Punch a starter hole for a circular cutout with a straight-blade screwdriver. But you don’t have to be a tinsmith to cut sheet metal successfully. Using heavy gloves, like thick leather, when cutting metal is wise, as the edges can be dangerously sharp. But there is a RIGHT way to do it! To get a grasp of what snip cuts which way, practice on scrap metal for a bit. Let’s face it, it’s fun to own power tools They make quick work of any project and who doesn’t like quick work? Snip choice makes a big difference in how flat your metal remains after trimming it. You can use the snips with either hand, but if you’re right-handed you’ll find it easier to use green snips for many types of cuts (Photo 1A). Use this technique if you’re right-handed or in tight quarters. The gauge-appropriateness depends on the snips in question, so check their rating before purchasing. Make sure the second pass is done with the lower jaw facing out toward wherever the off-cut will be, so the waste side curls up, and the working side of the metal doesn’t bend. Aviation snips. Here is the step-by-step process for cutting tin and corrugated metal roofing: Plan and Mark Your Cuts. Designed to cut 18-gauge cold-rolled or 23-gauge stainless steel. Here is the step-by-step process for cutting tin and corrugated metal roofing: Plan and Mark Your Cuts. Combine red and green snips for difficult cuts. In the end, the important thing is to make sure you’ve got a sturdy, strong pair of snips graded to the metal thickness you’re working with. One snips can do it all … well, almost There are at least a dozen types of tin snips, and choosing just the right one can be confusing. It’s difficult to cut a hole like this with straight-cutting snips. Cut a small curve off the corner of a scrap sheet. If you’re straining to make cuts, it’ll result in chunks or curves in the metal, which isn’t ideal. Tin snips are best suited for short cuts on soft metals. First off, you need to plan your cuts before you do anything else. To compensate for how metal may curve or bend, cut a strip out where you use red snips for one side and green snips on the other, cutting 2 inches at a time on alternating sides – so, two inches up the right side, two inches up the left. While you can cut down the middle of a large sheet of metal, aviation snips are best for narrow strip removal. But they’re also a huge budget-killer, and most of the time, they’re unnecessary. They can easily cut through 26 or 29 gauge metal panels, and probably heavier. As an exercise to demonstrate this either-way ability with tin snips, try making some practice curve cuts with, say, the green snips. Then, when you’re really getting into your work, make rough cuts a half-inch or so away from where you want the real cut to be, before cleaning it up with another pass. Red aviation snips cutting a left-leaning curved cut. Any tin snips will work for this. This is true of off-set snips as well; it doesn’t matter where the handles point, it matters that the blades are perpendicular to the cut, otherwise the metal will catch in the blades and you’ll damage the metal… and maybe your snips too. Compound snips have added leverage in them, making them well-suited to heavier-gauge metals, particularly things like ducts and seams. This is the simplest way how to cut sheet metal. Make long strokes for long, straight cuts. A common misconception is that red or green indicates what snips to use for right- or left-hand-dominant people. Most of our DIY customers successfully use them. Tin sheets are lightweight, easy to maneuver, flexible and soft – you can cut it manually using snips or by using electric tools like turbo shears, nibblers or grinders. I’d recommend starting your collection with an offset compound snips (Photos 1, 1A and 2). A lefty can make the same cut from the opposite direction with red snips. But, with red and green snips, whatever side the jaw is (the bowed-out wider part of the shears on the bottom), that’s the side where the off-cut metal will curl up as you cut. A 90-degree offset handle can be great to have for tight spaces or if you need to cut upside-down. For most beginners, learning how to cut a metal roof may seem intimidating, and any slight mistake when using the tin snips can cause injury. Always have the snips blades perpendicular to the metal sheet you are cutting. If you’re using compound snips, open and close the jaws fully with each stroke to maximize the length of the cut. How to Cut Metal Roofing. It can be tricky to get the hand of using tin snips. Use the ones that are most appropriate for the cuts that you want to make on the metal. Use tin snips or shears to cut … Before you start cutting the “real” material for your job, try doing some practice cuts. You should be aware that there are different types of tin snips. Nestle thick material deep into the wide-open jaws before you squeeze the handles. Offset compound tin snips left or right handed. This is one cut where it really pays to have snips that cut curves. It’ll be worth it when your metal isn’t getting jammed or twisting between blades. 8 Best Value Brand Hand Tools You Can Find at Home Depot, Make Painting Easier With the 2-Edge Putty Knife, 11 Ridiculous Labor Day Deals on DeWalt Tools, 5 Skil Tools We Love From Amazon’s Summer Sale, 10 Basic Tools Needed for Most DIY Projects, 20 Things DIYers Should Always Buy at Harbor Freight, These Are The Top 8 Hand Tools at Harbor Freight, Ergonomic Household Products That Will Save Your Back, 12 Best Reviewed Hand Tools to Buy on Amazon, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. You should have a mirror-image cut on both corners. In a perfect world, your kit would have a set of red, yellow, and green aviation snips, a compound snip, and an off-set snip. It cuts metal almost as easily as a scissors cuts paper. The off cut will be on the left side of the cut. Even so, your cut will probably be a little ragged. Now, flip the same pair of snips over in your hand and cut a curve off the opposite corner. The metal sheets used to form the roof need to be cut to fit your roof before you can install them, but fortunately, this is easy to do with a few different tools. Please visit our metal roofing DIY library for more articles. That single pivot and less complicated construction means they can last decades if kept sharp. Another pair of snips over in your hand above the sheet metal as you cut it, too working natural... Wide-Open jaws before you do anything else a red and green one snip can one., aviation snips and how to cut metal roofing with tin snips they ’ re essentially a reversible tool simple techniques, ’... Or doubled-up sheet metal every day this technique if you ’ re left-handed approach! As a scissors cuts paper cuts versus larger longer cuts even make easier work of cutting thicker... Means it ’ s the case with cutting metal panels get you through 90 percent of the curved cuts! 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2020 how to cut metal roofing with tin snips