Have you ever tried to increase your home’s property value by making some improvements? Maybe you wanted to cut through a pipe or some metal mesh but ended up with gashes all over your hands and one sloppy cut.
While hiring a professional is a good idea for those complicated jobs, cutting metal doesn’t have to be one of them. That’s right – you can master metal cutting and do all those DIY home improvement projects you’ve been putting off.
The key to cutting metal is to have the right tools. Different metal objects may require different tools and techniques.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover 8 methods of metal cutting.
1. Angle Grinder
Are you looking for something that will help you cut anything from thin sheet metal to sturdy rebar? Then an angle grinder will be a good choice. It’s the best all-around tool for cutting metal so you don’t have to buy tons of different tools.
Abrasive metal cutting discs are a classic option to cut through any kind of metal. However, they don’t last very long. With each use, the discs wear down and get thinner.
If you’re looking for something a little sturdier, go for the diamond cut blade attachment. Find one that’s rated to cut ferrous metal and you’ll be set. They work even better than abrasive metal cutting discs as they are faster and cleaner. Plus, they’ll last a lot longer.
2. Utility Knife
No toolbox would be complete without a utility knife. They’re great for all sorts of DIY home improvement projects, and now you can add one more to the list.
That’s right – you can learn how to cut metal with a simple utility knife. It’s worth noting that this method works best on light gauge sheet metal or aluminum.
All you have to do is score the metal with the utility knife. Then, bend the metal back and forth until it snaps.
Voila – you’ll be left with a nice cut that didn’t require any expensive power tools! You can even use that money you saved to take your family on vacation.
3. Circular Saw
Do you like working with wood? You may have many power tools in your garage that are perfect for woodworking. Among them is probably a circular saw.
Many people don’t think about using circular saws for metal cutting, but they work better than you’d think. Just attach it with a ferrous metal cutting blade and you’ll be able to cut steel that’s 3/8 inch or thinner.
Although the cut will be smooth, it’s not a tidy task. Make sure you are equipped with the proper safety equipment, including safety goggles, because hot bits of metal will go flying everywhere.
4. Oscillating Tool
Are you trying to cut a pipe or nail that’s in a tight spot? Maybe you’re trying to reach behind the toilet or above your head in the basement. When it comes to these types of spots, most tools will be too bulky to cut metal safely.
That’s where the oscillating tool with a metal cutting blade comes in handy. It’s light and small enough to fit it into spaces other tools can’t reach. Plus, the blade is flat, making it easy to cut metal flush with the wall.
Are you running a business and need an efficient way of cutting steel? Waterjets are a newer, but very convenient way to do that.
But how is water the best way to cut metal for businesses? Well, special machines are used to generate intense water pressure. Then, the water shoots through a tiny hole, giving it enough pressure and velocity to cut through soft metals.
If you need even more power, there are waterjet machines capable of cutting through one-foot thick steel. You can click here to learn about the different waterjet options.
Do you need to make a small or precise cut? That can be very difficult when using some of the power tools listed above. But, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
You can use a hacksaw when cutting thin metal, like sheet metal. However, it won’t produce as clean of a cut as some other tools. You also won’t be able to angle the hacksaw very much once you’ve started cutting. This can be helpful for easy shallow cuts, but anything deeper or more complicated will require a different tool.
7. Reciprocating Saw
Have you attempted cutting metal using a hacksaw in the past? By the time your cut was finished your arm was probably so tired it felt like it was going to fall off.
A reciprocating saw is a convenient upgrade from the hacksaw. Not only is it easier, but it has more power behind it. You’ll be able to cut through pipes, bolts, angle iron, and rods that you couldn’t dream of using a hacksaw for.
However, the reciprocating saw blade may wear down with fast use. To avoid this and help the blade last longer, you should cut through metal on a slow speed and opt for carbide-tooth or bimetal blades.
When you look for a blade, you’ll notice you have several different TPI (teeth per inch) options. The TPI you choose will depend on the thickness of the metal you’re attempting to cut. As a general rule, the thicker the metal, the less TPI you should use.
8. Compound Snips
Has your wife asked to you cut through thin metal to help her make some DIY craft she saw on Pinterest? Chances are, compound snips will be your best bet.
They’re great for making controlled cuts in steel or metal that’s 24 gauge or thinner. They work just like scissors, so you can manipulate them to cut different shapes out of the sheet metal. They even have different compound snips designed to cut in straight lines, clockwise curves, or counterclockwise curves.
Metal Cutting Methods
If you’ve never been able to master cutting steel and metal before, don’t give up just yet. The tools you use make a huge difference! Follow our guide to the best metal cutting methods, so you can be the master of DIY home repairs.
Did you like this article? Check out our home tips blog page for more great posts like this.