Table Of Contents

Are you considering installing sheet metal roofing for your home or building? If so, you've made a smart choice. Sheet metal roofing is not only durable and long-lasting, but it's also eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

However, before you start the installation process, you must learn the best ways to cut this versatile material to ensure a seamless and secure fit. In this blog post, we'll guide you through some essential tips and techniques for cutting sheet metal roofing like a pro, resulting in a beautiful and professional finish.

Best Way To Cut Sheet Metal Roofing

Choose the right cutting tools

The first step to cutting metal roofing is selecting the correct cutting tools. Many people make the mistake of using regular tin snips; however, they can damage the material and create rough, jagged edges. Instead, consider using specialised tools designed explicitly for cutting metal roofing sheets.

Wear the appropriate safety gear

Working with sheet metal roofing could be hazardous if you don't wear the proper safety gear. Therefore, be sure to protect yourself with safety items like heavy gloves, goggles, ear protection, and a mask.

This is especially crucial if you're using power tools, as the noise and debris produced could be harmful. Additionally, exercise caution when handling sharp edges and try to keep your work area clean and clutter-free to reduce any risk of accidents.

Plan your cuts carefully

Before cutting, you must take accurate measurements and carefully plan your cuts. You could use a straight edge, such as a ruler or a T-square, to draw straight cutting lines on the metal sheet.

Ensure that these lines are precise, and even since any errors during cutting will not only be visible on the finished roofing but could also affect its structural integrity.

Use proper cutting techniques

When cutting sheet metal roofing, it's essential to use the correct technique to achieve a clean and straight cut. For instance, when using nibblers, make sure to cut in a straight and steady motion, applying even pressure throughout the cut. If you're using a circular saw, start slowly and ensure the blade is at full speed before you begin cutting.

Protect the material's finish

Sheet metal roofing often comes with a protective coating or painted finish that requires special attention during cutting. Consider using painter's tape to cover the cutting line to ensure you don't damage the finish.

This will protect the coating and provide a more visible guide for cutting. Also, handle the metal sheets carefully to avoid bending, scratching, or denting them during the cutting process.

Practice makes perfect

If you're new to cutting sheet metal roofing, practising with scrap material before working on your actual roofing sheets is a good idea. This will help you become familiar with the cutting tools and the material, allowing you to perfect your technique and achieve professional results.

Specialised Tools for Cutting Sheet Metal Roofing

Sheet metal roofing can be challenging, but cutting with the right tools becomes much more manageable. Here are some specialised tools that can help you cut sheet metal roofing:

Tin snips

Also known as aviation snips, these are the most commonly used hand tools for cutting sheet metal roofing. Snips are an essential hand tool for cutting sheet metal and are fantastic for smaller cuts, circles, and curves in sheet metal. These specialised scissors are available in three different types – left cut, the right cut, and straight cut – which cater to different cutting directions and styles.

Additionally, each type is colour-coded to identify the cutting direction easily – red for left, green for right, and yellow for a straight cut. Snips are fantastic for more minor cuts, circles, and curves in sheet metal.

Angle grinders

As the name suggests, these are handheld grinding tools designed for cutting, shaping, and deburring metal roofing materials such as steel, aluminium, and copper. Angle grinders are equipped with powerful motors and specialised abrasive wheels, making them suitable for precision cuts without causing damage to the material or compromising its structural integrity.

Additionally, they are particularly popular for removing rust and corrosion from metal roofing and creating custom shapes and design elements. The applications of a metal sheet roof angle grinder are diverse, so choosing the right type and size for your specific project is essential.

These devices are available in various forms, from compact models suitable for small home repairs to heavy-duty ones designed for more substantial construction projects. Given their versatility, it's easy to see why a metal sheet roof angle grinder is a must-have tool for homeowners and builders alike.


Quick and efficient power tools for sheet metal cutting. Another effective tool for cutting sheet metal roofing is an electric or pneumatic nibbler. Nibblers are electric or pneumatic power tools that can make clean and precise cuts in sheet metal without distorting the material.

They are designed to remove small pieces, or "nibbles," from the metal, ultimately giving you a clean, continuous cut. Nibblers are perfect for projects that require long, straight cuts or cases where minimal distortion is essential.


Shears are used for faster and more accurate sheet metal cutting. Powered shears are another specialised tool that can save time and energy when working with sheet metal roofing projects. These tools are available in various models, including electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic, depending on the application and level of power needed.

Shears provide a fast and accurate cutting process for straight cuts or wide-radius curves, with minimal distortion or burring on the sheet metal edge. However, they may be considered a more expensive option than other tools on this list.

Circular saws

For heavy-duty cutting jobs, a circular saw equipped with the right metal cutting blade is an excellent option for cutting sheet metal roofing. Choose a carbide-tipped or diamond-tipped blade designed for cutting metal to avoid damage to your saw or materials.

Ensure you adjust your blade depth to match the thickness of the sheet metal being cut. A circular saw offers high-power cutting in straight lines, making it perfect for large-scale projects. However, remember to wear ear protection as cutting metal with a circular saw can be noisy.

Metal roofing cutters

If you're looking for a tool specifically designed for cutting sheet metal roofing, investing in a metal roofing cutter is the best choice. These tools resemble a large set of shearers and have jaws specifically designed for cutting metal roofing panels.

Some models even feature a built-in measuring system, allowing you to easily make precise cuts. Investing in a high-quality metal roofing cutter is wise if you offer roofing installation services professionally or frequently work on metal roofing projects.

Benefits of Sheet Metal Roofing

Metal sheet roofs offer numerous benefits, making them a prevalent choice for homeowners and builders alike. Here are some reasons why installing a metal sheet roof is a good choice:

Unmatched durability and longevity

One of the primary reasons that metal sheet roofs are so appealing is their exceptional durability and lifespan. Metal roofs are resistant to many potential sources of damage, including fire, rot, insects, and extreme weather conditions.

A metal sheet roof can easily last 50 years or more when properly maintained. This is significantly longer than the lifespan of traditional asphalt shingle roofs, which typically need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years.

Environmentally friendly

For eco-conscious homeowners and builders, metal sheet roofs are an ideal choice. Most metal roofs are made from recycled materials and can be 100% recycled at the end of their life.

This means that your roofing material won't end up in a landfill, and you'll play a part in reducing the demand for raw materials. You'll also reduce your overall environmental footprint by improving your home's energy efficiency.

Aesthetically-pleasing and versatile

Gone are the days when metal sheet roofs were drab and industrial-looking. Today, metal sheet roofs are available in a wide range of colours, styles, and finishes, making them suitable for any architectural style or design preference.

They could even be made to mimic the appearance of classic roofing materials, like slate or wood shakes, offering homeowners the perfect blend of traditional aesthetics and modern durability.

Minimal maintenance required

Metal sheet roofs require minimal upkeep, which is another significant advantage over traditional materials like asphalt shingle roofs. In many cases, a simple annual inspection is needed to keep your metal roof in excellent condition. Additionally, compared to other roofing materials, metal roofing is less prone to issues like moss and algae growth, which could cause extensive damage to your roof over time.

Need Expert Help Cutting Your Sheet Metal Roofing?

In summary, metal sheet roofs are an excellent investment for homeowners and builders seeking unmatched durability, environmental sustainability and aesthetic versatility. By adhering to the tips and techniques outlined in this post, you can cut your sheet metal roof with confidence and achieve professional results.

However, if you do not trust your workmanship, contact a professional roofing company today to do it for you. Considering the importance of a roof on all buildings, only settle for professional results.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get New Posts to Your Inbox

A successful marketing plan relies heavily on the pulling-power of advertising copy. Writing result-oriented ad copy is difficult. 

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.