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A Complete Guide to Sheet Metal Notching

Sheet Metal Notching

Metal notching is an important technique in metal fabrication process.

A reason this guide explores everything about notching process. From benefits, limitations, classification to applications; you will learn everything about notching sheet metals.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is Sheet Metal Notching?

Notching sheet metal involves removing unwanted metal material from the edges of a sheet metal. The most popular tool for this process is the punch press.

Advantages of Metal Notching

The following are advantages of notching in metals;

Notching examples

Notching Examples

  • Notching Process Accommodates different Metal Materials

This process can be performed on any metal material therefore making it the most reliable in removing unwanted metal materials.

  • Best for Complex Shapes

Through the notching process, manufacturers and designers are able to build their desired shapes.

These complex shapes rely on the different punch press and die tools being used in the notching process.

  • Notching Speed is High

The process is always fast hence creating a significant impact in the cycle time durations.

Disadvantages of Notching in Metalworking

The following are disadvantages of notching in metals;


The initial cost of acquiring a punch press that is used in the notching of metal materials is significantly high. For this reason, companies that run on a fixed budget are not able to afford the notching equipment.

Rather, they use other methods to remove the unwanted metal materials to their desire.

Types of Notches in Sheet Metal

The following metal notching types can be performed on a sheet metal;

Notching in sheet metal fabrication

Notching in Sheet Metal Fabrication

Angled Notch

For the metal sheet to be of use as a part of another process, it demands perfect angles. This type of notch that is specifically performed on different types of sheet metals, allows individuals to work on the sheet

Exterior Notches

This is a type of notch where the unwanted material is removed from the outsides edges of the sheet metal.

Follow Pattern Notches

These are notches done to the sheet metals that require it to follow a certain pattern on a work piece. Here, the notch of the sheet is made according to its required pattern on the following steps of the work piece.

To create appropriate notching patterns, the punch press operator has to ensure the particular patterns are followed.

How Sheet Metal Punching and Notching Operation Compare

The two processes compare in the following ways;

VariableSheet metal punchingNotching operation
Surface of operation


It only takes place within the piece of a sheet metal perimeter to remove the unwanted materials.It only can take place on the edges of a sheet metal to create a desired shape.


Actual operation


The punched holes can be of different shape varieties like square rectangle and oval depending on the drill used.In the notching process, there are no holes involved but perfect edge edges created on the sheet metal.

More Resources:

How Sheet Metal Notching Process Works

 Sheet metal notching

Sheet Metal Notching – Photo courtesy: BlogMech

Components aiding in the sheet metal notching process are assembled, which comprise of work surface, the punch press and measuring tools.

On the sheet metal, identify the areas or sides that you want conduct the notching process.

With the help of a measurement tool, measure the areas to notch appropriately while marking them at the same time.

This is done on a flat working surface to ensure accuracy is key.

After correct identification of the sheet metals unwanted parts, use the cutting tool that is the punch press.  Keenly press the unwanted parts of the sheet metal to remain with the relevant parts which is done from outwards to inwards.

A point to note, you need to make sure the right sequence has been adhered to for an appropriate process.

More Resources:

Applications of Sheet Metal Notching Process

The following applications rely on the metal sheet metal notching process;

  • Furniture

In the process of making metal furniture, the sheet metal notching process is used to create finer and perfect edges.

  • Manufacturing of gym equipment

Gym equipment needs to be safe to use.

Proper fabrication through sheet metal notching should be done to obtain finer equipment edges which improve safety thus preventing injuries. Also, this industry requires the process when joining equipment parts since a certain pattern has to be achieved.

  • Automotive industries

Different types of sheet metal notches are made in this industry to make sure the automotive parts fit appropriately.

  • Sheet Metal Fabrication workshops

Different sheet metal fabricators use the notching process to achieve their desired sheet metal edges and shapes.

  • Changing vast component designs

Different and vast component designs and their factor forms can be fabricated and changed by this notching process.

How Sheet Metal Notching Compare to Tube Notching

The two compare in the following ways;

ComparisonSheet metal notchingTube notching
Process mechanismA punch press is used in removing unwanted materials on the sheet edges.In tube notching, different angle cutting are made on the metal tube.
SpeedA sheet metal notching is fast hence an advantage to the cycle time.The tube notch takes more time depending on the size and shape that should be cut on the tube.
PerfectionIt leaves behind finer edges of the work piece to be worked on.A rough work piece is left behind which might need some cleaning before undergoing further processes like welding.

Factors to Consider in Sheet Metal Notching Machine

The following are the factors to consider in this notching machine;

  • Adjustment of the blade gap

This adjustment should be automated thus delivering perfect cuts of dissimilar thickness sizes.

Additionally, the blade being automated means that there is time conscience and perfect cuts without blurs.

  • Machine should be secure

This future is essential to the machine since it cannot perform any operation in case blades are in unclamping position.

  • Cutting area protection

The machine should have this feature that protects the cutting area but at the same time allowing a working visibility. A shield is used to protect the working area hence safety of the machine operators is guaranteed.

  • Cutting mechanism

Machine’s functionality should be guaranteed when it comes to the cutting processes. The cutting process should be simultaneous without length limits or thickness whatsoever.

At all times, the process should be guided by the guide which is aligned to the front edges of the cutting blades.

  • Stroke adjuster

The machine should have this feature as it controls the machine’s cutting speed by controlling notches per minute.


With the right information, sheet metal notching is a straightforward process.

At KDM, we fabricate many custom sheet metal parts. It does not matter the type of metal notching you want, we have the capability to handle complex projects.

More Resources:

Press Break Bending and Notching – Source: The Fabricator

What is Notching – Source: Monro Engineering

Tube Notching – Source: Med Ford Tools

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