How To Cut Metal Roofing With a Circular Saw

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Having a solid, well-built roof above your head is a necessity that you cannot possibly forgo. Besides making you feel secure and safe, it must also add an aesthetic appeal to your home. This article will help you learn how to cut metal roofing with a circular saw and achieve near perfection.

How To Cut Metal Roofing With Circular Saw

Follow the step-by-step walkthrough mentioned below to learn how to shape and cut a metal roof using a circular saw.

Materials Required

  • A metal sheet
  • A circular saw with carbide or steel blade
  • A measuring tape or a combination square
  • A marker
  • Safety gear:
    • War plugs
    • Gloves
    • Eye protection goggles
    • Boots
    • Full body covering clothes
  • A dry cloth or dry sponge

Step #1: Choose the Right Blade

There are various blades available like steel blades, abrasive blades, carbide, and diamond masonry blades. Diamond being the hardest substance, should be used to cut rugged rocks and stones.

Metal roofers do not require diamond blades.

Instead, a carbide or a steel blade can efficiently perform the task. Fix the blade properly on the saw and make sure it is secure in its place so that it does not come off while you are working with it.

Step #2: Wear the Correct Safety Gear

Metal sheets do not release as much dust as stone. But they do let out metal residue when a circular saw slices through them. Moreover, they are very sharp, and cutting them creates sharp edges.

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Ensure that you have access to the following safety gear:

  • A pair of gloves
  • An earplug
  • Goggles or PPE eye protection gear
  • Dust mask
  • Long-sleeved shirt and full pants
  • Boots 

Gloves are a must since they protect the sharp edges of the panels. Thus, you must remember to ensure maximum safety while working with any tool that has the potential to cause unforeseen hazards.

Step #3: Select the Number of Panels

Here comes one of the most important steps in the process. You’ve decided to build a strong and sturdy metal roof. Naturally, it should fit appropriately and remain intact during bad weather conditions.

For this, you must ensure that you cut the metal sheets only after measuring the roof’s size.

Moreover, you must also leave space for chimneys and pipes and other such requirements. It is best first to calculate the number of panels required before you start the actual work. 

Step #4: Place the Metal Sheet

Placing the metal sheet on a non-slippery surface can prevent any mishap or inaccuracy while cutting. It would be better to do it in an open area like a terrace or garden or open ground.

Make sure that the sheet does not budge an inch while you are working on it. Also, flip the sheet over.

The inner side of the roof should be facing upward. So that when you make the cut, it does not leave any mark on the portion which will be exposed.

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Step #5: Measure and Mark the Cut

Precision is most important in the case of a roof. There is no room for the slightest mistake when building a shelter. If anything goes wrong, it can lead to the rusting of the metal, shortening its lifespan significantly.

Moreover, unexpected or volatile weather conditions can cause trouble now and then. For example, the roof may start leaking during heavy rainfall.

Thus, it is advisable to take the precise measurement of the roof. If required, do it twice or thrice. After measuring it, start marking the panels of metal sheets with a marker on the inner side. It is because you must make the cut from the flip side.

Step #6: Make the Cut

It can be intimidating for an amateur to use a circular saw to cut a metal sheet. An angle grinder or a tin snip can be a better choice. But with proper precautions taken and correct instructions followed, a circular saw will do the job quicker and better.

Place the blade of the saw on the marked edge of the metal. Switch on the motor. Now, very slowly, not pressing it too hard, move the saw along with the metal sheet. Cut carefully with minimal pressure.

It is preferable to do it from a right angle. Make a clean cut because you only have one chance at it.

You can also watch this video to understand the process better.

Step #7: Clean Up the Sheet

Once you have cut, make sure that you clean up the sheet. Do not use water as it can rust the metal by leaving the residue on it that can lead to rapid corrosion. This is true for an aluminum roof, zinc roof, galvanized roof, or copper roof.

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Therefore, clean the metal with a dry cloth or a dry sponge.

Warning

Be careful while carrying out this task, as the sheets can be sharp at the edge. Even the slightest oversight or negligence can lead to mishappenings.

A Few Tips to Remember

  1. Do not make assumptions about the number of sheets you need.
  2. You can use an online calculator meant for estimating metal roofing according to your measurements.
  3. You must use a combination square instead of an ordinary measuring tape if you can.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Find Out the Correct Time to Replace my Metal Cutting Blade?

You will know that your blade has started wearing out when the cutting gets rough and requires too much pressure. As long as it is running smoothly, the blade is sharp and is safe to use.

Why are Abrasive Blades Preferred Over Diamond Blades for Cutting Metal?

Abrasive blades are preferred over diamond blades because they use aluminum oxide as their primary grain, while the latter uses silicon carbide. Aluminum oxide is good enough for cutting metal.

Apart From the Circular Saw, What Other Tools Can Be Used to Cut Metal Roofing?

A circular saw is best at this job because it can perform the required task far more quickly and neatly. You can save a lot of time and effort by using it.

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But, in case you are not comfortable with the circular saw, you can use several other simple tools like tin snips, shears, or an angle grinder.

Conclusion

Many among us choose to be self-reliant in as many ways as possible. Building a roof can be one of those ways, especially since it can help you save money.

Follow the steps, guidelines, and tips mentioned in this article. They will help you gain the confidence to work with metal sheets and other materials using a circular saw.

Although tools, in general, require a little bit of practice, circular saws are very convenient to use and ideal for this task. They are recommended for every DIY toolkit as they are effective and efficient.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.