How to Cut Metal with Hand Shears How to Cut Metal with Hand Shears

What You'll Need
Hand shears
Measuring tape
Marker
Straight edge
"C" clamp or vise
Protective eyewear
Ear plugs
Metal file

Hand shears are often more preferred by metal cutters since these tools are relatively less expensive than other cutting tools like foot-operated shears or plasma cutters. Hand shears are also quite easy to maintain and operate. The same also results to great reduction in hand stress and potential fractures. In terms of final output, the results of the cut made by hand shears are way better than those created using a saber or reciprocating saw, thus hand shears are often used in woodworks and in metal crafts. Mastering the art of using a hand shear to cut metal will help you achieve a better craft. Here then are the steps on how to cut metal sheets using a hand shear.

Step 1 – Get the Right Size

Since it is not possible to refit the metal piece once it is already chipped out from the whole metal sheet, it is necessary that you make sure of the size that you need. Use a measuring tape to get the precise measure of the size of the metal that you need. Mark the size by making a straight line or better yet create an outline of the design (if there is) on the metal sheet using a marker. The outline will serve as your guide and will also decrease or eliminate mistakes on cutting the metal. You can also use a straight edge if you just require simple designs such as a rectangle, triangle, or a square.

Step 2 – Securing the Metal in Place before Cutting

Just to be certain that the cuts to be made are done on the right spot based on the outline earlier created, you can stabilize your metal by clamping it into a "C" clamp or a vise. This will also help you focus on using the hand shear without having to constantly reposition your metal.

Step 3 - Determine the Right Speed

Although it is often better to work with higher speed and more force since it will make work easier and faster, it is always advised that beginners start using hand shears at the lowest speed then gradually increasing it once the user can tolerate and control the device. So before you finally hit the metal and cut it, it is better to practice first with other scrap metal sheets to avoid mistakes. Press the trigger starting from the lowest speed then increase it slowly up to that certain speed where you can still control the device. If you have determined this high speed, you can use this but always take precaution when operating the device.

Step 4 – Cutting and Refining the Metal

Using the pre-determined highest speed, you can start cutting the metal using the outline as your guide. You can start from the side that is closest to the edge and move towards the interior. Once done, you can make the edges smooth by using a file. Before cutting though, make sure to wear protective eye and body equipment for safety.

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