View Full Version : Cutting stainless sheeet panel - realm of the unreasonable

03-11-2017, 10:06 AM
Hey all,

Long time no log-in for me. At a small town government op now. Looking for some advise.

The powers that be want us to shorten a stainless steel rest room partition by cutting it off. It has a cardboard honeycomb hollow core w/ maybe 14 Ga stainless sheet on each side. Our welder thinks any type of torch is just going to blue & distort it to point of ruin, which makes sense. He recommends saw or abrasive cutting.

My question is what type blade will be best for a standard or worm drive circular saw.


03-11-2017, 11:09 AM
There are abrasive blades designed for SS. Any chance of getting it to a vertical bandsaw? I've also cut stainless with a good quality sabre-saw metal blade, the key here is to go slow and only use a tiny bit of oscillation. Keeping it cool with air or other coolant also helps. An abrasive blade will leave the worst edge. If you're stuck with a circular saw, you could try the 'blade in backward' thing. I always laughed that off as bunk until I tried it. Works best without carbide tips, since they're going to break off anyway. The backward blade leaves a bad burr similar to an abrasive blade. The blades Toolguy mentions below are said to work fairly well, but I don't know if they're up to stainless.

03-11-2017, 11:10 AM
They have blades for metal cutting now. I have had the best success with worm drive saw or ones made for metal cutting. The standard wood cutting saws seem to bounce and not cut as well. The worm drive won't let the blade bounce backward.

03-11-2017, 11:33 AM
You might try an abrasive cutoff disk in a circular saw. I'd clamp a fence to the work so the saw can't wander, and I'd wear hearing protection and a full face shield. I'd cut one side at a time.

03-11-2017, 11:40 AM
With the cardboard core, keep your fire extinguisher handy when using any circular saw!

03-11-2017, 11:58 AM
why not just a grinder and zip disk.....SOP for a welder. (I don't know if they will fit a circular saw)

03-11-2017, 01:27 PM
Worm drive is too slow and any cut-off wheel that fits will be too thick.. Just a use and angle grinder with a 4.5 inch cut-off disc rated for stainless. They are super thin and work extremely well. Freehand it (I would) or just a a clamped on piece of plywood for a guide.

03-11-2017, 01:52 PM
I vote for the jigsaw, no heat, most controllable, blades are relatively cheap. I've cut 1/2" steel plate with my Bosch.

03-11-2017, 02:15 PM
I agree with Mcgyver- cut it with a 4 1/2" grinder, and an .040 cut disc. Wear goggles and keep some water nearby, in case the filler catches on fire.
I do this all the time on stainless sheet.
I draw a line with a ruler and a sharpie, and just follow it with the cut disc.
You need a steady hand, but it works, its quick, and its cheap.
You will need to sand the rough edge after you cut it- I use flap discs on the same grinder.

03-11-2017, 02:19 PM
I did these two 12x12 stainless steel enclosures with an abrasive cut-off wheel in a die grinder.


Here's the cut end.


03-11-2017, 02:26 PM
Another vote for a cutting disc in a grinder. I have cut lots of stainless sheet this way. I would also say a sawzall would probably work as well with the right blade.

03-11-2017, 02:28 PM
It has a cardboard honeycomb hollow core

Anything that generates sparks is going to run the risk of setting fire to the cardboard core.

03-11-2017, 05:22 PM
Anything that generates sparks is going to run the risk of setting fire to the cardboard core. Maybe, but I've cut a lot of steel doors with cardboard filler and it won't burn. Won't even smolder. Even if it is flammable it likely won't burn very fast or very far. A squirty-bottle with water ought to do the job if needed.

03-23-2017, 08:12 PM
I"d expect the cardboard to be treated w/ a fire retardant.

An angle grinder w/ cut-off wheel is what I would prolly have done. Wouldn't have come out so straight though.

Its a government operation, so: I ordered up a diamond grit blade & a couple zirconium abrasive blades on Sunday (I work weekends & nothing is open). During the next week another worker bought a metal cutting saw blade similar to a regular wood cutting circular saw blade. They cut the panels w/it and were impressed w/ the results. I wasn't there & didn't see the blade they used.

The cuts were straight & fairly clean. There was a burr that was filed off.

Thanks again to all


03-23-2017, 11:05 PM
I'd guess the original panels were water jet cut, only because there were some offcuts in the skip at the local firm, I'd be tempted to just stick a metal cutting blade in my jig saw, clamp some guides on and have at it (after putting the plastic anti scratch shoe on, found that out the hard way too, there's a pattern developing)