Types of Sheet Metal Tools

Cutting Sheet MetalSheet metal is most commonly formed into flat, thin pieces for use in metalworking. While thin sheet metal has a wide variety of uses it needs to be cut and bent using specialised tools for the best results, as the thickness of the sheet will vary from relatively thick metal plate down to a thin type of foil.

The use of sheet metal tools can be very easy or extremely difficult depending on both the choice of tools and the metal being worked. For example, in order to perform a draw on the metal (a technique using tensile forces to stretch metal to a desired shape and/or thickness) makes use of metal rollers; this sounds quite simple but in fact the technique of getting the proper depth in the roller setup to achieve the correct final thickness is extremely tricky and takes a great deal of expertise.

There are a variety of sheet metal tools which perform different functions and can be used on different thicknesses of material. As well as metal rollers there are also tin snips, used to cut thinner metal, and powered shears which are very large and used to make incisions in very large sheets. A pressbrake (or “brake press”) is used to bend metal by clamping a sheet between a punch and die and using pressure to create the curve. A machine press is used for stamping images or designs onto a metal surface.

If you are planning to do any extensive work with metal there is a significant benefit to investing in the correct tools for the job. Improvisation, while quite possible, is unlikely to produce the same quality of finish in the piece, and can also make a job a lot harder than it needs to be. A typical example would be using unpowered shears to laboriously cut through a 5mm piece of aluminium sheet – technically possible, but likely to be a lot more imprecise and require a lot more time and physical effort.

As always with specialised tools it is important not to engage in the use of cutting, stamping or drawing equipment without proper training and awareness of key safety and risk information. Particularly when handling large metal sheets, inexperience can result in quite severe injuries. To avoid the need to acquire and learn to use specialist metal cutting tools yourself, try looking for an online service that will cut metal sheets to size and deliver them to your door by courier, such as online metal shop www.clickmetal.co.uk.

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