How to Cut Copper Sheets

Things You'll Need

  • Safety Goggles
  • Work Gloves
  • Tape Measure
  • Marking Tool (Scribe, Fine Point Marker, or Grease Pencil)
  • Straightedge
  • Metal cutting Sheer
  • Deburring Tool

Cutting your own copper sheets is a simple way to add a personal touch to any project, to allow for custom dimensions possibly unavailable commercially, and to save the additional costs of custom cutting which can quickly impact the total costs of your project. With careful attention to measurements and a steady motion of cutting, this task should prove easy to even the most novice builders.

Wear safety goggles and work gloves.

Lay out copper sheet on a flat surface, large enough to provide support beneath the entire surface of the sheet.

Measure the dimensions needed with tape measure.

Mark the required dimensions on the surface of the sheet using marking tool and straightedge.

Elevate and support one edge of sheet with free hand, allowing entry point for cut enough clearance for metal cutting sheer to proceed.

Begin cut with metal cutting sheer. Proceed slowly and steadily in cutting, taking care to try to complete individual lines of cut in one straight, continuous action.

Pull deburring tool firmly across all freshly cut edges.


  • If a marker or grease pencil is used to mark the copper, any remnants may be removed after cutting with a damp rag. If a scribe is used, be sure to cut precisely over its mark. As it literally scratches the line into the copper, any remnants of the line will be permanent.

    A metal cutting sheer is the ideal tool for cutting. If you do not have one and do not wish to purchase one, you may rent one at a minimal cost from your local home center. If not desirable, a jig saw with a metal cutting blade or aviation snips may be substituted, however they will leave a far rougher, uneven edge.

    Freshly cut metal is very sharp. The duburring tool simply dulls this edge when pulled along it to insure a safer surface to transport.


  • Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working with metal sheets. The edges are very sharp and potentially dangerous.