How to Use a Sheet Metal Nibbler

Cutting metal without using a linear cut is done with a sheet metal nibbler. This small, but powerful, tool is perfect for cutting holes in metal. Most sheet metal nibblers are pneumatic or air driven. The shear moves up and down like a piston against the cutting edge. Cutting away 1,000 small half moon shapes a minute means this tool packs a punch. With a little practice, you can create metal designs or use it for making holes in metal for various projects.

Tools and Materials

  • Sheet metal nibbler
  • Piece of metal, gauge of metal depends on you
  • Hammer
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Protective shoes or boots
  • Strong work table
  • Permanent marker

Step 1 – Safety First

Always wear protective gloves, eyewear, and footwear when working with metal. Read your sheet metal nibbler’s manual.

Step 2 – Draw Your Design

Taking your permanent marker, draw the design you wish to cut out on your piece of metal. All beginners should start out with something basic.

Step 3 – Using the Nibbler

Lay your piece of metal on your work table and allow the area you are going to cut to hang off. Secure it with either a clamp or your hand. Place the sheet metal nibbler against the metal, squeeze the trigger, and follow the design. Continue until your cut is complete.

Step 4 – Smooth Rough Edges

Take your hammer and smooth out the rough edges left by your sheet metal nibbler. If you like the rough edges skip this step.