How to choose electric scissors

Cutting sheet material with hand tools is a troublesome and very time-consuming task. But everything changes when you use electrical tools. If you need to cut a whole sheet of metal tile or other sheet material into parts, then you cannot do without electric shears. How to choose the right tool – further in our guide.

Electric shears device
In its shape, most of the models of electric shears are similar to an angle grinder ( grinder ).The tool has a robust housing, inside of which the following elements are enclosed:

electric motor;
a gearbox that converts the rotation of the motor shaft into the reciprocating motion of the cutting unit;
cutting unit, in which the main work on cutting the material takes place.
Types of shears
The main element dividing the electric shears according to the type and scope of their application is the cutting unit. Its design not only determines the nature of the work performed by the power tool, but also gave the name to each of the types.

Punching (nibbling) electric shears
The design of the cutting unit is based on a movable punch and a fixed die. The punch acts as a punch and cuts out particles of the material between it and the die.

The main advantage of the design is as follows. Typically, this type of cutting unit has an elongated shape that allows the operator to get close with the tool to the most difficult to reach places.

And also make a cut on profiled surfaces (metal, profiled sheet, etc.).Other advantages of cutting shears include:

high maneuverability, which allows you to easily perform curly cuts and cutting material according to a template;
small turning radius of the rig. If necessary, the cutting unit can be turned almost on the spot;
good overview of the working area;
the ability to plunge the tool into the material in the middle of the workpiece (you just need to drill a small hole for planting the tooling into the material), which solves the problem of cutting out various windows and technological holes without violating the integrity of the edge of the material;
the ability to rotate the equipment at angles that are multiples of 90 °, which allows you to set up the tool for cutting in hard-to-reach places.
The main disadvantage of this type of electric shears is the formation of a large amount of small sharp metal shavings during the cutting process.

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When cutting material with nibblers, it should be borne in mind that the cut width is always equal to the diameter of the punch cutting edge, therefore, part of the metal at the cut point inevitably turns into chips.

Hydraulic electric shears
The cutting unit has an oil pump that pressurizes the system to move the hydraulic cylinder piston.

Hydraulic shears are used for fast cutting of metal rebar, the bar diameter of which can be up to 20 mm.

At the same time, cutting a rod with a diameter of 20 mm will take 6.5 seconds, and a reinforcement with a diameter of 16 mm – only 4 seconds. No angle grinder can compete with them in terms of cutting speed and overall productivity for preparing bars of the required length.

Sheet (cut) electric shears
Such scissors are very similar in appearance to a regular jigsaw . Only on the pendulum arm is not a file fixed, but a cutting blade. The second blade is permanently mounted on a U-shaped bed.

This design allows cutting metal blanks up to 4–5 mm thick. While other types of electric scissors can handle metal no more than 2.5 mm thick.

The second variation of the cutting unit of sheet electric shears is a cutting disc made in the form of a regular octagon (octagon). Each of the disc faces is a separate cutting blade.

Cutting of the material occurs at the moment when the edge of the movable blade passes in close proximity to the stationary part of the cutting unit.

The main disadvantage of these two designs is that the bulky cutting unit will not allow working with profiled metal and making curved cuts with small radii.

The main area of ​​application of sheet shears is cutting sheet material with straight cuts.

In addition, the design of the cutting unit does not allow cutting into the middle of the workpiece. In any case, the material is cut from the edge of the material.

Slotted shears
The cutting unit of slotted scissors is a static U-shaped plate with two cutting edges, between which a movable slot-shaped knife is placed.

The knife of the slotted shears makes oscillatory movements relative to the stationary part and cuts the material with two cutting edges at once. The result is chips in the form of a strip of metal, equal in width to the size of the movable knife.

This feature should be taken into account when marking the material. The rule “Measure seven times, cut once” is more relevant than ever.

The slotting scissors are equally successful in both straight and curved cuts. True, in fairness, it should be said that the radii of the curves obtained with their help are much higher than the radii obtained with the use of die-cut models.

Cutting with slotted scissors in the middle of the workpiece is easy. You just need to drill a hole to get the tip of the rig into it.

Main characteristics of electric shears
Cut thickness is the maximum possible material thickness that can be cut. As a rule, the vast majority of models of electric shears are designed to work with metal no more than 2 mm thick. This is quite enough for both work with flat sheet material and with its corrugated variations.

To work with thicker workpieces, more powerful models will be required, which will inevitably affect their weight.

As for the maximum values ​​when cutting sheet material, then, as a rule, they rarely exceed 5 mm. When cutting reinforcement, the diameter of the bar can reach 20 mm.

Power is a parameter that directly affects the maximum thickness of the cut and the weight of the tool. The higher it is, the thicker the material can be cut with electric shears. However, you should be prepared to hold the tool with both hands, because as its power rating increases, weight will inevitably increase.

In most types of work performed on cutting sheet material, a tool with a power of 300-700 W is quite enough. For cutting reinforcement – you need a device with a power of at least 800-1200 watts.

Power ratings are valid for mains powered models. For a cordless tool, the manufacturer does not indicate its rated power, therefore, when choosing, you should be guided by the value of the cut thickness.

The number of strokes per minute is a parameter indicating the number of complete cycles of movement of the cutting blade (up and down) in one minute. The higher the value, the cleaner the cut is.

Models with a low value of the number of blade strokes, when cutting, create an edge with burrs, which must be additionally processed after cutting the material.

The “golden” mean is the value of the parameter at the damage of 1500-2000 strokes per minute.

The minimum inner and outer cutting radius is a parameter that characterizes the maneuverability of the tool when making a cut, its ability to make curved cuts along a given trajectory. As mentioned earlier, the most maneuverable are electric shears. The minimum values ​​of the radii can be, unattainable for other types of structures, enviable 25-50 mm.

Weight is a pretty significant characteristic, since electric shears are a tool that is comfortable to work with one hand. Therefore, their weight for comfortable work should not exceed 3 kg. Models with a large mass must be equipped with an additional handle that provides a convenient two-handed grip of the electric shears.

As for the energy supply of electric shears, there are two types of it:

from the electrical network;
from the battery.
Battery solutions are suitable for those whose field of activity is related to the installation of a roof made of sheet material (metal, metal sheet, etc.) and there is a constant need to adjust the roofing material directly at the installation site, since it is not entirely logical (and not always possible) to take take a long carrier to the roof. This is inconvenient and unsafe. Or for work in areas where electrification has not yet reached.

When choosing a battery model, you should pay attention to:

platform , since power tools from the same manufacturer are equipped with identical batteries. Having another cordless power tool from one manufacturer, you can significantly save money and purchase only electric shears, and use the battery and charger for it from your personal arsenal;
number of batteries included . When doing large-scale work, one battery may not be enough. As a rule, the average power battery charge is approximately enough for 60–70 meters of cutting, which is quite achievable in a couple of hours of fruitful work. Then there will be a forced downtime for the time of charging the power source. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to have a spare battery. Its presence will exclude unplanned pauses in work;
Battery voltage and capacity directly affect tool power and battery life. The higher these parameters, the more powerful the tool and the longer continuous work.
Networked devices are more versatile and powerful. The main thing that is needed to complete the work is the presence of an electrical outlet in the immediate vicinity of the work.

Choice options
For straight cuts of sheet material up to 5 mm thick, electric sheet shears with a power of 300 to 1000 W are ideal .

If the main cutting work is carried out on a smooth sheet material (galvanized sheet, fiberboard, plastic, etc.), but there is a need to make cuts in the middle of the material, the choice should fall on slotted models . Most often they are purchased to complete body repair shops.

For work with metal tiles and profiled sheets, the best choice is electric shears . Moreover, for work away from the electrical network, battery models are suitable, in other cases – a tool plugged into a regular outlet. This is also the best option if you need curved cuts with small radii.

If the nature of the work involves frequent cutting of reinforcement, then hydraulic electric shears will significantly simplify and speed up its implementation.