How to Cut Corrugated Sheet Metal

Updated February 21, 2017

Corrugated sheet metal, a thin piece of metal with raised ridges that create a wavy appearance, is often used as roofing or wall material for sheds, carports and other secondary structures because the ridges drain off rain water well. Made of aluminium, steel, galvanised steel and stainless steel, cutting corrugated sheet metal may appear tricky because of the ridges, but only requires standard manual cutting tools.

Lay the piece of corrugated sheet metal on a flat surface and use a tape measure to determine where it needs to be cut. Draw a line down the length or width of the sheet metal using a pencil to mark the cut line. You can cut corrugated metal both parallel to the ridges, as well as across the ridges.

Hold a magnet up to the sheet metal to determine if it is steel or aluminium. If the magnet is attracted to the sheet metal, then it is made of steel. If not, then it is made of aluminium.

Place a pair of straight edge snips at the end of the pencil line, if the sheet metal is steel. Use a pair of tin snips at the line if the metal is aluminium. Both of these tools are basically industrial strength scissors.

Cut along the pencil line with the straight edge shears or the tin snips until you have cut the enter piece of corrugated sheet metal.


You can also cut the sheet metal with a circular saw, but this may cause the cut end to rust prematurely. If the corrugated sheet metal is made of aluminium, you can cut parallel to the ridges with a utility knife. After cutting, grasp the edge and bend it once or twice to break it off. To cut across the ridges, use tin snips.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Magnet
  • Straight cut snips or tin snips
  • Utility knife (optional)
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.