Many types of tin snips allow different cuts


A metal shearing machine can be anything from a reinforced household scissors to a high-performance scissors with bolt cutting technology. In precision mechanics, the metal-free separation of metal is an important factor. Generally, it is the fastest-metal-separating tool for manual use without auxiliary power.

Function and blade shapes

There are two types of sheet metal shears. You can, similar to normal household scissors, transfer simple leverage from the handle to the diagonally opposite blade wing or work with translation. The leverage increases the applied force by about a quarter. Large lever-sheared metal shears, such as firefighting scissors, barely differ from bolt cutters.

Different blade and cutting edges facilitate the cutting work. The basic form consists of straight cutting edges. They are suitable for straight and slightly curved cuts. For curved cuts, left or right hand cutting models can be used depending on the cutting direction.

There are differently curved scissor blades for cutting larger bends and figural or ornamental cutting lines. Again, you can choose between left and right cuts. The length of the blades are another criterion of suitability. Short scissor heads may allow for greater directional changes in the cutting path and narrower radii of curvature.

Sheet thicknesses and scissor types

In general, sheet thicknesses are divided into two ranges. Thin sheets are up to three millimeters thick, all higher strengths are attributed to the heavy plate. The term sheet does not refer to the material thickness, but to the structure created by the rolling process. There are both thin and coarse thin sheets.

Thin sheets are higher quality and more stable, so that at lower strengths, the limits of cutting without leverage soon reaches its limits. As a guideline, translation-free cutting capability with thicknesses up to two millimeters can be assumed. The type of metal and alloy can shift this value up to thirty percent.

The strongest force unfolds a tin snips up to about three quarters of the total blade path. When using, a new cut should be made at this mark by reopening the tin snips.

Tips & Tricks

The difference between tin snips and a nibbler lies in the way in which the metal separates. A nibbler "punches" the sheet apart, always producing chipping. Apart from the direct loss of material you create further dimensional changes by the two-sided straightening of the punching line.


Video Board: How To Use Aviation (Tin) Snips [3 Colors]