Cutting curves into metal is not the easiest of tasks, especially if you don’t have the right tools on hand. You can try and make a clean cut using kitchen shears, but you’d most likely just mess everything up and have to toss both the tool and the metal sheet in the trash.
Instead of breaking your favorite pair of scissors, just get a tin snip. These simple tools have powerful jaws that are designed for cutting through thin pieces of metal without any of the heartache or handache. The good news is that tin snips are available at any hardware store you visit.
The bad news is that there are so many models to choose from that finding a reliable pair is not going to be simple. They seem like straightforward tools, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye.
So instead of spending countless hours researching different tin snips, why not take a look at what our editors have foundThey did the research; all you need to do is pick, which among them will work best for you.
Our Recommended Tin Snips in 2021
6) MIDWEST Aviation Snip Set
As the name implies, this isn’t just a tin snip but, rather, a set of tin snips.
By purchasing this set, you receive two tin snips; one for your left-hand, and one for your right-hand.
Both tin snips are forged from alloy steel, while possessing a comfortable grip. You can use them to cut through tin, as well as various other materials.
- 2 PIECE OFFSET SET - This set includes both left and right cut offset models for optimal cutting ability
- LONGEST LASTING CUTTING EDGE - These blades are hot drop-forged of molybdenum alloy steel and austemper...
- STRONGEST HANDLES - High Tensile strength steel will not bend from hand pressure and provides efficient...
5) Hurricane 10 Inch Aviation Tin Snips Set
From Hurricane, we have a three-pack of tin snips.
Each one of these snips is comfortable to use, as a result of the intuitive design of the grip, and emphasis on ergonomics.
Beyond comfort, though, these tin snips are more than sufficient for cutting through a variety of materials, including tin.
- Hurricane 02-003 10" Aviation Tin Snips Set 3 Pack
- Material: Chrome Vanadium Steel, Serrated edge blades with sanding finish
- Handle: Bi-color handle with rubberized grip for comfort and control
4) Finder 12″ Aviation Snips
The blade of this Finder tin snip is forged from premium CRV steel. As a result of this, the blade is incredibly strong, and more than sufficient for cutting through tin, as well as various other materials.
To enhance the experience, Finder emphasizes ergonomics and comfort. Both of these features make for a pleasant experience.
- STRAIGHT REGULAR CUT: The extra long straight-cut aviation snip is used to cut straight and wide curves to the...
- LONGEST LASTING CUTTING EDGE: The blades are hot drop-forged of premium CRV steel and austemper heat-treated...
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN: The ergonomic designed TPR handle with comfortable soft grip, which conforms with the motion...
3) IRWIN Tin Snip
You can use this tin snip to cut through 24-gauge cold-roll steel, as well as 26-gauge stainless. You can also use this tin snip to cut through tin, and a variety of other, less strong, metals.
While you are using this tin snip, you can cut straight curves, as well as wide curves, depending on your preference.
- Snip tool cuts up to 24-gauge cold-roll steel and 26-gauge stainless-steel
- Snip tool features a flat blade that cuts straight and curves
- Precision-ground edges on the tin snips ensure a tight grip on each cut for superior cutting quality
2) 3PCS Aviation Tin Snips Set
As the name suggests, this is a three-piece tin snips set.
Each tin snip in this set is forged from chrome vanadium steel, while possessing a comfortable ergonomic design.
You can use these tin snips to cut through tin, aluminum, stainless steel; along with various other materials.
- 3 Piece Set - Left, Right and Center Cut Snips offset models,You can use any hand to cut from any angle.
- Durable Blade - The blade is forged from chrome vanadium steel and has been specially quenched Cut iron like...
- Double Leverage& Ergonomic Design - Compound leverage multiplies handle force to cutting blades by 8: 1 for...
1) Midwest Tool & Cutlery Aviation Snip
For a strong and comfortable tin snip, this tin snip from Midwest is a great choice.
Even though there is nothing particularly special about the tin snip, it offers a comfortable design, and more than enough strength to cut through a plethora of different materials.
As a result, if that’s what you need, then it’s a great choice.
Ultimate Tin Snip Buying Guide
As we mentioned in an earlier segment, finding the right pair of tin snips is not as easy as it seems. Take a look at the following guide to gain a basic understanding of what makes for a high-quality tin snip.
Left, Right, or Straight Orientation
The orientation of the blade will determine how well it will work at producing curved or straight cuts. Tin snips with a left-bevel lower blade are meant for cutting to the left, right-level lower blades for the right, and straight-set blades for cutting straight. There are two ways of determining whether a blade’s orientation is set to the left, right, or center – either by looking at the lower blade’s bevel or by paying attention to the color of the tin snip’s handle (red for left, green for right, and yellow for straight).
Straight or Offset Handles
A tin snip’s handle in relation to the cutting blades are either straight or offset. Straight-handle tin snips are better suited for making dead-on cuts into sheet metal. They typically have narrower blades which make them great at producing acute curves. An offset handle forces the user’s hand to the side and away from the material. Offset tin snips are the preferable option for producing long, straight cuts.
Once again, we have two options to choose from: serrated and smooth. Like a serrated kitchen knife, this type of blade is ideal for keeping the workpiece in place as it cuts smoothly through the sheet. Serrated blades can also be used to cut through several sheets of thin metal to produce identical results. However, the serrations on the blade will wear out over time, and the tin snips will end up bending and tearing metal rather than snipping. Smooth blades don’t have this problem, but they are a lot more uncommon.
The material used to make the blade plays a role in the maximum life expectancy of the tin snip. The most durable materials are high-speed steel and titanium-coated high-speed steel. The latter is the better option for cutting through stainless steel, whereas HSS can be used for general-purpose cutting on any piece of sheet metal. There are lesser-quality steels used in tin snips like special high-quality steel, high-quality steel, and standard-quality steel. These are cheaper but effective at cutting softer metals.
Earlier, we spoke of the different handle color options and what they mean, but that’s not the only thing on the handle worth looking at. The grips that encase the tool are meant to give you the most comfortable, pain-free grip when snipping through metal. A larger, more cushiony grip is ideal if you’re working with stainless steel or other metals that require more hand power to cut. However, a wider grip will feel bulky and awkward when working with thinner materials.
Specialty Tin Snips
There are two types of specialty tin snips. The first is called pelican snips in the way the cutting blades are shaped. It uses an offset handle which keeps your hand from obstructing your view. The blades are longer and wider than normal tin snips, making it the ideal tool for long cuts in thicker sheets of metal. Circle snips are designed specifically for making circular cuts of any radius.
Tin Snip FAQs
Can I use tin snips to cut steel wool?
Yes, you can, but it’s not recommended. The blades’ sharpness and teeth will wear down much more quickly when used on abrasive objects like steel wool.
What materials can tin snips cut?
Apart from sheet metal, tin snips can be used on almost any material imaginable. Plastic pipes, thin wooden boards, leather, you name it. Of course, tin snips aren’t a blanket solution for everything – the best option cutting tool is that which is designed for specific materials.
Can tin snips be used to cut [insert random object like dwarf goat hooves, pennies, and circuit boards]?
Just to be clear: a pair of tin snips can cut virtually anything softer than the hardness of the blades. The only thing you need to consider is whether the snip’s jaws can open wide enough to stuff whatever in between the blades. Tin snips can be used for objects they weren’t intended to cut, but they may wear the blades down quicker than normal.
Tin snips aren’t the harder tool in the world to shop for. Although there are numerous types of tin snips – both specially made and general-purpose – you can bet that you can find a reliable tin snip relatively easily, especially if you consider one of the models on our list.
Before settling on a particular tin snip, you first need to decide how you’ll use it (on what materials, straight or curved cuts, etc.). Knowing this, it’s simply a matter of finding which tin snip has the correct jaws for producing the intended cut. Easy peasy, folks!
Last update on 2021-06-15 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API