Having to do any kind of work without the use of power tools can be a hassle. But let’s be honest they can be very expensive and dangerous if not used properly. If you are replacing your roof you’re probably wondering if there is metal roofing near me that can be put in place safely and with ease.
However, not all metal roofing is easy to install, and sometimes it takes a little bit of effort to do it on your own. And when it comes to having to cut metal panels you want to make sure you know exactly what you are doing so you don’t get injured or do the job incorrectly.
Typically, if you are someone who installs metal roofing for a living then chances are you have the right power tools to handle the job with ease. However, for homeowners who are installing their own metal roofing they are probably going to take a DIY approach to the job.
And that generally means they will be using basic hand tools to accomplish the task at hand—which means they won’t have to invest in expensive power tools that they are probably only going to use once or twice at the most.
If you are going to install your own metal roof, you should definitely invest in a pair of tin snips to be able to cut the metal panels. Most DIY roofers are able to use them successfully. Tin snips are capable of cutting through 26-29 gauge metal panels, and possibly even heavier metal panels.
However, there is a right and a wrong way of going about doing it. To learn more about the correct way to use tin snips to cut your metal panels to install your new metal roof keep reading below.
Metal-Snipping Techniques and Tips For Using Them
- Right-Side Up
You should always make sure that your snip blades are perpendicular to the metal panel while you are cutting it. The metal sheeting has to feed straight in, and the tin snip blades have to be able to cut directly through it straight down.
The same goes for offset snips too; don’t worry about where exactly the handles point, it only really matters that the blades are absolutely perpendicular to the actual cut. If not then the metal will end up catching in the blades and it will end up damaging the metal, and possibly even your tin snips.
- Be Consistent
When it comes to cutting metal panels with tin snips, aviation snips are the most popular option because they happen to be spring loaded which can make the job of cutting the metal much easier. That and it also makes very fluid cuts.
Making sure your cuts are steady and consistent will ensure your lines are smoother and much straighter, or if needed properly curved as well. It’s also important to have very sharp blades too. If you’re having to strain while trying to make the cuts, it could result in the metal having chunks or curves.
- The Shorter The Cuts The Better
You should perform small, very frequent cuts instead of really long cuts. Tin snips are specifically designed to cut around ¼ of pieces of metal at one time. This allows for the off cut ro roll off like it’s supposed to, and will essentially improve the overall quality of the edge.
The bigger the cut the more likely the edge will end up jagged. You should refrain from cutting with the complete length of the tin snip blade, because that can end up causing a dimpling effect to occur.
- Use the Best Tin Snip
Don’t just rely on one pair of tin snips while cutting metal panels for installing your new metal roof. If you happen to alternate between green and red you can effectively remove the strip a lot easier than just producing a longer cut.
- Switch Between Tin Snips to Perform Straighter Long Cuts
You can certainly cut down the very middle of a bigger piece of sheet metal, however, aviation snips are better for more narrow strip removal. To make up for how metal can possibly curve or end up bending, you should cut out where you are using the red tin snips for one specific side and then use green tin snips for the other side.
Make sure you’re cutting 2 inches at one time making sure it’s on alternating sides—which results in 2 inches up on the right side and then 2 inches up on the left side also. This is what controls just how much the metal flexes and will result in a much cleaner cut.
- Perform Rough Cuts & Finishing Cuts
If you were to cut a long 30 inch piece of flashing right in half, instead of attempting to get the perfect cut on the very first try. You can cut ½ away from the one point where you really need the proper cut to be.
This rougher cut can then simply be cleaned up by another, much easier cut with your tin snips. You should make sure that the second pass that you perform is accomplished with the lower jaw pointing outward toward where the off-cut is supposed to be, that way the waste side ends up curling up, and the working side of the piece of metal doesn’t end up bending.
- Refrain From Straining On Heavier Metals
You should always use compound snips while cutting seams or thicker metals. If you happen to cut metal that is rated way too thick for your tin snip blades it will most likely result in them becoming damaged and your metal as well.
While cutting corrugated metal it’s always best to use longer tin snips or compound snips. They will ensure the cuts you make are clean and easy to accomplish.
- Remember How Forgiving Metal Is
Don’t strive for a nice and neat or even pretty cut line when you are covering your cuts with flashing. It’s totally not necessary, all you have to do is avoid making it really jagged so it won’t begin to fray in about a decade or two. Rough edges are common, that’s why there is trim to hide them.