The role of a gutter system is to direct the flow of rainwater away and protect the home’s foundation.
The best way to ensure that the water flow gets in the proper direction is to use seamless aluminum gutters with the correct integral trim.
Read on to discover the numerous important steps of cutting gutter parts.
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Cutting Aluminum Gutters
There are several ways of getting a clean cut of your aluminum gutters, with the most common method being the use of pattern shears.
When you want to get a straight edge after giving your gutter system a clean-cut, it is essential to use pattern shears containing extended grips and lean jaws.
One of the best ways to ensure that you cut a correctly fitting gutter system is to use a chop saw. It is a binding gutter machine with an abrasive blade that you can use to get an effective trim.
Cutting the side of the aluminum gutter is the easiest way to get an excellent fit.
What Thickness for Aluminum Gutters?
Most people use the word gauge to refer to sheet aluminum thickness. 0.027 inches is the standard thickness required by professional gutter contractors.
However, the most recommendable gauge has a better and more visible extent that can last longer than the .027 inch thinner.
The best gauge for any home in cold climates would be .032 inches, as it will deliver better results during its performance.
What Tools Can You Use to Cut Aluminum Gutters?
There are multiple ways of cutting aluminum rain gutters, and none of the tactics is better than the others. The material and type of gutter you want to trim will determine the right tool.
Angle grinders are power tools designed with transposable cutting edges that people use to cut through different materials, including metal gutters.
Before taking on an aluminum cutting project, it is essential to check if the blade you want to use in the angle grinder has a design and mechanism created for that gutter type.
Under most circumstances, there is no need to use additional tools when using the angle grinder since aluminum has conduits that stop water collection at the gutter section in between seams.
Also, you can cut aluminum gutter provided that it is lower than an inch thick to ensure it goes through the drain in straight cuts to deliver sharp edges.
A measuring tape is the best tool to use when determining the horizontal length of your roof base.
Once you climb the base of the roof to take the measurements, it is essential to leave a 40’5-inch marked line with the tape measure in intervals as you proceed to the central part of the other outlet.
Carpenter’s Pencil and Combination Square
It would be best to have a carpenter’s pencil and a combination square when cutting aluminum since they both have critical roles in the process.
You use the tools to establish the length of the bottom of the gutter and mark it.
Expanding the pencil mark on the gutter’s sides will require the combination square since its sharp edges provide the best results.
The first cut that you make should be on the metal shears on the external flange edge.
A simple pair of tin snips have broad, durable, precise, and sturdy standard working blades.
It’s almost like a heavyweight pair of scissors, but it is a tool that uses a simple process to penetrate through thin gauges such as steel, tin, and copper gutters.
The first step when you need to cut aluminum gauges is to set up your work table.
Once you have the whole thing planned out, it is essential to place the metal canister bit in an upside-down position before putting it on the table.
If you are looking to make the perfect cut using the most efficient method, the fine-tooth file is the right tool for you since its teeth can penetrate forward in a straight line.
If you run a local hardware store, a file is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment that you need to make a precise cut for your gauges.
Besides making the simple cuts, the file also enables you to get a clear and solid vision for the rest of the cut.
In addition, the first step is always to ensure your safety before you get started. You will need to wear heavyweight leather gloves to protect your fingers from cuts.
Also, it is essential to get a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from sparks.
What Tools for Copper and Steel Gutters?
When you need to cut copper or steel gutters, you need to use different tools from those required for cutting aluminum.
It will be vital to have miter saws for that type of gutter work because of the strength of the metal.
Essentially, the right blade for copper and steel needs a specific metal-cutting mechanism.
Besides, it will be vital to remember that you require an adhesive solvent for soldering your gutter material once you make a clean cut to prevent leaking and ease the process of future repairs.
You can also find the metal cutting blades and solvent at the Home Depot store when you need to purchase the products.
What Tools for Vinyl Gutters?
One of the standard features of vinyl gutters is that they are lightweight. As a result, you can use a classic work saw when cutting the channels.
The main component of vinyl gutters is plastic, making it necessary to clean up your blades before cutting through any gutter section.
Failure to clean the edge can leave it with residue from former tasks and make it hard to make a newer cut due to the presence of the sticky elements.
Steps for Cutting Aluminum Gutters
Step 1: Work Area Preparation
If there is any gunk in your working station, it will be prudent to get rid of it and clear the space.
When using an angle grinder, it is recommendable to wear safety goggles and a face visor to prevent the sparks from the cut from damaging your eyes.
Also, taking extra precautions when moving around the roof is essential since there can be potentially harmful equipment and electric lines around the working space.
Step 2: Measuring the Cut
The next step involved:
- Placing the side of the aluminum gutter that you want to cut on the work table.
- Measuring it.
- Marking it with a pencil.
After that, it would be best to place the gutter in an upside-down position on your workbench and calibrate it all over by using a carpenter’s square to access all the ends of the gutters.
Step 3: Making the Cut
In this process, it is crucial to turn over the gutter from the initial upside-down position, after which you can begin from the marked metal shears through to the end of the gutter system.
The next part should be slightly tightening the system to achieve the remaining cut on the other side of the aluminum gutter.
Alternatively, you can cut the top to the bottom and then proceed to the other side up to the periphery of the drain.
It is vital to be cautious enough to avoid hurting yourself with the metal shears while maintaining a steady hold when cutting.
Using a fine-tooth file to get a straight line on the edges is advisable. Once you cut, your gutter will be ready for installation.
Step 4: Cutting Along the Marked Line
Cutting aluminum gutters by following a marked line requires you to follow the noted marks on one side and then repeat the process on the other.
After that, you should curve the aluminum gutter to ensure adequate room for crossing the end part of the gutter.
It will be crucial to use the fine-tooth file to get rid of the sharp end of the pattern shear to finish the cutting process.
The same tools used for cutting gutters, including a circular saw, can also cut aluminum downspouts.
Installing new downspouts is crucial in directing the water flow away from the home’s foundation and thus prevents water damage.
Final Thoughts: How to Cut Aluminum Gutters
Gutter cutting can be tiresome, especially when dealing with old or damaged buildings.
Your safety when handling the gutters should come first since aluminum edges are sharp.
The type of tool that you use, whether it is a miter saw or angle grinder, will depend on the gutter material that you want to use.
However, the best way is to call a professional gutter contractor who can deliver cleaner cuts than a DIY project.