To install aluminum gutters successfully, you need to cut the material while limiting the bending of the malleable aluminum. Knowing how to cut aluminum gutters correctly ensures that you get straight edges that will fit together snugly. Crinkled or jagged cuts could result in gaps that let water escape through. Leaking gutters undermine the function of the rainwater diversion system. Leaks caused by poorly cut gutters will expose walls and the foundation to water damage. A couple of basic hand tools and the right approach will prevent frustration and disappointment.
Directions for How to Cut Aluminum Gutters
- Set up a work table.
- Lay the gutter section on the table bottom side up.
- Extend the tape measure along the gutter bottom until you reach the length where you need to cut.
- Mark that length with the pencil.
- Put the edge of the combination square across and perpendicular to the gutter at the mark.
- Trace a line across the bottom of the gutter to create a cutting guide.
- With the combination square’s edge, carefully extend the cutting mark down each side of the gutter.
- Put on work gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges while you cut the metal.
- Turn the gutter section right side up.
- Pick up the tin snips and snip the flange edge at the cut line.
- Start cutting down the side of the gutter from this first cut.
- Stop cutting when you reach the bottom.
- Shift to cutting down the line on the other side of the gutter.
- Once again, stop cutting once you reach the bottom.
- With the sides cut open, you can now gently bend open the gutter to make it easier to align the tin snips with the bottom cut line.
- Cut across the bottom completely.
- File the freshly cut edges so that the section will be safer to handle for the rest of the installation process.