What Kind of Saw Is Used to Cut Metal?


Builders use both hand saws and power saws to cut through metal materials. Builders generally choose a saw and blade type according to the composition of the metal, the size of the material and the desired characteristics of cut. For example, the blade and tool used to cut a thin piece of soft metal, such as aluminum, differs from the blade and tool used to cut a thick piece of hard metal, such as a steel alloy. Learn about the capabilities of different metal cutting saws and you can choose the type that suits your task.

Hack Saw

  • The hack saw is the most common hand saw used to cut metal. The hack saw's most recognizable characteristic is a rigid, C-shaped frame attached to a pistol grip handle. A thin, slightly flexible blade runs across the open portion of the hack saw's frame. The blade's teeth vary in size and spacing according to application. Small, closely spaced teeth create fine cuts, usually through soft or thin metal materials, such as copper or aluminum. Large, widely spaced teeth create coarse cuts, usually through thick or hard metal materials, such as steel or iron.

Handheld Circular Saw

  • A standard, motorized circular saw is capable of creating straight cuts through most types of metal. The key to using a standard circular for cutting metal is to choose the proper blade for the project. In general, circular saws accept abrasive, metal cut-off discs for metalworking projects. Unlike a toothed, woodworking blade, mineral grit, such as carbide, lines the edge of an abrasive disc.

Metal Chop Saw

  • Like a woodworkers miter saw, the metal chop saw's blade lowers through material resting on a stationary base. However, manufacturers design metal chop saws specifically to withstand the heat, sparks and flying metal that results from cutting large metal stock. Notably, woodworking miter saw manufacturers do not recommend that workers attach metal cut-off blades to woodworking equipment. In operation and appearance, metal chop saws resemble their woodworking counterparts. To use a metal chop saw, the metalworker places metal material on the base beneath the blade, activates the blade and lowers the blade through the material.


  • The unique position of the grinder's blade distinguishes it from other types of portable power saws. Rather than sitting perpendicular to the tool's motor assembly like a portable circular saw, the grinder's blade sits on a parallel plane relative to its motor assembly. This unique arrangement lets metalworkers cut with pressing force and broad, sweeping motions. Like cut-off saws and portable circular saws, grinders spin abrasive, circular discs. Grinder discs range in diameter from a few inches to a over a foot.


  • Photo Credit Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Tool to Use to Cut Metal

    What Tool to Use to Cut Metal. There are literally hundreds of saws available in home improvement and hardware stores. ... What...

  • Power Tools to Cut Metal

    While the most efficient method of cutting through metal ... as they are very ill-suited for any kind of curving or turning...

  • Different Types of Saws

    What kind of saw do you need? Learn about different types of saws in this free woodworking series from an expert furniture...

  • How to Cut Metal With a Saw

    What Kind of Saw Is Used to Cut Metal? Builders use both hand saws and power saws to cut through metal materials.

  • Types of Hacksaw Blades

    Hacksaw blades, designed to cut mainly metal, are categorized by the number of teeth per inch. The standard hacksaw blade has 14...

  • How to Cut Metal With a Circular Saw

    A circular saw is a convenient and portable power tool that can cut a variety of materials, metal being one of them....

  • How to Cut Metal With a Miter Saw

    Cutting metal with a miter saw will require an abrasive cut-off blade. An abrasive blade looks similar to a grinding wheel that...

  • How to Cut Through a Metal Fence

    How to Cut Through a Metal Fence. ... What Kind of Saw Is Used to Cut Metal? Builders use both hand saws...

  • How to Cut Metal With a Table Saw

    A table saw is a metal saw blade that comes up through the bottom of a tabletop in a cut-out slot. The...

  • The Different Types of Hand Saws

    Hacksaws have thin blades with fine teeth that are used to cut metal. ... The Different Types of Ways to Saw Wood....

Related Searches

Read Article

Make an Ikea Lack Table Look Expensive With This Cheap Hack

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!