The Best Metal Cutting Tools

The type of metal to be cut, the amount, and your level of experience will all play a role in choosing the right metal cutting tool. Some cuts may require a different tool than bulk cutting corrugated sheet metal to make a roof.

Safety precautions

Metal cutting is dangerous. Hot, sharp pieces of metal will be thrown into the air if the cutting tool comes in contact with it. This could cause you to burn or cut your skin. Safety instructions for each tool must be followed. It is important to use protective gear such as safety glasses and ear protection. Metal cutting can cause hearing loss.

The Right Gear

Wear a long-sleeve shirt over your arms and pants made of fire-resistant materials. Steel-toed work boots are recommended to protect your feet. Puncture-resistant gloves will protect your hands from being cut by sharp edges and burned by hot metal. You should not touch any metal parts until they have cooled completely. Metal-on-metal friction is a heat-producing phenomenon. Don’t allow anyone to enter the area without proper attire.

Keep flammable liquids out of the area. This will prevent sparks from setting your house or workshop on fire.

Make sure your metal gauge is compatible

Before you start, ensure that the metal gauge (the thickness) and the tool with which you are going to cut the metal are compatible. You could end up damaging your tool or blade and potentially ruining the metal piece you are cutting.

Metal cutting tools and methods

Hacksaw

The manual hacksaw is the original tool for cutting metal. It’s an affordable, simple option that can be used to cut through any kind of metal. The hacksaw is a great tool for small projects or home improvements. It’s also very affordable and versatile.

Tin Snips

Tin snips can be used in the same way as a pair or scissors. If the blade is curvy, it can also cut curves and circles. Tin snips can be used to cut soft metals such as aluminum and copper. They are also useful for cutting sheet metal and roofing metals. Tin snips leave a smooth edge due to their sharp blades.

How to Cut Corrugated Metal With Tin Snips

  1. Wear safety gear and take all safety precautions.
  2. You should hold the tin-snips like a pair.
  3. Make long, smooth cuts by opening the blades as wide and as far as you can.
  4. Roll the metal up if one side is sagging. Keep cutting until the piece is finished.

Metal Air Shears

This power tool is a great upgrade to the manual tin-snips and comes in handy for large or complex metal sheet cutting projects. It can make many clean cuts quickly and can handle thicker gauge metals.

Angle Grinder with Cutoff wheel

Angle grinders are a versatile power tool. This tool can be used to cut stone, tile and concrete as well as mortar. Simply change the cutting wheel to a metal cutter wheel to make it work with other metals. The cutoff wheel is especially useful when you don’t require a smooth edge. It can also cut through fencing, rebar and rusted bolts as well as other hard metals such steel.

Cold Saw

A cold saw, unlike a chop saw, uses a coolant to keep the metal being cut friction-free, not too hot and gives clean, precise cuts. Although a cold saw is more expensive than other tools for metal cutting, it will be worth it if you are regularly fabricating or cutting metal. The blade won’t wear as fast as in other metal-cutting tools and you won’t need to replace it as often.

Metal Circular Saw or Circular Saw With Metal Cutting Blade

A circular saw fitted with the correct blade can be used to cut roofing, sheet metal and corrugated material. You may also be able, depending on your blade choice, to stack up several pieces and cut them all simultaneously, which can reduce cutting time.

How to Cut Metal Roofing with a Circular Saw

  1. Wear safety gear and take all safety precautions.
  2. Install a metal cutting knife into your circular saw.
  3. Cut the back side of the metal roofing if there is one.
  4. Mark the spot where you will be cutting the metal, and then cut the line.

Band saws

Band saws are great for bulk cutting flat stock and tubes, but they can also be used to cut intricate angles or custom shapes. Cutting speed will depend on the type of metal and its gauge as well as your choice in blade.

How to Cut Metal Pipe with a Band Saw

  1. Wear safety gear and take all safety precautions.
  2. Place the pipe in the vise grip of the machine perpendicularly to the blade.
  3. Turn on the saw and lower the blade slowly. Add some pressure to the pipe.
  4. Continue adding slow, consistent pressure to the pipe until it is cut.
  5. File away any burrs.

Oxy-Acetylene Torch

The torch combines oxygen and acetylene (a Hydrocarbon Gas) from tanks. Once the nozzle is lit, it will produce a high-temperature flame that allows you to cut thick metal pieces in a way that is otherwise impossible. Although the torch is quieter and faster than a saw, it does require practice in order to properly use.

When used properly, most of these methods will not leave any sharp edges or burrs. If they do, it could be that you are cutting too fast or your blade has become duller. You can remove a burr using a metal file, deburring tool or attach a flap disc to your angle grinder to smoothen your metal pieces.

About the Author

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Darius Matsumoto

Hi, i am Darius. Woodworking is my another hobby for the last five years. I love to write woodworking project and also ideas.

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