How to Cut Tent Poles

Updated March 28, 2017

Tent poles are typically made from aluminium or fibreglass. Over time the poles may bend, crack or require cord repairs. Should you have a tent pole with a crack that needs to be removed to repair the pole it needs to be cut out. Use a hacksaw for the aluminium or fibreglass pole to gently cut through the material and prep the rods for further repair.

Open the bench vice and place the tent pole into the jaws so the damaged portion to be repaired is sticking out of the jaws but within three or four inches to the jaws. This provides added leverage for the sawing and prevents the pole from bending during the cut.

Place the hacksaw blade at the portion to be cut and gently pull back and forth so the blade lightly makes an indentation onto the pole material. Push the blade down a shade harder and continue to saw until the blade begins to slice through the diameter of the pole. Stop when the blade hits to shock cord in the pole. Pull the blade up and use the sharp knife blade to cut the shock cord.

Put the saw back into the sawn pole area and continue until the pole is cut through.

File down the ends of the sawn pole to be used in the repair of the pole and tent. If the pole was fibreglass use the sandpaper to smooth the cut; use the metal file to smooth aluminium poles.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw
  • Bench vice
  • Metal file
  • Sandpaper
  • Sharp knife
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About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.