If you are a DIY enthusiast, you will find yourself dealing with sheet metal. It could be you are replacing roof splashing, repairing HVAC ducts, or the normal metal craft projects. All these projects involve cutting metal sheets. How do you cut metal sheets without gouging, bending, or scoring the metal? I will cover different ways how to cut sheet metal at home so that it can be easy for you to choose the right tool to use.
Cutting sheet metal can be a daunting task if you do not have the right tools. Again, the metals are available in different strengths and thicknesses. There are different means that you can use to cut metal sheets depending on the pattern you want and the type of sheet metal.
How to Cut Metal Sheet – 4 Easy Ways
Method 1: By using an electric saw
This is a convenient method to use if you want to cut straight lines. The process is pretty simple. Wax the blade before you cut your ideal metal sheet. As you know, cutting metal can be tough for saws and if you want to extend the life of the blade, you can rub it with wax. If you don’t have wax, you can apply a thin layer of paraffin to the blade.
For you to get even cuts, you can work with a saw with at least 24teeth per inch. The next thing that you need to do is to secure your metal sheet in place. You can use masking tape on the two sides of the metal sheet on the line that you want to make. This helps you achieve cleaner cuts and ensures the metal chips do not scratch the sheet when you are cutting.
Place the saw blade against the edge of the metal such that the teeth point forward. You can run your fingers against the blade to find out where the teeth are pointed.
Hold the saw using both hands and then push the blade in a forward direction using your dominant hand. If you have not worked with electric saws, you need to be careful to prevent injuries. Make sure that you do not use your non-dominant hand to push. You should only use it to keep the blade steady and control its direction.
Make the strokes continuously until the blade reaches the other edge. When you are through with the first stroke, pull the saw back using your dominant hand and remove it from the metal sheet.
Method 2: Use Tin Snips to Cut Metal Sheet
Tin snips can help you create straight, round and curved cuts in metal sheets. Snips come in different colors and today many manufacturers color them based on the direction of cut. You can choose red, yellow, blue, or green snips. Tin snips work well in cutting metal sheets like brass, tin, thin gauge stainless steel, and aluminum.
Once you align your snips with the metal sheet, clamp the metal sheet in place on the work table for perfect cuts. The snips should align well with the lines that you want to cut. When the tin snips are in good contact with the sheet metal, use your fingers to squeeze the handles and make the first cut. Continue to cut through the metal sheet. If you want to change the direction, switch the tin snips.
Method 3: Dremels- A Good device to Cut Metal Sheet
If you want to get short and precise cuts, I would recommend you to use a Dremel. This is a tool that is easy to maneuver. They work well in cutting small incisions in metal. Dremels work well for small cuts. For big cuts, it can be time-consuming if you use a Dremel. Therefore, you should an electric saw or tin snip for bigger cuts.
A Dremel can help you achieve both straight and curved cuts. Secure your metal sheet and then turn on the Dremel. You can use clamps to secure the metal sheet to prevent it from moving when cutting. Ensure that the Dremel is on medium or high speed to get the required power for cutting the metal. When using a Dremel, put safety goggles, earplugs, respirators to protect your eyes, ears, and lungs.
Place the blade of the Dremel against the metal sheet at the edge where you intend to make your cuts. Use firm pressure to dig into the surface until you achieve the right depth cut. You then need to move forward along the line you want to cut. Move the blade along the intended line until you reach the other end. To prevent accidents from taking place, use steady pressure to keep the lines precise.
Method 4: Using Metal Nibbler You Can Cut Sheet
This is another method you can use to cut metal sheets if you are dealing with small cuts. Nibblers work well in providing thin and shortcuts and they offer better control.
Using the tool is simple. You just need to secure the metal in position using a clamp. Then align the nibbler such that the blade is level and the middle touches the edge that you want to cut. Turn on your nibbler and begin to cut. As compared to the above methods, nibblers are slow so do not put more pressure on it as you work.
Work slowly until you reach the end of the line. If you want to change the direction, you can do it slowly to prevent making accidental cuts. You also need to have safety goggles and earplugs before you turn on the nibbler to protect your ears and eyes.
If you were wondering how you can cut the metal sheet, I believe you know the different methods that you can use. You can choose any of the methods depending on the type of cuts you want or the metal sheet you are working with. I have explained every method in detail so that it will be easy for you to follow when you need to make accurate and precise cuts. I hope you will have a simple time cutting your ideal metal sheet.