How to cut metal roofing

Choosing the best way to cut metal roofing is indeed important. Sometimes, the metal sheet comes in large size and not cut into small pieces by the manufacturer. It will definitely force you to cut them out on your own.

How to do that? Read the information down below.

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Best Way to Cut Metal Roofing

When you buy a sheet of metal for the roofing material at home, you will have to cut it out, so it matches the coverage area of the roof. There are tons of ways and methods to cut the sheet.

How to cut metal roofing

These are some of the methods. Choose the best way to cut metal roofing from the list down below, and you won’t find the cutting hard to do.

  1. Using Nibbler

To cut the metal sheet into a perfectly straight line, you need a nibbler. Nibbler is the easiest too to use as it helps you cut the metal properly. Before using a nibbler, make sure you have marked the lines to cut so that it won’t have a bad result at the end.

  1. Using Electric Drill

Cutting the metal sheet will be a bit harder when there are curves and circular patterns to cut. That is why when your roofing contains a lot of curves, you also need to prepare an electric drill. Cutting the metal sheet from above using an electric drill is harder, but the result is satisfying, and sometimes you can produce a perfect circle shape or curves using the tool.

  1. Using Tin Snips

Nibbler and drills produce metal sparks. When you have zero protection for using nibbler or drills, do not use them. You will have to cover your eyes and ears when using them.

If you have none, the safest way is to use tin snips. Cutting metal sheets using tin snips will take longer, but it won’t cause any sparks that may put you in danger.

Best Way to Cut Corrugated Metal Roofing

Metal sheet for the roofing is available in the good old-fashioned flat type one and the corrugated one. Essentially, the corrugated one will be harder to cut due to its texture and design.

How to cut metal roofing

Cutting corrugated metal with a jigsaw and everything else can be learned down below. There are tools that you can use to make sure that the corrugated sheet is cut properly.

  1. Using Aviation Snips

Aviation snip is like regular tin snip, only more powerful. Usually, it has a green handle and a red handle. Use them together to cut the corrugated metal, and one of them will lift the metal cutting and remove them from the rest.

  1. Using Angle Grinder

The cutting angle on corrugated metal can be pretty hard, especially when the angle is quite extreme. To deal with this, use an angle grinder. This is the most powerful tool as it will easily cut the metal sheet at any angle that you want.

The last tool to use if you have none of the tools above is probably a circular saw. You have to be really careful with this one as this saw is super sharp, and you will have to bring the metal sheet to the saw. So, it is a bit heavier than other methods.

How to Cut Metal Roofing Panels

After learning the best way to cut metal roofing, you have to learn how to do the actual cutting. The tips down below will help you to do that. Follow these tips, and you will find out that metal cutting is not so hard to do, as long as you have previous experience with the attempt. Here they are:

  1. Prepare the Safety Equipment

The safety equipment you need to prepare for the metal cutting attempt includes industrial glasses, earplugs, and thick gloves. You will also wear a thick vest and helmet. Make sure the cutting is done outdoor or at least in a well-ventilated area.

  1. Leave to the Professional

Remember, when you have zero experience in dealing with metal cutting, it is better to leave them in the professionals’ hands, as this attempt will require a lot of tools and power. They know better about the cutting, and the result will be better.

Those are some of the best suggestions, as well as tricks to cut metal sheets for your roofing material. If you have done this metal cutting thing before, all you need to do now is select the best way to cut metal roofing and do it again.

Cut metal roofing panels

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The use of metal roofing, specifically corrugated iron roof panel, it is highly known for its durability, quality and of course a nice touch. It is used in many homes, offices and building constructions, though despite all the good things it has to offer, metal roofing is quite difficult because it is light and indestructible, cutting it requires more focus, mastery, and accuracy.

It may sound problematic and difficult for you but believe me, once you learn the basics and get the hang of things it would be just a piece of cake.

What You Will Need

Before learning how to cut metal roofing, you need to make sure that you have some necessary things that are listed below:

  • Away from any hazards and most especially away from kids and pets.
  • Make sure that you have a tough, stable and safe working place and surface.
  • Always have a marker
  • A measuring tape
  • A combination square (for measuring)
  • A good power shear
  • Corrugated metal roof panels

Best Way to Cut Metal Roof

No matter which tools you use, planning is always the best way to cut metal roofing.

Now, when you have what you need. It is the time that you should be aware that all the materials for roofing should be handled with care. Because the roof is flexible and can fold back on itself easily, so always be careful when handling it. It can damage the panel.

Most metal roof panels have a certain coating. The galvanized zinc that runs around the whole panel, it is fragile that if you scratch an area, the opening will be prone to rust.

Hence, it would be better if you follow the step-by-step method in cutting.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Setting-up The Work

Lay the corrugated roof sheet on a flat, sturdy surface that is clutter free and away from kids or pets. The reason for this is to avoid accidents and also it keeps the metal from sliding anywhere.

Step 2 – Measuring

Next, is to measure the length and width of how much you need to use on the metal roof using a tape measure.

After which use the combination square to for accurate measurements, make sure that the vertical line of the roof is aligned to your eaves. This is the most basic and most important part of cutting because once the panel becomes misaligned the rest of the panels will become misaligned as well.

How to cut metal roofing

Measuring roof with a tape measure

Step 3 – Ready, Set, and Mark

Then use the marker to create a line or mark the spot in which you will cut it.

Make sure that you have the right measurements as well as marking the spots right or else it would just ruin the whole roof.

Draw on both sides of your metal roofing before cutting. Make sure that you can make only the right cuts you need in the first time

How to cut metal roofing

measure metal roof with a combination square

Step 4 – The Power Tools

Prepare the cutting tools such as power shears. If you want to cut around round objects such as vent pipes; a nibbler is the best way to finish your project.

Bear in mind that the metal roof sheet is coated with galvanizing zinc. A tiny scratch on its surface will turn the metal into rust and weaken your material.

That is why it is important to stay focused and be very careful when cutting. A little mistake will ruin and leave permanent damage to your sheeting.

How to cut metal roofing

Cutting roof with a tin snip cutter

Step 5 – The Cutting Methods

Slowly guide the tool steadily and gradually pushing it down the panel. It may be easier than you think, but sometimes your power shears will come to a stop, when this happens make sure not to use force and push the tool further toward the panel, instead move to a slightly different angle and cautiously move the tool forward slightly pushing it down to cut through.

You must be very patient when cutting roof panels; you can’t rush it, or else the whole panel will be regretfully ruined. If you are patient enough, you will be able to have a metal roof that is flawlessly cut through.

Step 6 – The Installation

The last and final step. Once you have cut through the metal roof, you might want to install the roof into a house or shed. You have to make sure that you have the right measurements, and perfect angles to avoid crooked panels.

Now, place a screw inside the fastening strip and make sure that it is steady before installing the permanent screws on the roof surface. Leave space in between each respective fastener on the metal roof. The measurements should be around 12 inches, and it must be tightly screwed, but not too tight or it may give unwanted tension. Once you have done this. You are ready to install the visible fasteners together with the center of the pan, and you also have to make sure that all the fastener passes through the sealed tape underneath, making a tight seal.

Next, you have to connect the three fasteners, one on each respective side and the third one on the middle part. Repeat each step until the roof is thoroughly concealed.

Tin roofing is considered to be one of the most versatile and lightweight materials for steel roofing. The edge and the middle parts of each sheet are usually made of small ridges. The ridges are there to make sure that the joints are tightly sealed.

How to cut metal roofing

However, not all of the sheets match onto your roof, so you have to cut them. The easiest way to cut tin roofing is actually depending on what sort of cut you want to make and how experienced you are dealing with roofing materials.

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How to Cut Tin Roofing Sheets

Whatever cutting tool you use, it’s vital to first planning what type of cuts you want to make. Apart from that, you should always take your safety into account whenever you are using electric cutting tools. Be sure to wear long trousers and shirts.

Regarding the methods to cut tin roofing materials, there are three ways you can use as mentioned in the following sections:

Using Nibblers

Nibblers are electrical drill attachments and are great to help you cutting tin roofing materials in straight lines or even curves. It’s a special tool made to cut metal and deal with small parts of the metal roofing at a time.

So, how to cut tin roofing using nibblers? You can move the tool around the corners of the materials, and you will get a clean and tidy cut without sharp edges that other cutting tools may leave. However, in comparison to other metal roofing cutting tools, nibblers are the most expensive ones.

Using Tin Snips

It’s the cheapest method you can use to cut tin roofing materials. Tin snips are great for small roofing projects or an installation that requires minimum cuts. To cut metal roofing where the waste tin is on the right side, you can use right-hand tin scissors.

You can also use the same tool to make a curve cut in the opposite direction. On the contrary, if the waste tin is on the left side, it would be great to use left-handed tin snips. Meanwhile, straight tin scissors are used to make intricate and straight cuts or even cut openings in the sheet’s center.

Using Circular Saw

Although this tool can be used to cut metal sheets, it’s not really the best tool for cutting tin roofing. Only circular saws that are specifically made for cutting metal roofing should be used.

Besides, you won’t be able to cut more than one sheet simultaneously, and you have to put the exposed surface of the sheet down to avoid a damaged finish.

How to Cut Corrugated Tin Roofing

How to cut metal roofing

  1. To cut corrugated metal roofing, you can use a circular saw made for cutting metal sheets. To start, place the tin roofing on your work surface. You can either use sawhorses or a sawing table.
  1. Use a sharp-teethed blade as it is specifically made for cutting metal roofing. While the diamond one will give you a clean and tidy cut, they’re more costly than a regular circular saw.
  1. Weigh the tin sheet down with your hand or heavy objects and start guiding the saw slowly through the tin roofing sheet. Be sure not to move the saw at an edge when cutting. The ridges in a corrugated tin will help you to get a straight cut with no hassle. However, you will lose control if you try to turn your circular saw.

Those are the three methods of how to cut tin roofing. You can use one of the three cutting tools depending on what type of cuts you desire.

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Not sure how to cut corrugated metal roofing? You’re not alone.

After weeks of research and interviews with professional roofers and metal workers, we’ve found the best and the least destructive ways to cut corrugated metal easily, efficient and without cutting yourself.

Because of its unique wavy shape, some people find it difficult to cut corrugated metal sheets. If you adequately prepare before you cut, use proper cutting tools and safety gear, cutting corrugated sheets is easy.

Tin sheets are lightweight, easy to maneuver, flexible and soft – you can cut it manually using snips or by using electric tools like turbo shears, nibblers or grinders.

Today we share the safest, best and least destructive ways to cut corrugated metal roofing. With the tools we recommend, you’ll make clean, fast and efficient cuts with smooth edges.

  1. 1. TIN SNIPS: Slow but safe
    • Best Snips for Corrugated Metal: MIDWEST Aviation Snip Set Left, Right, Center Offset Cuts
  2. 2. NIBBLERS: the best way to cut corrugated metal
    • Best Nibbler for Corrugated Metal: Makita JN1601 5 Amp 16 Gauge Nibbler
    • Best Double-Cut Electric Shear: Milwaukee 2635-20 M18 Cordless 18 Gauge Double Cut Shear
    • Best Turbo Shear Attachment: Malco TSCM Corrugated Metal Turbo Shear
  4. 4. CIRCULAR SAWS & GRINDERS: The worst way for cutting corrugated metal roofing?
    • Best Circular Saw: Milwaukee 6370-21 13 Amp 8-Inch Metal Cutting Circular Saw


I. Put on your safety gear: Gloves, Hearing Protection, and Eye Protection

When handling metal roofing, you need to be very careful. Protect your hands from dangerously sharp edges or raised burrs by wearing appropriate safety gloves.

If you’re using tools that use heat like circular saws or grinders (although we don’t recommend it, see why below), you need to be extra careful and add safety glasses, ear protection, face shield, safety roofing boots, long-sleeved clothes to avoid burns.

  • Safety Goggles:NoCry Safety Glasses at Amazon
  • Ear Protection:3M Peltor X-Series Earmuffs at Amazon
  • Face Shiels: Uvex Bionic Face Shiels at Amazon
  • Professional Roofing Safety Boots:Thorogood American Heritage at Amazon

II. Plan ahead, prepare the metal and measure before you cut

First of all, measure your roof and order the sheets the exact length you need.

When you’re ready to cut, place the sheet onto a flat, wide and sturdy work surface.

To make the cutting process easier, make sure the work area is wide enough so that you can have enough room to move freely and handle the material with ease.

Measure and mark the length (on both sides) you need to cut.

Use a tape measure, carpenter’s square or a two-by-four, and a permanent marker.

  • Tape Measure:Stanley Powerlock 30′ at Amazon
  • Combination Square:Irwin Tools Combination Square at Amazon
  • Marker: Milwaukee Permanent Marker 12-Pack at Amazon

III. Choose the right cutting tools

1. TIN SNIPS: Slow but safe

Best Snips for Corrugated Metal: MIDWEST Aviation Snip Set Left, Right, Center Offset Cuts

This snips set are designed for easy cutting (compound leverage), are comfortable to use and long lasting.

Ideal for professional sheet metal workers, and metal roofers.

The blades are very sharp, and built to last, with maximum strength and durability.

Snips are ideal for cutting any type of corrugated roofing, especially for cutting softer metal like tin sheets. Probably it’s also the cheapest way for cutting corrugated tin roofing.

Tin roofs are lightweight and soft by nature, this is why cutting them manually with snips is a good option.

There are many types of snips available on the market, designed either for straight orcurved cuts.

  1. Left offset snips
  2. Right offset snips
  3. Straight cut tin snips

Whether you’re cutting galvanized, stainless steel or plastic corrugated sheets, tin snips can handle it.

Although very slowly, snips will give you clean, controlled cuts. They’re also great for making small cuts and help you with detailed work.


  • Clean cuts
  • Cheap tool
  • Quiet
  • Great with details, ideal for tyding up
  • Ideal for small roofing jobs & small cuts
  • Very slow
  • Tiring to the hand
  • Can’t handle large projects

Metal roof panels, specifically corrugated iron roof panels, are popular for many outbuildings due to their lightweight design and high durability. If they are installed properly, they can last for many years as they do not deteriorate easily and are not so prone to weather damage as some other roof designs. However, for metal roof panels to be as effective as they should be, they should be cut, installed, and treated appropriately. Cutting metal roof panels needs to be done with care because if the galvanized zinc coating on them is scratched or damaged in any way, it leaves the area open to rusting. To cut metal roofing panels in the safest way with minimal risk of damaging them, there is a certain technique that should be used, as well as a set of appropriate tools. Here is your tutorial on how to cut metal roof panels correctly.

Step 1 – Take the Measurements and Make other Preparations

Find a perfectly flat and steady work surface to cut the material on. Place the corrugated metal sheet flat down on the surface with the underside facing up. Find the length that you need to cut it to and use the tape measure to relate this to the metal sheeting itself. Use a permanent marker to mark the point where you want to start cutting. Place the combination square precisely onto this mark. The permanent marker should be placed on the edge of the blade of the combination square. Simply drag this combination square along the cut line, using the permanent marker to mark it as you go. Be sure to use an appropriate marker pen so that the line does not wear off as soon as you have drawn it.

Step 2 – Cut the Metal Paneling

How to cut metal roofing

Cutting the metal paneling does not have to be a difficult task, but it should be done with care. Any blemishes on the surface of the metal will be left open to rust, causing the roofing to be far weaker than it should be.

To begin, get the power shear and align its cutting blades with the cutting line that you have marked on the underside of the metal sheeting. Make sure that it is perfectly aligned as being even a tiny bit out can cause irreparable damage to the sheeting. When you are satisfied that your measurements and alignment are correct, switch on the power shear and start cutting.

Step 3 – Finish Up

The power shear should be used slowly, being pushed gradually along the corrugated panel. This sounds easier than it actually is and you may find that, in some locations, the power shear will come to a bit of a dead end. Rather than attempting to use force to thrust it forward, move the blade at a different angle and carefully cut through the section. With some patience and a steady hand, you should manage to get a perfectly straight line.