10 Tips on How to Cut Stainless Steel

According to the SSINA, stainless steel isn’t a single alloy, but rather the name applies to a group of iron bases alloys containing at least 10.5% chromium. Other added elements and the chromium increase corrosion resistance, improve heat resistance, enhance mechanical properties, and improve fabricating characteristics.

Stainless steel provides a wide range of application starting with sheet metal, jewelry, cars, bridges or sculptures. It is hard metal and can be used to coat softer metals. None of these would be possible without cutting process.

Follow the lines below and learn how to cut stainless steel with 10 different tools:

Angle Grinder

It is a handheld appliance used for abrasive cutting, and it's ideal for cutting stainless steel plates. If you want to cut stainless steel with this device, you require a side grinder and blade. Add an abrasive disc to the side grinder.
An angle grinder cut-off wheel that’s about 5 inches is suitable for this operation. Control the grinder, it should be appropriately balanced. The disc should be secured precisely on the center of the device. When a grinder is not entirely stable, it may cause the wheel to damage or even break.

After the setting of grinder and cut-off wheel, line a place of your wanted cut with a marker. Set the device on top of reducing material and align the disc with the area you need to cut. Then, slowly lower the wheel down to the steel plate. Use some effort to push the disc all along the line. Allow the disc cut through the steel panel all the way and get the desired cut.

Dremel

Dremel is handheld rotary tool, that cut a different spectrum of materials using a cut off wheels. A Dremel equipped with reinforced resinoid cut-off wheel could even cut high-carbon steel.

Chop Saw

It is a small hand-held tool suitable for cutting through thinner pieces of stainless steel. Many folks prefer to use the pneumatic cut off saw due to the added power through the air pressure. It is crucial which type of blade you will choose for this process.

During the working with this device, it’s necessary to use a full-face shield, because the small pieces of steel can fly around. Mark the place where are you going to cut and slowly lower the blade onto the material. Cut through the steel material slowly, without pause. Take a grinder with small polishing wheel to remove remaining’s and polish the edges.

Circular Saw

If you want to cut a sizeable stainless sheet panel, the handmade circular saw is a perfect tool. Considering that you use the proper type of blade, this device can cut through a thinner stainless-steel panel. Set up a metal cutting blade that is specialized made for stronger steel, set the board on a plywood basis for a strong backing and mark the cutting place. Cut slowly into the steel and keep the blade in the motion.

Jigsaw

Jigsaw is a small handmade device made for performing difficult cuts such as curves. The main problem with working with stainless steel is friction. Stainless steel warms up very fast and increases blades heat so high that can soften and damage the metal.

Avoid this issue by providing a proper toothed tungsten carbide steel blade which is heat resistant. Also, set the saw at a lower rate to reduce the friction heating of the metal. Don't be aggressive with a saw, just let the blade works for you and the necessary result is achieved.

Band Saw

Stainless steel cutting band saw has mainly used for cutoff works on the pipe and square rail stock. They perform cutting action on a horizontal surface, by lowering the blade down through the metal. The blade for stainless steel has a similar tooth template as a jigsaw blade and should be made from tungsten carbide also. If you need a smooth cut, set speed option at the low level.

Hacksaw

It's a fine-toothed saw initially and primarily for cutting metal. The perfect item for cutting stainless steel cable. For hacksaw cutting, you need the vise and a piece of wood about 3x3x6 inches. Then drill the hole at 8/34 inches through one of the shorter dimensions, about 1 inch from the end and centered.

Then, you should tighten up wooden block in the clamp with a hole parallel to a wall and provide enough space to stretch out the cable. Use a carbide rod hacksaw and perform a 90° cut on the hole that is thick enough to penetrate through the hole. The whole in the wooden block hold both sides of the cables securely so that they couldn't move and jag, while the cuts guide hacksaw to finish the process.

Drill

The drill has commonly operated with bits, except hole cutter, which is looking like a cup-shaped saw with the teeth around the cup's rim. Hole cutter teeth are similar to the other blades, with thicker teeth used for wood and fine teeth for hard material like metal. Choose a specialized blade made for stainless steel, or with a diamond or carbon teeth. Use your drill at low speed. These bits have frequently used for cutting entries holes for hardware and ideal for installing locks.

Tube Cutter

It’s a handmade tool that sets around a stainless-steel tube and cuts it with a small rotating wheel. Use a tube cutter specially made for stainless steel. Mark the surface you want to cut with the disc on the cutter. When the tube is set up, fix it into place by rotating the knob at the end of the tool. Carry on rotating the knob until the tube is secure.

Proceed to hold the exposed end in the one hand and rotate the tube cutter with another hand. While you rotate the tube cutter around the tube, the small cutter wheel will progressively cut through the pipe. Finally, the disc will cut all along the line through the tube, and the piece of tubing you cut will fall off.

Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutter is ideal for cutting the large and hardest stainless-steel panels. It uses the concentrated beam of energy to cut through a quite thick piece of material without much issue. When the board has placed on a steady cutting surface, clamp the negative cable to your working area.

Begin with the operation, by placing the cutting end about 3 inches away from the surface of the metal and run the cutter. It will burn through the steel panel immediately and allow you to cut along the line. For the best results, you must be cautious and hold a steady hand to perform a straight cut.

Safety Measures while Cutting Steel

It is paramount that all work environments need to be safe. But when you work with cutting tools, a fall or trip can cause a severe accident. Be cautious and secure your working area.

Here are some tips on how to make your work environment safe:

Prepared your work space – Move the tool boxes, scattered tools, steel plates, materials, power cable on the one side of working space, because all this stuff can cause a trip or fall that can be fatal.

Light up your work area properly – Adequate illumination with background lightning and floodlight provides you to see without straining your eyes. It's primarily, especially when using googles which can blur your vision if they become dusty or foggy.

Power cables – Locate them behind you, so they can’t cause tripping or cutting yourself.

Proper ventilation – Cutting and grinding will cause metal scraps, waste, and dust. Try to direct scraps away from you by opening the door and window. • Fire hazard – Remove gasoline, gas cylinders, diesel, paper and all flammable materials from your workspace.

Jewelry, earphones, and scarves – Remove any jewelry, bracelet or scarves. Take off the earphones. All of this can cause an accident so be careful.

Fire extinguisher - You must have this equipment in the case of fire. The extinguisher should be adequate for A, B, C, D and K fires.

Be aware of your surroundings – Keep children out of your workspace.

Besides protecting your workspace, it's necessary to protect yourself on the adequate way. That's why you must use personal protective equipment to protect your eyes, hearing, lungs, hands, and feet from injury.

These are some tips on how to protect yourself.

Eye Protection – Certified googles are required to worn because it protects your eyes from flying particles and sparks. Also, you need a full-face shield that provides you additional protection.

Hand Protection – Gloves are ideal for protecting your hands from sparks or small fragments of waste metal thrown out by the cutting process. Plus, they protect your eyes from general wear and tear.

Breathing Care – Use a proper dust mask to protect yourself against dust and fume particles. You should seal it adequately around the face. If tiny dust particles pass into your lungs during an extended period, can cause lung disorders or eventually cancer.

Foot Protection – Safety shoes with steel insoles are required. If you’re dealing with large items that could drop while cutting or walking on nails or other sharp objects in the work area, this will protect your foot and toes.

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