11 Easy Ways To Efficiently Cut Metals

The periodic table contains more than 100 elements that are classified as “metals.” Fabricators and construction workers often only work with a few of those most frequently encountered metals and their alloys, primarily steel, iron, and copper.

Nevertheless, there are several solutions available to experts today for cutting those materials, both with and without the aid of power instruments.

You might not be familiar with all of these cutting techniques if you’re new to the industry or a novice DIYer. By teaching you to a variety of metal cutting techniques, from the most basic ones using hand tools to more complex ones using power equipment, this guide will try to correct that.

The Best Ways To Cut Metal

Magnetic Drills

Magnetic drills, also known as mag drills, offer exceptional portability and versatility, allowing users to perform heavy-duty drilling operations on-site and in hard-to-reach locations. These tools use a magnetic base to securely attach to ferromagnetic surfaces, providing a stable and precise drilling platform that reduces error and increases safety. Additionally, magnetic drills can be equipped with a variety of cutting tools, such as annular cutters or twist drills, making them suitable for a wide range of applications, from construction to metal fabrication.

Rotabroach mag drills are a common sight in workshops and worksites across the world; designed with market-leading technologies, #theoriginalname was the first brand in magnetic drilling, over 50 years ago. Click here to see more about our range of mag drills.


In the meanwhile, if you’re a DIYer and don’t want to spend money on new tools right now, you may always choose a tool from your DIY toolbox. In particular, a hacksaw can frequently complete simple metal-cutting tasks without any difficulty.

Due to the fact that they don’t require any special method to use, hacksaws are also excellent for novice metal cutters. To get the most out of a hacksaw, you will need to put in a bit more effort.

A hacksaw’s use is directly influenced by the kind of blade it has, like many other saw types.

Of course, hacksaws feature a system of interchangeable blades. Therefore, before attempting to cut through any bolt or sheet metal, you must turn on a specially manufactured metal-cutting blade. If you don’t, your wood-cutting blades will just get worn down and torn up.

Remember the origin of the name “hacksaw” as well. Even when cutting through metal, a hacksaw cut is oftentimes clumsy and harsh. When it comes to bringing those cut edges back down after a cut, be sure to plan accordingly.

Bench Shear

The metal-cutting hand tools that have been described up to this point are all portable. As a result, they have all had a restricted ability to cut and shape larger metal stock. You might use a bench sheer for that purpose.

In essence, you can precisely cut into metal stock with this stationary, bench-mounted tool without losing even a little leverage.

Bench shears accomplish this by having a long, upward-facing handle that the user pulls down to move the blade of the tool. Once this is complete, the blade of the unit falls toward the base, transferring the force given to the lever into the edge of the blade. The blade can so effortlessly cut through up to 10 gauge metal.

Metal workpieces typically shift a little during the cut as a result of this motion. Because of this, you must always maintain control of your metal workpiece as you feed it through a bench shear. However, keep your fingers away from the shear’s blades, which are razor-sharp and may pierce even work gloves.

Utility Knife

As you might anticipate, fabrication and construction experts have a range of techniques they employ to quickly cut metal stock. Using a utility knife to score the surface of light-gauge metal stock is one of their faster techniques for doing this.

This can enable a strong person to cleanly break off that stock without using a saw or snips if done correctly (i.e., in a straight line using a guide).

The majority of projects that use metal siding employ this technique. In order to accomplish this without having to turn on any power tools, contractors frequently employ this approach to swiftly make bespoke cuts in thin aluminium siding panels.

But be aware that there are some obvious safety risks with this approach. The possibility of the blade slipping when using a metal utility knife on a metal surface is obvious. As a result, you should only employ this approach if you’re wearing gloves and operating in a place where your coworkers are out of the way of the blade.

Tin Snips

This device resembles scissors in both appearance and use, but its razor-sharp jaws let you crimp and pierce sheet metal with a single, fluid action. Tin snips offer a lot of variety in that regard while still being completely accurate and controllable throughout a cut.

A single pair of tin snips is not always enough due to their versatility.

This is due to the fact that many sheet metal cutting applications require curves. You would require a pair of left- and right-cutting tin snips for that function. Fortunately, sets of these snips and their straight-cutting equivalents are frequently available. In this way, you may start out with simple metal cutting operations without having to invest a lot of money in tools.

Despite all of this, tin snips have one notable drawback. These instruments are practically useless if they become dull, which can happen fast if you use them frequently. As a result, if they are your only option for cutting a lot of sheet metal, you might find that you need to replace them frequently.

Mini Hacksaw

Thinner blades used in small hacksaws are useful in a variety of situations. With thinner blades, you can cut more quickly and remove less material. Even the greatest TPI blades (in large hacksaws) sometimes become caught when cutting through thin materials like metal tubing with narrow walls.

In contrast to my larger hacksaw, which has a blade that can hop and “dance” off the threads of even the smallest bolts, I use mine primarily to cut bolts. Even the worn-out notches of an old bar clamp were repaired with it!

Mini hacksaws are more of a light-duty instrument, typically less comfortable for prolonged use, lack many different blade options, and frequently shatter if misused.

Bolt Cutters

Bolt cutters are not only used for cutting bolts, despite what their name suggests. In addition, they are employed to cut metals with comparable thickness and tensile strength, including chains, wire mesh, rebar, padlocks, and so forth.

Because these are used to cut steel or metals rather than wood, they resemble bypass or anvil loppers on steroids.

Similar to loppers, they often have long handles with complex hinges that optimise the leverage or effort placed on the handles and very short blades.

When cutting live electric wires during rescue operations, certain bolt cutters include fibreglass handles instead of the more common steel ones.

Cutting Metal With Power Tools


The nibbler is probably the only power tool that functions as a straightforward upgrade for a common metal-cutting hand tool. It is unfortunate that many non-professionals are unfamiliar with the nibbler given its ability to produce lengthy cuts in thin-gauge steel.

In that role, this little, pistol-shaped power tool can cut cleanly and quickly without creating a lot of noise or distortion in the metal object it is intended to work on.

When it comes down to it, the nibbler’s actual purpose isn’t all that complicated.

The nibbler is probably the only power tool that functions as a straightforward upgrade for a common metal-cutting hand tool. It is unfortunate that many non-professionals are unfamiliar with the nibbler given its ability to produce lengthy cuts in thin-gauge steel.

In that role, this little, pistol-shaped power tool can cut cleanly and quickly without creating a lot of noise or distortion in the metal object it is intended to work on.

When it comes down to it, the nibbler’s actual purpose isn’t all that complicated.

Circular Saw

Long-time construction workers are aware of the numerous other use for circular saws besides cutting through wood.

If you have the right disc blade set up, you can actually use these saws to cut through metal very frequently. In particular, you’ll frequently want to utilise a blade that is extremely abrasive and capable of cutting through material with little resistance. The most effective choice for this use is typically a blade with a carbide tip.

You’ll be astonished at what kinds of metals a circular saw can cut through with the right blade set in your tool.

For instance, a lot of experts utilise their circular saw to quickly cut through rebar. In a similar vein, 3/8-inch stock can be easily cut using a circular saw. That is a significant capacity improvement over many other metal-cutting power tools.

Even though certain circular saws do support a metal-cutting blade, not all of them can really cut metal. Always read the user handbook for your tool before beginning any metal-cutting projects with a circular saw that you already own.

Angle Grinder

Angle grinders are one of the most obvious options for cutting metal, whether you’re a professional or a do-it-yourselfer. This is due to the fact that these handheld power tools are both quite simple to use correctly and reasonably priced for a layperson to purchase.

Once it is in place, an angle grinder’s small, quick circular blade can easily cut through most thin stock and even some thicker stock (including bolts) without any pushback.

Kickback on an angle grinder is prevalent because of this. For this reason, mounting your unit with a side support handle is frequently crucial. By doing this, even if the blade buckles slightly during the cut, you can guarantee that your cuts will stay even.

The general adaptability of angle grinders is another well-known characteristic. After all, most devices work with a range of blade kinds. Therefore, if your line of work demands you to work with a range of materials, you’ll probably be able to utilise your new angle grinder to cut more than simply metal.

Miter Saw

If you are familiar with mitre saws, you are aware that they perform comparable tasks to circular saws. But because of their special arm-based mounting design, they may cut at an angle without the operator having to support the weight of the machine.

When it comes to cutting through metals, a lot of mitre saws can perform similarly. However, you will still want a blade made to cut non-ferrous metal, so make sure to research your tool’s capabilities before using it for a metal cutting project.

When using a mitre saw to cut metal, there are various things to take into account.

First of all, because of their strength, these units have the capacity to bend thinner stock while making a cut. In order to avoid warping, you should utilise a wood backing whenever possible. Additionally, keep in mind that while mitre saws are in use, a lot of waste is often released.

Wearing the right safety gear is essential when using a mitre saw to cut through metal in order to avoid accidents.

Oscillating Saw

With the majority of conventional metal-cutting power equipment, it might be difficult to make flush cuts through metal fixtures (such as plumbing).

You should probably get an oscillating saw with a metal-cutting blade attachment for that reason. Due to their horizontal design, these tools can gradually but steadily cut into metal fittings at a flush angle. As a result, this power tool frequently has little chance against bolts and nails.

But keep in mind that this power tool wasn’t actually designed to make clean cuts through metal stock.

While this tool is capable of completing the task, you’ll probably need to clamp the workpiece to prevent movement from the tool. If you are working on a demolition site, where this item is already part of the normal equipment, this kind of saw can also be a good choice.


You’ll be shocked to hear that some band saws can cut through metal, as well.

Similar to previous saws in this collection, specialty blades enable this saw’s ability to cut metal. These are often bi-metal, though carbon steel blades are also successfully used in this situation quite frequently. In any event, this tool can occasionally be used to cut thicker stock.

Professionals, however, often steer clear of this tactic.

This is due to the fact that it moves quite slowly overall, especially when cutting thick metal stock. Due to a band saw blade’s thinness, this technique also rapidly depletes blades. Consequently, if this technique is applied, the costs can rise quickly.

Reciprocating Saw

This is one of the most affordable and adaptable metal-cutting power tool solutions that a DIYer might wish to take into consideration. That’s because the kinds of metal stock and things that DIYers are likely to encounter may frequently be cut through with a reciprocating saw.

In order to accomplish this, reciprocating saws are frequently used to remove old nails and cut through thin timber. Naturally, a correct blade is necessary for this, and the majority of them have carbide tips.

You may already be aware of how frequently reciprocating saws are used in demolition. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this instrument produces quite coarse metal cuts. Therefore, it is not advised for tasks requiring precision metal cutting.


A woodworking jigsaw cuts faster than a hacksaw, but if you have appropriate alternatives, I don’t advise using it over the long run. I’ve used mine a few times to cut metal, and it does the job; however, it doesn’t cut as precisely as a hacksaw, and using it for extended periods of time is a complete nightmare; the vibrations wreak havoc on my hand and cause it to go numb, and there is a wealth of research demonstrating that years of repeated use of vibrating tools can cause nerve problems.

Jigsaws and reciprocating saws both use a reciprocating blade. There are many different blades you can buy for various materials; some of them might fit in a jigsaw blade clamp, although being primarily designed for demolition work. I haven’t tried one thus I can’t answer in terms of vibration.

Chop Saws


Chop saws have been used for a very long time. It resembles a compound mitre saw, which is commonly used to cut wood and other non-ferrous metals.

Apart from sheet goods, the chop saw is actually designed for cutting various kinds of steel. It primarily functions as a crosscutting tool rather than a material-ripping tool.

For it to cut through easily and safely, just like any other saw, the proper kind of metal-cutting blade must be fitted.

For example, the majority of chop saws use abrasive discs that generate a lot of sparks. When I say “a lot,” I really mean “a lot of sparks,” which can be frightening and dangerous if you’re working near flammables in a home workshop.

Points To Consider When Choosing The Most Efficient Way To Cut Metal

Know Your Options

Choosing a cutting tool requires knowledge of your possibilities, which is why it’s crucial to comprehend them before making your decision. It would be simple to make a choice if you were confident in the instruments at your disposal. Cutting tool options include milling and band saw blades, as well as turning, boring, grooving, and using carbide rods for drilling and reaming. If you know how to use each tool, this will likely be more than enough to make a selection.

The Environment You’ll Use It In

The effectiveness and rigidity of the machine are greatly influenced by the environment in which it will be used. This indicates that before making a decision, one must consider a variety of environmental parameters like temperature, humidity, and moisture content.

Know Your Application

When employing cutting tools, there are two basic applications that you should anticipate. One is production, and the other is removal. The manufacturing category includes shape-cutting, resizing, and drilling holes. The second step involves finishing, contouring, and smoothing, which is included in removal. The sky is the limit if you can get past the applications and create a new one, though.

Know The Materials Used

When using tools, we also need to be aware of the materials that were utilised in their production. This will assist you in selecting the appropriate option for the proper application. The usage may vary depending on how long the instrument will be used for and how much weight it will carry. Steel, carbide, ceramic, and other materials are some examples.

Know Your Budget

There are numerous instruments of the same quality that are manufactured under various names and range in price. This means that one must ensure that his decision is informed by the viability of his budget.

Match The Blade To The Metal

Almost every type of metal can be cut with the proper blade or grinding disc. The key is to choose the right blade for the job. Metal comes in two varieties: ferrous and nonferrous. Iron is described by the Latin word “ferrum,” which is where the word “ferrous” comes from. A ferrous metal cutting blade is necessary to cut any metal that contains iron. Examples of ferrous metal building supplies include steel roofing, steel angle iron, steel rebar, and steel bolts. The majority of metal-cutting discs and blades are marked for cutting ferrous or nonferrous metal, respectively.

Aluminum and copper are the nonferrous metals that DIYers need to cut the most frequently. Generally speaking, nonferrous metals are softer and simpler to cut than ferrous metals.

Some Final Words …

You can discover more on the best tools for the job by visiting ToolFit and using its ToolScore technology to ensure your decision-making is a simple and less time-consuming as it should be.