What type tools can cut metal?

What type tools can cut metal? - Fix It Cape Town


Metal cutting is an essential process in many industries, from manufacturing to construction. Various tools are available for cutting metal, and understanding their different capabilities can help you choose the right tool for your project. In this article, we will explore the different types of tools capable of cutting metal, ranging from traditional hand tools like hacksaws and chisels to power tools like angle grinders and jigsaws.

Traditional Hand Tools

1. Hacksaws

Hacksaws are manual cutting tools consisting of a frame and a replaceable blade with small, sharp teeth. They are commonly used for cutting through metal pipes, rods, and sheets. Hacksaws provide excellent control and precision, making them ideal for intricate cutting tasks. However, they may require considerable effort and time for larger or tougher materials.

2. Chisels

Chisels are handheld tools with a sharp cutting edge at one end. While typically associated with woodworking, chisels can also be used for cutting metal. They are particularly effective for cutting softer metals like copper or aluminum. Chisels require a hammer or mallet to strike and generate the force necessary for cutting.

3. Bolt Cutters

Bolt cutters are heavy-duty hand tools specifically designed for cutting through metal bolts, chains, and padlocks. They feature long handles and powerful jaws that exert a tremendous cutting force with minimal effort. Bolt cutters are commonly used in applications where portability is a concern, such as emergency situations or on construction sites.

Power Tools

1. Angle Grinders

Angle grinders are versatile power tools used for various tasks, including cutting metal. They feature a motor-driven abrasive disc that rotates at high speeds to grind, cut, or polish. With the right cutting disc, angle grinders can slice through metal with ease. Their adjustable guard allows for precise cutting, making them suitable for both straight cuts and curved shapes.

2. Jigsaws

Jigsaws are handheld power tools equipped with a reciprocating saw blade capable of cutting curves, straight lines, and intricate shapes in metal. They work by rapidly moving the blade up and down while the user guides the tool. Jigsaws are particularly useful for cutting thin metal sheets or making intricate cuts, such as notches or curves.

3. Plasma Cutters

Plasma cutters employ ionized gas and an electrical arc to effectively cut through various metals. They are commonly used in industrial applications and can handle thick metals. Plasma cutters offer high cutting speeds and produce smooth, precise cuts. However, they are not as portable or affordable as other power tools, making them less suitable for smaller projects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Which tool is best for cutting thick metal?

A: Plasma cutters are the preferred choice for cutting thick metals due to their high cutting speeds and ability to handle heavier materials effectively.

Q: Can I use a jigsaw to cut through steel?

A: Yes, jigsaws can cut through thin steel sheets. However, for thicker steel materials, more powerful tools like plasma cutters or angle grinders are recommended.

Q: Are power tools more effective than traditional hand tools for cutting metal?

A: Power tools like angle grinders and plasma cutters offer more speed, precision, and versatility than traditional hand tools. However, for smaller or more intricate cuts, traditional hand tools may still be appropriate.


When it comes to cutting metal, various tools are available to suit different applications. Traditional hand tools like hacksaws, chisels, and bolt cutters are excellent for smaller or more delicate tasks, providing precision and control. Power tools like angle grinders, jigsaws, and plasma cutters offer increased cutting speed, power, and versatility, making them ideal for larger or more demanding projects.

When choosing a tool, consider the thickness and type of metal, the complexity of the cut required, and factors such as portability and budget. By understanding the capabilities of each type of tool, you can make an informed decision and achieve the best results for your metal cutting needs.

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