A Beginner’s Guide to Metal Scrapping and Disassembly

metal scrap

Metal scrapping and recycling can be a profitable venture, but for those who are new to the industry, it can be intimidating to know where to start. This beginner’s guide to metal scrapping is designed to provide you with essential information to help you get started. Dumpster Rental MA will explore the products that a beginner scrapper is likely to encounter, and whether or not it’s worth disassembling them.

How Do You Start Metal Scrapping?

Scrapping is all about balancing time and money. You need to determine your hourly rate and ensure that you’re earning more money if you spend more time disassembling items than if you shred them. This is especially important if you plan to make scrapping your full-time job. It’s also important to remember that mistakes are part of the learning process, and as you gain experience, your hourly rate will likely rise.

The Scrapping Question: To Disassemble or not to disassemble?

When it comes to scrapping, there’s always a question of whether it’s worth disassembling the product or not. Let’s take a look together with Dumpster rental service in Cape Cod at some common products and whether or not it’s worth disassembling them.

Monitors & Televisions:

Televisions can be a great find, but many companies do not accept monitors or screens. However, you can cut the wire off and remove the copper yoke from the back of the TVs. The copper yoke is a plastic cone wrapped in copper wire, which can be removed and sold at the rate of #2 copper wire. Cables from computer monitors can be severed, but that’s about it.

Air Conditioner Units:

Like refrigerators, you can disassemble air conditioners to get at their internal parts. However, before you can do that, an HVAC professional must legally remove the Freon. Once the Freon has been removed, you can remove the aluminum/copper coil, steel casing, and copper tubing. If you want to make more money, use a Sawzall to remove the metal from the side of the aluminum/copper coil fin.

Computer Towers:

Computer towers are becoming increasingly common in scrap yards as more people switch to laptops. If you disassemble a computer tower, you’ll likely lose money. The value of each component is not much higher than the machine itself if you remove the power supplies and motherboard. We recommend that you disassemble your computer towers only if you have more than ten.


To recycle a microwave, remove the circuit board, copper wire, and motor from the interior. As the parts are similar to those of other materials, we recommend that you disassemble them as soon as you receive them. If you don’t disassemble your microwave, you will usually only receive a price for the steel.


Large appliances like dishwashers, washers, and dryers are fantastic finds when beginning to scrap, but it can be frustrating to know what to do with them. We recommend that if you have five or more appliances, remove the motors, electric wiring, and sealed units from their backs. For a ferrous fee (iron/steel), you can shred them and sort out the parts into their appropriate containers.


Refrigerators are not worth much at scrap yards despite their size and weight. They are usually scrapped because of their steel content. If you have a lot of these components, it may make sense to remove them for some extra cash. However, you must first have a professional HVAC technician remove the Freon from your refrigerator. After removing the Freon, you can cut the copper tubing of the refrigerator and seal it.

Read Also: Effortlessly Manage Your Clean-up With These Seven Dumpster Rental Strategies

Electric Motors:

Once you have a collection of electric motors and notice that copper wire is peeking from inside, you might be tempted disassemble them. But consider how much time this will take. It is not brilliant naked copper, or even number one copper wire, but rather number two copper. This will result in you receiving a lower price. It may take some time to remove and unwind the steel casing. We recommend that you disassemble electric motors that weigh more than 50 pounds.

Sealed Units:

Like electric motors, these units are heavy and contain copper wire. They are protected by a tough steel shell that is difficult to remove. A Sawzall will usually be required to cut the steel shell. We do not recommend disassembling the shells because it can be very time-consuming. Sawzall blades are sacrificed because the profit is not worth it.

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