DIY tips: making cut-outs in sheet metal

You are going to order sheet material from and you want to make a cut-out in it? Here we explain the best way to proceed.

What tools are needed?

Depending on the size of the recess, the precision required and, of course, personal preference, you can choose a milling machine, a jigsaw or a multi-tool.

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Making cut-outs with a milling machine

By using a template or guide when routing, the recess can be cut out very precisely. Much more precise than making the recess by hand, using a jigsaw or multitool, for example. The disadvantage of milling is that it generates a lot of dust and only works really well with relatively soft sheet material. The thickness of the material also plays a role, as it is not possible to rout very deep at once with a router.

Making cut-outs with a jigsaw

With a jigsaw, you can quickly saw a cut-out in sheet material. Draw the recess well. This is important because you will later need to be able to see the line clearly when sawing. Next, use a wood drill to drill a hole of around 8-10 mm in diameter in one of the corners of the recess. This is where the saw of the jigsaw can go and then the sawing can begin! If you are doing this for the first time, it may be wise to practise with a piece of leftover material first. After all, you need a steady hand to saw the cut-out nice and straight!

Making cut-outs with a multi-tool

A multi-tool is the right tool if you want to make a smaller cut or if the cut is in a corner that is not easily accessible. A multitool is compact and the saw blades can often be set at several angles. Also, when using a multitool, it is not necessary to drill a hole first. The saw can be put directly into the material.

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