Hand Tool

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Whats the Best electric hand tool for cutting a steel feed barrel?

Whats the Best electric hand tool for cutting a steel feed barrel? My neighbor has an air compressor but I don't so I would like to stick with electric. I also don't have access to welding gear. I am trying to build a back yard smoker and just need to know what tool would be best for cutting the doors and vent holes in the barrels? I believe they are either 16 or 18 gauge metal.

Best Answer...


The best thing is an angle grinder with 1/16" thick cut off wheels. I don't know how big your barrel is, but always get more wheels than you think you'll need. Get some flap discs or regular grinding wheels, too, so you can smooth the edges when you're done.

You can get a Ryobi at Home Depot for under $40 or a DeWalt or Makita for under $60. The 4 - 5" angle grinders are handy to have around for sharpening mower blades, axes, etc. With a flap sanding disc you can grind rust off quickly and the cut off wheels are great for anything that needs to be removed, like old bolts, locks you've lost the key for, etc.

One note, if the barrel is galvanized be aware that when that stuff burns it gives off toxic fumes, so exercise caution. Obviously, wear goggles and ear protection when grinding because grinders are exceptionally loud and crap flies everywhere.