Cutting railway sleepers

Hope you've all not been too cold recently.  Wondering if you could help me.  I've mentioned on a previous sleeper conversation that I'll be doing a landscaping project involving sleepers (not creosoted).  It would be better I think to be able to cut them on site and I went asking the hire shops about chainsaws, circular saws etc.  I didn't really get too far as each shop said they wouldn't use the other thing they would each recommend.  What would you recommend to cut the sleepers?

Dewalt crosscut mitre saw available on Amazon

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Email me when people reply –


  • I have a friend who bought a second-hand BT chainsaw - massive electric thing - that was used specifically to cut telegraph poles. So a chainsaw would seem to be an answer as the poles are very similar to sleepers. I'll ask him the make & model when I see him
  • PRO Member
    I use a dewalt 718 Mitre Saw what has a 305mm dia blade, it ha a cutting capacity of 327mm x 90 mm at 90 degree's
  • PRO Member
    i know especially when its mounted on the FREE stand i got with it
  • I'm really sorry but I don't know anything about makita circular saws. I've been looking at them but in all honesty I've no idea what I'm looking at - this is a huge learning curve!!!! Is there a particular model number or a particular size blade we'll need. Watching Reggie Perrin as doing this and know how he feels!!
  • lisa

    A brave choice tackling a scope of works that you've never undertaken before, perhaps a few quotes from local landscapers could be a thought and way forward.

    Good luck
  • I used to use my circular saw for cutting sleepers, I now use my chainsaw as its a damn site quicker! Maybe not as safe though, we all know the inherent dangers of using them.

    When I used my circular saw thought we used to hark up to length with a set square so we could follow the line around and not get the step in them.
  • Yer it can get a little warm in the summer! What I tend to do is work out all of the cuts and get them done in 1 go.

    Pro Gard said:
    If its softwood then I use a chop saw, I hire a DW 718 for £30 a day from the local hire shop and have my own blade for it, cheper than buying outright for the ocasional use it would get.

    Chainsaw is fine but a drag having to wear saw protection and not sutch a good cut imo.
  • a sliding compound mitre saw is the only way to go. A chainsaw would not give you the accurate cut you need.
  • PRO Member
    tools you could use to cut sleepers in no particular order

    1.. sanvik 244 hand saw
    a brand new hand saw will give a decent cut but you still need a bit of skill to keep it in a straight position when moving forwards and backwards and to follow the lines you have marked on the sleeper

    2..bow saw
    fine for cutting a tree down but you will end up with a cut on the end of the sleeper like a dogs hind leg

    3.. chain saw
    will still give you an average cut and you have to know how to use one as they can snatch into the wood and kick back

    4..cross cut saw
    will give the best finish out of all the above tools but you will have to turn the sleeper over as all the cross cut saws will not cut all the way through a 8 x 4 or a 10 x 5 sleeper

    5..reciprocating saw
    similar to a bow saw finish but mechanised

    whatever tool you decide to use always aways aways be very careful when using power tools and keep you hands clear
  • PRO Member
    I have finally found the advert I was looking for!
    Check out this link:
    Basically it's a chainsaw in a circular saw stylee and can apparently go to 60 degrees
    If I remember correctly from a timber frame course I took a while back there are attachments, mainly in the U.S., that you bolt onto your chainsaw. It's like the baseplate of a circular saw and acts in much the same way.
This reply was deleted.

Latest blog post

LJN Sponsor

Premium Supplier

Country Supplies becomes first supplier of LigniaXD™ Decking in the UK.

Lignia XD, Solid Wood without Equal.

Hughenden Valley, Buckinghamshire – Country Supplies today announced that in partnership with Fibre7 the UK release of LigniaXD™ Decking. With outstanding sourcing credentials Lignia XD® is a premium timber that has been created from certified sawn plantation timber with colour and performance locked into the core – fit for purpose,…

Read more…
Premium Supplier

Richard Maryan, head groundsman at Eastbourne College, has just purchased a new Dennis Razor after recognising that it had every feature he was looking for in a fine turf mower.

Seven years ago, Richard took on the role as head groundsman at Eastbourne College after an impressive fourteen years working as part of the grounds team. One of the first management decisions he decided to make was to refresh the turf maintenance machinery.

“A lot of our equipment was getting quite…

Read more…
Premium Supplier

Dennis Launch New Machine at SALTEX 2015

The Joint stand of Dennis and SISIS will be at the very heart of SALTEX 2015, being held at the NEC Birmingham 4-5 November, on stand E070.

Visitors will be able to get a first glimpse of the new Dedicated G-Series range of mowers that have been designed and built following the same concept of the hugely popular Dennis G860 machine.…

Read more…
Premium Supplier

After Leicester City was promoted to the FA Premier League last season, head groundsman John Ledwidge and his team were treated to an influx of grounds machinery. As a result, John had only one company in mind and purchased seven Dennis G860 cylinder mowers.

In his first season of being appointed head groundsman for Leicester City, John achieved his childhood dream of becoming a Premier League head groundsman before the age of 30.

John has already had spells at Coventry City…

Read more…