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What's the best tool for cutouts in a metal panel?


SteveG
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Need to cut a 48mm by 77mm cutout in a 3mm ally panel and wondered what was best tool for this.

I have a hacksaw but frame is not big enough for panel. I have an open ended hacksaw but blade is too large to be of use.

Had a quick look and a coping saw seems just right, but blades seem to wood/plastic only.

Thanks in advance

Steve

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Many options, jigsaw, reciprocating air saw (like a jigsaw really), air powered cutter (angle grinder style) or a nibbler again either air tool or drill attached....the ultimate however is a plasma cutter :D

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. As it was a small hole and I wanted control with a small plate I went and bought a 6" coping saw for 2.99. Unlike what the websites say it seems they do come with metal cutting blades.

Thanks

Steve

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If you're careful (and practice first) a nibbler is very handy:

8015.jpg

I have one of these and it goes through ali like a knife through butter. You need to do a few test runs fist 'cos it can go a bit quick if you spin your drill too fast, and you don't want that ;)

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Another tip when using a jig saw to cut ally is to use an aluminium specific blade. The aluminuim blade is quite course and the teeth do not clog up like the metal blades. I use these for fitting side windows and find it the best option.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I too have one of these nibblers.

I expected it to be carp - but it's just brilliant! Bought it at billing from a chap demonstrating them. Usually when you buy a 'miraculous' new tool from one of those chaps (magic glass cutting things spring to mind, or drills that will drill through anything), you discover you've been conned when yo get home.

When I set about making my wings, I bought a Bosch nibbler - and burned the motor on the first day. Remembered I had this and completed the job using it in combination with a battery drill.

It will chomp through 2.5mm Al, 1.2mm Steel pretty easily and makes a much nicer job than a jig saw.

Si

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