Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Tinner snips advice


#1

I am looking into tinner snips and need advice. I assume that many
of you work on larger pieces, but I am wanting snips for nickel,
brass and copper up to possibly 14ga. I have some duckbill snips
midwest snips site and their small ones only cut up to 24 ga. Their
craft type only cut to 26 ga. Those that cut heavier are back to the
duckbill and not the flat blade. I work small and am trying to not
drag out a saw every time. Please, I could use suggestions, thx

brenda


#2

Hi Brenda,

Errr…14 ga nickel isn’t something I’d normally think of using snips
on, and I have pretty strong hands.

For most people, with most commonly available snips, 18 gage would
be about as thick as you’d really want to try to chomp through by
hand. (I’m assuming you’re in the States, and using American gage
systems. If you’re in the UK, and using Birmingham gage, then yes,
14 would be possible, but still not fun.)

You’re probably better served looking for a small tabletop shear,
either a small guillotine, or a straightline plate shear. They’ll go
through fairly heavy stuff, and leave it straight, without the
little corrugations that most shears leave behind.

The drawback is that instead of $50 for a decent set of snips,
you’re up into a couple of hundred for a good small shear.

You said you work small. That’s not the envelope that snips handle
well, and small and thick (16-14 ga) is really not the envelope
they were designed for. For that kind of thing, a saw is the right
tool for the job.

Regards,
Brian


#3

You need to go to a proper engineeres tool shop or store.

ask to see and try aviation hand shears so take your sheet metal
with you!!.

They are a precision tool, with multiplication to make cutting
easier and strong enough for all you might want.

your Harbour Freight depot is not the place to look for quality
tools.

The days of lots of properly made USA tools is fast disappearing.

Not quite as bad as that here in the UK. We too have a problem
finding quality as in 1950’s or earlier, made tools.

They are about, but you have to go to yard sales every week to hunt
for them.

Whenever I see them, I buy them ever if ive already several pairs of
what ever, shears, boxwood handled wood chisels, morse taper shank
drills, early hammers, all small center punches and chisels for the
steel, and as mentioned before bigger stuff like mills, presses,
anvils, leg vices electric motors ie 1 HP upwards. etc.

Even if one never uses them there always a trade item with other
metal smiths for something one might really want.!! Keep hunting and
become a tool junkie!!


#4

Check out snips for cutting sheet metal. ie a/c duck work. They are
used to cut sheets of steel in different thicknesses. Will be
cheaper then it says “jewelry” or boat!!!


#5

Hi Brenda

You probably will have to go the bench shear route. I work a lot in
12gto 16g sheet, and I have to use a bench shear to cut. It’s just
very dto 16g sheet, and I have to use a bench shear to cut. It’s
just very difficult to cut thick sheet. As for general cutting of
18g and thinner,I like this particular style for it seems to work
with the least amountof trouble -

If your budget is limited, Enco or Amazon has bench shears that are
affordable.

Contenti has one - http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80er

I’m sure some of the other Ganoksin members can give you more
answers, but cutting thick sheet manually is a royal pain in the
butt and very hard on the hands, so you need to be careful not to
injure your hands.

Hope that helps
Joy


#6

Brenda- If you are cutting straight edges, a bench sheer should
work. if you are cutting curves in 14 ga. you’ll need to use a saw or
hire someone with a water jet cutter.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#7

Anything that cuts with bypass action-- any kind of snips or
scissors-- are going to stretch and/or curl the edges. The best I
have used are Joyce Chen kitchen scissors, but only a saw will really
do a good job. Sorry!

Noel


#8
I am looking into tinner snips and need advice.... I am wanting
snips for nickel, brass and copper up to possibly 14ga. 

Brenda, in my experience, the big “tin snips” are useless for
cutting anything but thin bezel wire. My favorite snips are Wiss
aviation snips (they have another name, too), available at most
hardware stores. Do not buy the Chinese look-alikes.

Unless you are able to special order some aviation snips without
teeth, you will get small serration marks when you cut sheet metal.
These must be filed off. I also don’t think that any snips will cut
14-gauge sheet metal. For that, a large shear would be best (or a
jewelers saw).

I have no relation to Wiss – am just a satisfied customer.

Judy Bjorkman


#9

Hello, try putting big shears in the vice, one handle in the jaws
{tightly} & press firmly with the palm whilst holding your work.
cheers Marcos.


#10

So if I looked online for vintage shears since they would possibly
be better made, how would I have them sharpened?

brenda


#11
So if I looked online for vintage shears since they would possibly
be better made, how would I have them sharpened? 

Thats not the way at all to find old quality tools.

You have to get off your backside and get out to meet people who use
them.

Now lets ask the right question

Who uses quality hand metal shears? in their daily work? The first
worker that comes to mind is a car body repair shop man.

There always cutting 1mm steel sheet to patch up rusty wings, doors
sills etc. before they weld them in place.

Go to your local car body repair shop and ask to see how they cut
steel sheet, and again take your metal with you and ask them to cut
yours to see if their tools will do what you want.

The answer to most silversmithing jewelley making metalwork issues
are out there, all you have to do is go look for them…


#12
So if I looked online for vintage shears since they would possibly
be better made, how would I have them sharpened? 

Go to your local hardware store or knife sharpening business. I was
just at a farmer’s market with a booth where a guy was sharpening
knives and tools.

Elaine
CreativeTextureTools.com


#13
I was just at a farmer's market with a booth where a guy was
sharpening knives and tools. 

Beware of itinerant “knife sharpeners.” I once visited one of these
guys in a parking lot set-up, and he was “sharpening” by making the
blade edges highest on the outer sides of the scissors.
Unbelievable! Judy Bjorkman