10 best ways to cut metals with or without power tools

If you plan to cut metal, you can use the good traditional hacksaw. However, if you are searching for an easier and faster way of cutting metal, there are several tips and techniques that can help you do that. Whether you have power tools or not, you will have a lot of options for cutting metal. Let us look at some of the common metal cutting methods that range from the simple methods of using hand tools to the advanced techniques of using power tools.

Tin snips

If you would like to cut thin metals and you are finding a power tool to be more than adequate, one of the hand tools that you may want to use for cutting metal is a tin snip. The tool similarly resembles scissors and works. However, it has a sharp jaw that can enable you to crimp and pierce the sheet metals in a single smooth motion. This is why tin snips are among the most versatile tools. They are also a good choice for providing an accurate cut.

When it comes to versatility, you may need more than a pair of tin snips. This is because the majority of sheet metal cutting jobs require curves. This raises the need for tin snips that cuts to the right and another one to the left. Luckily, tin snips are usually sold in a set. However, the main drawback of tin snips is that they can become blunt when used a lot and will no longer cut metal. This means you may need to regularly change them.

10 best ways to cut metals with or without power tools

Use of a hacksaw

If you are a DIY enthusiast without the budget for power tools, you can use the old fashioned hacksaw. This will serve you well if you need something to do the basic metal cutting jobs easily. Hacksaws are also great for beginners as no special techniques are needed.  You will need to put a bit of effort for the hacksaw to work.

Like the majority of saws, a hacksaw function will depend on the type of blade. Many hacksaws feature an interchangeable blade set up. Therefore, when cutting metals, you need to ensure that you are using the right blade. Otherwise, you might end up wearing down the blade that was meant to cut wood. Remember that a hacksaw can be rough and messy when cutting metal. Therefore, if you need smooth edges, you will want to plan how to cut those edges.

Utility knife

Fabricators use a wide range of methods to cut metal stock easily. One of the fastest ways they can do that is through the use of a utility knife. They can also score the surface of the light gauge metal. A utility knife can be used to make some customized cuts in the thin aluminum siding panels. They are also used to trim up metal studs.

However, the use of a utility knife has its safety risk. For instance, the blade may slip on the metal surface. Therefore, it’s advisable to wear gloves and only work in an area where your co-workers aren’t within reach.

Bench shear

If you need a hand tool that can be used to cut large metals, a bench shear may be the right choice. The stationary tool that is mounted on a bench is designed in a way that will enable you to make precise cuts in metals. To help you achieve that bench shears have a long handle that faces upwards that is pulled down, moving the blade of the unit. After doing this, the blade lowers towards the base. This ensures that the force applied on the lever is transferred to the edge of the blade. The blade cuts smoothly through a 10 gauge metal easily.

10 best ways to cut metals with or without power tools


The nibbler isn’t a popular tool for nonprofessionals. This is even though this is one of the few tools that will allow you to make long cuts in the thin-gauge. The compact power tool with a pistol shape can make clean and high-speed cuts without a lot of distortion on the targeted metalwork.

Before you can buy a nibbler, be sure to investigate the maximum thickness of the steel that you will be cutting regularly. This is important as nibblers are available in different sizes and prices. Some can cut 14 gauges of steel.

Angle grinder

This is a common choice for both DIYers and professionals. This is because the tool is easy to use and doesn’t cost much. An angle grinder can easily cut through thin stocks as well as thicker stocks such as bolts without any kickback. That said, one of the downsides of an angle grinder is the kickback. This is why it is advisable to have a side support handle for your unit. This will ensure that you have even cuts.



Angle grinders are also popular for their versatility. The majority of units are compatible with different types of blades. This means you can use the unit to cut more materials other than metal. For metal cutting, ensure that the angle grinder features a metal-cutting disc. Remember that the disc may wear down and, therefore, you should cut slowly. The most suitable blade for metal cutting is the diamond blade.

Circular saw

A circular saw can do more than just cutting wood.  This can cut metal well as long as it is fitted with the right blade. A good idea is to use an extra abrasive blade that will easily complete the cut without a lot of assistance. One of the best choices for this role is the carbine-tipped blade. As long as you have the right setoff blade in your tool, you will be amazed by what a corded and cordless circular saw can do.



For instance, many contractors cut rebars using a circular saw. The saw can also be used to cut a 3/8-inch stock easily. However, some circular saws cannot cut metals but they allow for a metal-cutting blade. Ensure that you check through the user manual of the unit before you can start cutting metal.

Miter saw

If you have used the miter saw, you should understand that they work in a similar way to the circular saw. But they come with an arm-based mounting system that enables users to cut materials at an angle without withstanding the weight of the unit. To cut metal using a miter saw, you will want to choose one with a blade that is designed to enable it to cut non-ferrous metal.

Remember that the best miter saws are usually very strong and will easily bend thinner stocks when cutting if warping will not occur. You should also bear in mind that miter saws can produce a lot of debris when active.  Therefore, you need to wear the right safety equipment if you will protect yourself from injury.

Use an oscillating saw

It can be hard to make flush cuts into the metal fixtures like piping when using other power tools for metal cuttings. This is the reason you may want to use an oscillating saw that is installed with a metal-cutting blade. The tool will effectively slice metal fixtures at a flush angle as they have a horizontal shape. Remember that the tool isn’t made for making some clear cuts through different metal stocks. While it can handle the task, you will want to clamp down the material so that it’s not shifted by the tool. The oscillating saw is also a great choice for people working on a construction site, where it is part of the standard arsenals.

Reciprocating saw

If you need a versatile and accessible option, you will want to consider the reciprocating saw. This is because the saw can cut through the metal material and objects that most DIYers face. This is why recipro saws are commonly used to cut some old nails and thin stock. However, you must ensure that the power tool has the right blade. The majority of recipro saws have a carbide-tipped blade.



The best reciprocating saws are commonly used in demolition sites and, therefore, they can cut rough metals. They are also not a good choice for cutting metals that requires precision.

Final thoughts

You can see that there is a wide range of methods that you can use to cut metal. Whether you are using hand tools or power tools, you have a wide range of methods for slicing metals.  Choose the option that easily meets your need.

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