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How to Find the Best Snips for the Job

February 28 2019

Best Snips – Reviews

For our plumbing professionals out there – check out our previous article if you are interested in adding some new plumbing tools to your collection.

A snip is a type of hand shear designed to cut thin sheet metal and other tough materials like plastic and cardboard. Snips resemble a pair of scissors but are made of stronger metal to cut sturdy material.

The two main types of snips are tin snips and aviation snips. Both are used to cut sheet metal and other tough materials. They have many design variations within the two main categories.

What To Look For In a Tin Snip

A quality pair of tin snips is made of drop-forged steel ensuring that they have great cutting strength. The steel blades should be hardened and tempered to increase strength and durability of the metal. The blade edges should be razor sharp to effectively shear through long sheets of metal.

Always buy the best snips for the task. Before a job is complete you may need two or three different tin snips for different applications.

Review of TEKTON 35105 12-Inch Straight Pattern Tin Snips

These tin snips are a full twelve inches long making them ideal for straight cuts. They are ideal for heavier projects. The grips are two-layer and soft which minimizes any additional hand fatigue, but the 3-inch cutting surface and 12-inch blade take some time to get used to.

Review of IRWIN Tools Tinner’s Snip, Flat Blade, 7-inch (22007)

For something a bit less substantial these small tin snips at 7 inches are well suited for HVAC work especially cutting through sheet metal for smaller projects. However, they are flat-bladed, so any curves you make will be quite wide. For straight cutting and thinner materials these are among the best snips on the market.

Tin snips are best for rough fabrication, ductwork or any job that requires cutting through a lot of metal during the day. Great for straight cuts, the main advantage of tin snips over aviation snips is less moving parts so more durability.

What to Look for in Aviation Snips (aka Compound Snips)

Slightly more complex in design than tin snips, aviation snips, aka compound snips, have four levers that work together to provide extra leverage for cutting sheets of metal and other tough materials. Generally lighter than tin snips, aviation snips are easier to carry around and well suited to regular or continual use. Originally developed for cutting aluminum for aircraft, these snips now come in various designs for various uses.

Review of Stanley FatMax 14-563 9-7/8-Inch Straight Cut Aviation Snip

This pair of snips is great for fairly straight cuts. They are high quality and amazingly well priced in the budget range. They are not right, however, for tight corners or ducting, but great if all you need to do is cut sheet metal.

Review of Dewalt DWHT70278 3 Pack Aviation Snips

This three pack of snips has one for right-handed cuts, one for left-handed cuts, and one straight pair. Features include:

  • Flush hardware allows smooth access from pouch
  • Internal locking mechanism
  • Durable construction
  • Forged chrome molybdenum alloy
  • Long cutting life

Review of LENOX Tools Snips, Aviation, Bulldog (22105105)

Lenox snips are some of the best snips made. This is a pair of Bulldog snips made for plowing through thick material with surprising ease. They are also great for quick notching work. They can be somewhat pricey but worth it.

Aviation snips are designed to reduce the force necessary to make cuts and are spring-loaded so they have a hook lock to keep them closed when not being used. Whereas tin snips can make long cuts, aviation snips cannot, but they are better at curves and changing directions.

We hope this list helps you determine what are the best snips for your purpose.

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