What Are The Best Tools For Cutting Sheet Metal?
We’ve all heard the saying, “A bad worker blames his tools.” While this may be something of a cliché, it does highlight the key point of using the right tool for the right job. As we’re in the business of steel, we’d like to run through the various tools we’d use for cutting sheet metal.
Steel comes in multiple shapes and sizes, with sheet metal measured in gauges from 1 – 36, with the smaller numbers indicating a thicker sheet.
The Best Tools For Cutting Sheet Metal
Cutting sheet metal with a thinner gauge of 24 or lower is a cinch with compound snips which look like a pair of hardy scissors. Snips make short work of thin gauge steel and can easily and accurately cut shapes and lengths.
Straight snips are identified by their yellow handle, left and right cut snips have red and green handles respectively and allow for cutting smooth curves.
Longer cuts in sheet metal can be achieved by using a nibbler, which is a hand-operated power tool ideal for making long straight cuts. It does this by punching out tiny holes in the steel resulting in a rough edge, but a straight line.
Obviously, the trusty angle grinder is a great go-to tool for fast, rough cuts. It’s not top of the log when it comes to a smooth or accurate finish, but it will grind through thicker gauge metal with relative ease.
For short, shallow cuts we can always rely on the hacksaw, although it wouldn’t be your first choice for thinner gauge sheet metal.
These smaller, hand-held tools are a good way to finish off light-weight projects for a great finish. However, there may come a time when you need to bring out the big guns. Industrial-strength cutting machines are certainly fit for purpose, and our talented team know all about them!
Give us a call – we’d love to assist with your next project.