Metals can be challenging to cut and trim. It’s important to use the correct tools so you can cut metal safely and efficiently. The thickness and hardness of the metal will impact how easy it is to cut. There are various tools available to cut metal – from shears to a hacksaw. DIYers probably won’t need a tool as powerful as professional tradespeople. Look at the metal you need to cut to decide on the most appropriate tool.
First things first, you need to wear special protective equipment when working with metal. Buy yourself some protective gloves, goggles and shoes to reduce your risk of being injured when working. Cutting metal causes chips of metal to fly everywhere, and they can be very hot and sharp. You need to wear goggles or a face shield to protect your eyes from these chips and long sleeve clothing to stop them from burning your skin.
Before you begin cutting metal, you need to make sure no one else is around you. If there are others in the workshop, they should be wearing the appropriate PPE to protect themselves. Wear steel-toe work boots to protect your feet if you stand on any shards of metal and puncture-resistant gloves for handling sharp edges. Keep flammable liquids far away from your work area – sparks could fly onto them and set the workshop on fire. Cutting metal is a dangerous task that should be approached with the utmost caution.
Use a hacksaw
The hacksaw is the original metal-cutting tool and one of the most accessible options. It’s affordable, versatile and perfect for smaller DIY projects. It can also cut through other materials so you can use it for various jobs.
Use metal scissors
Tin snips are perfect for cutting through softer metals like aluminium and copper. They are ideal for sheet metal, metal roofing, studs and gutters as well. Tin nips feature a curved blade that can cut curves and circles easily. If you’re confident with power tools yet, buy a pair of tin snips to cut your metal material.
Use a jigsaw
A jigsaw is a little more complex than a pair of scissors. The hand-held power tool is designed to cut sheet metal, pipework and wood surfaces. You can find different jigsaw models for different projects. For example, a more heavy-duty metal would require a robust saw blade that could cut through 10mm of steel.
Use metal sheers
If you’ve mastered the tin snips, move onto the metal sheers for cutting bulky metal sheets. Sheers make clean cuts quickly in thicker gauge metals.
Choose the best metal cutting device for you and your work.