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What do you guys use to cut floor pan sheet metal?


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I have an air powered nibbled that worked great to cut out some fender rot, but how about for a floor pan?

[As a side note - the reversible impact driver that I was struggling with was actually defective. Just thought I'd point that out in case the thought of me using power tools scared anyone.]


Luke Skywalker
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Depends on what you are cutting out. If it's just some holes for patches your nibbler or a thin cut of wheel would be fine. The plasma cutter is the Cadillac and if your doing a lot of work on the car there GREAT! Over kill for a few patches. Now if your replacing the entire pan it would be much better to use spot weld cutters. You can pick these up at the automotive paint stores. Expect to pay about $12.

The most popular one is made by Blair. It is very similar to a hole saw. There is a arbor with ether a 1/8'' drill bit or a pin at the end to keep it from walking while the cutter is cutting out the spot weld. The down fall of these is it cuts around the weld and you will have to grind off the center of the weld that's attached to the inner rocker or whatever subpanel panel is not coming off.

There are better cutters that are shaped more like a standard drill bit but the end is flat like an end mill with a centering tit that does the initial cutting and keeps it from walking. Probably closer to $20 for these. Get 5/16". There is no center to grind off the other panel because it cuts the complete weld out. Time savor and lasts longer. Use cutting oil too on all drills. You can also use a regular drill bit for steel. They're harder to use because you have no control over the bit and they want to walk. Hope this helps. Good luck.


I used a Sear router with a Roro-zip cutting bit.
I also rigged an arbor with thin carbide circular
saw blade to the router for straight line cuts.

Both worked pretty well for me.



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Re: What do you guys use to cut floor pan sheet me

These air powered body saws work well for cutting sheet metal.


Re: What do you guys use to cut floor pan sheet me

I use a 3" abrasive cut off wheel on a die grinder (accompanied by leather gloves, and hearing & face protection). I have also used Eastwood's version of the Blair cutter mentioned above where I had spotwelds to remove. I'd LOVE to have a plasma cutter.

Regarding the defective impact driver, I bought a DOA one years ago from Harbor Freight. I wrote it of to a bad decision on my part and replaced it with a Craftsman one from Sears. I did keep the metal Harbor Freight storage box and put the Sears tool in it.


Jedi Knight
Re: What do you guys use to cut floor pan sheet me

I used a combination of things: air chisel (which is brutal), cut off wheel, tin snips and sawzall. I did not have a nibbler, but wish I did.


Luke Skywalker
Re: What do you guys use to cut floor pan sheet me

I am lucky enough to have several ptools to choose from...plasma, air/electric cut-off tools, torch, nibblers, hand shears, etc.

The air shears (such as Kett and other brands) work great on flat stock but the scissors tend to break if doing cutting on surfaces that have stamped-out indentations as do floor pans. I like a 4" cut-off wheel on one of my electric grinders. I used to use my air die-grinder for my cut-off wheels but find 4500 rpm vs. 22,000 rpm to be a lot safer.
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