nearly as fast and much safer.


  1. Wear eye protection any time you are cutting VEX parts.
  2. Make sure you don’t let metal shavings fall into your controller.
  3. Use a vise to hold your work.
  4. It is nearly always a good idea to cut a single part at once, rather than trying to cut them while they are attached to a robot.

Some competions (like BEST) do not allow power-tools for cutting or grinding in the pits.

A Beverly B2 throatless shear (or its Harbor Freight knockoff) is like a giant bench mounted tin-snip, with all the leverage you could want (3’ handle).
It has all the other attributes (positive and negative) of a tin-snip.

A high-tension hacksaw, or a pull-mounted hacksaw, packs lighter, smaller, etc.

our school has a cheap band saw from harbor freight which works great, and a disk grinder which was left to us from the old dentistry program haha.

Our team, due to lack of funds, uses two well worn hack saws and a pair of many-times-repaired tin snips. We have a protocol for using the tin snips, “shnoops” as we call them, cut in the sink to contain flying parts and ‘fore’ must be said to announce that some things may escape the sink. I dislike the tin snips since they bend the metal in odd ways which must be bent back, but the hack saw makes this horrible screeching noise when it is used. All in all, i suggest using the hacksaw, just in terms of work, as things don’t need to be bent back to square.

I’ve had good luck using Nibblers, though you will wear out your hand if you have a lot of metal to cut. For quick changes in the field, it is hard to beat them for portability and safety. And they are easier to clean up after than cutting tools that generated fine powder.

I’ve gone through a few pairs of cheap ones like these (they do wear out), and will probably try something like these next.


  • Dean

Our school uses hacksaws to cut metal, and then a jewelry saw to cut axles, and if you haven’t used one before, it takes around 15 minutes to cut through an axle with one.

Do you mean 15 seconds? I think you could almost chew through an axle in 15 minutes. :slight_smile:

I cut through an axle with a metal file faster than 15 min.

Haha no. The saw blade is so thin, so you can’t apply any pressure on it. We don’t use hacksaws on axles because it leaves it with an uneven end and we don’t have a file.

I reccamend a file, for all cuts to eliminate sharp corners and edges. Ace has an set,
but buying an individual one is cheaper.