Get A Free Roof Inspection

How to Cut Metal Roofing (DIY Guide)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

Welcome to the ultimate guide on mastering the art of metal roofing and the essential cutting techniques that you need to know. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of home improvement, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the skills of how to cut metal roofing.

Since you’ve decided to take the do-it-yourself approach, we’ll lead you step-by-step through the entire process. So, say hello to a new sense of accomplishment as you transform your roof.

With that said, get ready to unleash your inner DIY superstar and get the secrets to achieving professional-grade results. Read on for more helpful tips and tricks!

3 Cutting Techniques for Metal Roofing

worker cutting the corrugated metal sheet of the roof

When it comes to cutting metal roofing, there are a few different techniques you can use. Here’s a closer look at each option:

1) Tin Snips

Snips are handheld cutting tools that resemble a pair of scissors. They’re easy to use and provide a lot of control, making them a popular choice for DIYers. However, this cutting option is best for thin metal panels.

2) Metal Shears

Shears are another cutting tool commonly used for metal roofing. Unlike snips, shears are typically larger and more powerful. They can handle thicker metal sheets and are capable of making straight cuts, as well as curves and circles.

Shears are available in both electric and manual versions, with electric shears being more efficient for large-scale projects.

3) Circular Saws

Circular saws work wonders for cutting metal. This method is fast and allows you to cut several sheets at a time. Not only that, but if your roof is made of thick metal, this option gets the job done with less hassle.

Just be aware that you have to be very careful when using a circular saw. Cutting with this tool requires deep focus and concentration. Overall, no matter which cutting technique you choose, it’s vital to select the tool that best suits your needs, and always follow proper safety precautions.

Essential Tools for Cutting Metal Roofing

To achieve clean and precise cuts while  working with metal, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal. Here are some tools that’ll help you tackle your project:

  • Tape Measure: Accurate measurements are crucial when cutting metal roofing. A good quality tape measure will ensure that your cuts are precise and fit perfectly.
  • Straight Edge: A straight edge, such as a ruler or a long, is necessary for marking straight lines on metal roofing sheets.
  • Marking Tool: You’ll need a marking tool that can make marks on metal surfaces. Try permanent markers or soapstone pencils.
  • Snips, Shears, or Cutting Saws: Depending on your preferred cutting technique, make sure you have the appropriate cutting tool for the job.
  •  Safety Equipment: Safety goggles, gloves, and ear protection are essential when working with metal roofing. Protect yourself from flying metal chips, sharp edges, and loud noises.
  • Clamps: Clamps will help hold the metal roofing sheets in place, preventing them from shifting or moving while you make your cuts.
  • Power Accessories: If you’re using electric shears or nibblers, make sure you have a reliable power source and the appropriate extension cords.

Having these tools at your disposal will ensure that you can work efficiently and achieve professional-grade results when cutting metal roofing panels.

How to Cut a Metal Roof: A Step-by-Step Guide 

man using grinder to cut the metal roofing sheet

Before you start cutting your metal roofing panels, it’s to measure and mark them accurately to ensure a perfect fit. Follow this step-by-step guide of everything you should do:

Step 1: Measure the Roof

Start by measuring the dimensions of your roof to determine the size of the metal roofing sheets. Measure the length and width of each section separately, taking into account any overhang or overlap required.

Step 2: Transfer Measurements Onto Metal Sheets

Using your measuring tape and straight edge, transfer the measurements from your roof onto the metal sheets. Mark the measurements with a permanent marker or soapstone pencil to ensuring that your lines are straight and clear.

Step 3: Mark the Cutting Lines

Once you have transferred all the measurements onto the panels, mark the cutting lines using your straight edge and marking tool. Double-check your measurements and make any necessary adjustments before proceeding.

Step 4: Secure the Metal Sheets

Place the panels on sawhorses or a workbench, ensuring they are secured and won’t move while you’re cutting. Use clamps to hold the sheets in place, especially if you’re working with large or heavy pieces.

Step 5: Cut the Metal Sheets

Depending on the cutting technique you’ve chosen, use snips, shears, or nibblers to cut along the marked lines. Take your time and work slowly, especially if you’re new to cutting metal roofing. Follow the tool’s instructions and apply consistent pressure to achieve clean and precise cuts.

By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to measure and mark your metal roofing sheets accurately, setting yourself up for success when it comes to cutting and installation.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Metal Roofing

workers cutting the metal tile using pliers

One of the most common mistakes is using the wrong type of cutting tool. Metal roofing requires specific tools designed for the job. Using the wrong tool can lead to jagged, imprecise cuts that compromise the integrity of the roof.

Another error is not properly measuring and marking the metal panels before cutting. Accurate measurements are crucial to ensure a seamless fit and prevent wasted materials. 

Lastly, rushing through the cutting process is a recipe for disaster. Metal roofing requires patience and precision. Cutting too quickly can result in uneven edges and jagged cuts.

Let Us Handle the Job

Although it’s possible to cut metal roofing yourself, it’s not the greatest idea. In fact, your roof isn’t the best place to do a DIY project—especially if you’re not an expert. 

But, no worries. At Whitt’s Quality Roofing, we can handle the job for you. Our contractors specialize in metal roofing, storm damage repair, and more. 

So, if you’re ready to get started, call 478-242-6276, or contact us for a free roof inspection!

Leroy Whitt

We've Got The Answers.

We've Got The Answers.

From Our Blog

We'll go the extra mile for you!

Reach Out Today