Sheet Metal Tools
Tools for working with sheet metal
While heavy-duty metalworking is normally performed in industrial settings with expensive and elaborate equipment setups, there are many sheet metal tools the do-it-yourselfer or hobbyist can use at home. Generally, you'll find that handheld tools like sheet metal shears are very affordable, while more involved pieces of sheet metal equipment like saws and presses will demand a heftier investment.
Major Metalworking Tools
If you're into metalworking, your power saws are going to get a lot of use. Band saws are favored for sheet metal, and you should be certain that the saw you're using is designed to withstand the rigors of metal-on-metal cutting.
Working with sheet metal also demands the use of an arbor press from time to time, though if you prefer, you can use a manual press instead. These presses are used for placing precision bearings on shafts of metal, or inserting seal faces onto metal holders.
Sheet metal brakes are one of the more modestly priced essentials you'll need. These machines are used for bending and shaping pieces of sheet metal. Depending on your specific work plans, you may also need a notcher, bender or cutter.
Other Sheet Metal Tools and Supplies
Smaller, handheld sheet metal tools you should also consider adding to your collection include punchers and a range of special cutting shears designed to quickly and easily slice through metal. The initial steps of many metalworking projects involves culling larger sheets of metal down into more workable sizes, and cutting shears offer you an affordable alternative if you don't want to invest in a specialized metalworking band saw. These shears are sometimes called sheet metal nibblers, so be aware of the alternate terminology if you're shopping online.
If you need to fasten lengths or pieces of metal to one another, you'll need sheet metal screws to go along with your drill or notcher. It's better to get heavy-duty fasteners when you're working with sheet metal rather than relying on all-purpose screws, which are typically smaller, thinner and less durable.