5 Types of Shears Best In Sheet Metal 

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 5 Types of Shears Best In Sheet Metal 

April 21, 2022

The metal fabrication and manufacturing industry rely on shearing tools and equipment. The different shearing machines aim to achieve smooth, accurate, and tight-tolerance finish designs. This guide will look at some of the most used shears in sheet metal. Even though most can cut aluminum, steel, and stainless steel, these devices have varying cutting methods and designs. Continue reading for more information.

Shears from an Alligator

The alligator shear gets its name from the shape and appearance of its hinged opening. Others call it “crocodile shear.” It has hydraulic power through a cylinder. Also, it is excellent to cut prefinished long metal stocks. These are angle bars, deformed bars, rebars, I-beams, L-beams, castellated beams, etc.

A piston extends running as the machine generates the cutting motion of the alligator shear. As a result, the machine’s “upper jaw” closes, and the bed clamps down.

Alligator shears are in demand due to their simple function and low cost. With that said, it does have some issues with producing smooth finishes. Because of the way, structural steel is more likely to have form flaws and rough finishes.

A Bench Shear 

Depending on the features, hydraulic or pneumatic power can drive bench shears. Electric sheet metal shears with higher capacity and strength will also be available from other companies. Still, hand shears are ordinary in markets (ideal for cutting thick-walled or more substantial metal stocks).

We have long considered this shear to be the most mechanically advantageous. Because of its complex mechanism is a versatile machine that can cut through a wide range of metal types and thicknesses. In addition, it configures to produce either smooth or rough edges.

Despite their larger size, bench shears are just as efficient as smaller or medium-sized bench shears in terms of productivity. Instead of the alligator shear, metal parts cut with bench shearing have a smooth and clean appearance free of burrs and rough edges.

Shears Without a Throat

A straight line is probably the only cut you have in mind when you think of shearing equipment. It is generally true for most machines, but metal fabricators use throatless shears to create intricate patterns and shapes on a specific metal specimen. This shearing tool is the best option when the metal design requires complex curved cuts or precision drew straight lines.

Unlike traditional shears, a throatless shear does not restrict the metal specimen’s ability to move freely around the cutting blade. Their lack of a “throat” or another part that typically feeds metal into a machine explains this. The throatless shear allows the operator to move the metal across the engine and make various straight, round, or irregular cuts depending on their preference.

 Throatless shear can cut thick metals like aluminum and mild steel because of their long handle. Cutting through thicker metals may be impossible with throatless shears. It is necessary to use a more cutting-edge hardened steel blade in this instance.


The snips, a different type of metal shear, are next on our list. Tinner snips and compound action snips are two types of hand shearing tools.

It may look like scissors, but tinny snips or tin snips can cut through more than just paper or card stock. When cutting mild steel or low-carbon steel, these cutters are far more powerful and can be controlled more easily. Straight or sharp curve cuts are perfect with these hand shears, which have a variety of blade designs.

Compound action snips are ideal when working with aluminum, mild steel, and even stainless steel. Each blade in a compound snip links together to increase flexibility and mechanical advantages.

Heavy-Duty Guillotine

For a metal guillotine, you’ll need a couple of different parts: an upper and lower blade and a couple of hydraulic pistons and compressors. Different metal thicknesses can be cut, sheared, or blanked using the cutters. Once this condition is met, the precision-cut component can be ejected from the machine using the clamping unit.

Guillotine shears can be up to 6 meters long and can cut through metal sheets with a thickness of 30 mm. It is good to tilt the upper blade at an angle to facilitate the cutting of curved and asymmetrical designs.

The Big Idea

This article describes the five of the most common kinds of shears in sheet metal fabrication in this quick guide. Alligator shear can cut different metals because of their unique design. Other bench shear types, such as throatless shear, are also available for cleaner looks and smoother finishes.

Even though each metal shear has its advantages and disadvantages, manufacturers know when and where to use the right machinery to achieve a specific design. Despite this, shearing machines are still helpful in manufacturing and have benefited various sectors.

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