How to cut metal using score and snap

(Last modified: March 21st, 2019)

‘Score and snap’ is a hand-cutting technique that is simple to complete on light gauge sheet metal and thin aluminium and steel profiles. This technique needs very little equipment and is very quick. The only equipment you will need is a utility knife, a marker pen, a clamp can be useful for some profiles, and a metal square or metal ruler.

score and snap tools metals4U

Tips for cutting metal using the score and snap technique.

  • If necessary, measure and mark out where the cut needs to be made.
  • Don’t forget to wear protective gloves and eye protection. If wearing prescription glasses to help your vision, ensure you wear goggles over the top to ensure protection from small shards of metal that may fly off at speed.
  • Hold the straight metal edge of the ruler or square along the mark-up line and score with the utility knife blade or scribing tool- to reduce the risk of the blade slipping and making unwanted marks on the metal surface, or worse causing an accident, it is better to work slowly using moderate pressure and make several lighter score marks.
  • Clamp the metal securely on one side of the cut line if appropriate, smaller pieces may be hand held.
  • Bend the metal back and forth along the scored line until it snaps.
  • To cut through rivets or studs that are fixed through metal sheeting or wood boards, simply score lines on either side of the riveted through material and simply work the area to be removed backwards and forwards until it snaps off.