How to Cut Steel: Your Ultimate Guide

person welderIf you work in the manufacturing industry, you may find that you will need to cut steel at some point or another.

But, finding the right tools to help you cut steel can be tricky. Luckily, there are some tips you can follow, that will help you discover the right way to cut steel.

In fact, if you keep reading, you’ll learn exactly how to cut steel in a way that’s efficient and suitable for your needs.

Let’s begin!

How Often Do You Need to Cut Steel?

Before you invest in any kind of steel cutting equipment, you should first think about how often you’ll need to cut steel.

If it is only going to be a ‘one-off’ thing, you probably do not need to invest in any kind of fancy tools or machinery. Rather, you might be better off heading down to your local DIY/Hardware store and asking them to help you out.

You’ll likely find that they’ll be able to cut steel for you, at a relatively inexpensive price. This can be a massive help if you want to keep costs low, whilst getting the job done properly.

What is the Thickness of the Steel?

If you are going to be regularly cutting steel, you may decide that investing in equipment is the right decision for you. In this situation, you then need to think about what the thickness will be, of the steel you are going to be cutting.

If you are only going to be cutting thin sheets of steel, you may be able to get away with investing in some ‘compound snips.’

Snips are a tool that works the same way a pair of scissors would. Except these compound snips are heavy duty and designed to cut through steel. This piece of equipment is a good choice if you are only cutting through thin pieces of steel.

If you need to cut through a thick piece of metal, then there are many different options open to you. For example, you can invest in a ‘chop saw.’ A chop saw is like an angle grinder, that can be used for cutting steel. It is a very heavy duty blade.

You could also invest in something known as a ‘cold saw’ which is designed for especially thick pieces of metal. Although, this is such a large piece of equipment, that it isn’t intended for home use.

There’s also the option of using a ‘torch’ to help you cut steel. Torches tend to work well with thinner pieces of metal. You will find that there are different kinds of torches.

One torch you can use is the ‘plasma torch.’ This torch works well for pieces of metal that aren’t thicker than 0.25 inches. The other kind of torch you can use is an oxy-acetylene torch. This torch can be used to cut through steel as thick as 12 inches.

In some cases, you can even invest in a flow waterjet to help you cut steel. But if you are going use this equipment, make sure your chosen jet can cut the thickness of steel you need to shape. Most waterjets are only suitable for thin pieces of steel, but there are some that are designed for thick pieces.

Keep in mind, that the thicker the piece of metal, the more heavy duty the piece of equipment will be. This generally means that the equipment is going to be more expensive too. So, if you are on a budget, you need to be prepared for this fact.

What Level of Precision Do You Need?

Aside from the thickness you need, you should also put some thought into precision. As alluded to earlier, the more expensive pieces of equipment are going to provide you with the best levels of precision.

But, these pieces of equipment can also be harder to use. So, if you want a high degree of precision, but you don’t want to pay a lot for equipment, consider paying someone else to cut your steel.

Safety Matters When Learning How to Cut Steel

Cutting steel is a dangerous task. You’ll tend to find that the level of danger increases, the thicker the piece of steel you are trying to cut.

Make sure you invest in all the right pieces of safety equipment. Especially if you are using a saw or some sort of torch. You will need to invest in some kind of head guard. This will protect your eyes and face from the sparks and heat generated by cutting steel.

It is also a good idea to take steps that will prevent fire when cutting steel. The best way to do this is by investing in specialized clothing that will not catch fire when it comes into contact with sparks.

Make sure you buy this equipment from reputable retailers. Failure to do so might mean you are spending money on unreliable items. Such items might fail you when you need them most. This can lead to serious injury if you place your faith in them.

You should also learn how to use equipment properly. Just because you are able to buy a piece of steel cutting equipment, doesn’t mean you know how to use it. You want to do everything you can to maintain a high level of health and safety.

If you can, ask the company selling you the equipment, if they can train you. They should have staff on hand, that will be able to guide you and teach you how to get the best results. Using their knowledge, you’ll be able to avoid some of the common mistakes that often lead to injury.

Superb Steel Skills?

Cutting steel can be a tricky task if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully, with the help of the right equipment, it isn’t that hard to cut steel with precision.

In this post, we’ve taken a look at some of the things you can do to invest in equipment that will help you cut steel. You need to be aware of the thickness of the steel you’re thinking about cutting. You also need to be aware of the precision you need.

Most importantly – you need to keep safety in mind when learning how to cut steel. Cutting steel is dangerous work. If you do not have the proper safety gear, it won’t matter how good the equipment is.

You will be putting yourself in harm’s way and that can lead to some serious problems. No matter how busy you are, learn what can be done to stay safe and follow what you’ve been taught.

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