Sheet metal shears: what are they?

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Sheet metal shears are used to cut various metals and plastics. They have square edges for added strength and durability. There are different types of shears, from hand-held to floor-standing models, and some can make angled or curved cuts. They are used in various industries for cutting automotive and aviation parts, building materials, and HVAC ductwork. Some shears can also punch, engrave, or forge patterns in sheet metal.

Sheet metal snips are a type of tool used to cut sheet metal, including aluminum, steel, bronze, brass, and copper. Despite their name, sheet metal shears are also a popular device for cutting or shaping sheets of plastic. Unlike traditional blades or cutting devices, sheet metal shears have relatively square edges. Ordinary sharp blades are often not strong enough to cut through sheet metal, so shears have square blades for added strength and durability.

There are many different types of sheet metal cutting snips available, ranging from small hand-held units to large floor-standing models. Manual sheet metal shears can be pneumatic or electric to provide extra strength and power for cutting thicker or stronger metal. Other hand-held units look like large paper knives and use a guillotine blade to cut through thin sheets of metal. Small sets of hand tin snips are also sometimes used for simple sheet metal cutting jobs.

For larger projects, floor or benchtop units are available. They can be operated by foot pedal or control panel and can be electric or pneumatic. Most large floor standing sheet metal shears have a programmable cutting mechanism, which can use a blade or laser to shear the metal. Lasers use heat to melt metal, which results in clean, consistent cuts. Operators activate the machine via a computerized panel, which allows for precise cutting and shaping.

Sheet metal shears can be with or without a throat. A shear with a throat can only accommodate a specific range of sizes, while units without a throat can accommodate any size item. The difference between these two models lies in the design of the machine and also in the way the metal is fed through the cutting mechanism. Some units are designed to cut straight lines only, while others can make angled or curved cuts. Most types of shears are rated up to a specific thickness or gauge of metal, and only the strongest and most durable units can be used for heavy-duty projects.

These tools are used in a wide variety of industries, both in the production shop and in the field. They can be used to cut automotive and aviation parts, building materials or components used in manufacturing and industry. Many builders use some type of sheet metal shears in the field to cut metal roofing panels, siding, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. Sheet metal snips can also be used to punch, engrave, or forge a series of holes or patterns in sheet metal rather than cutting through it completely.

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