How to Cut a Metal PC Case

Written by c.l. rease
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How to Cut a Metal PC Case
A rotary tool can ease the burden of cutting a hole in a metal PC case. (tower computer image by Albo from

Modifying a metal PC case often involves installing an accessory that requires cutting a hole. The metal used in PC case construction is light gauged, meaning the metal is thin. Thin metal cuts easier with power tools that use abrasive cutting blades, rather than standard teeth-per-inch listed blades. Rotary cutting tools with an attached abrasive wheel will create an even cut without distorting your metal PC case.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Blue painter's tape
  • Accessory to install
  • Sharp pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Leather work gloves
  • Abrasive cutting wheels
  • Rotary tool
  • Fine-toothed, half-round file

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  1. 1

    Cover the side of the metal PC case that requires the hole with blue painter's tape. This tape does not leave a residue after removal, like other types of tape, and will protect the side of your PC case from scratches.

  2. 2

    Lay the accessory on top of the tape-covered PC case and slide it to the area where you want to cut the hole.

  3. 3

    Trace around the accessory with a sharp pencil. A sharper pencil will result in a more defined and accurate cut.

  4. 4

    Remove the accessory from the surface of the metal PC case. Don your safety glasses and leather work gloves.

  5. 5

    Attach an abrasive cutting wheel to the end of the rotary grinder.

  6. 6

    Start the rotary tool and lower the spinning abrasive cutting wheel to the traced pencil.

  7. 7

    Apply downward pressure on the rotary tool to cut through the metal PC case. Move the rotary tool over slightly and repeat. Continue this process until you have cut the entire traced line. If you are cutting a circle in the metal PC case, hold the abrasive cutting wheel at a 45-degree angle. This will cause the rotary tool to cut a curved, rather than straight line.

  8. 8

    Remove the sharp edges from the hole you cut in the metal PC case with the fine-toothed, half-round file. When using a file, slide it along the edge in long strokes, rather than moving it in an up and down motion. When you move the file up and down in short strokes, the line will not be straight and even.

  9. 9

    Remove the blue painter's tape from the metal PC case to finish cutting the hole.

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