How to Cut Stainless Steel Plate

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What You'll Need
Safety glasses
Circular saw
Metal cutting blade
File or grinder
Full safety mask
Cut off saw
Plasma cutter

When it comes to cutting a stainless steel plate, there are several different ways that it can be done. Some of the different methods are a little more difficult than others, but that will also depend on the thickness of the steel plate. For the most part, many stainless steel plate pieces can be cut with simple power tools like a circular saw. However, plates that are 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch will need to be cut with more expensive cutting tools like plasma cutters. Here are the steps involved in cutting a stainless steel plate.

Step 1 - Set Up Work Space

Cutting metal will require that you have a stable work area and a place that is away from combustible items. As you cut through the metal, sparks are going to be flying around the room. Keeping these sparks away from other items will help to keep you and anyone working with you safe.

Step 2 - Cut With Circular Saw

A circular saw is most often used to cut wood, but it can be used in a wide variety of situations. As long as you use the right type of blade, this saw can cut through a thinner stainless steel plate. Install a metal cutting blade that is made specifically for stronger pieces of steel, place the plate on a piece of plywood for a strong backing, and mark where the cut is to be made. Slowly cut into the metal and keep the blade moving as you go. A file, or grinder, can be used to smooth off the cut and remove any metal slivers before you clean the piece.

Step 3 - Cut With Cut Off Saw

A small handheld tool called a cut off saw will also do the trick when cutting through thinner pieces of stainless steel. Many people like to use the pneumatic cut off saw, because of the added power through the air pressure. When working with this saw, it is important to use a full face shield, as small pieces of metal can fly around. Locate the mark where you are going to make the cut and slowly lower the blade onto the metal. Cut through the steel plate slowly but without stopping the tool. Use a grinder to deburr the piece and smooth out the edges.

Step 4 - Cut With Plasma Cutter

When it comes to cutting stainless steel plate, there is one tool that outshines them all. A plasma cutter uses an intense beam of energy to cut through fairly thick pieces of stainless steel without a lot of problems. When the plate has been placed on a stable cutting surface, clamp the negative cable to the section where you are going to be working. Start by placing the cutting end of the torch about three inches away from the surface of the steel and start the cutter. This will burn through the steel plate on contact and allow you to cut along the mark.

A plasma cutter does yield a smoother cut than a circular saw or a cut off saw. However, you must be careful to keep a steady hand in order to keep the cut straight.