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How to Cut Metal by Hand – An Overview

How to Cut Metal by Hand

Working with metal can be daunting for new welders or metalworkers, especially if you’re trying to do it without the aid of power tools. But with the right tools and practice, cutting metal by hand is relatively easy. In this blog post, we’ll go over some tips and tricks on cutting metal by hand so that you can confidently start your next project.

Tools You Need

The first step in learning to cut metal by hand is understanding what kind of tools you need. To get started, you will need a hacksaw (or junior hacksaw) and a set of files. A hacksaw makes straight cuts, while files are used to smooth out rough edges or make more precise cuts. Buy a high-quality hacksaw and file set, as these will last you much longer than cheaper alternatives.

Using the Hacksaw

Before using your hacksaw, it’s important to adjust the blade tension to fit snugly in the frame without being too tight or loose. This will ensure that your saw blade can move freely and not break due to excessive pressure. Once your saw blade is in place, you can begin making your cut by keeping the blade perpendicular to the surface of the metal at all times and pushing down firmly but gently as you move forward. Make sure you track where your saw has been so that you don’t accidentally double back on yourself and create weak spots in your cut line!

Using Files

Once your cut is complete, use a file to smooth out any rough edges or burrs left behind from the saw blade. Be sure to use light pressure when filing, as going too hard could cause damage to both your file and the workpiece itself. When filing curved surfaces, use circular motions while pushing forward; don’t pull backward, as this could cause gouges in the surface of the metal. For flat surfaces, slide the file across until it is smooth and even, with no noticeable ridges or bumps remaining.


Cutting metal by hand may seem intimidating initially, but with practice and patience, it becomes pretty easy! Having proper tools like a quality hacksaw frame and set of files makes all the difference when it comes time to make precise cuts or smooth out rough edges after cutting. With these tips in mind, anyone should be able to tackle their next project – so happy cutting confidently!

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