Cutting wire mesh is a common requirement, and several tools can be suitable for the task, be it to cut custom shapes or trim a millimeter or two from the side. However, it pays to be careful because some methods may leave distortion or abrasion burns.
Several variables need to be taken into account before cutting wire netting. The thickness of the wire mesh is one such factor that has to be considered, with steel also tending to be much harder to cut than aluminum. Other considerations specific to your application also need to be considered, such as whether the result needs to have a tidy appearance.
Using snips to cut wire netting
Snips, also sometimes referred to as tin snips, are one of the most common ways to cut wire netting. This tool resembles a particularly heavy-duty and thick pair of scissors with very thick and sharp blades positioned at the front. They are manual tools and very simple to use. A snips tool can be operated with just one hand, and no electricity is required.
However, using a snipping tool to cut wire netting is not always appropriate. A low gauge of wire mesh could be problematic for snips as it is very easy for extremely thin pieces of wire to just bend rather than be cut, while at the other extreme, snips are not designed for use with very thick pieces of wire.
The good news is that snips are extremely budget-friendly and are perfect for use when a small amount of wire netting needs to be cut. They are even capable of some very delicate curves, although they can, on occasion, leave burrs, which makes it crucial to get very close and be as precise as possible.
However, there are other methods of cutting wire netting when snips are not appropriate for the task.
Using hacksaws to cut wire netting
Another good option for cutting wire netting is hacksaws. Hacksaws are also very common and extremely affordable and will be owned by most tradespeople and homeowners alike. These tools are particularly suitable if a gauge of wire mesh is too thick to cut with snips.
However, it is important to keep in mind that wire mesh made from hard metal is unsuitable for hacksaws and could even destroy the tool very quickly. It should be kept in mind that hacksaws are an option best utilised for cutting straight lines as they are certainly intended to avoid cutting shapes or curves.
Using power shears to cut wire netting
Power shears are like a super-powered version of snips, resembling an enormous pair of scissors powered by a motor. The downside of power shears is often their price, but on the other hand, it is worth paying if the user intends to cut wire netting regularly.
Using the right tools to cut wire netting guarantees the best results.