From this question How would I cut out lettering from a stamped piece of thick-sheet metal

I am looking to use a Jeweler's saw to cut through a piece of what I believe is stainless steel. According to my measurement it was measured at about 1/32 of an inch which according to Google is 0.79375mm. Essentially it was sized at one of the little notches on my tape measure which I believe was 1/32 of an inch.

I am curious what blade sizes would be recommended? From what I have seen from some charts online that the thickness of the blade could make the hole bigger, but I want as thin a cut as possible, while being able to cut nicely through this material and cut the letters properly and with precision.

I have been checking out these charts https://www.google.com/search?q=jewelry+saw+blade+chart&sa=X&tbm=isch&gbv=2&sei=F5T-V97jBcLRmwGM54TgBg#imgrc=Xum-J5TEfM8JxM%3A

But don't really understand which materials need which blade, except the one chart that discusses materials, except for metals, which is what I have. Some charts discuss ability to cut precise cuts and such like that, so I want to make sure I'm working with the correct blades. I believe I got 1/0 to 8/0 blades with my saw.

AS mentioned in the above topic, I am looking to cut out letters in this material such as this.

enter image description here

Thank you all.

NOTE: The Jewelers saw failed as it's not tall enough, bought a Fretsaw and Coping Saw to replace it, hopefully that does better.

  • Have you considered shears instead of a saw? That thin you may need to shear/snip it, rather than saw. Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 3:22
  • I am going to edit this question, because the saws did not work at all, and I'm going to be trying a rotary tool(dremel) and see what I can do with that. Snips would work if I had a good sized hole to start, the issue is the lettering is very tiny, so I need something with precision.
    – XaolingBao
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


If I understand what you are attempting to accomplish, this is exactly the right type of project for a jeweler's saw. You use a technique called piercing to cut out those type of interior shapes.

I found what looks like a pretty good tutorial here, but the basics are:

  1. Using a very fine drill bit, create a pilot hole somewhere inside of the shape that you want to cut out. Make sure that the pilot hole is large enough that your saw blade will be able to fit through the hole.
  2. Attach your saw blade to the handle at the bottom, but leave it unattached at the top.
  3. Feed your saw blade through the hole in your piece of metal, and then attach it to the upper part of the saw handle.
  4. Begin sawing towards the outer edge of the shape (in this case a letter), and once you have reached the edge, saw around the outline until you have removed all of the interior material. In this picture, you can see her pilot hole, the straight cut to the outline of her shape, and her continued cut line around the perimeter of her shape.

enter image description here

One big challenge with your particular project however--jeweler's saw blades are extremely thin and easily broken. You need to be very careful not to bend them at all, but instead always keep your saw frame in basically the same orientation to your body--i.e., the blade is always facing in the same direction, and you are always sawing away from your body. This means that you need to move the piece of metal around as you cut out a shape. This gif illustrates how to move the metal.

It looks like the piece you want to cut may be too large to move it in this way. You might be able to follow this exact process using a really deep fret saw frame instead of a jeweler's saw frame. I have never used one, so I don't know if they can handle blades as fine as a jeweler's saw blade, but they have a much deeper frame, which might work better for a larger piece of metal like the one you show here.

Fretsaw: enter image description here

Don't know what all of these saws are, but the two saws at the lower right are both jewelers saws, so you can compare the frame depth with the fret saw shown directly to the left. enter image description here

EDITED TO ADD: I completely forgot to answer the actual question about the size of the saw blade. The size of the saw blade is dependent on the narrowest area that you want to cut out. Since none of the areas in your image are particularly fine (compared to the width of the saw blades), I would use the thickest jeweler's sawblade that you can use, to limit breakage.

  • This is a well-written and comprehensive answer. I would add to it by suggesting that you need not get dead on the line when cutting. Get fairly close and use small jewelers files with your work held vertically in a vise to eliminate vibration while filing. You can get greater precision at the cost of more time and labor, but have a very high quality finish on the edges of the material.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 0:05

Rather than try to cut out the letters, maybe consider doing the reverse and cut out the background. Your beer logo would be familiar to all, the mis-steps that will be magnified on cutout letters will diminish greatly with a background cut out.

I would suggest the use of a drill and get rid of as much material before cutting with a saw. After drilling as much as possible it becomes a connect the dots exercise. Should work for letters or background cuts.

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