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Essential Tools For Making Money Recycling Scrap Metal
The Right Tools for the Job
Are you interested in making money by “scrapping” metal?
Recycling scrap metal is a very legitimate way to make some extra cash. As with everything, you get out what you put into it. You can collect everything you see, take it to the scrap yard and throw it off, or you can separate a few things, prepare your load a bit and make more money.
If you keep a few simple tools with you when collecting scrap metals, your job can be much easier and productive! Think of purchasing tools as an investment. I can guarantee that after a few loads, you will make your money back!
Many of these tools you probably have laying around the house. This is not a complete list of everything you need to be successful, but it is everything I would not leave the house without!
The Magnet or "Your New Best Friend"
You magnet is the most useful tool you can have if you want to make make more profit off of your scrap. Keep one in your car or truck at all times. Heck, if you can find a key chain magnet and keep one on your person everywhere you go.
Hit your magnet on a piece of metal. If it sticks, it is a ferrous metal. If it doesn’t stick, it is a non-ferrous metal and you can separate it and make more money off of it!
Types of non-ferrous materials you can separate.
Copper, Brass, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Lead.
Your magnet will become your best friend. Many scrap yards offer free magnets to customers. Ask the next time you are at your favorite scrap yard!
Snips / Side Cuts / Cable Cutters .
Find a good pair of side-cut snips or wire cutters. You don’t have to buy the most expensive or the fanciest set of cutters, but if you do buy a more expensive pair, look for a pair of cable cutters. Greenlee and Klein make high quality cutters for a decent price. They should last you a while if you don't cut steel with them! Do not cut steel with your wire cutters
If anything has a cord, cut it!
Collect all the power cords, extension cords and audio/video cables that you find on your way and keep them separate. These cables have copper inside (called insulated copper) and fetch a good amount more than the rest of your scrap!
If you have a dry wall bucket or a milk crate, these are perfect to keep all your cut cords in.
Gloves (Tetnis is not a good thing)
If you knew how many nasty sliced fingers and hands I have seen at the scrap yard, the idea of scrapping without gloves would seem unthinkable. You are dealing with sharp rusty metal as a hobby, let's be smart!
If you have to get 4-5 stitches, it doesn’t matter how much money you made in scrap, you are going to end up in the red.
The “Jersey Gloves” are cheap and work fine. I know people who swear on the mechanics gloves. They are a little too sweaty for my taste, but they do afford much more dexterity in your fingers which is nice. Anything that will keep your hands from getting cut on rusty metal will fit the bill.
Common Scrap Items (Non Ferrous)
Where is It?
Power cables, Water pipes, Electric Motors
Plumbing, Ornimates, Knobs, Faucets
Window Frames, Siding, Ladders, Car Parts
Other Very Useful Tools
First Aid Kit
Another Golden Rule.
Work safe and work smart.
There is no amount of money in the world that is worth jeopardizing your safety. Lift with your legs (team lifting is best), be aware of all sharp edges you are dealing with, and work at a pace you are comfortable with. When people get rushed, people get hurt!
Have fun and look out for each other.
Interested in more? Check out my other article