I ended up helping out with Rio's booth at SNAG last month. They had
a 12" shear that was sort of like a backwards paper cutter. I
chopped 18ga copper on it with no problems. Also did some ?24? ga
foil. No burrs on either.
Looked like it was pretty well built. Certainly better than some of
the knockoffs of the DiAcros. (actually, better than *any* of the
DiAcro knockoffs I've seen, come to think.) The link is heRe:
They're $395, so not chump change, but not unreasonable.
For whatever it's worth, if I were looking for a shear at that price
point, I'd look at that thing pretty seriously. (It's rated for 18ga
non-ferris. If most of your work is 20ga or thinner, it'll work very
well. If a large percentage of your work is up around 18 ga, you're
starting to get into the territory where what you're doing requires
a more serious (expensive) shear. )
There's also this thing: Dayton 13W871 plate shear. Link
It's an overgrown Chinese knockoff of the standard bench shear most
shops have around. It's rated for up to ?quarter inch? steel.
(Really, it says 1/4". Do I believe it? Not on your life. On the
other hand, it'll certainly chop through any non ferris material you
have laying around.) Also chops wire and rod, up to 1/2" dia. (That,
I might believe.)
I picked one of these up via craigslist a few months back. Haven't
had much chance to play with it, but it looks a lot less flimsy than
I would have expected.
The standard shear was originally made in Germany. Peddinghaus, I
think. This thing's just an exact up-scale of it. When I saw the
picture on craigslist, I thought it *was* the normal 6-8" shear.
Turns out it's a 12". Frame steel's about 1cm thick, so it's beefy
enough. Blades could stand a higher polish on the edge to give a
jewelry grade cut, but that wasn't really what it was built for, so
I don't fault them for that. Will probably require a little tweaking
to get the blade gap set for a burr-free cut on thin material, if
that's what you do. It doesn't have a table, and the cut pieces will
probably curl a little. Nature of the beast.
It's selling for $180-$200 or so, on a couple of sites.
For whatever that's worth.