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Need something to cut sheet metal with

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  • Need something to cut sheet metal with

    Found these, which one would work the best ? Open to any other suggestions.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/c...46061

    http://www.harborfreight.com/c...36567

    http://www.harborfreight.com/c...36568
    http://www.rcautoworks.com

  • #2
    I haven't used the shears, seen them used though and they are much faster than the nibbler, and, the shear will give a more controlled cut. However, for small stuff I enjoyed the nibbler. It's ability to take a bit more off here and there really is nice for fit-up.
    hre

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    • #3
      The nibbler makes a mess. It throws little moon shaped pieces everywhere, and the edges are normally pretty rough.
      I have the shears also, and they are a pain to use. I would like to get a real electric version, maybe Milwaukee, eventually.
      What thickness of sheet metal? How about hand shears? A jig (saber) saw?
      Joshua

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      • #4
        I used a milwaukee electric shear at work doing a lot of stainless and it went through blades like mad (at $27 a set). If you had something that needed some light trimming, narrower than the kerf, you were better off with aviation snips. It would just fold the stuff over and jam. I imagine it would do much better on mild, but I have no experience with it.

        I used a little hand operated nibbler on that same stuff and it actually worked pretty slick for what I was doing (making 1.5" holes in the middle of sheet where it wasn't practical to use a press (we only had one big press and it sucked on the sheet because the stainless would just wrap around the die and not cut). The drawback is lots of little nibblings left over. Air would've been even better, but it was in a clean room and air is dirty and air tools need oil which was like inviting Hitler to a Bar Mitzvah - not happening. We also had to strip the grease off the electric shear, so that probably wasn't helping blade life either.

        If you have a big air compressor, I'd go for the one that suited your needs. Shears do big gradual cuts, and nibblers can do really tight little radius cuts. You don't want to try and use the wrong tool for the job. Either you'll mangle the material, or you'll have an edge that looked like Salvador Dali drew it.
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        • #5
          I would not recommend a nibbler, unless you need to make tight radius cuts. They are messy and harder to control. I have a Black and Decker industrial 16ga nibbler and it works well, however it's not used very often. It's the same as Dewalts nibbler.

          I the bought a Milwaukee 18ga electric shear and it works very nicely. It's a good piece of equipment. I've cut 16ga with it in a pinch. It's easier to control and produces cleaner cuts over a nibbler, but you cannot do real tight radius turns with it. Blade life has been great with aluminum and mild steel.

          I'd rather have an electric one over air personally.
          David W.
          Machines: Millermatic Passport; Millermatic 350P, Dynasty 300DX TIGRunner, TD Cutmaster 51 Plasma, Hypertherm 190C Plasma,
          Machinery and Project Pictures: Click Here

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          • #6
            how about a beverly shear for your needs?
            hre

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            • #7
              I have all those for sheetmetal and never use them lol I use my bosch shears only as they work the best. and all the nibblers etc.. i have and other shears i think kett have collected dust in bottom of tool box for 10 years . i use tin snips a foot shear and the bosch cutter which is a nice piece though expensive if i remember .here is link to the shears i use http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tool...=54920&I=55037
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Coalsmoke
                how about a beverly shear for your needs?
                Thats the name I think, I don't think it would be good for what I need though.

                Basically I have a project coming up , where I need to trace the outline of a trunk area basically. Pretty big piece of metal I will be working with. Will be around 18 gauge.
                http://www.rcautoworks.com

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                • #9
                  Ps Jigsaws quailty ones with fine tooth blades work pretty darn good as well use mine all the time for that type of work. just drill a hole on inside of where your cutting and go for it.quailty tools make a big differnce in your work and are well worth the extra money if your going to use them for a while .
                  Miller aerowave full feature
                  Lincoln power mig 300 with prince gun
                  dynasty 200 dx
                  lincoln sp 135 plus
                  302 trailblazer
                  s22p12
                  powcon starcut
                  cp 400 metal spray

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                  • #10
                    This works pretty good for occational use. Don't try to make your living with it.
                    They go on sale quite often.

                    shear

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BigBadBob
                      This works pretty good for occational use. Don't try to make your living with it.
                      They go on sale quite often.

                      shear

                      Bob
                      I was using one of those yesterday cutting a wrapper for my tig cooler from 18ga aluminum. I made 3 cuts, one was 36" long with no problem. I did find that it is easier to control freehand as I tried to use a guide and that was a problem. I think mine was on sale a $19.95 if I remember right, and they work fine for what they cost. The neatest one I saw was a porter cable battery powered one a guy was using while installing a steel roof, nice but a bit pricey for the once-in-a-while user.
                      Regards, George

                      Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
                      Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
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                      Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
                      Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

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                      • #12
                        I don't think it(Beverly Shear) would be good for what I need though.
                        Really? First thing that came to mind here.

                        http://www.irvansmith.com/catalog2/p...ey_shear.shtml

                        The B1 is pretty light, the B3 fairly expensive. Most popular is the B2, which cuts 10 gauge mild steel or 14 gauge stainless. Mine was purchased on eBay for $425 with a new blade.

                        You may want to visit a fab shop that has a Beverly & try it. Once you see what it does, you'll throw rocks at electric & pneumatic powered hand shears & nibblers.
                        Barry Milton
                        ____________________

                        HTP Invertig 201
                        HTP MIG2400

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                        • #13
                          4.5" grinder with a cut off blade??
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by precisionworks
                            Really? First thing that came to mind here.

                            http://www.irvansmith.com/catalog2/p...ey_shear.shtml

                            The B1 is pretty light, the B3 fairly expensive. Most popular is the B2, which cuts 10 gauge mild steel or 14 gauge stainless. Mine was purchased on eBay for $425 with a new blade.

                            You may want to visit a fab shop that has a Beverly & try it. Once you see what it does, you'll throw rocks at electric & pneumatic powered hand shears & nibblers.
                            I have the B-1 and am quite satisfied with it. I talked to th old man (cant remember his name, really nice guy) at Beverly and he said the B-1 cuts a tighter radius than the other models and for my use ,14 guage is plenty, thats over 1/16" thick. Anything thicker than that I will plsma cut (when I eventually get a plasma).
                            To all who contribute to this board.
                            My sincere thanks , Pete.

                            Pureox OA
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                            • #15
                              I work with sheet metal(all kinds) on a regular basis, I use a jig saw, i also use a small angle grinder with a 0.045" cutting disc, great for hackin the tabs off a radiator.
                              My favorite tool is my shear/brake/roll, very usefull for sheet metal work.
                              Almost forgot...vertical woodworking bandsaw, ideal for aluminum.

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