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How about a worn out screwdriver and a hammer? Use the side of the screwdriver and hammer it sideways. I have seen seasoned sheet metal workers cut holes in duct work as quick as an electric nibbler. Half fast but works in a pinch.
Our tool list still has a cold chisel in it and this is the only thing I have ever used it for. Works pretty well with metal siding when the guys don't cut the holes exactly in the right spots.
 

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Grinder won't work cause it makes the cut lines way too big

I don't really understand that answer.
I can cut a hole for a screen in a plc panel that has a 1/4" lip with a cutting disk on a grinder with out having a problem. i can also cut a circle for a 3" and larger conduit that ends up looking like it was done with a hole saw.
 

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Chief Flunky
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Grinder won't work cause it makes the cut lines way too big
We use it all the time cutting in displays, relays, etc. Go slow on the first pass. Make sure to use a black marker on grey and something bright on dark steel. It’s not particularly fast and throws a lot of sparks and slag. The big trick with both is cut slightly inside your lines. With a grinder you can switch to a grinding disc and then smooth and enlarge as you go, test fitting as needed Some devices leave very, very little leeway for errors.

I have used multiple methods. The problem with jig saws is they can’t get into tight corners (tool gets in the way), they eat blades quickly, and they can’t go through struts or anything but flat surfaces, and they can’t start without a hole. But if you make a hole first and use sweeping curves (something a grinder can’t do) they can go right up to a corner. You always get a little kerf sticking out with a grinder on the corners.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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Grinder won't work cause it makes the cut lines way too big
I don't really understand that answer.
I can cut a hole for a screen in a plc panel that has a 1/4" lip with a cutting disk on a grinder with out having a problem. i can also cut a circle for a 3" and larger conduit that ends up looking like it was done with a hole saw.
I think it's a problem when cutting in masonry but not in sheet metal. In thick materials you have to cross at the corners quite a bit to get the corners to the required depth without a lot of chiseling. That's not the case with sheet metal.

I think plunge cuts with a metal cutting circular saw are easier than using a grinder but the jigsaw makes it very easy.

Nibbles are easier to use.
I agree for a lot of things that's hard to beat. I have a Klein nibbler, I am not sure they make it any more, that Knipex looks a lot bigger and better. It's the same idea, you drill a 1/4" hole to get started and it cuts by punching a small square (a nibble) every time you squeeze. The nibbles are easier to clean up than metal sawdust and the hole will be like factory smooth. If won't cut curves but it will cut any odd rectangular shape you want from 1/4" up. They make power nibblers too. I really wish they made a bigger one that could punch 10 gauge stainless for the bigger enclosures.

Pop a 7/8 hole and use a jig saw
This will be the simplest / easiest / fastest / cheapest if you're doing a lot of these, as long as there's no obstruction for the jigsaw behind the wall.
 

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I think it's a problem when cutting in masonry but not in sheet metal. In thick materials you have to cross at the corners quite a bit to get the corners to the required depth without a lot of chiseling. That's not the case with sheet metal.

I think plunge cuts with a metal cutting circular saw are easier than using a grinder but the jigsaw makes it very easy.



I agree for a lot of things that's hard to beat. I have a Klein nibbler, I am not sure they make it any more, that Knipex looks a lot bigger and better. It's the same idea, you drill a 1/4" hole to get started and it cuts by punching a small square (a nibble) every time you squeeze. The nibbles are easier to clean up than metal sawdust and the hole will be like factory smooth. If won't cut curves but it will cut any odd rectangular shape you want from 1/4" up. They make power nibblers too. I really wish they made a bigger one that could punch 10 gauge stainless for the bigger enclosures.



This will be the simplest / easiest / fastest / cheapest if you're doing a lot of these, as long as there's no obstruction for the jigsaw behind the wall.
If there is you really messed up because the box won’t fit then
 

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Painted this wouldn’t look bad on a fabric coated finished surface,…

Personal computer Computer Property Laptop Output device
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
If you are roughing in ahead of the cladding, why not box it too and let the tin bashers cut them out?
Surface mount 1110s and 4x4s with Taylor covers? Or will those not fly in the US either like the octagon covers?
Cause then they won't end up in the center of the ribbing on the steel. They poke the wires out in the center and then we cut in after and secure with those gangable ones with the holes on top and bottom.
 

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Chief Flunky
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I think it's a problem when cutting in masonry but not in sheet metal. In thick materials you have to cross at the corners quite a bit to get the corners to the required depth without a lot of chiseling. That's not the case with sheet metal.

I think plunge cuts with a metal cutting circular saw are easier than using a grinder but the jigsaw makes it very easy.



I agree for a lot of things that's hard to beat. I have a Klein nibbler, I am not sure they make it any more, that Knipex looks a lot bigger and better. It's the same idea, you drill a 1/4" hole to get started and it cuts by punching a small square (a nibble) every time you squeeze. The nibbles are easier to clean up than metal sawdust and the hole will be like factory smooth. If won't cut curves but it will cut any odd rectangular shape you want from 1/4" up. They make power nibblers too. I really wish they made a bigger one that could punch 10 gauge stainless for the bigger enclosures.



This will be the simplest / easiest / fastest / cheapest if you're doing a lot of these, as long as there's no obstruction for the jigsaw behind the wall.
This is about the biggest nibbler available.


There is one bigger but it’s already $1,000+ with tax. Madura makes one too but it’s just not as good. The nibbles though are huge. And the edges it leaves are razor sharp because it cuts half moons, not aligned.

And nibblers are rated for absolute max mild steel, not real world stuff. So don’t expect 10 gauge. The other and most common size is 14 gauge. It’s cheap but frankly not sure what to do with it.
 

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We don't do too much of it but sometimes we get into wiring a shop or something and it's being finished with sheet metal. Usually the wire gets stubbed out the center and then we have to cut the box in. We usually use tin snips and a gangable box but damn there's got to be a better way. It takes forever and there's so often some wood or strapping or studs behind that need to be dealt with too. Any ideas?
When that happens, it is best to add an angle grinder to your tool list. If it is stainless steel, tin snips won't get the job done.
 

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We don't do too much of it but sometimes we get into wiring a shop or something and it's being finished with sheet metal. Usually the wire gets stubbed out the center and then we have to cut the box in. We usually use tin snips and a gangable box but damn there's got to be a better way. It takes forever and there's so often some wood or strapping or studs behind that need to be dealt with too. Any ideas?
A dremmel and carbide wheel
 

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We don't do too much of it but sometimes we get into wiring a shop or something and it's being finished with sheet metal. Usually the wire gets stubbed out the center and then we have to cut the box in. We usually use tin snips and a gangable box but damn there's got to be a better way. It takes forever and there's so often some wood or strapping or studs behind that need to be dealt with too. Any ideas?
Plasma cutter.
 

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What is that product?
The product shown in the photo appears to be only good for power, but in my mind I was trying to convey a slightly different one that has two channels linearly, so a separate one for data and low-voltage. I’m not sure if it’s made by wire mold or some other company.
 
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