Shears: All about


Functioning hand shears

The operation of shear is based on the cutting force of the scissor blades. By squeezing the handle behind the scissors axis, sheet metal is sliced smoothly, in the bow or other shapes effortlessly. There are no metal chips. The necessary force for a clean, burr-free cut depends on nature (hardness) of the sheet and its thickness.

Home users mainly use hand shears for home improvement work, such as metal blanks in drywall. From certain metal thicknesses and sheet sizes, human muscle power is no longer sufficient for a precise cut. Here then helps the electronics on.

Checklist for good metal shears

Before choosing the right shears, there are a few things that should be considered:

Hard Blade

A good shear has blades that are harder than the sheet to be cut. This keeps the wear low and the sharpness good.

Power Transmission

The power transmission is ideal either by the handle length or favorable leverage. As a result, rapid cutting progress in the sheet is guaranteed fatigue.


In the long term, the scissor shaft will also withstand cuts through thick and hard metal without wobbling. Only then is perfect, precise cutting possible.


A good shear is characterized by easy handling. The functionality is basically self-explanatory


Except for HSS as a cutting material can sharpen metal scissors, if necessary, several times.


The best shears are characterized by a long life without loss of function. Above all, good models in the home improvement keep many years of use.

Special sheet shears according to application

In addition to the normal metal shears, there are different special shears depending on the location. These are specially designed for the respective work area

Edge scissors

These special sheet metal shears are the smallest of this design. The figure scissors are used to set small radii and short, straight cuts in a rather thin sheet. The type of scissors is used for fine work in metal, for example for small building components or decorative metal finishes. For this fine purpose, the cutting of the figures scissors are short and thick and sharpened extremely sharp. The handles made of plastic are provided with a sleeve, comparatively short and often additionally rubberized for non-slip work.


The cutting edges of a continuous shear are long and straight. Basically, it is often cut in the sheet right or left. But actually, this type of sheet metal shears is intended for straight cuts through long sheet metal parts. With the two straight shaped blades, the muscle power can be optimally used for a few, but powerful cuts over the also very long handle. Care should be taken to ensure that the cutting edges are never completely closed per cut. When used properly, a clean, burr-free cut edge is created, even in thick sheets.

Ideal Shears

Ideal shears are used to cut sheets into long and thick sheets. This special pair of shears stand out due to powerful cutting and long handles with cuff. It can be built as of right or left shears for the long ideal cut. Both the cutting into sheets and the cutting of large pieces is thus cleanly possible. As shear material for ideal shears, the metal of particularly high working hardness is used. This way, even curved cuts through profiled metals succeed precisely.

Fields of application for metal shears

In the metalworking industry, sheet metal is sometimes processed by large punching machines, in fine blank but also with the normal metal shears. But also in many craft trades as well as home improvement small, manually operated shears are in use:

Use with the roofer

Roofers cut components such as gutters, roof sheets or the like with round hole shears or a figure sheet shear. They usually carry sheet metal shears set to the construction site, so that continuous, round hole and ideal shears can be combined and exchanged as required per piece of sheet metal.

Use in the automotive industry

With body shears, components of vehicles can be cut for repair or replacement. To prepare screw connections, the Knabber tin snips are well suited.

Fenders or mounting plates for construction components on the vehicle are prepared with the Curved Shears. Manual tools of this kind can be found in repair shops of the automotive industry in all sizes and designs. As a result, body pieces such as running boards are processed on two-wheeled to cut out about rusted sheet metal parts and to weld with new, to restore old-timers or customize special sheets.

Use in plumbing work

Plumbers use their tin snips set for notching, cutting sheets or cutting pipes. In addition to round-hole shears, at least one lever scissors and Knabber shears are in this area especially the more slender shaped variants of Berlin shears in use. Even the ideal tin snips make powerful, precise services in the sanitary installation.

Plumber shears differ from home improvement models mainly by their strength. The scissors remain sharp for a long time, the cuts succeed burr-free also in and through thick sheets. Although metal shears for plumbers are slightly heavier than do-it-yourself models, but also for the long-term saving on power. For the plumber, the best model is a design that reaches all corners even under unfavorable conditions.

Use at home improvement

A shear set for home improvement should include at least one straight and one left or right tin snips. Best for this is a small shear, suitable. Hobby screwdrivers also use Knabber tin shears for bodywork in the DIY sector. Punched sheets are also used here for fenders on outbuildings.

A good shear for home improvement should definitely be sharpened if necessary. This requires models of good cutting hardness. Practical with frequent need for sheet metal blanks are massively processed metal shears. They cost more than hand lever shears but are characterized by versatile usability, a maneuverable design, and precise cutting results.

Sharpen and maintain shears

These three care tips keep good tin snips sharp for a long time. If she dulls with time, she can be sharpened like household shears.

Use metal shears only for metals and the recommended sheet thicknesses

Wood, rubber, plastics, and other materials are “poison” for the sharpness of a shear. Likewise, the tool will dull quickly if it constantly has to cut through too thick sheets. Better is a tin snip set in the toolbox so that each size and shape of the cutting edge can be used exactly for their purpose.

Maintenance between uses

Even the hardest metal will gradually dull when it is not oiled in the box. That’s why joint and cutting need to be cared for regularly with little oil. Although most metals used for metal shears are described as corrosion resistant. Nevertheless, any unsealed metal reacts at least slightly with rust on the ambient air and dust. The tool oil is a simple, inexpensive and effective sealant.

Sharpening shears

The simplest method for sharpening metal shears is to pull the blades through a knife block. But even careful grinding on a rotating grinding wheel restores the original sharpness quickly. For this, the model is not disassembled but carefully guided with the respective cutting edge to the grindstone. It should be noted, however, whether the provider described sharpening as permissible.

So the shears are used properly

Step One – Model Selection:

Already at the purchase should be paid attention to a solid processing and the correct size of the model. For occasional use, small shears are sufficient for straight or left or right cuts. If you know from the beginning that sheets of different thicknesses are to be processed, you will be more likely to use a sheet metal scissors set. This is almost always cheaper than a single purchase.

To save power, easy-running metal shears are a wise purchase. Finally, as described, a kind of shearing shear test should be performed to familiarize with the operation of a model prior to final purchase.

Step two – Operating instructions:

The cutting edges of the shears must never be completely compressed. So it is not the entire cutting surface used. Rather, the scissors “migrate” after each cut on the plate forward. Who ignores this, pushes unsightly dents in his plate and spoils the workpiece in the worst case with cracks. Depending on the thickness of the material sheet and scissors could also jam.

The lower edge is cut on a straight surface. The best thing for sheet metal working is a worktable. But makeshift but also offers a flat board on trestles the necessary support surface. From freehand cutting is rather discouraged for thick, large sheets.

Step Three – Safety Notice:

When working with a shear should necessarily be worn because of the sharp Known gloves!

The advantage of sheet metal working with sheet metal shears is a burr-free cut edge. This is also extremely sharp. Therefore, the edge must be sanded immediately after editing. Otherwise, there is a high risk of injury.

Likewise, extreme caution is required when placing the sheet-guiding hand. After all, tin snips have such sharp edges, that it is also possible to cut through bones and thus the entire finger. Recommended is the wearing of solid work gloves and also solid work clothes. Even do-it-yourselfers protect themselves from injury by this simple backup. Even with only a few planned laminations, the insert should always be prepared carefully according to these recommendations.

Step Four – Care tip:

Careful maintenance of the metal shears depends on their good functionality over the years. Therefore, after each use, the blades, handles and joint should be dry-cleaned and, if heavily soiled, wet-cleaned. The scissors are then thoroughly dried, examined for defects and lubricated from the cutting edges down to the joint. For uncoated handles, they are also lubricated with suitable tool oil.

Only a small film protects the stainless steel from rust. At the same time, the rest of the air can not begin in the joint. The model thus remains smooth and continues to provide optimum power transfer from the user to cutting and sheet metal.


Sheet metal shears are powerful tools for cutting car body or other metal components. Depending on the model, they cut straight or in an arc, work through profile sheets or only through thin workpieces. For optimum work safety, every user should be carefully prepared by suitable protective measures.



Mark Weaver
I am Mark Weaver, brain and woodworking tools expert behind Here at you will get tools review and handy guide on house rearing and making a best house for your family.
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