Metal Shears (with Buyer’s Guide)
Perhaps, you’re looking for a quick and easy way to cut metal elements for your DIY projects. Electric metal shears are a convenient solution, mainly if you aim to cut thicker pieces of material. What’s more, these multifunctional tools can efficiently deal with wood, plastic, and even asphalt shingles.
Whether you’re a seasoned craftsman or a weekend warrior, a metal shear will be a valuable item in your arsenal. While it’s pretty affordable, it’s handy in almost any shearing task. These characteristics make it the ideal tool for home, plant and heavy-duty use.
To make your choice more accessible, we’ve reviewed four of the best metal shears on the market. But before you pick a model, it’s a good idea to learn a bit more about its features. Ultimately, our buyer’s guide will help you choose the best metal shear for your needs.
Best Metal Shears List
Best Budget-Great Value for Light Use
“The WEN 3650 4.0-Amp metal shear is the perfect solution for quality metalworking on a budget.”
If you’re looking for a budget choice for tasks around the house, the WEN 3650 will do the trick. This electric metal shear is everything you’ll ever need at the perfect price. The unit comes with a pressure-sensitive trigger and a speed of up to 2500 strokes per minute. Along with the 360-degree swivelling head, you’ll deal with most metal elements in no time.
What’s more, the 4-amp motor will guarantee effortless cutting of 20-gauge stainless steel. In most cases, you’ll quickly slice 18-gauge sheet metal. The unit weighs merely 4.7 pounds, which is better than most models in the same category. That way, you’ll have no problems using the metal shear for extensive operation.
Just keep in mind that the double-cut blade produces a 1/4-inch metal ribbon. In other words, you may need to put a bit of effort to achieve maximum precision. If a problem ever occurs, users can benefit from the two-year warranty period.
“If you’re looking for powerful cutting on a budget, this Wild Edge metal shear will complete any task effortlessly.”
The Wild Edge electric metal shear may cost several dollars more, but the value it brings is certainly noticeable. Perhaps, the 5-amp motor this unit offers is the most powerful you’ll get for the money. Such power will allow you to slice 14-gauge metal sheets with ease.
What’s more, the 0 to 2700 strokes per minute will ensure you get the job done in no time. Moreover, a pressure-sensitive trigger and 360-degree swivelling head will provide additional comfort during operation. The rotatable head is another bonus that comes with the tool. Even though the unit comes with just a one-year warranty, this model is the perfect option for any DIY enthusiast.
“The GES40’s 3-blade system will deliver extreme precision at a reasonable price.”
If you’re looking to make the best bang for your bucks, this Genesis GES40 will undoubtedly make your money worth it. This 4-amp unit has everything you’ll ever need – a 360-degree pivoting head, variable speed and a 3-blade cutting system. Consequently, you’ll slice through 14-gauge aluminium sheets with smooth cuts and minimal deformation.
Apart from these perks, users get a standard 0 to 2500 SPM for convenient use with all types of materials. Besides, the blade has a cutting radius of 5-1/2 inches and more for optimal versatility. Just press the lock-on switch, and you’re ready to go. The 2-year warranty is enough to instil confidence in thiselectric shear’s durability.
“This Dewalt metal shear is the perfect tool for regular slicing and cutting of different metals and other materials.”
If there’s a brand that’s consistent in delivering high-quality power tools, Dewalt is undoubtedly on the top list. The brand’s DW890 is a top-notch metal shear with a powerful 5-amp motor with a ball bearing for extreme durability. The same goes for the entire housing of the tool. It’s doubtful that you’ll ever need to fulfil the 1-year full warranty.
Apart from being extra sturdy, this unit is relatively easy to use. The electric metal shears will allow you to cut 7/32-inch strips, 20-gauge stainless steel and 18-gauge mild steel. The 360-degree swivelling head will ensure effortless cutting in a radius of 5-1/2 inches and more. Best of all, the variable speed dial feature is quite convenient and will add optimal precision in various situations. Finally, the unit weighs merely 5 pounds, which is featherweight enough to reduce the fatigue on your arms and hands.
How to Buy Metal Shears
Indeed, there are plenty of metal shear types and models out there. If you’re a hobbyist, you may not want to spend a fortune on metalworking gear. Still, buying a decent unit can be pretty daunting. That’s why you must know what you need to make the best bang for your bucks. Here are some of the key considerations to help you when choosing metal shears:
Types of metal shears
Undoubtedly, the first thing to consider before choosing a metal shear is the type. There are significant differences that may affect your choice, so it’s worth knowing how each type works.
Hand shears, tin snips or metal scissors are suitable for cutting fragile material. Because they rely solely on muscle power, they aren’t effective in heavy-duty tasks. Besides, they may put too much strain on your hands if you use them for too long.
This type of shears is floor-standing and has a guillotine action. This feature gives them extreme power but takes away their versatility. That’s why they may not be the best choice for prefabricated shapes and materials.
These shears are a bit more versatile than their hydraulic counterparts because they can be either floor-standing or handheld. They work with compressed air, which gives them a valuable advantage – low weight and quiet operation. In most cases, they are cheaper, too. However, you must exert strict maintenance.
Electric metal shears
Arguably, electric metal shears are the best type that you can have at home. These machines use a simple motor with a gear head that produces a cutting action. While they’re generally featherweight, they are easy to maintain and deliver enough power for most metal-cutting tasks.
Corded vs cordless electric metal shears
When it comes to electric metal shears, you have to consider whether you want a corded or cordless model. Of course, a cordless model would be much more portable and convenient to use. However, you should bear in mind that metal shears are generally power-hungry.
That’s why buying a corded model should be a more reliable option. Besides, we all know that cordless power tools often lack the power that their counterparts have. Therefore such a unit is only viable if you need maximum freedom when cutting.
Electric Metal Shear Features
Undoubtedly, one of the essential features that electric metal shears have is their ability to cut through thick metal. However, every model has a different gauge level. You’ll find that these tools have 18 or 20 gauge suitable for hard steel in most cases. Of course, 16 to 14-gauge metal shears are much more common and will do the trick for most tasks.
Perhaps, most electric metal shears come with four or 5-Amp motors. They offer decent cutting capacity and durability. What’s more, most of these power tools use ball bearings, so you can safely use them for years to come.
Number of blades
Another consideration is the number of blades. In most cases, metal shears are either single-cut or double-cut, having two or three blades, respectively. The main difference is that single-cut models offer better precision, but the cutting action may deform the workpiece’s edges. On the other hand, double-cut shears cut on both sides and remove a sliver of the material. While this isn’t a huge issue when metalworking allows tolerances, it may not be suitable for delicate tasks.
Cutting speed and other features
Since these machines turn rotary movement into cutting action, speed is also an essential factor to consider. Typically, electric shears have variable-speed triggers, but they generally deliver up to 2,500 cuts per minute.
Still, some higher-end models have adjustable speed settings that allow for greater control. They may also come with a lock-on button that will eliminate the need to keep your finger on the trigger all the time. Another great feature to consider is the swivel head. It gives any unit the ability to cut at any given angle for optimal versatility.
Last but not least, it’s worth considering your budget before you start looking for a metal shear. Typically, most budget electric models range between $50 and $80 and will be good enough for occasional DIY projects.
But if you’re looking for something more heavy-duty, you’ll need to dig deeper in your pockets. In most cases, models that are cordless or cut metals thicker than 18 gauge are pretty expensive. While some are more affordable, most metal shears in this category cost $250 or more.
Undoubtedly, metal shears can vary significantly in specifications and price. Therefore, you must set a budget before you start looking for such a powerful tool. Of course, it’s always better to spend a bit more and get a higher quality model. In this regard, units like the Wild Edge 5.0-Amp and Genesis GES40 4.0-Amp electric metal shears will deliver optimal value. Ultimately, they will save you money while providing you with power and versatility.
On the other hand, these models can’t match the quality of power tools like the Dewalt DW890. This unit is truly a champion in its category and will efficiently serve you for years. If you’re looking for a metal shear for frequent use, this one will do wonders. Indeed, you’ll pay a lot more upfront, but the tool will pay off the investment in no time.