Which tool is best for cutting bigger size posts 

What Different Size of Fence & Gate Posts can you get?

Posts used for fence building or to hold up gates and pergolas vary in size and length.

  • Fence posts are usually either 75mm x 75mm (3"x3") or 100mm x 100mm (4"x4") 
  • Posts for rail type fences are 75mm x 125mm (3" x 5")
  • Posts for pergolas are 100mm x 100 mm (4"x4")
  • Gate posts vary from 125mm x 125 mm (5"x5" up to 200mm x 200mm (8"x8") depending on the size and the weight of the gates

Posts come in different lengths and include 1.2, 1.5, 1.8, 2.1, 2.4, 2.7, 3.0, 3.6, 4.2 and 4.8 metre lengths.

Using a Handsaw to cut larger posts

Without a shadow of doubt the cheapest way to cut through any wood including larger posts is the good old fashioned hand saw.

These are always a useful tool to have around the home for general purpose sawing.

There is of course the manual effort involved but with a good quality handsaw that effort can be greatly reduced

There is no limit to the depth these can cut so will be easily able to handle 3", 4" and even 5-6" post sizes

The saw show to the right is designed for heavy duty all purpose woodworking applications with 8TPI and a high carbon steel blade and an excellent grip on the handle.

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Using a Reciprocating saw to cut larger posts

The next cheapest method is to use a reciprocating saw and just make sure it is fitted with a wood cutting blade - (Most of these come with a wood cutting blade a standard)

These cost around £40-60 so at least cheaper than other power saws

They are in truth not designed for post cutting, and used for smaller cuts, or for cutting through plasterboard

They can be quite hard to control, have a lot of vibrations, and the blade lengths are just about long enough as the blade lengths vary between 115mm up to 190mm (4.5 - 7.5")

You can also buy reciprocating saw guide attachments that allow you to make straight or angled cuts on the top of your posts

The Makita one has a 255mm stroke length so will be able to handle all post sizes.

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Using a Chainsaw to cut larger posts

If you have a lot of posts to cut, then no tool is going to do that faster than the good old chainsaw.

The Black and Decker model shown on the right has a 40 cm cutting capacity so will handle any post size

It is also electrical so no need to worry about noisy engines and dodgy starting

This will whizz through any number of posts in rapid time

It is always handy to own a chainsaw and they are good for getting through wet timber which is usually the case with posts.

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Using a Circular saw to cut larger posts

The circular saw is not the best choice but with a little ingenuity you can get it to work. It will definitely be one of the fastest options.

These come in different blade sizes with the most common being 165mm. However as the blade is centred inside the saw, the actual cutting depth is 57mm at 0 degrees (straight cut) and 41 mm at 45 degrees (if you want the top of the post at an angle)

So what you can do is make a cut on one side, flip the post over and then cut through the other side and this will work on smaller posts. Alternatively you can make the first cut, then work around the post and finish the cut off with a hand saw.

It's not the best solution unless you are very accurate with your cutting, but it will be faster than the other options.

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A very quick video review

We have looked over all the video reviews and found this great short presentation on these tools. It gives you an instant idea of what to expect as well as telling you all the features and spec in and easy to understand format.

I hope you enjoy watching it as I always think its much better to see a tool in action rather than just reading about it or seeing pictures. This guy is particularly good at explaining the features of the drill and he is well known for Makita tools.

Most wooden posts are made from pine which is then pressure treated. Better quality posts are usually made from either cedar or redwood and these are also pressure treated. The pine posts do need a lot more maintenance if you want them to last.

The reality is these are almost always stored outside and likely to be at least wet on the outside. That can typically make them harder to cut.

If you are only cutting a few posts, then a hand saw and a bit of effort is really all that you need. if you don't fancy that much effort, then a reciprocating saw will be your next best option.

If you just want to get the job done quickly, then we recommend a chainsaw which will get these cut in a flash. It is always a handy saw to own for dealing with tree branches, larger shrubs etc.

If you own a circular saw, mitre saw or a table saw, the blade size is restrictive. With a bit of planning you can still make use of those, but you will have to think it out a bit more.

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