Almost every metalworking project requires cutting metal, and the kind of tool that you select for cutting will have a significant impact on the quality of your project and, specifically, on how long it takes to make it.
So, let us explore some of the different tool options for cutting metal that you might want to think about when you are setting up your metalworking shop or if you are looking to take your metalworking project to the next level.
Read on to learn more:
Let us start with the very basic – the hacksaw. Understandably, if you had all sorts of power tools, you must be thinking about why you would want a hacksaw in the first place. You might not use it too often in your workshop since there is loads of hard work involved.
But, there will be times when you want to make minor cuts, and instead of relying on your powered tools, all you need to do is to make a quick dash to your toolbox, take out the hacksaw, and make the slight adjustments.
Now let us get into the list of must-have powered tools, such as the angle grinder. This powered tool is undoubtedly good for almost anything. And the best part is that you can get this powerful tool for $15 – if you opt for a really cheap one.
However, you can get pretty decent angle grinders for up to $50. The thing about angle grinders is that you can choose different types of wheels to put on the cutting tool and use them for cutting metal.
For instance, you might want to use the standard abrasive black wheel, and then you can also use a diamond wheel that is similar to a tile wheel. Both wheel types work really well to make cuts; however, the abrasive black wheel cuts faster, and it is not as loud as the diamond wheel.
On the other hand, the diamond wheel doesn’t wear down and lasts a really long time.
Also known as the Messer metal cutter, this tool is powerful in cutting metal, and you will be super happy with this. There are different models and versions of the plasma cutter that you can choose from.
For instance, you might want to opt for the hypothermia MAX 30 – you can, however, also choose the updated version (Powermax30 XP). The thing about a plasma cutter is that it has a torch with a trigger, and you connect the power supply to electricity and an air compressor.
Subsequently, you will pull the trigger, and it shoots a hot jet of air with an arc out onto the metal part, and you will be cutting through pretty thick material as well. You can cut through three to eight inches of metal.
The plasma cutter is also quite flexible where you can use it, but you will need a pretty good air compressor. Some versions of the plasma cutter comprise an inbuilt air compressor that can be handy if you don’t have the air supply with you.
The plasma cutter allows you to get nice, clean, and straight cuts, and it is pretty handy for all sorts of things. The best part is that you don’t have to refill a bunch of cylinders, but you have to ensure that you have the electric supply and air supply for it.
Abrasive Chop Saw
The abrasive chop saw has a significant advantage over other metal cutting tools, and that is how quickly you can cut accurately square material without breaking the bank as this tool is quite affordable.
The abrasive chop saw, also known as the bacon slicer, uses a large cutting disc to cut through steel. The disc is super-strong and made of reinforcing fibers, resins, and grit to grind through the metal. Rest assured, you can easily cut through any thin and thick material without sagging.
Now when you use the abrasive chop saw to cut through material, you will notice the material gets hot – as you can imagine from all the sparks flying off, and it does leave a burr that needs to be cleaned up later. That might be something to be aware of with this tool.
Dry Cut Saw
This tool is the upgraded version of the abrasive chop saw, and if you ever have to choose between both, we recommend opting for the dry-cut saw.
As far as the speed is concerned, the dry cut saw will cut through the material two times faster than the abrasive chop saw – and that too without heating up the metal. You will have various options to choose from when it comes to the dry-cut saw.
For instance, if you are looking for something that is more portable, you might want to opt for the Trajan Q700 seven-inch saw. This cutting tool works well if you will be cutting material of two inches – the tool will be cutting like a beast through that.
Besides, the size of the Trajan Q700 allows for smooth portability – you can just grab it, throw it on the back of the trailer, and just cut material. However, if you have bigger-sized material to deal with, you can opt for a bigger saw, such as one of the Evolution Power Tools.
The toothed blade of this bigger version of the dry cut saw takes the material cutting experience to another level. Once you have cut through the material, you can put your finger right on it as it doesn’t heat up. Besides, it gives an excellent clean straight cut with almost no burr.
Besides the plasma cutter, this is another great thermal cutting method for your welding projects – the cutting torch. The torch cutter might be the perfect tool depending on the cutting job.
So, if you use a cutting tool a lot – you might need a cutting torch with larger cylinders. You can quickly and neatly cut through a massively thick plate with a cutting torch. The cutting torch is affordable and portable – the cut quality you get depends on your cutting skills and how steady you are.
Someone who has a steady hand and loads of practice with the cutting torch can get beautiful clean edge cuts with this tool. However, if you decide to use a cutting torch for your project, there are many safety aspects to understand regarding the usability of this metal cutting tool.