How to Cut Metal Doors

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Doors can be made from wood, fiberglass or metal and are available in many styles. A metal door usually has a thin sheet-steel skin that may be smooth or stamped to make it resemble a wood door. Hollow metal doors usually have a core of insulation to help keep drafts down. Cutting a metal door to add a window or pet door takes different tools and techniques than cutting a wood door.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 2 sawhorses
  • Measuring tape (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • Power drill
  • Jig or saber saw with metal cutting blade
  • Metal file (optional)

Open the door and remove the screws from the door hinges at the door jamb with a Phillips screwdriver. Have a helper hold the door so it doesn't fall before the last few screws are removed. Lift the door and lay it across two sawhorses.

Make a line with a pencil and a straight edge where the door is to be cut. Center the area to be cut, if desired, by finding the door center line with a measuring tape. Place strips of painter’s tape on each side of the line so that the bottom surface of the saw with not scratch or mar the door finish. Use care not to cover the line.

Place a 3/8-inch drill bit into a power drill. Drill a hole all the way through the door at all of the inside corners of the area to be cut from the door, being careful not to drill outside the line.

Place a metal cutting blade into a jigsaw or saber saw. Insert the blade of the saw through one of the drilled holes. Check that the blade is not touching the edges of the hole, then turn the saw on. Guide the saw blade along the pencil mark to the next hole. Turn the saw 90 degrees and continue cutting. Continue until all pencil marks have been cut.

Remove the waste from the cut-out area and discard it. Remove the painter’s tape. Smooth the rough edges of the cut with a metal file if desired.

Install the door back into the jamb by having a helper hold it in position while the hinge screws are being tightened.

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