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Thread: Nibblers vs shears

  1. #11
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    I have quite a variety used in my business.

    Nibblers that make the little crescents, and a 3/16" capacity nibbler that makes small rectangles. Nibblers can make cuts in the center of panels if you cut a starting hole. They don't distort the material.

    Kett type shears. Hate them for anything but very light gauge, too hard to push to curl the "chip" in even 18 ga steel. They don't distort the material.

    Regular shears, throatless. These depend on the cutoff bending down to allow forward motion, really difficult to shear where the cutoff is wide and not easily bent down (like a recent halving of a 4' x 4' piece of 16 ga).. The cutoff is distorted.

    They all have their place, but if I was only allowed one style a nibbler would be my choice. It's about the most versatile.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post

    There are ones that cut with a central blade between side blades, and those make a better rolled-up scrap piece. But they do not do such fine patterns as the round cut types.
    That is a shear, not nibbler. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRouche View Post
    That is a shear, not nibbler. JR
    I have seen them called both/either. Maybe it is not correct, but it happens all the same. probably regional. Just like a nibbler, they do not distort the metal the way actual two-blade shears do. I have hand ones, and power ones.

    Call it a "double shear" if you want to.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  4. #14
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    I have a couple of these hand nibblers I got from Harbor Freight for less than $10 or so. They do a good job on thin sheet steel (#22 gauge or thinner), and on 1/16" aluminum or copper. I have even used them on 0.09" aluminum, with some difficulty, and lubrication. It can cut curves. It cuts a rolled up curl of metal. It leaves some marks on the edges and needs some clean-up with a file.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HAND-SHEET-M...AAAOSwX~dWs86q



    I also have a nibbler I bought at Radio Shack many years ago, that punches small rectangles. It has worked well on 1/16" aluminum, mostly. It is especially good for sharp corners and will work with just one starting hole. The edges are fairly clean and it doesn't mar the surfaces very much.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hand-Sheet-M...MAAOSwHLNZWOoE



    For heavier material, like 16 gauge or thicker steel, I usually use a bimetal blade in a sabre saw or air body saw.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Reciprocatin...-/261559894674



    That Harbor Freight 14 gauge power shear seems like a good deal at $50.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/14-gau...ars-68199.html

  5. #15
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    I think I have at at least one of each sheet metal cutter suggested. I don't have room for a stomp shear. I prefer nibblers to shears. If I have to cut sheet metal I normally go to my plasma cutter. Mine will make short work out of any sheet metal I have up to 5/8" 8-)
    Do yourself a favor and see if your TV carrier has America One News Network (AONN). 208 on Uverse. It is good old fashion news, unlike the networks, with no hype, bias or other BS.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post

    Call it a "double shear" if you want to.
    Hahaa. I like that one. Double shear it is. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  7. #17
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    That might have been me that posted that.I use Inline Air Shears-

    https://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...ars-98833.html

    Pick these up too-

    https://www.harborfreight.com/pack-o...ear-98948.html

    If you prefer electric -

    https://www.amazon.com/Kawasaki-8403.../dp/B002FYH9GW

    They make quick work of 16 gauge Aluminum.I use a section of 1/4 x 3" Aluminum flatbar for a straight edge.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Atlanta, GA, USA
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    I have this Harbor Freight shear and love it! It does a nice job. https://www.harborfreight.com/14-gau...ars-62213.html

  9. #19
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    Feb 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Greenlee chassis punches
    I love those- if you pay attention, they even center on the pilot bolt pretty well.

    I too have many of the various tools- I do like the 1950's B&D power shear,
    especially since I discovered that a line of cutting oil on the cut
    makes everything messy- and MUCH easier to cut and control.

    t
    rusting in Seattle

  10. #20
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    Jun 2011
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    South Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmico60 View Post
    The only downside to nibblers is the cuttings (or should that be nibbles) are sharp crescent shaped pieces that get everywhere and embed themselves in shoes. At least with the table nibbler they are all in one place but with the portable tool they scatter.
    Mike
    I used to do a lot of car bodywork repair/modification using an air nibbler and whilst it can give good distortion free cutting the swarf is lethal, even after sweeping the floor with a brush and a magnetic sweeper I could guarantee to kneel on one or two of those very sharp little "C"'s, tried vacuuming and using magnets while cutting but there was always some I missed *@%?$#!

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