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How To Cut Wire Shelving Safely – A Guide For Beginners

Wire shelving is a perfect addition to install into the home thanks to its discreet look that allows it to keep a low profile within an internal space.

These shelves are also great for allowing plenty of ventilation into a space, thanks to the thin wires that they are made up of.

How Do You Cut Wire Shelving Safely? Ultimate Guide

The only problem is, creating those perfect spaces requires some very careful cutting of the wire shelving. But how do you actually go about cutting wire shelving?

Luckily, cutting wire shelving is a little easier than you might otherwise assume, but you will want to do it just right!

In order to cut wire shelving, you can either use a bolt cutter, a hacksaw, or a rotary tool. These are some of the very best options because they can allow you to create a clean cut, and they are also the safest options, considering how springy wire shelving is!

How Do You Cut Wire Shelving?

There are numerous implements that you can use to cut wire shelving. Let’s take a look at each of them.

How Do You Cut Wire Shelving Safely? Ultimate Guide

Bolt Cutters

Bolt cutters are very simple to use, making them popular.

You will need to make sure that your bolt cutter has handles over 14 inches in length, in order to give you the leverage needed to cut the wires cleanly.

You will also want to make sure that the bolt cutters are sharp. If they are unsharpened or blunt, then the ends of the wire shelving will be warped after cutting. Luckily, keeping bolt cutters sharp can be as simple as filing the blades.

Simply mark the areas on the wire shelves that you plan to cut, line the blades up, and then use the handles to cut the wire in each position.

You will want to take a tape measure and mark along all of the wires in a given direction to ensure a clean cut all over! Simply cut each wire until the shelves are shortened!

You may want to wear goggles as you cut the wire. Though the likelihood is low, small shards of metal could fly off as you cut the wire.

Once you have cut the wire, you may want to file down the ends, to keep them from being sharp, and then cap them with a small amount of plastic!


If you don’t have any bolt cutters around, you can easily make use of a hacksaw to cut your wire shelving!

First, you will want to measure and create your markings along the shelving where you will be making your cuts.

After you have made your markings, take the wire shelving and place it flat on a table, with the end you plan to cut off hanging over.

The cutting line should generally be around 2 to 3 inches over the edge of the table.

You will probably want to hold the shelf to your table with some clamps, to ensure it does not move about as you use your hacksaw.

We do not recommend holding the shelves down in any other way, such as with hands, as this can prove very dangerous!

Once the shelving is in place, you can start cutting. Hold your hand down on the shelving, and place the saw at around 45 degrees to the shelving.

Create a sawing motion, and you should notice the saw cutting through the metal.

We strongly recommend wearing goggles while using a hacksaw, because the chance of metal shards flying off as you cut is much higher than when using bolt cutters!

Once you have made your cuts, simply file down the sharper ends and place some plastic caps onto the ends!

Rotary Cutting Tools

Using a rotary cutting tool can be highly beneficial because it can help you to cut through multiple wires in one smooth motion, creating a more clean look. However, we understand that not everyone has access to such a large tool!

You should beware of the fact that a rotary tool will cut the shelving at a slight angle, which can be mended with some plastic caps!

Start by placing your shelving with the right side facing up, on some kind of table covering. From there, you will want to hold the shelving down with some kind of clamping tool.

From here, hold the rotary with the wheel at a vertical angle, and then slowly move it down, cutting the wires carefully as you go.

Once you have cut the wires of the shelving, you can then file down the sharp remnants of the cutting process, and then cap them off with some plastic caps!

As always, we recommend wearing goggles to do this!

Wrapping Up

As you can now see, it is actually quite easy to cut wire shelving down to size, and there are numerous tools and processes that you can use to do it.

Regardless of which method you choose to use, make sure to be careful and to take your time. You want a safe but even cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bolt Cutters Cut Wire Shelving?

Absolutely. Bolt cutters are one of the most popular tools to use for cutting wire shelving because they cut cleanly.

Can You Cut Down Wire Shelving?

Yes. If you find that your wire shelving is too large, then you can easily cut it down to size!

Why Do Builders Use Wire Shelving?

Wire shelving is preferred by builders because it requires far less maintenance!

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