Author Topic: Track saw for cutting metal roofing  (Read 1240 times)

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Offline BigfootBuilder

  • Posts: 74
    • California Sustainable Builders
Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« on: June 26, 2018, 06:23 PM »
Hi all,
I am about to do a metal roofing install on my house, and my roof line is crooked and off angle in many cases so the ordering of exact lengths will be hard to nail in most cases, which makes me want to oversize all of the lengths and *ideally* use a tracksaw to cut a nice straight line at all of the eaves. Has anyone had any experience with this maneuver? Successes? Drawbacks?

I know that for one it will send hot metal shavings about that can stick to the roof and rust out but I'm hoping that with some blue tape shrouding and DE connected I can really minimize that. I wouldn't want to run a circ saw as it would scratch the roof, so a track saw just seems like a no-brainer. Am I crazy or only kinda crazy?

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Offline epicxt

  • Posts: 424
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 08:31 PM »
I've used my ts75 to do this multiple times. Have to check to see if Festool still offers the metal cutting blade for it, and I also have the in-line spark arrester Festool used to offer. Pretty sure you can get the same product from  Nilfisk?

Anyway, it works great.


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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4960
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 09:57 PM »
The Festool steel cutting blade was withdrawn from the US market as was the spark trap. Obviously, the US is too hot to tango with when it comes to class action law suits.  [eek]

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 166
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 11:38 PM »
Hi all,
I am about to do a metal roofing install on my house, and my roof line is crooked and off angle in many cases so the ordering of exact lengths will be hard to nail in most cases, which makes me want to oversize all of the lengths and *ideally* use a tracksaw to cut a nice straight line at all of the eaves. Has anyone had any experience with this maneuver? Successes? Drawbacks?

I know that for one it will send hot metal shavings about that can stick to the roof and rust out but I'm hoping that with some blue tape shrouding and DE connected I can really minimize that. I wouldn't want to run a circ saw as it would scratch the roof, so a track saw just seems like a no-brainer. Am I crazy or only kinda crazy?

I would suggest you leave the eaves with factory edges,  instead measure, and cut the top at the ridge vent, then your capping will cover and errors or nasty edges, also this end won't see any water, so better for rust.  Is your roofing going to be steel, aluminum, copper...?   I would assume steel.  I used carborundum blades doing it as a kid, not sure what better options are out there, especially with most track saws having uncommon to the US arbor sizes.   Not sure where you are getting your material, if your getting it from a local supply who rolls out the panels and shears them off. I know in some places in the country you can find  manual/power  guillotine style shears for rent to cut the panels.

Offline vkumar

  • Posts: 351
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 12:40 AM »
The Festool steel cutting blade was withdrawn from the US market as was the spark trap. Obviously, the US is too hot to tango with when it comes to class action law suits.  [eek]

The spark trap is not available in Europe either. I believe Festool has discontinued this.
Vijay Kumar

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4960
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 10:56 AM »
I know CMT manufactures 3 different blades for a TS 55 for cutting ferrous materials, non-ferrous materials and stainless steel.

Offline BigfootBuilder

  • Posts: 74
    • California Sustainable Builders
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 01:27 PM »
That's a very good suggestion, hadn't thought of that. I would definitely treat the edges anyway but hiding them up in the ridge cap certainly helps with any mess. I was hoping to zip the edge off in one fell swoop thus making the eave a nice clean straight line, another reason for that being that while I've rebuilt the place as square and plumb as I reasonably could, I'm sure the roof is still a little racked and thus square panels lain down over a 30' length of not definitely square roof plane would have me worrying about how the bottom edges of those panels would square up to each other.

@epicxt That's good to hear! I knew I'm not the first to think of this so I'm glad to hear you've had success with it. I checked and there does seem to be an inline arrestor from Nilfisk, have to see about availability, and if not, I'm resourceful. How did your cuts fare in the long run? Any issue with the shrapnel sticking to the roofing and rusting?


I would suggest you leave the eaves with factory edges,  instead measure, and cut the top at the ridge vent, then your capping will cover and errors or nasty edges, also this end won't see any water, so better for rust.  Is your roofing going to be steel, aluminum, copper...?   I would assume steel.  I used carborundum blades doing it as a kid, not sure what better options are out there, especially with most track saws having uncommon to the US arbor sizes.   Not sure where you are getting your material, if your getting it from a local supply who rolls out the panels and shears them off. I know in some places in the country you can find  manual/power  guillotine style shears for rent to cut the panels.

Online rst

  • Posts: 1973
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 04:52 PM »
We had a standing seam roof put on our 90 year old house two years ago.  The guys doing it were not novices as they mostly do commercial roofs and have finished quite a few standing seams.  They used a cordless drill mounted shear to cut off the roofing at the peak.  Another thing they did was to use different thickness backer rods to support the vertical dips in the roof.  We had them install three inch closed foam backed ply for the base.  Our house now gets "better than the 1200 closest houses" energy ratings.  Woo Hoo!

Offline BigfootBuilder

  • Posts: 74
    • California Sustainable Builders
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2018, 07:27 PM »
I just learned about these drill mounted shears today in doing my research, pretty cool! I think I'll forego the track saw idea and get one of these instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Malco-Corrugated-Metal-Turbo-Shear/dp/B00IMJDNKK

Online rst

  • Posts: 1973
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2018, 08:24 PM »
I'm pretty sure that is the one my roofers were using.  I have a Kett set that has the shears and nibbler combo.  I bought this years ago when my better half (37 years today...time flies when your raising kids and working) and I wanted to make a play house for our daughters.  I used this a a excuse to buy the Kett combo and a Milwaukee bandmill.  The only wood in the house is the treated plywood on the bottom and top of the torsion box I built for the floor, the rest of the house is steel studs and corrugated white steel with black trim.  As my daughters are now 34 and 31, it is now my tool shed.

Offline epicxt

  • Posts: 424
Re: Track saw for cutting metal roofing
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 10:11 AM »
That's a very good suggestion, hadn't thought of that. I would definitely treat the edges anyway but hiding them up in the ridge cap certainly helps with any mess. I was hoping to zip the edge off in one fell swoop thus making the eave a nice clean straight line, another reason for that being that while I've rebuilt the place as square and plumb as I reasonably could, I'm sure the roof is still a little racked and thus square panels lain down over a 30' length of not definitely square roof plane would have me worrying about how the bottom edges of those panels would square up to each other.

@epicxt That's good to hear! I knew I'm not the first to think of this so I'm glad to hear you've had success with it. I checked and there does seem to be an inline arrestor from Nilfisk, have to see about availability, and if not, I'm resourceful. How did your cuts fare in the long run? Any issue with the shrapnel sticking to the roofing and rusting?


I would suggest you leave the eaves with factory edges,  instead measure, and cut the top at the ridge vent, then your capping will cover and errors or nasty edges, also this end won't see any water, so better for rust.  Is your roofing going to be steel, aluminum, copper...?   I would assume steel.  I used carborundum blades doing it as a kid, not sure what better options are out there, especially with most track saws having uncommon to the US arbor sizes.   Not sure where you are getting your material, if your getting it from a local supply who rolls out the panels and shears them off. I know in some places in the country you can find  manual/power  guillotine style shears for rent to cut the panels.
The cuts have fared just fine. ;) As has already been mentioned, I also chose to cut the hip/ridge end, not the eave. I have used it to cut roofing that was already in place for a large remodel as well.
One thing to take into account when using the electric shears is the style of metal roofing. They often get hung up on sharp bends in the metal if you're using a hidden fastener roofing system like Snaplok. Hope you find something that works!:)


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