How to Cut Metal without Power Tools – Everything you need to know

Many DIY lovers and professional handymen use power tools to cut metal. However, not everyone has access to high-end power tools. What can you do if you want to cut metal and you don't have power tools? If you have a DIY projects that involve cutting metals like steel, there are different ways that you can use to cut the metal without power tools.

To choose the best method for you, you need to ask yourself several questions like:

  • What level of accuracy do you want to achieve?
  • How fast do you want to cut?
  • What type of material are you cutting?

If you answer the above questions, it will be easy for you to find out the most convenient way cutting the metal. There are different types of metal and each requires a different cutting technique. The cutting method you choose will depend on the type of metal, the precision needed and well and how you intend to use the metal. Always make sure that you have gloves when you are cutting metal to avoid injuring your hands.

Cutting metal manually with hand tools

If you are dealing with smaller metal cutting projects, there are different hand tools that you can use to cut metal like thin gauge aluminum. Note that hand tools are not ideal if you want to cut the metal into small pieces because it can cause the metal to break. The following are some of the ways you can cut metal without power tools.

Using chisel

Chisels and mainly used to remove excess metal and provide more precise shapes. Depending on the task, you can choose a cold chisel that features sharpened edges or a hot chisel which needs to be heated before you hammer through metal.

Hand shears

Hand shears are popular tools that are used to cut metal. They are also called tin snips and available in different versions. You can find scissor-like hand shears designed with thinner blades and shaped well to help you achieve certain cuts.


A hacksaw is a common hand tool that you will find in many DIY toolkits. If you don't have power tools, a hacksaw can help you cut metal effectively. A hacksaw is small and very easy to use. It does a great job especially if you want to achieve cutting at steep angles to the direction of your material.

The only problem that you will face when using a hacksaw is that you will use a lot of effort and time. Despite all these, you will appreciate having this tool for metal cutting.

YouTube Video Credit Kevin Caron, Artist

Straight cutters

These are tools that are specifically made make straight or gentle sloping curves. You can get some special models that can cut right, left or circles. As a general tip, the bigger the tool, the more it will be easy to make longer cuts.

Bench Shear

This is another great tool that you can use to cut gauges of sheet metal. You can find the tolls into different types which include straight shears and throatless shears. Straight shears are used to make straight lines while throatless shears work well for curved and other tough shapes. The tools work just like paper cutters and they are easy to use.

To use these tools, you just need to mark the line where you want to make your cut on the sheet metal. Keep the metal under the blade and line up the blade with the cut line. Then pull the handle down with your hands to cut through the metal.


When you apply a sharp point of a cutting tool on a metal surface and then spun it with a supportive tool, this is called turning. It removes metal layers until you get a favorable size that you want.

Final Words

Power tools are the most common in many workshops for metal cutting. Does it mean you can't cut metal if you don't have power tools? If you are dealing with smaller projects, you can use the above-mentioned tools to cut metal. In as much as they are time-consuming and require you to use more effort, you will still have your metal cut. But if you are dealing with larger and thicker metals, you will get the best performance when you are using power tools.

Also Read: Best Metal Chop Saw for 2020 - Reviews, Comparison and Buying Guide

Alvin V.Stone

I’m a DIY enthusiast and run a woodshop. I created this blog to provide you with reliable information concerning power saws so that you can do your work best. Not only do I provide power saw guide and reviews but also other resources that help you take your projects to a higher level.

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