Cutting steel sections


Steel sections are often cut using an electrically-driven angle grinder or a hacksaw if needed, however in the shipyard this can be done much more neatly using the 'shear' (Image 1). The shear has a cruciform hole, in which angle iron, T-sections and L-sections can be cut. There is a hole on the side in which solid square or triangular bars can be cut. Unlike an angle grinder or hacksaw the shear does not create any burrs which then have to be removed and therefore there is no finishing work involved.

You can cut the sections square or adjust the shear so it will cut the section at an angle up to a maximum of 45°.


Proceed as follows to cut a steel angle iron:

  • Mark the section with crayon to show where it has to be cut.

  • Insert the angle iron into the hole between the shear jaws (Image 2) until the crayon line is precisely in line with the shear jaws.

  • Secure the angle iron using both set screws (Image 3).

  • Now pump the handle at the top of the shear back and forth (Image 4). For heavy sections you can place a long piece of pipe onto the handle to act as a lever. The shear jaws now close further onto each other and cut through the section.

  • When you hear a 'tick' the section will have been cut through (Image 6). You can now slacken the set screws and remove both pieces of section from the shear (Image 7).

  • Return the gearwheels to their starting position (Image 5) so that you can cut the next section.
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Tools Required

  • Folding rule
  • Try-square
  • Crayon

Materials Required

  • Shear
  • Steel section

Training Instruction

 Click to download training lesson plan:

Cutting Steel Sections

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