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Sheet metal on our accushear machine Sheet metal on our accushear machine

5 Reasons to Cut-to-size with Online Metals

Q&A with Aaron Oates, Operations Manager

From the ever-expanding product catalog and ability to ship materials right to your door, we pride ourselves on our ability to custom cut your material down to the exact size you need. By reviewing and improving our processes in the materials service space, Aaron Oates, our Operations Manager, discusses why Online Metals is your trusted source for custom cut materials.




Various metal products from an Online Metals Warehouse Various metal products from an Online Metals Warehouse

Streamlined Process: What happens when I order cut-to-size flat materials?

After you place your materials order online, our warehouse team thoroughly reviews the shipping method selected, whether we have the material size in stock or need to cut it specifically for you, and any other notes you may have in the order.

Once we establish the order is good-to-go, we inspect the material to be processed or shipped to ensure that you are receiving exactly what you ordered. To reduce waste and keep our business moving, we cut the material down to your specification and the extra material drops are cut down to stocked sizes for future orders.




Olm warehouse employee prepping sheet metal for a custom cut Olm warehouse employee prepping sheet metal for a custom cut

Exceptional Quality: Why purchase cut-to-size materials from Online Metals rather than doing it myself?

We take on the burden of owning heavy machinery and streamlining our process, so you can avoid extra costs and reduce time wasted on non-essential processes. We measure our cut-to-size orders twice to ensure we are meeting promised tolerances and meeting your expectations. No need to worry about miscuts, injuries, or damaging material over handling or dull equipment. We’ve got you covered!




OlM warehouse employee cutting sheet metal on accushear OlM warehouse employee cutting sheet metal on accushear

Top-Tier Machinery: What type of machinery is used for my order?

Each of our warehouses is equipped with an Accushear, which specializes in cutting thin flat product. If you are familiar with these shears, you know they are known for their capacity, accuracy, and reliability. Accushears allow us to meet the needs of high volumes of customers and still maintain our tight tolerances. We also have smaller plate saws in every facility to manage small plate cuts, and a large plate saw in Wallingford to handle the large dimension plate orders that come our way.




Online Metals package and logo Online Metals package and logo

Tailored Packaging: How are oddly sized materials packaged to avoid damage and extra shipping charges?

This answer heavily depends on how the item will be shipped, as UPS has certain restrictions. For large items, we use a mix of triple wall pads, honeycomb and corner board to keep items rigid and secure to prevent damage. If the items are shipping freight, although a costlier method, we can use heavier packaging and ship items that are just too large for UPS. When it comes to very thin items, we use OSB (Oriented Strand Board) alongside cardboard to prevent extreme damage to the more delicate material. Smaller cut-to-size items are the easiest to ship, and they are securely packaged using standard packaging to reduce shipping costs and prevent damage.




Expanded sheets stacked on one another Expanded sheets stacked on one another

One-of-a-kind: What is the most unique item you can cut, and how do you handle these requests?

We cut a large variety of flat, bar, and tube, products and I would say that the most unique would be our expanded sheet metal. These are mainly used in guarding applications as they allow for a direct line of site while also providing protection. Some of the unique challenges in this product are the raised height of the material and becoming very sharp once sheared. We've crafted a safety video for customers like you, as well as added special PPE in-house to safely handle the high volumes of this product. We pride ourselves on our ability to change without sacrificing production and everything we do is around improving customer experience!




Photo od Aaron Oates

About the Featured Expert

Aaron Oates

Operations Manager, Online Metals

Aaron Oates is the Operations Manager for Online Metals and has been with the company for 15 years. He oversees all 6 locations and has extensive metals experience.