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Old 12-22-2021, 07:49 PM   #1
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Will Hacksaw Cut Thru a G4 Chain Link

I have an all chain anchor rode, 5/16" of G4 chain. It is attached in the anchor locker with a length of rope in case I need to cut it loose in an emergency. My question is if I get the anchor hung up with only a 20' to 30' of chain out and need to cut it loose at that point, will a common hacksaw be able to cut thru a link of 5/16" G4 chain? Do not want to carry a big bolt cutter if I don't have to. Will not be back to the boat until May so planning ahead. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:07 PM   #2
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:27 PM   #3
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Battery powered cutoff device might be considered.
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:35 PM   #4
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To answer your question, Yes, a hacksaw will cut it. I've done it.
Easy, no, but doable.

Keep some good quality 14T blades with the hacksaw. No cheapies.
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:38 PM   #5
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Battery powered cutoff device might be considered.
This^

I have a 4Ē-battery-powered-Dewalt grinder on board. I know where I keep it, too!
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Old 12-22-2021, 08:46 PM   #6
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Can be done with a sawzaw with a good metal blade but much faster and a bit sloppier with a grinder.
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Old 12-22-2021, 09:01 PM   #7
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Emergencies usually need quick solutions and cutting seems like a slow task and you likely lose anchor and a good chunk if chain.
Why not run the chain out and fasten a fender to the chain for future retrieval?
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Old 12-22-2021, 09:43 PM   #8
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I keep a grinder and cut off wheels on the boat. Mine is not cordless, but I donít expect to get hung up while also losing my batteries, inverter and the generator at the same time.

Not being flippant. I once had a triple electrical failure, so itís possible, however unlikely. Just saying the corded is still worth having. They are cheap, buy two.
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Old 12-22-2021, 10:09 PM   #9
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If using a hacksaw, spend a little coin and get a bimetal blade such as Lennox makes. Teeth are high speed steel welded to a spring steel back using an interesting welding process. These will stay sharp much longer cutting hard materials. Same goes for a sawsall. Bimetal blades are becoming more the norm than the exception, but check anyway. I've cut G4 chain with a hacksaw, it isn't that hard to do. G70 chain is much tougher.
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Old 12-23-2021, 12:11 AM   #10
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I cut the G4 chain using as Dremel tool with an abrasive disk 3/8 chain in less than 5 minutes. A 24 inch bolt cutter did not work (plan a).
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Old 12-23-2021, 01:09 AM   #11
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I think that a cordless grinder would be the way to go. Very fast.
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Old 12-23-2021, 05:40 AM   #12
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With the Dremel tool, it should be easy and not time consuming in any emergency
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Old 12-23-2021, 07:02 AM   #13
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The hard part is not cutting it , the hard part is holding it when being cut , and not damaging the boat.
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Old 12-23-2021, 08:10 AM   #14
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A hacksaw will work eventually if you have a way to hold it tight. Every time it wiggles it will mess up your cut or bind the blade. Don’t forget you have to get through one side of a link and enough of the other side for it to fail.
On my boat the bitter end is 30 ft of floating poly line. Knife is tied to Sampson post. Also have a pair of HF bolt cutters. After that a right angle grinder with cutoff wheel but that’s going to take a few minutes to setup. I also have a Sawsall onboard but that’s buried under the vee berth. Ain’t happening fast but it will be faster than a hand hacksaw.
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Old 12-23-2021, 08:37 AM   #15
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If I ever have to dump an anchor, I don't plan to cut the chain. Just run it out past the end of the chain and cut the attached line. Unless there's a very large amount of chain involved and a slow windlass that can't be freewheeled, that's likely to be faster than cutting the chain. And if you can buoy it, you can come back to retrieve later.
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Old 12-23-2021, 08:44 AM   #16
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Replace the "rope" at the end tied to the boat with 50ft of floating line. If you have to cut , do so , the floating line will allow retrieval.
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
The hard part is not cutting it , the hard part is holding it when being cut , and not damaging the boat.

This.


I cut some chain with a grinder a few years back while standing on it to hold it still. It turned out OK, but let's just say that I clamp it in a vise now when I do it. Wear eye protection too. The chain can really get away from you.


Might be easier if it was held tight by the weight of the anchor, but it also might send things flying after you make the cut. You do what you have to do in an emergency, but it would not be without some associated danger to cut an anchor loose with a grinder. Possibly on a wet, pitching deck in the dark.
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:41 AM   #18
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I've cut a lot of chain at work. One thing to keep in mind about a grinder- it will sling metal particles and cutting wheel debris a long way. And that stuff will rust and stain your boat in short order.

If you're going to use a hacksaw, buy a large pair of locking pliers to hold the chain while cutting.
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Old 12-23-2021, 11:17 AM   #19
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In the common situation where the anchor is hung up on the bottom, you just pull in the chain tight, even to the point of dipping the bow a little. Then cut it off with whatever tool you have.

I once got my anchor stuck and was about to do the above when it finally pulled loose with a kind of muffled screech. It was hung up on a piece of metal and I finally pulled at the right angle to get it off.

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Old 12-23-2021, 11:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy999 View Post
I have an all chain anchor rode, 5/16" of G4 chain. It is attached in the anchor locker with a length of rope in case I need to cut it loose in an emergency. My question is if I get the anchor hung up with only a 20' to 30' of chain out and need to cut it loose at that point, will a common hacksaw be able to cut thru a link of 5/16" G4 chain? Do not want to carry a big bolt cutter if I don't have to. Will not be back to the boat until May so planning ahead. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Hung up in shallow water? easier to let it all out and cut the rope, tie on a bouy and come back with a mask and snorkel to recover the lot.
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