Whether you’re sawing through a pipe or hacking off a corroded mounting nut, there are times when you may need to know how to cut metal. It’s a simple task, but you need the right tools for the job, and you need to follow certain safety precautions.
Before getting started, make sure you’ve taken the following safety measures:
- Protect your eyes, face and ears whenever you’re cutting metal. Use safety glasses, a face shield, and hearing protection.
- Shield your body from sharp flying particles. Keep your arms, hands and legs covered with a long-sleeved shirt, safety gloves and pants.
- Be mindful of hot metal. Metal heats up when it’s being cut, so allow it to cool before you handle it.
- Read the instructions. The tools you’ll use to cut metal come with instructions and safety precautions. Read them carefully before you begin your task.
Cutting Metal: 7 Tools You Can Use
Here are seven tools you can use to cut different types of metal:
- Grinding disc: A grinding disc is ideal for slicing through stainless steel. For smaller tasks, use a rotary tool equipped with a metal-cutting disc. For bigger projects, mount the disc in an angle grinder.
- Miter saw: Looking to cut an aluminum rod or tube? The best tool for the task is a miter saw. Be sure to equip it with a blade that’s designed to cut nonferrous metal.
- Circular saw: If it’s equipped with the right blade, a circular saw can be a great choice for slicing through rebar. You can use a steel-tooth or carbide-tooth blade. Carbide-tooth blades are pricier but offer superior durability.
- Utility knife: Yes, you can use a utility knife to cut metal. This tool is best suited for aluminum siding and flashing. You’ll also need a straightedge or square to hold the metal in place while you cut.
- Oscillating tool: Sometimes you need to access tight spaces when you’re slicing through metal. For example, you may need to crawl into the cramped space under a sink to hack through a corroded mounting nut. An oscillating tool is the best choice for this task, as long as it’s equipped with a metal-cutting blade. This tool is also compact enough to work well in small spaces. Use it to slice through everything from nails to plumbing pipes to bolts.
- Tin snips: What about cutting through metal lath or hardware cloth? Tin snips are a great tool for this task. You can also use snips to cut sheet metal.
- Reciprocating saw: If you need to cut metal that’s extremely thick, use a reciprocating saw. Make sure it’s equipped with a blade that’s intended to be used on metal.
Slicing through metal is a piece of cake with the right tools, and now you have the information you need to tackle any metal cutting task.
Check out all the cutting tools available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to cut metal, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.