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  1. #1
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    Default Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    Hi Guys,

    I could swear that I saw advertised at Menards or Northern Tool some kind of guillotine or sliding style of shear that was meant for cutting the metal siding panels used on pole barns.

    It would be easier if I knew the name of the tool. I've googled but can't find anything.

    Do they make such a tool or am I nuts? Okay...I know I'm nuts but what is the name of this tool? If you've used one, do they work really well? I know I can cut them to length with a tin snips but if I can find or rent an inexpensive panel cutter that sure seems like the ticket.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member buckeyefarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    I bought a pair of nibblers from Harbor Freight to cut mine. I figured if they worked long enough to do my barn, I would be happy. They worked great.
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  3. #3
    Platinum Member Steve C's Avatar
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    North Central Michigan
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    Farm Pro 2425

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by MNBobcat View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I could swear that I saw advertised at Menards or Northern Tool some kind of guillotine or sliding style of shear that was meant for cutting the metal siding panels used on pole barns.

    It would be easier if I knew the name of the tool. I've googled but can't find anything.

    Do they make such a tool or am I nuts? Okay...I know I'm nuts but what is the name of this tool? If you've used one, do they work really well? I know I can cut them to length with a tin snips but if I can find or rent an inexpensive panel cutter that sure seems like the ticket.
    The guys that built my barn have been doing it for 30 years. To my amazement, they used a harbor freight electric power shear that looks like a drill with a shear grafted on. It worked well and they cost about $50.

    I have a Milwaukee metal cutting circular saw that uses the 18 volt batteries.
    It makes very smooth cuts quickly in pole barn metal. I purchased it from Amazon.com. I had a very bad experience with one of the vendors,


    I returned it and bought it again from Tool King a very good vendor.

    I cannot fault the tool it works better and faster than I have ever imagined. I wrote a very extensive review on the Amason site and uploaded pictures to show the details. Please visit this site and take the time to read the review and look at the pictures. And please vote if you found the review helpful.

    I don't get anything for writing the reviews but it makes me feel good when people find them helpful. I have a lot of reviews on Amazon. Please look at them if the products are of an interest to you. ( am a "tool guy" so there are a lot of tool reviews.)

    This is a link to the tool on Amazon
    Amazon.com: Bare-Tool Milwaukee 6320-20 18-Volt Ni-Cad 6-1/2-Inch Cordless Metal Cutting Circular Saw (Tool Only, No Battery): Home Improvement
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -tool-king-saw-jpg  
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  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2007
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    210
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    Iowa
    Tractor
    John Deere 2320

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    Menards and others have "panel shears", kind of like the giant paper cutter we all had in elementary school. Looks like they are usually shaped to at least mostly match up with the profile of the ribs so they support the panel to avoid smashing and distorting. Our Menards had a sign up that mentioned that they will rent them out. I want to say it was about $70 or so per day. As it turns out, I could have done that, as I got all the endwall steel that needed cutting to length/angle in one day on mine this past weekend.

    I started out on my pole building using a cheap electric shear as mentioned in this thread. The problem that I ran into was that it cuts great running parallel to the ribs, but the shear head was bulky enough that it had trouble diving down into and back out of the ribs on cross cuts without bending/flexing/distorting the ribs. I used that shear to cut out around the windows on the sides, but needed something easier/faster for the endwalls..

    I picked up an $8 metal cutting blade from Menards that fits a regular circluar saw. It was the type that pretty much looks like a saw blade without teeth, just thin grooves/notches cut in the outer perimeter. Makes a lot of noise in that thin steel, but worked, much faster than the shear for cross cuts. Not as nice of a cut, but my wall steel tucked up into J-trim under the soffits, so the cuts and slightly burnt paint right along the top edge is hidden...

    If I was doing it all over, I'd rent the shear for 1 or 2 days. As long as the rib spacing was right for the steel you are using, I think the distortion to the cut ends of the ribs would be worth the convenience.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    When Morton built my house they used a nibbler. The material they use is so called self healing therefore you shoudn't use circular saw. Shears or nibbler pulls the galvanizing material over the edge and seals it so it will not rust. Circular saw leaves it exposed. Well that is what the builder told me. I just went to the garage and checked few pieces of leftover sheet metal. No rust on the egge after five years of laying there.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    How is the material supposed to be self healing? when they galvanize something, the exterior is coated. When you cut through it, the inside isn't going to be galvanized.

    An abrasive saw blade may throw sparks and create a rougher edge than a pair of shears, but it gets the job done.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    I always buy my metal pre-cut to the exact size that I need, but from time to time I have to cut a few pieces. To do this, I just put an old framing saw blade into my saw backwards. It's very noisy, but also very fast. For free, since I already have these things, it's hard to beat.

    Eddie

  8. #8
    Veteran Member powerstroke444e's Avatar
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    Near Springfield IL
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    Several tractors/trenchers/mowers

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    If you read the warranty on these panels if you use anything other than shears or nibbers it voids the warranty. I realy like the milwaukee shears, but will admit I have used the plasma to cut holes in the sheets before.
    If it ain't smokin' it's broken.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Wisconsin

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
    How is the material supposed to be self healing? when they galvanize something, the exterior is coated. When you cut through it, the inside isn't going to be galvanized.

    An abrasive saw blade may throw sparks and create a rougher edge than a pair of shears, but it gets the job done.
    I don't know how to explain it but when you use a shears or a nibbler the cut edge doesn't rust (it takes many years to notice anyway). When cut with a saw it seams to rust badly and immediately.

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker View Post
    I always buy my metal pre-cut to the exact size that I need.
    Same here, easier and cheaper that way.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Batavia, NY
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    Mahindra -------------

    Default Re: Pole Barn Metal Panel cutter?

    I don't know about the rusting issue with using a circular saw, and haven't noticed a problem with any of the panels I have cut with a circular saw. Anyhow if you take an old plywood blade and put it on the circular saw backwards, you will find it cuts metal panels very well. But, be careful about pinching and kick back, as anytime you use a circular saw.
    Galen LaWall
    Your Mahindra Tractor Dealer
    185 Pearl Street
    Batavia, New York 14020
    585.343.0770

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