Metal cutting is the removal of unwanted material (in the form of chips) from metal with the help of a cutting tool. What used to be a once-laborious process is now becoming easier with more technological breakthroughs every day.

There are many effective and precise ways of cutting metals, including punching, laser cutting, plasma cutting, and water jet cutting.


Material is removed from the metal sheet via a strong force. Then, the material is punched out using a tool mounted on a hydraulic press – and normally, a special shape is punched out. Hence, this step helps in creating holes in the metalwork pieces, especially if done through machines. The shape of the holes in the work pieces will depend on the shape of the die. For example, if a circular die is used, the work piece will have a circular shape; if a rectangular die is used, the work piece will have a rectangular shape, and so on.

Laser Cutting

CNC laser cutting is especially used in cases where the material is too thick to be punched. Delicate shapes can be cut into the metal using a focused beam. The focused beam is extremely meticulous and accurate, resulting in an extraordinary metal finish. The finish is much smoother than simply punching the metal. Carbon steel and stainless steel can be cut via CNC laser cutting.

Automated programs aid the high-energy powered beam of light to perform the cutting action. A particular design is produced when a concentrated stream of photons cut and trim the material by melting and vaporizing the target material. The removal of the material being cut out is also assisted by gas.

CNC metal cutting is a popular metalworking process in the manufacturing industry as it offers unique benefits over other similar processes.

Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutting is used to melt and expel the material from the cut by using high-temperature ionized gases. Even and fine cuts are achieved through a localized and accelerated jet of hot plasma. In terms of cost, plasma cutting is cheaper than laser cutting; however, laser cutting outperforms plasma cutting in terms of thin sheet cutting. Materials like aluminum, brass, copper, steel and stainless steel are cut through this process.

Water Jet Cutting

A thin stream of water at a very high pressure cuts the metal. Flow waterjets are versatile enough to cut a variety of shapes and materials. The spray of the water jet is channeled at high pressures through narrow nozzles. Water jets, unlike metal cutters, cannot be overheated.

Thicker material is cut through a water jet. However, if we mention the thickness of metal a water jet can cut, then 2″ (5 cm) to 3″ (7.5 cm) thick steel is the upper thickness for waterjet cutting. However, if a metal is thicker than this, it’s not effective to use a water jet. Metals like aluminum, bronze, copper, stainless steel, titanium, and tungsten are cut through this method.

Terrace Steel Works

At Terrace Steel Works, we take pride in providing clients with the best quality steel for sale as well as mobile welding and metal cutting services. Contact us for all your metal needs!

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