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How to Cut Sheet Metal Roofing

Updated February 21, 2017

Sheet metal is a common roofing material used on sheds, carports and other temporary structures. The metal can either be flat, or corrugated, which means that it has raised ridges to allow water runoff. Although installing sheet metal roofing is a basic process, it usually must be cut to size. Cutting sheet metal requires special cutting tools that can penetrate the steel used to construct the sheets. Normal saw blades will bend the edges as they cut.

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  1. Lay the metal roofing sheet on top of two sawhorses. Use a tape measure and a pencil to draw a line where you want to cut it. If the sheet metal has raised ridges, make the line in between two of the ridges.

  2. Install an abrasive cutting disk into a circular saw and plug the saw in.

  3. Put on work gloves and a face shield, since the cutting process produces sparks. Clear away any flammable items from under the sawhorses.

  4. Turn on the circular saw and move it slowly toward the pencil line. Cut through the sheet metal at a slow but steady pace until you reach the end and the sheet metal splits in two.

  5. Turn off the circular saw and remove the face mask. Keep the gloves on since the cut edges of the sheet metal will still be very hot.

  6. Tip

    You can also cut sheet metal roofing with electric shears. If you have to cut across the ridges of sheet metal, rent a tool called a nibbler at a hardware or tool supply store.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sawhorses
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Abrasive-cutting metal disk
  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Electric shears (optional)
  • Nibbler (optional)

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

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.

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