What tools are used for different metal cutting needs?

There are many different types of metal and many different ways to cut them. The variety of materials, methods and tools available can make the decision-making process confusing. The professionals at ShapeCUT Brisbane are industry-leaders in metal cutting services with over 20 years of experience, 10 state-of-the-art cutting machines, 5000+ tonnes of in-house steel plate stock and a wealth of knowledge. 

However, we understand that before making an enquiry, we all like to do our research and build an understanding of how the process works. That’s why we’ve prepared this guideline to explain classic tools that are used in the metal cutting process.


If you need a part to be extremely smooth, a grinder can use a rotating blade to wear down the surface. It’s like sanding wood, but for metal.


If you’re looking for metal to be cut to a specific and precise shape, a lathe is the way to go. It uses a sharp cutting tool against a rapidly spinning part to get the metal to its desired shape.


This tool is also for cutting metal to a desired shape; however, it is most suitable for more robust metals. This mechanism uses immense pressure to push sharp blades into the metal.

Water jet

For metals that are sensitive to extreme heat and temperature, or water (water mixed with an abrasive compound), jets can be used. A concentrated jet is directed at a metal and can cut metal without using heat.

Flame cutting or plasma cutting

For precision cutting on materials where heat is appropriate, this is an effective and efficient method. A stream of flammable gas is pumped through a torch to create an intense, hot flame which cuts the metal by melting it. For greater precision, you can try high definition plasma cutting.

Laser cutting

Laser cutting technology uses high-power lasers to cut flat-sheet metal, structural and piping materials. It is more precise than plasma cutting and uses less energy when cutting sheet metal, but is best suited to sheet metal than thicker plates.

We have the tools to help you, whether you require steel profile cutting, bevelling, drilling, bending or rolling. Get in touch by calling 1800 ShapeCUT (1800 743 732) or email us at sales@shapecut.com.au.