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How to cut circles with snips

Shop for Tinsnips and Aviation Snips

Protractor

Step 1 – Mark guide line

Begin by using a felt pen to mark the cutting line on your metal as a guide for accuracy. For circles, it may be useful to use a base instrument such as a protractor or a drawing compass to get a neat and even circle.

Starting a circle cut

Step 2 – Make starting hole

Next you will need to create a hole in the metal as a starting point by using a hammer and screwdriver.

Push the screwdriver into the metal by knocking on its end with the hammer. This will allow access for the tin snips.

Ragged circle

Step 3 – Select snips

Don’t use straight cutting snips for circles or the result will be ragged with messy edges. Use appropriate snips that will cut either clockwise or anti-clockwise all around the circle line.

 Donkee says 'choose the snips you are going to use wisely'
tin snip

Step 4 – Start cutting

Insert the tip of the snips into the hole you have created. Open the blades as wide as possible and place the sheet metal into their clasp.

cutting a circle Trim in a circular motion around the edges until all metal is removed and a circular shape is completed.
Circle cutting To make the task easier, you can switch back and forth between right and left cutting snips to make all sides of the circle smooth and even.
scrap meetal

Step 5 – Hold waste

Hold any waste metal out of the way as you cut to keep your guide line clear and to prevent it from binding on the handles.

Finished circle

Step 6 – Complete cut

Soon you will have a perfectly finished circle in the sheet metal.

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