6 Tips on How to Cut Stainless Steel to Get the Best Result

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If you want to know how to cut stainless steel, then you should plan your project carefully. This is the only chance to get a perfect end product without an accident. Even if we always advise ordering made- to-measure sheets from professionals, we would like to take a look at the steps that are important.

It starts with buying the right material. Then you have to think about how you want to cut stainless steel. There are different methods, each requiring different tools.

Preparing to cut sheet metal

Get at least one extra sheet of metal big enough to make the cut you want. You will very likely find that you will not find them in stock at the hardware store. Especially for people who have never cut sheet metal before or only very rarely, it is worth considering getting several sheets. It would be annoying not to get ahead because you made a mistake cutting the sheet metal.

There are price differences between stainless steel sheets, which are influenced by the thickness of the sheet and the design of the surface. Because you know what you want to cut your stainless steel sheet for, it should be clear which raw sheet you need.

  • Protect your hands

If you want to cut stainless steel, then you are definitely working with sharp cutting edges. So get gloves, preferably cut-resistant ones, before you pick up a tin. Under no circumstances should you run your finger along the edge of a metal sheet. Even if it is quite human to check the result with the touch of your fingertips, you should never expose yourself to this risk of accident. A visual inspection must suffice.

Before processing the stainless-steel sheet further, you should deburr the edge. Use either a file or sandpaper for this. You can repair small bumps and at the same time reduce the risk of cuts.

  • Consider the cutting width of your tool

You can use a ruler or measuring tape to determine exactly what size you want to cut your stainless steel to. If you mark these measurements one-to-one on the sheet, you will not get a perfect result. Note that with each cut, depending on the tool used, the sheet metal to the left and right of the recorded cut will get smaller.

If you don’t know the cutting width of your saw or scissors, or you even have a plan for cutting stainless steel with Flex, then take a piece of sheet metal that you no longer need. Draw a cutting line and use your tool. After you cut, check how much smaller the sheet metal is compared to the measurements you marked. If you now want to record your measurements, then take this slight deviation into account. As a result, the stainless steel sheet you cut yourself will have the correct dimensions.

  • Create a good working environment

While you put a piece of wood on two trestles and then just start sawing, much more caution is required when working with stainless steel sheets. Even a small movement of the sheet metal can lead to the cut becoming completely crooked and no longer usable. Also pay particular attention to a clean contact surface. Otherwise, it quickly happens that the surface of the sheet metal is scratched and becomes visually unattractive. In the worst case, the sheet becomes unusable.

Before you can cut stainless steel with a flex, you must ensure that the area you are going to cut hangs freely. Depending on the shape you want, you have to put the stainless steel sheet down several times. And with every lift you have to make sure that the sheet metal is straight and you have free access to cut.

  • Save your muscle strength for assembly

Tin snips are the easiest and cheapest tool for cutting stainless steel. Apart from the low acquisition costs, this only has disadvantages. It can only be used for thin sheet metal and quickly reaches its load limits. With each cut only a few centimeters of the sheet metal are severed. So you have to do a lot of cutting to get the length. With each individual cut, there is a risk of not being completely straight and thus producing an uneven cutting line.

Because you have to do a lot of cutting operations, it can lead to fatigue and thus messy work. One should not underestimate the force required to cut stainless steel. Another argument why you should have stainless steel cut when it comes to particularly exact dimensions.

  • Invest in your tools

Especially if you plan to cut a piece of sheet metal yourself more than just once, then you should get sensible tools. If it is a one-time project, you can try to improve your results with a small investment. A flex saw and a jigsaw are available in many households.

Cutting stainless steel with Flex is probably the first option for you, especially when it comes to thicker sheet metal. But make sure that you have the right cutting disc for your Flex. This should also not have been used too often before. With each use, the cutting disc becomes duller and this affects the result of cutting stainless steel with flex.

For your jigsaw, which can be used especially for thinner sheet metal, you need to get a special saw blade for metal cuts. Standard saw blades are coarse or fine for wood. But with these you will fail when trying to cut stainless steel.

If you want to cut sheet metal more often in the future, you can think about buying electric tin snips or compressed air tin snips. With these you work with little effort and can concentrate on even cuts.

  • Practice makes perfect

You should not expect to get an ideal sheet metal cutting result on the first try. Therefore, if you have decided against having stainless steel cut, at least try it out first. Apart from artistic experiments, where one or the other millimeter is not important, custom-made stainless steel sheets are usually only desired with very small tolerances.

Summary

Imagine you cut a piece of sheet metal yourself to seal a roof or repair a gutter. If you have not worked precisely, then water damage is inevitable. Your self-experiment may become very expensive in the long run. You can prevent this if you first familiarize yourself with the tools and material. However, you also have to take into account that you have to spend money on materials as well as time.

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