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Tin Snips

Shears and nibblers are two most common types of hand tools used by professionals and DIYers for metalworking, electronics, industrial, and other applications and are a great multi-purpose hand tool.

What are nibblers?

A nibbler is a tool that is often used in the metalworking or fabrication industry that cuts sheet metal cleanly without bending or distortion.

A nibbler works by ’nibbling’ a small section on the sheet metal, then being removed, and ’nibbling’ another section until a complete shape has been achieved. They are used for:

  • Trimming
  • Creating access areas
  • Instrument holes
  • Cutting slots, rectangles, circles or other irregular shapes or patterns
  • Applications:

  • Bodyshops
  • Fabricators
  • Industrial and creative metalworkers
  • Some nibblers have spring-loaded handles and slip guards for additional safety to reduce the risk of injury while in use

    What are shears?

    Shears are very similar to scissors but can work harder across a variety of applications. They can cleanly and precisely cut a straight edge or long gradual curves into multiple materials, however they are limited to being able to easily turn corners when cutting.

    There are different variations of shears:

  • Cable Shears – these shears are like cutters in the sense that they can be used for electrical applications, cutting metal cables and more
  • Tin Snips – these are often used to cut through thin but tough material like metal sheeting
  • Straight cut, left cut and right cut – the most common type of shear available and act similarly to a pair of scissors for more robust, heavy-duty materials. The direction does not refer to which hand they are best suited to, but to what side the waste material will be on
  • Shears are suitable for cutting a large range of materials like:

  • Plastic
  • Packaging straps
  • Sheet metal
  • Nylon
  • Leather
  • Rubber
  • Cardboard
  • Electric cables
  • Some shears feature a serrated edge that is suited to cutting textiles, working in a kitchen or a garden. The serrated edges keep the blades secure whilst in use and reducing the risk of slipping and injury.


    If you are working with live or energised currents, ensure your shears or nibblers are VDE approved to ensure user safety


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