Tin snips also referred to as compound snips and aviation snips, are hand tools that are the most common choice when cutting metal sheets as they make it easier to cut in a straight line.
Tin snips were specifically designed to cut sheet metal. While they have a similar appearance to standard household scissors, they enable precision cutting by offering greater control and are also considerably sturdier.
There are several different types of tin snips, which can normally be identified by the direction and shape of the blade.
The most common tin snip types are offset tin snips, straight-cut tin snips and vertical tin snips.
There are two types of offset tin snips – clockwise-cut tin snips and counter-clockwise-cut tin snips.
Clockwise-cut is used for cutting, as the name implies, in a clockwise direction. They come with a green handle that distinguishes them from counter-clockwise-cut tin snips.
Counter-clockwise-cut snips, on the other hand, are recognisable by their red handles and are best when paired with their counterpart to make more effective curved cuts in multiple directions.
These tin snips come with slightly shorter blades than standard scissors but are much heavier and thicker as they are designed for cutting through sheet metal. Yellow handles are the norm for these tin snips to make it easier to separate them from offset tin snips.
Vertical tin snips
Vertical tin snips come with a set of blades that are positioned at a right angle to the tool’s handle, which is the reason that another name people sometimes know them by is right-angle tin snips. Vertical tin snips are ideal for use in particularly tight spaces.
Various uses of tin snips
There are a variety of applications for the snips tools that can be used.
Metalworkers often make use of tin snips to cut up sheet metal that is then used on the bodies of motor vehicles.
They can be used by those enthusiastic about DIY to cut metal for fencing, furniture, guttering and roofing.
Tin snips can also assist with the modification of sheet metal during the installation or repair of air conditioning, heating or ventilation on a property.
Particular tin snip types can be used to cut heavier metals such as netting or wire mesh. Aviation or straight-type snips are ideal for these sorts of tasks due to their serrated blade edges and much stronger construction.
The cutting of lighter metals such as the likes of aluminium and copper is another application for tin snips.
There are also tin snips today designed to cut other household materials such as carpet, leather and plastic.
However, it is inadvisable to use tin snips to cut hardened or large-diameter steel wire and screws as it could ruin the blades. Tin snips are therefore, highly versatile and useful; For more, view the range at RS.