How To Cut A Hole In HVAC Duct

A complete guide to cut a hole in HAVC duct
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: October 26, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Temperature regulation: A home’s ductwork delivers hot or cold air, but it must be placed correctly for it to perform properly. To do that, the ducts must be customized to fit the area, which includes cutting them to size.

When sizes alter, ducts that run to a room vent must also be cut. When cutting holes, you could choose to cut curves or round holes sometimes. Although you could cut holes and forms in ducting with a jig saw, there is one hand instrument that always does the job flawlessly.

Flex duct, which consists of coiled wires inside an insulated metallic jacket and is round, is a type of metal duct that can be either round or rectangular.

Tin Snips: An Overview

Tin snips of the “snip” variety have an angled head. There are three main kinds of them. The most popular, though, are aviation snips with a 45-degree angle. Both are ideal for creating intricate patterns inside sheet material and producing lengthy cuts along edges.

Offset aircraft snips perform best for making holes in ductwork since the handles and the head are on separate planes. With the handles out of the way, you may cut any shape you want on the workpiece. The finest tool for cutting lengthy curves in sheet material is offset tin snips for the same reason.

In addition, offset tin snips are simple to use and easier to manage while making precise cuts, which makes them excellent for cutting holes in the ductwork. However, it does imply that you don’t use safety gloves when using the pliers. When using tin snips, always use leather gloves.

Steps To Cut A Hole In HVAC Duct

Use Tin Snips To Cut Metal Sheet

Professionals suggest using tin snips to cut sheet metal ducts, but make sure to match the type to the cut. To cut thick seams, straight portions, around circular ducts, use compound snips with offset handles for greater leverage and thinner cutting blades.

For lengthy, straight cuts, go to the older, more conventional snips with large handles and thick blades.

Mark The Cutting Points

Using a felt-tip marker, indicate the cut line or region on the metal sheet. Use a straight screwdriver blade and a hammer to create a starting hole in the metal that is big enough for the point of the compound snips.

Cut along the line around a round duct’s aperture or along the circle or rectangle on a flat duct’s entrance after cutting from the hole to the line. Compound snips cut through seams of double or triple sheet metal thickness.

Put the seam firmly and deeply into the jaws of the snips; if the seam is too thick for compound snips, cut it with a hacksaw.

Use Specific Tin Snips For Special Cuts

Use specialized offset snips for prime cuts if you perform a lot of curved or unique cutting. To keep your hand above the metal when cutting, use offset snips. Use red-handled snips to cut clockwise curves if you have many curves to cut. If there are only a few curves, stick with conventional yellow-handled compound snips and move the snips in the direction of the curve.

Use A Utility Knife To Cut Flex Duct

Utility knives, shears, and tin snips can be used to cut flex ducts. Cut through the insulation and metallic covering surrounding the spherical flex duct with a knife or shears, laying it back to reveal the wire coils.

Use snips to evenly cut each wire, ensuring the cut end is straight.

Bottom Line

The improper snips will make it difficult to cut evenly, resulting in a jagged edge. Additionally, good snips in the opposite direction can cut with rough edges.

To ensure that you are cutting in the proper direction and using the proper offset tin snips, follow the abovementioned steps.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.