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Guide to Metal Cutting Tools | Best Hand Tools to Cut Metal

metal cutting tools

If you have the right tools, cutting through metal can be a simple process. The basic metal cutting tools come in a range of shapes and sizes, each with its different function. Today, here we will discuss such hand tools to cut metal.

Safety first, Always wear safety gloves and take safety precautions when working on metal cutting.

Here are the most important hand tools to cut metal at ease.

Most Important Hand Tools to Cut Metal

There are different hand tools available in the metal fabrication shop for metal cutting. Cutting metal with hand tools takes more time and effort than a power tool. They can be just as useful for smaller applications. Following are the best hand tools you can use to cut metal.

1. Metal Snips

Metal snips - handheld tool for cutting metal

Metal snips are similar to scissors or shears and are used to cut metal sheets. There are three types of sheet metal snips. The basic pair is designed for straight cuts, but it's difficult to operate them around curves. Other pairs have bent jaws that help them to take left and right turns. For this reason, snips tend to buy in three-piece sets.

Read: Wire Cutting Tools & Their Types

These are the perfect tool for cutting rough and thin metal sheets. A metal snip tool is difficult to keep straight while cutting, that's why it creates jagged edges on the metal sheets. These edges need to be cleaned after the completion of the task.


  • Ideal for soft & thin metal sheets (tin, copper, or aluminum)
  • Less expensive
  • Easy to cut in tight areas


  • Leaves a jagged and unfinished edge
  • Unable to cut thick metals sheet

2. Hacksaw

A hack saw is ideal to cut metal, wood & plastic

A hacksaw is one of the most common and affordable metal cutting tools. For beginners, these are the best cutting tools for wood. Hacksaw is mainly used to cut wood, metals, and plastic materials. A ready-to-use hack saw includes a metal handle (with a plastic or wooden grip) and a metal cutting blade attached to it. Hacksaw blades can easily cut through the brackets, rods, pipes, and heavier metal sheets with sharp and clean cuts.

Hacksaws are the best metal cutting tool to obtain fine straight cuts.


  • Can cut through all metals
  • Easy to replace cutting blades
  • Less expensive


  • Only make straight cuts
  • No curve cuts
  • Takes much time to cut

3. Beverly Shear/Bench Shear

Bench shears are perfect to cut metal sheets

Bench shear is a traditional metal cutting tool. Cutting metal with a bench shear is quite easy and flexible. It is commonly used to cut rough shapes of metal sheets, although it is not suitable for detailed work.

This seat-mounted or stationary tool is designed to precisely cut into a metal sheet by not leaving any jagg edges. Seat shears have a long handle or lever with sharp edges. In order to cut metal sheets, the employee needs to pull the lever down. When cutting is completed, the lever returns to its original position, and the cutting material falls towards the base. This allows the sharp edge to effortlessly cut through up to ten check metals without any hard efforts.


  • Ideal for fine cuts
  • Faster and easier cutting
  • Provide clean edges


  • Only works on metal sheets
  • Quite expensive than other hand tools
  • Non-portable as other hand tools

4. Multipurpose Utility Knife

Experts have their own ways of metal cutting. There are different types of steel, copper, and aluminum cutting tools. Using a multipurpose utility knife to cut the exterior layer of metal stock is one of them.

A utility knife is good for cutting thin metal stock, bolt, and stud. Cutting metal sheets with a utility knife is an easy and fast method. This method involves removing the light-gauge metal sheet or stock. When accomplished correctly, this can result in a clean cut of the stock without the use of a saw or snips.


  • Multipurpose uses
  • Easy to replace knife blade


  • Requires specific sharpening tool
  • Blades can slip while cutting
  • Difficult to handle
That was all about the best hand tools to cut metal efficiently. Read more to know the best hole cutting tools.
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