How to Cut Sheet Metal: Different Methods for Different Situations

Cutting sheet metal is one thing that you might find yourself doing in a number of DIY projects. While you might think that sheet metal is thin, working on it is not as easy at sounds. After all, not all cuts are just straight. There are some instances wherein you have to cut it in circles or certain angles, which will make the task a bit more difficult.

If you want to learn how to cut sheet metal, we got you in the rest of this post. We’ll let you know how to do this in a manner that requires minimal effort. Even as a person with no extensive experience in DIY jobs, we will try to make the steps as easy to follow as possible.

Using Power Tools to Cut Sheet Metal

If you are lucky enough to have power tools at home, this is a method that will work best. It requires less manual work and there is a higher likelihood that you will end up with accurate cuts. A hand-held cutting tool is the most basic power equipment that you can use, such as power shears, angle grinders and jigsaws. All that you have to do is to make the measurements and cut using your power tool of choice.

Power Tools to Cut Sheet Metal

How to Cut Sheet Metal Manually

For most DIYers, on the other hand, this is the preferred choice when it comes to cutting sheet metal. It involves a bit of more work, but the good thing is that most of the tools required are very basic.

Among others, the most basic manual tool that you can use is a tin snip. Also called aviation snip or compound snip, this works perfectly if the sheet metal has a thinness that is below 24 gauge. If it is too thin, it will be impossible for you to cut the metal. Keep in mind that there are different types of snips that are available. Those with green handles are right-cut snips, which are for curves that turn clockwise. Meanwhile, those with red handles are left-cut snips, which are for curves that turn counter clockwise. Mark the sheet metal and start cutting using the right snips for the job.

On the other hand, if you have to cut longer, a manual nibbler will be more than enough for the job. You can cut the sheet metal without too much distortion and noise when you use a nibbler. It works best only if there is a small project since it will require more effort on your end, which is why it may not be the best for beginners.

Cuts Sheet Metal by Snips

Another tool that will be an effective choice for cutting sheet metal is a hacksaw.  Because of its shape, however, there are limitations on the angle and shape that it can cut. Nonetheless, for most basic and straight cuts, this is a good hand tool of choice. One problem with a hacksaw is that the cuts can be rough on the edges. A good remedy to this issue is to place a masking tape on the top and bottom part of the metal that you will cut to make the edges smoother.

Lastly, you will also be able to cut sheet metal if you have a toothless Beverly shear at home. This is a tool that you will mount in a bench and will be good enough for a variety of cuts. The single long handle of the shears will allow you to direct the movement and the angle of the cut. There is a nibbler-style blade that cuts through the sheet metal as you move the handle.

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