From the professional machine shop or parts fabricator to the do it yourself tool collection, a metal shear has a variety of benefits and uses. Available in a variety of sizes and capacities, these tools make it easy to cut various metals, including aluminum, tin, copper and steel. Whether you are making home repairs, cutting template patterns or performing auto body work, a metal shear will help you get the job done easily.
Metal Shear Types
- Portable: These shears are often air or electric powered and capable of cutting metals up to the #6 gauge. Cutting capacity varies by model and design. Commonly referred to a sheet metal shear, this tool consists of one or two blades and will leave a burr-less, smooth cut in a variety of metals when used properly.
- Mounted: For larger jobs, a mounted metal shear is essential. These units are often bolted to the floor for additional support and strength and are used for cutting large pieces of metal. Most are air or hydraulic operated using a foot press to actuate. This increases the safety of the machine and provides precise control over the action of the blade.
- Computer numerical controlled: These units are often the largest of the units. When connected to a computer, this metal shear can cut intricate designs and parts using computer software. These machines are used when precision is essential or quantities are large.
The metal shear has a rather simple design. However, everything on the machine must be properly configured to work properly. Blade clearance and blade sharpness are essential to a clean cut and safe operation of the tool. If you are unfamiliar with the device, buying a new tool is recommended. However, if you know what to look for, finding a used sheet metal shear is a great way to save money as well. Top-rated manufacturers of metal shears include Cincinnati, Lodge & Shipley, Amada and Wysong.
There are a number of places to find a metal shear for sale. Popular options include:
- Online classifieds
- Local classifieds
- Tool and Equipment retailers
- Flea Markets or Swap Meets
- Tool and Equipment Auctions
- Business Closure Auctions
Some Precautionary Measures
A metal shear is a powerful piece of equipment. When used improperly, serious injury is possible. The metal shear is a leading cause of amputations in the workplace. To maximize safety when using metal shears, consider these tips:
- Always wear eye protection. The fast moving blades and metals can produce shards. Protective eyewear not only protects the eyes from harm but also improves visibility.
- Wear thick leather gloves at all times. While these gloves will not prevent the metal shear from cutting your hands, they will protect you from the sharp edges created by cutting metal. Welding gloves are ideal for using a metal shear.
- Leather or steel-toe boots are essential. Falling metal can cause cuts or crush your feet. By wearing protective footwear, you can reduce the chances of injury in your shop or workplace significantly.