Best saw for breaking pallets up

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by devnull10, Oct 3, 2021.

  1. devnull10

    devnull10 Member

    I've an open fire and in the past have bought kindling in bulk bags. However I've recently been offered a free supply of broken pallets so I'm thinking of using those instead, the only pain being breaking the buggers up! In the past I've used the chainsaw to just fly through them, which works wonders, but hit a nail and it's a chain resharpen or replacement which obviously isn't economical! Jigsaw is too slow, and doing by hand either with a wrecking bar or sledgehammer is just too slow as you still need to cut the pieces down to size. So I was thinking of getting a cheap circular saw, which I believe will be more resilient to nails (or am I mistaken there??) and will also be quick. But before I do, is there any other tool which is more suited to the job? Don't really want to be paying more than say £80 ideally because otherwise it just defeats the object of using free wood, may as well buy it if I need to spend hundreds on tools. :)

    Any advice/suggestions?
  2. BillyBobToo

    BillyBobToo Active Member

    Sabre saw.
    malkie129 likes this.
  3. just pumps

    just pumps Screwfix Select

    Stay away from nails!
    ElecCEng likes this.
  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Cheap circular saw, the evolution one is great for the money, and it used to come with a blade that could also supposedly cut through nails and still be ok, though I never found it much use once you'd hit one. Recip saw blades are a lot cheaper though if you use a recip saw, but will take a lot longer to cut a pallet up.
    pppmacca43 and WillyEckerslike like this.
  5. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Exactly as Jord says. Having done this for clients on a number of occasions I have found an old cordless circular saw to be by far and away the quickest.
    Once a pallet starts to lose its rigidity, parts become loose and a recip saw just shakes the pallet (and you) backwards and forwards. Equally, you need to watch that the moving planks don't pinch a circular saw.
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  6. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    As @Jord86 says - Evolution with a blade that cuts nails. But cutting clear of te spacer blocks you should mist most and there will be a good supply of timber. The blocks with nails in can then be used once teh fire is going.
  7. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Screwfix Select

    Cheap, small circular. I use my very old Bosch one. Wasn’t cheap but barely use it these days as I’m mostly cordless. Goes through in seconds. As said just make sure where you’re supporting it as the blades get pinched as the planks drop.
  8. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

  9. devnull10

    devnull10 Member

    Thanks all, yes I did consider a reciprocating saw but was worried it might be a bit slow as I'd be cutting into lengths of about 12" so not just cutting at the blocks all time. I do try to avoid nails but inevitably you hit one now and again, so mainly want something which isn't going to need parts replacing if that happens. The chainsaw would be perfect if it wasn't for that. :)
  10. devnull10

    devnull10 Member

  11. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    The blades will cost you slightly more, if you're only using it to cut pallets then you don't need the deeper cut capacity.
  12. devnull10

    devnull10 Member

    Well, it would probably come in useful for cutting other things now and again rather than using the hand saw etc. Might go with the larger one of it's just a case of blades costing slightly more.

  13. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    No reason why not.

    They are the top end DIY budget saws and fine for what you need. It will have a 60-65mm depth of cut so useful for other thngs too, but dont expect a perfect finish though with a 16T blades - get a 48T for that.
  14. masterdiy

    masterdiy Screwfix Select

    Quote "I've an open fire..... and.... free supply of broken pallets

    Should you be using pallet wood on an open fire???
    And, does your fire have a liner?

    The answer is generally no, because you do not know what preservative treatments were used on the pallet during manufacture.
    Since we don’t want to breathe in dangerous fumes we don’t advise burning pallet wood on an open fire.
    Generally speaking, you should avoid burning any pallets that have MB stamped on them, which means they were treated with Methyl Bromide;
    -when burnt, they release toxic smoke dangerous to you, and the environment.

    When I last used pallet wood on a fire the smell was really bad. Be very careful what you burn.
  15. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    Has anyone told the Irish?

    koolpc, masterdiy and devnull10 like this.
  16. devnull10

    devnull10 Member

    Well, it's a stove not an open fire, but same principles I guess. I'm not using it as a main fuel source, simply as kindling. I know it's still burning it, but only very small amounts, and don't burn any blue pallets etc. Tbh, most the kindling you buy around here is chopped up pallets anyway!
    koolpc likes this.
  17. Adamfya

    Adamfya Screwfix Select

    I use pallet wood for kindling, and pretty much burn anything that gives off heat!
    Many more of us will be doing the same with the rising energy bills
    nigel willson likes this.
  18. GS63

    GS63 Member

    Agree with the cheap Evolution circular saw suggestion.

    I'm surprised you find a jigsaw too slow, my Makita flies through pallets.

    About 90% of the firewood that goes in our stove is well seasoned logs but we occasionally burn pallet wood if we're given an old pallet. Re the potentially nasty stuff in the wood, my thinking is that as the wood eventually rots it'll all be released into the environment anyway. So we may as well get some heat out of it. ( & I'm usually regarded as an eco - nutter ).
  19. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    People had open coal fires in their front room for decades, indeed I'd make a bet lots of users of this forum grew up with one and never paid a seconds thought at the time to any possible after effects years and years down the line, especially if they were glad of the warmth.
    Adamfya and ElecCEng like this.
  20. devnull10

    devnull10 Member

    Great thanks. Typically I had a £5 off voucher for Screwfix if going through the app, which I've just checked and it expired last week!

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