How To Cut Sheet Metal

Cutting A Chimney Pipe With Metal Scissors

Are you wondering how you can cut sheet metal? You have a wide variety of needs, and you must make sure you use the right tools and proper cutting techniques to get the results you want. There are plenty of options available, and you should consider working with experts if you want to put yourself in the best position possible to be successful.

Typical Ways To Cut Sheet Metal

Some of the most common ways to cut sheet metal include:


When you punch sheet metal, you remove scrap material from a larger piece of sheet metal using a high amount of force. You can punch sheet metal to get pieces of metal in different shapes and sizes.


Piercing is a type of sheet metal cutting where you cut an extruded hole in the sheet metal itself.


When you lance sheet metal, you take a piece of metal, bend it with one strike, and create different types of features. A few examples include vents, tabs, and louvers in the sheet metal itself.


If you decide to put a notch in the sheet metal, you remove material from the sheet metal itself to create a notch in the larger piece.


As the name suggests, slotting is a type of sheet metal cut where you use a rectangular tool to cut a rectangular slot in a piece of sheet metal.


When you go through the process of nibbling sheet metal, you cut the piece of sheet metal into various shapes using overlapping punches.


When you perforate a piece of sheet metal, you put a large number of holes in it. Typically, these holes are evenly spaced, creating a pattern.


Blanking refers to using a high shear force to cut an enclosed piece of sheet metal. The blank refers to the finished product.


Shearing is one of the most common ways to cut sheet metal. Using this method, you will take a piece of sheet metal, cut it in a straight line or at an angle, and prepare to process your sheet metal further.


When you trim a piece of sheet metal, you remove excess sheet metal from the outside to create an even, finished product.


When you finish cutting your sheet metal, there could be a lot of rough edges around the outside. In the deburring process, you will remove these rough edges.

Hand Shears (tin snips)

Hand shears are one of the most common tools you can use to cut sheet metal. They are often called tin snips.

Hydraulic Shears

Hydraulic shears are portable, powerful tools. They can provide you with a bit more power and accuracy, allowing you to create more intricate cuts.

Foot Shears

These are shares that have been built using rugged construction to create accurate cuts in large pieces of sheet metal. They are strong enough to cut through a wide variety of materials.


You may also want to use a saw to cut sheet metal. If you need something that provides a bit of extra force, a saw could be the way to go.

Hack Saw

A hacksaw is a particularly powerful piece of equipment that you can use to cut through very strong pieces of metal.


If you decide to grind sheet metal, you will use a disc to slowly grind down the sheet metal into the shape that you want.


You may also want to burn sheet metal to make it easier to work with. Depending on the material, you could burn right through it.

Beverly Shears

Beverly shears are versatile cutting tools with sheet metal, known for giving you tremendous control and accuracy.

Slicing Shear

There are some situations where having a solid pair of slicing shears can give you the control that you need.


You can also use a very hot stream of plasma to make precise cuts in sheet metal.

Water Jet

You can also use a powerful jet of water to make precise cuts in a piece of sheet metal.


A laser can provide you with a significant amount of power and accuracy to make precise cuts.


You can use a torch to provide a bit more energy to the sheet metal you are working with, making it easier to cut.

Choose Alpine Sheet Metal Systems

If you are looking for help cutting your sheet metal, it would be our pleasure to assist you. 

ASMS Sheet Metal Fabrication

About Jeff Folsom

Jeff Folsom is the founder and president of Alpine Sheet Metal Systems, a key player in North Texas’s commercial construction sector, specializing in roofing and architectural design. He also leads Alpine Roofing Construction and Alpine Thermal Imaging Systems, expanding his influence across the U.S. Residing in Dallas, Jeff enjoys travel, auto racing, and boating in his free time.

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