View Full Version : Air Nibbler

08-10-2003, 12:20 AM
I bought one those HF pneimatic nibblers today for $19.95 today. Finally got the time to play with it. It's a great tool to have around. I do a lot of sheet metal work, for artistic things, and have used the nibbler, that I go way back when I was an electronics tech, which was small nibbles for every squeeze of the grip. The new one really zips thru sheet metal.


08-10-2003, 01:15 AM
Jerry, what air pressure do you run through yours?
I got one a while back, used it once, then stuck it in the cabinet. I thought it was hard to control so I went back to the air shear.
It could be that I was running too high a pressure. I just didn't play around with it. In too big a hurry.
I may drag mine back out an give it another try.

08-10-2003, 02:07 AM
I broke my tawain model today.. too thick metal..(11 guage)

shucks,, and I really liked it.. too..

08-10-2003, 02:46 AM
They're great! For the price...might pick up some extra dies now to save down time. They say they'll work up to 16 guage steel. Mine did great on 20 gauge cold rolled sheet, but constantly hung up and finally the die cracked when I did a .060" (16 guage) project.

08-10-2003, 02:31 PM
I run mine at 40 psi, thats what I use for many of my tools in my fine work area. This nibbler zipped thru 16 gauge copper with out any problems and some thinner aluminum it was going warp speed.

I haven't tried it on sheet steel yet, but maybe another day I will find out. I do know that if you run the pressure too high, tools get wrecked or if you try to do something that is way out of spec, the tool will probably jam up.

These past experiences cost me an pneumatic engraver and a really nice dental drill.


08-10-2003, 03:22 PM
I am using a 4.5 HP, 21 gallon upright compressor in my fine shop. the HF number is ITEM 47065-2VGA. This is wonderful little compressor, I may buy one for my hot shop.


08-10-2003, 04:00 PM
Could you guys help out an amateur with questions about quickly getting through sheet metal? I'm cutting 26 ga copper, right now using hand nibblers. I'm cutting only straight lines, and looking to minimize both waste and mangling of the cut edges.

How do the nibblers stack up against the pneumatic shears? Any comments about electric vs pneumatic tools? While my cutting would be for short bursts, I'm concerned that I'm going to run short of air and end up with a new compressor as well.

While I'd like to go faster I can't go wild with either cost or bench space, so the HF nibbler looks pretty good for my purposes.


[This message has been edited by Cuprousworks (edited 08-10-2003).]

08-10-2003, 04:09 PM

For the metal you are cutting I recommend aircraft snips, left, right and straight.

Alistair Hosie
08-10-2003, 04:19 PM
I know Harbor freight gets a lot of stick sometimes but it does a lot of good stuff too,especially factory reconditioned good as new tools quite a saving.I wish we had them in the U K. Can you buy new parts for your nibbler? although at the price you paid it is probably cheaper just to buy new. Alistair

08-10-2003, 04:32 PM
Between Shears and Nibblers, I have always had the problem that shears distort the edge of the metal, I do have a good set of aircraft grade shears. The nibbler buzzes thru the metal and doesn't leave the distortions. I can't say that this will be always, the bit may wear out with usage, but for now they work great. Plus my local HF will probably replace them without question as they have done with all of their tools, including the limited lifetime ones.

I still have my hand set of nibblers from when I was an electronic tech many years ago. I had to pad the handles a few years ago, but they still cut straight and true after lots of use.