For metal fabrication and a great deal of industrial processes, power tools are commonly used, helping to grind, polish, drill, cut, sharpen and sand a variety of metals.
If you’re not familiar with the types of power tools used to cut metal, and have a project coming up in which you’ll need to do this, you can check out 5 of the best tools for the job, listed below:
- Angle grinder
Sometimes referred to as a hand, disc or side grinder, angle grinders are one of the most commonly used tools for cutting metal, and are widely used in both construction and metal fabrication. A 4 ½ cut-off wheel, or disc, is widely used, and while they are capable of cutting metal quickly and efficiently (the cutting wheels can also be customized to meet the exact requirements of the task in hand), you can also purchase discs for grinding and sanding.
- Very versatile
- Can be used on smaller areas
- Compatible with a variety of cutting wheels and different materials
- Not great if you want cuts that are fine and finished
- Wheels can break if high pressure is used
- The noise and kickback are irritating
- Reciprocating saw
Sometimes referred to as an oscillating saw, this particular tool is also used frequently for cutting metal. Able to cut through metal quickly and efficiently, a reciprocating saw is very powerful and aggressive, and can be used not just to cut through sheets of metal, but to cut through PVC, pipes and wood, too. To operate them, a standard saw blade is used.
- Able to cut through almost any material
- High powered and cuts quickly
- Able to perform a variety of functions
- Can be rough and give inaccurate results
- Because the blade is so big, it can cut accidentally cut through wires
- Smooth cuts are not possible
- Circular saw
Used for cutting through materials like masonry, wood, metal, hard steel, plastic, and ceramic tiles, circular saws can either be mounted to a machine, or hand-held. Depending on the type of material being worked on, the appropriate blade or disc must be used.
- Cuts through metals cleanly
- Easy to buy or hire
- Cannot be used to cut curves
- The blades are costly and break relatively easily
- It’s a noisy tool
- Hole saw
Capable of resisting very high temperatures, such as those produced when metals such as stainless steel are cut, hole saws, or hole cutters, are tough and durable. With this tool, holes can be created in the material without the core having to be cut, and it is commonly used in a drill.
- Has a variety of purposes
- Cuts circles that are perfect
- Is affordable
- Not particularly versatile
- Cut-off tool
Similar to an angle grinder, this particular tool for cutting metal functions with cut-off wheels. Ideal for cutting through materials like carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel (along with other general purposes), cut-off tools have been designed to give swift and precise cuts, while outlasting and outperforming many traditional tools.
Useful for working in smaller areas where bigger tools wouldn’t be appropriate, cut-off tools cannot, however, be used effectively for materials that are thicker.
- Compact and simple to handle
- Able to work in spaces that are narrow
- Perfect for getting rid of weld splatter
- Their size makes them inappropriate for use in extensive applications
- Unable to cut through materials that are thicker