How To Cut Metal Roofing: 3 Steps With The Most Efficient Technique

Many of us prefer metal roofing particularly the corrugated iron sheets which are light and favorably long lasting in nature. To get the best out of them, you ought to ensure that their installation is done right to prevent them from being vulnerable to unfavorable weather conditions. If you are using metal roofing panels with a desire for them to turn out to be pretty efficient and durable, you have to cut, install as well as fit them properly in your building. This article is meant to let you in on how to cut metal roofing effectively for the best results.


Framing nailer and impact driver are best tools for installing roofing frame.

The cutting process has to be handled well, to prevent the galvanized coating on them to be scratched as this gives rusting a favorable thriving spot on your roof. For you to attain the best results while cutting your metal roofing, there are certain steps or precautions that you need to exercise.

Steps On How To Cut Metal Roofing Effectively

Step 1: Adequately Prepare Before You Begin

A proper preparation will guarantee you of the least damage or accidents as well as the best results after the exercise. Planning is essential and it entails gathering the right tools, taking adequate measurements and assembling protective gear to cut down, or at most prevent any accidents.

Your area of work should be convenient enough, preferably a desirably flat and steady surface where you’ll place the metal panel to be cut. While positioning the metal roofing panel, see to it that its underside is facing up. Having the length that you need to cut in mind, use a tape measure to measure this on the metal roofing panel. By use of a permanent marker, mark the starting point for cutting the material.

You then need to use the combination square, with the marker at its edge proceed on to drag the combination square along the mark as the marker traces this line. Make sure that the mark is long lasting enough to remain visible for as long as you will work.

mesuring metal roofing

Some people recommend that you draw the lines on both sides, especially if you are working with tin metal roofs. While at it, remember to take note of the locations of roof vents, chimneys besides the areas that will require being cut. If you are working on a tin roof, you need to handle it right since it’s flexible to the extent of folding back on itself.

The protective gear includes wearing some heavy leather work gloves, putting on safety goggles as well as ear protective devices, especially if power cutting tools will be in use. It is recommended that you also put on long sleeves and pants.

Step 2: The Actual Cutting Of The Metal Roofing

Generally, this is an easy task which you ought to approach with a lot of caution. Try to avoid interfering with the roofs surfaces, especially the galvanized one to prevent rusting which has a direct negative effect on the durability of your roof.

power metal shear

First, use your power shear and ensure that its cutting edges are in good alignment with the cutting that you had made in step 1. Confirm that these two are in perfect alignment for the best results and to avoid an irreparable damage to your metal roofing. Only proceed on to turn on the power shear if you have ascertained that the fears alluded to in the above statements have been addressed.

Step 3: Wrapping Up Your Cutting Exercise

When you are using power shears, it is best if you approach the whole exercise by adopting a slow pace. Just, proceed on by pushing it slowly along the corrugated metal roof panel that you are working on. Though this sounds like a b c, from a practical point of view, you might encounter some sections where the tool will hardly move. The best solution to this to take on a different angle and trying to break ground from this new approach is handling this with caution. After a couple of steady and patient tries, you will definitely end up with an inarguably perfect line that is straight.

Here are the other methods you could employ in cutting metal roofing, particularly tin metal roofing panels:

1. Using Tin Snips

This by far the easiest way which you could settle on when faced with the question of how to cut your metal roofing, especially the tin roofs due to their soft nature. It is preferable in case you are faced with a minute metal cutting job or alternatively when you anticipate minimal cuts during the metal roofing installation process.

how to cut metal roofing

There is a range of tin snips, and your choice will be hinged on the type of cut that you want. In case you will have the waste from the tin being on right side of the cutting line, then a Right-hand tin snip will be a suitable option. Additionally, this type of tin snip will be appropriate for handling curves which run in the counterclockwise direction. On the other hand, Left-hand tin snips are recommended if the tin waste will be on the left side of the cutting line and when you are dealing with the clockwise curves.

Right hand snip

When faced with situations that require you to make straight cuts, the ones which are intricate in nature or cuts in the middle of a metal sheet, your best bet is the use of Straight or Center cut tin snips. Make sure that you don’t attempt to cut a sharp curve with the help of a straight tin snip, and this is not in order.

center tin snip

2. Using A Circular Saw

This is an option that those who are experienced tin roof cutting would comfortably try out. If you are inexperienced in this, better settle on another method. While at it, it is recommended that specialty blades are made use of in cutting tin and also note that you only cut one tin roof sheet at a time using the circular saw.

The blade should not be forced into the tin roofing material and don’t forget to wipe metal residue off the cut sheets.

3. By Use Of Nibblers

Nibblers basically refer to attachments for an electric drill and they are suitable picks for cutting straight lines as well as curves. These tools usually operate on the principle of cutting through metal by taking metal bites. You will hugely appreciate them if you are interested in cutting around some round metal materials such as vent pipes.

In Conclusion

If you were worried on how to cut metal roofing, I hope you are less stressed at this point. Like any other practical work, you will need to exercise for some time to gain enough experience in coming up with perfectly straight lines. It is best if you are slow but sure when using power shears and the cuts will most likely be perfectly straight. Remember to try out the various means of cutting tin roofing and take caution not create room for rusting at this stage. I hope that this article has been insightful, regards!

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Jose A. Brown

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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