Hello: I like to use a tape measure to check the real height where the anode will go. This is done by inserting the tape into the tank and measuring straight down. Measuring to the top of the fitting gives you a measure to the top of the threads on the anode. Two inches less than that measure is the right length for the anode. You can cut the anode with a hacksaw or recip saw. There is no real danger of igniting the magnesium dust unless you are taking a torch to it, (how do I know? :cool:). The steel wire will not be a problem. Of course, it’s best to clamp the anode in a vise and use a sharp metal cutting blade with light pressure.