How to Use a Nut Splitter? (Explained For Beginners)

If you’re on your last legs trying to remove a rusted or stuck nut or bolt, a nut splitter is often the best tool. They can split or cut up the rusted bolt, thus effectively removes them.

Nut splitters are often the best way to remove rusted nuts that are stuck without having to use heat.

how to use a nut splitter
how to use a nut splitter

This article serves as a guide on how to use a nut splitter. We’ll cover some general instructions detailing its function and use. There will also be some tips on how to use it better.

How Does a Nut Splitter Work?

Nut splitters feature a blade or a cutter inside a ring. The ring and the cutter latch onto the nut or bolt. It features a screw that you can then tighten.

By tightening it, you can either split the nut using the cutter or remove it. The best nut splitter allows you to make a clean cut or remove.

Nut Splitter Precautions

There are some things you should keep in mind before opting to use a nut splitter.

These are:

  • Most of the time, a nut splitter will severe a nut. This will make the nut or bolt unusable later on. If you don’t want to destroy the nut or bolt, you can try other alternatives.
  • If you’re buying a nut splitter, make sure it is properly sized so that the ring fits the nut properly. Not being properly sized will result in awkward and inefficient use.
  • After getting a nut splitter, always read the instruction manual attached to it. Some models feature specific instructions, and it’s best to be informed of those beforehand.

How to Use a Nut Splitter: Step By Step

There are two primary types of nut splitters you’ll use. One is a manual nut splitter, and the other is a hydraulic nut splitter. We’ll cover both types.

1. Manual Nut Splitter

A manual nut splitter is operated by hand. Most nuts can be removed using manual nut splitters, provided they match the nut or bolt’s size.

To use a manual nut splitter, you need to follow the below steps:

  • First, you need to untighten the screw; this will cause the ring to expand, allowing you to place the nut splitter onto the nut or bolt.
  • Locate the nut you want to remove and place the ring of the nut splitter around it. Make sure that the ring fully covers the nut before trying to latch on it.
  • Rotate the nut splitter until the blade inside the ring faces a flat side of the nut or bolt. Keep it at that position.
  • With the proper position, you can now begin to tighten the screw. This tightening will cause the ring to clamp onto the nut or bolt, and the blade will slowly dig into it.
  • After it is securely clamped, you can try to pull it apart with a forceful motion. Otherwise, you can continue to tighten the screw, which will cause the blade to split apart the nut and remove it.

If you find that a nut isn’t being removed after tightening the screw to the max, understand that your manual nut splitter probably doesn’t have enough strength to remove it. You will need to resort to a hydraulic nut splitter.

2. Hydraulic Nut Splitter

A hydraulic nut splitter makes use of hydraulic pressure to operate the cutter. This pressure gives it more cutting power and allows it to remove rusted or frozen nuts more easily.

hydraulic nut splitter
hydraulic nut splitter

To operate a hydraulic nut splitter, you’ll need to make sure you have a battery-powered pump or hand pump. Then follow the steps below:

  1. The splitter should have a slot where you can connect the hand pump or battery-powered pump to it. Make sure the pump is off before connecting it.
  2. Locate the frozen or corroded nut and place the ring around it. Make sure the blade is facing the flat of the nut.
  3. Make sure the clamp is secure. Then turn on the pump.
  4. The pump will cause the ring to tighten and sever the nut, thus removing it in a few seconds.

Some Tips on Using a Nut Splitter

Here are some tips to better use a nut splitter:

  1. Use a wire brush to remove some of the rust; this will help loosen the nut and remove it later on.
  2. You can put a groove around the nut or bolt; this will allow the blade of the nut splitter to penetrate more easily and make the cutting process smoother.

Further Read:


We hope that you found this guide on how to use a nut splitter informative; they are quite easy to use and easy to get the hang of. Once you have the proper tool, you will be removing corroded nuts and bolts in no time flat.

About Tools Archive Team

Avatar for Tools Archive TeamWe're a group of people who know a lot about home improvement and automobiles. All of our members are experts in their fields. We wrote this blog to answer your questions about home improvement and automobiles.