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Tools for Cutting Metal Studs

John Walker

Metal studs are used in the same manner as wood studs in home construction. The main difference is that the metal studs do not support the same weight and should not be used in load-bearing walls. The typical application is in partition walls or half-walls. Cutting the metal studs for installation or removal requires the use of various types of saws.

Hand Tools

The angle-grinder is often used to cut metal studs.

Hand tools can be used but require substantial amounts of force and effort. The only type of hand saw capable of cutting a metal stud is the hacksaw. Hacksaws are available in multiple lengths. A 10-inch or 12-inch hacksaw creates a clean cut through most metal.

You also can use various types of metal scissors, or snips. Metal snips are usually used on thinner sheet metal but can be readily used for simple cuts on metal studs.

Power Tools

Power tools are your best option for cutting metal studs. The angle-grinder, with a metal-cutting attachment, makes quick work of trimming a metal stud. The tool creates a clean cut rapidly.

Diamond-tipped saw blades used in handheld circular saws or miter saws can cut through the thin metal of a stud easily.

A reciprocating saw using a diamond-tipped blade also cuts through metal studs easily, but the cut tends to be rough. A reciprocating saw should only be used for removing metal studs.

A bench-top pipe cutter, with the metal cutting blade installed, can easily cut through metal studs with a highly accurate and smooth edge to the cut.

All of those tools cut readily through metal studs and any other type of metal, such as pipes and bolts.

Metal Stud Installation Tips

Installing metal studs does not follow the same pattern as installing wood frames. A wood frame is built and then installed. Metal studs sit in a track that is installed first. Mount the upper track to the ceiling first. Drop a plumb line to determine the location for the bottom track. Measure each location for the metal studs individually to get precise cuts. Metal studs are pre-drilled with access holes for electrical wires. Cut all the metal studs on the same end so that the access holes remain level with each other when installed.