Though the individual needs of masonry construction firms may vary, contractors should consider the benefits of powered cutters and benders before dismissing them as an unessential expense.
Powered portable machines range from hand-held electric cutters that weigh under 50 pounds to gasoline-or diesel-powered benders and cutters equipped with flotation tires, designed to be pulled behind a truck.
Hand-Held Electric Cutters
Hand-held electric cutters, ranging in price from about $1000 to $3000, offer flexibility since they can be used in tight spaces and after the rebar has been placed. They are not as durable or fast as heavier portable units that rest on the floor, ground, special stand, or workbench, but they meet the periodic cutting needs of many contractors.
Heavier-Duty Portable Cutters
Contractors who wish to cut larger volumes of rebar in advance of placement have many options.
Portable rebar benders will help improve the efficiency of contractors who frequently need to make field adjustments. The rebar cutting and bending needs of contractors generally aren't great enough to warrant having separate cutting and bending specialists. Consequently, contractors should consider buying a combination cutter/bender. In most cases, having one machine that performs both functions will save money. Ease of operation is a major selling point for many cutters, benders, and combination models. Most cutter and bender manufacturers make safety a high priority as well. It is especially important to read manufacturers' literature and talk with plenty of other contractors and suppliers before investing in a powered cutter, bender, or combination model.