Tools to Use for Your Small-Scale Sheet Metal Cutting Business

Sheet metal cutting isn't necessarily something used only for industrial purposes; it's also something smaller-scale metal shops and ordinary people performing metal shaping projects in their homes use. For these smaller-scale sheet metal cutting projects, hand-held tools are all you need as opposed to industrial-sized water jet cutting or heat cutting machines. To choose what type of tool would suit your business or project best, there are a few things you should know about the properties of these tools.

Chisel and hammer

The simplest type of tool to use for sheet metal cutting is a chisel and a hammer. This is a very arduous way of cutting sheet metal and is most commonly used because of nostalgic reasons. If you want to create objects out of sheet metal that look like they were made a long time ago to pass off as historically correct replicas, this type of sheet metal cutting is a good way to achieve that look. However, it's hard to keep the cuts straight, as you have to hit the chisel for every hole you want to make in the metal, and it's hard to align it the same way for every hole. Therefore, it's not a very good way of cutting if you're looking to perform precision work.


Another, more common, way of cutting sheet metal for small-scale projects is using snips. These tools come in different variations, depending on whether you want to cut straight or curved. Snips are more precise than chisel and hammer as the blades are long, and you can continue on the same cut without moving the tool. To cut through large pieces of metal, however, snips can be tedious to work with, as the cuts aren't very long. If you are bending or folding the sheet metal after the cutting, you need to smooth out the edges before doing anything with the metal, as the edges become very sharp with this type of cutting.


A hacksaw is another common tool used for sheet metal cutting. This tool allows you to cut through larger pieces of metal than the snips, as you can saw through all of it without having to stop to readjust the tool. However, it's not as good for precision cutting, as the saw can't be bent to cut corners. If you combine the saw with snips, this problem can be eliminated by using the snips for tight corners. To make the cut surface as smooth as possible, you can also combine the saw with putting masking tape on the line you need to cut to minimise the amount of chips that come loose from the metal when you're sawing.