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18 gauge sheet metal: what power tool to cut it?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tathataboy, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim
    Member

    Saber saw , band saw or one of the cutters you put into a drill ! If you have air then you can get almost anything to cut metal then ! I have hand , electric power , battery and air to do that job !
     
  2. KreaturesCCaustin
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,258

    KreaturesCCaustin
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    I have El Cheapo electric metal shears and they handle 18 ga. like it was paper. One of the best purchases I've made in a long time.
     
  3. Air nibblers work very well, beware of sharp little crescents everywhere though.
     
  4. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 359

    Jax2A
    Member


    Man I've been waiting for Chicago Electric to make a knockoff of that thing so I can afford one. (Yea, I buy some stuff at Harbor Freight.)
     
  5. They had one, but I don't see it anymore - I wonder if they got all legaled at.
     
  6. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478

    budd
    Member

    i have a stomp shear, an iron worker, beverly style shear, air shears, tin snips, metal blades for a jigsaw, a sawsall, and cutoff disks, i have used those mikita power shears and nibblers, if i only had one it would be a grinder with a cutoff disk, most parts are under 1ft x 2ft and its just nice not to wonder all over the shop for a different tool.
     
  7. Garry Carter
    Joined: Mar 11, 2002
    Posts: 576

    Garry Carter
    Member

    OCFab's recommendation for a power shear, sometimes also called a nibbler, is the way I'd go. And they're available in both a corded electric and air-powered version. For less than $40 you're not going to get one to stand up to commercial applications ... but they do a helluva job on infrequent projects.
     
  8. Hell_Air
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 10

    Hell_Air
    Member
    from Monrovia

    If you are going to use a cut off wheel buy quality ones. The hongkong freight ones explode on contact.
     
  9. chopper99
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 499

    chopper99
    Member

    Sears sells a Craftsman dual blade saw like this and it's cheaper, replacement blades are a little high at over $50.00. I have the craftsman saw, it will cut through damn near anything, I've 3/8 in. plate with mine. Be sure to wear eye protection, it throws little chips of metal all over the place.
     
  10. Von Kragen
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 71

    Von Kragen
    Member
    from linwood,MN

    these things are the way to go. i have an air one and it cuts 18 gauge as fast as scissors through paper, its also eaisier to make turns than the ones with the 2 fingers with cutter in the middle
     
  11. OldCrow
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 134

    OldCrow
    Member

  12. OldCrow
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 134

    OldCrow
    Member

    BTW. for a 4.5" cutoff wheel there is no better IMHO than the Razor brand. cuts good and lasts much longer than other brands.
     
  13. HOTTRODZZ
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 335

    HOTTRODZZ
    Member

    Bosch Hand Shears rock.

    Kent shears work nice too.

    I ruff out shapes with a nibbler - never finish cut.
     
  14. HOTTRODZZ
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 335

    HOTTRODZZ
    Member

    For cut off wheels -

    Matabo 6.0 x .040 for long straight cuts.

    Matabo 4.5 x .040 for everything else.

    ( Make up a 1/4 arbor that fits above wheels too - when they are to small for the big grinder you can use them with a die grinder )
     
  15. bobo
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 175

    bobo
    Member
    from New Jersey

    I use a cut-off wheel or a air hacksaw. The hacksaw works great and leaves a nice edge along with less crap flying from the cut-off wheel. Use the thin cut-off wheels.
     
  16. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 780

    Racewriter
    Member

    I like my Kett power shears.
     
  17. super plus
    Joined: Dec 14, 2006
    Posts: 566

    super plus
    BANNED

    20 gauge is to thin for anything body wise
     
  18. tinmann
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,588

    tinmann
    Member

    I've owned a Makita electric shear for going on 25 years. The same model is still available. Not cheap.... but consider it a very good long term investment. Like others have said , there's no replacement for WISS snips (do not buy any other brand), zip cut discs ( again, buy brand name and avoid time spent in emergency ward awaiting stitiches in head), Beverly Shear, etc. I just recently acquired a 52" wide foot shear capable of 16 ga..... nice!!!
     
  19. sickmonkey
    Joined: Jan 15, 2010
    Posts: 4

    sickmonkey
    Member
    from chicago

    a thin cutoff disc in a 6in angle grinder will do so much more than just cut sheet metal . kett electric shears are the best i have found once the budget allows ,makes cutting a piece off a sheet easy but they don't cut a tight radius
     
  20. oldcarfan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 315

    oldcarfan
    BANNED
    from missouri

    shears and nibblers will save you material costs in the long run. if you ever need to do a complete floor from scratch youll go through 10 blades cutting up a couple 18 guage full sheets
     
  21. Beverly Shear Mfg
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 42

    Beverly Shear Mfg
    Member
    from Dyer,IN

    If you are looking for a Beverly Shear, call direct @ 1-773-238-0003. A B-1 would work well for the material you are looking to cut. You can make irregular cuts on the same piece of sheetmetal, straight or curved.
     
  22. Antny
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,071

    Antny
    BANNED
    from Noo Yawk

    Me too.
     
  23. rcnut223
    Joined: Oct 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,255

    rcnut223
    Member
    from wisconsin

    Cutoff wheel, both air and electric work well. Have a keet and an electric shear, use the shear most often.
     
  24. rodknocker
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 2,267

    rodknocker

    For those who are interested,I went today to buy an 18 gauge power shear.At home depot they had the Milwaukee 18 gauge shear for $169 tool made in China.I then went down the road to Lowes, they had a Dewalt 18 gauge shear made in mexico.I came home dissapointed, you know how you feel when you really wanted something to find out that its really not what it is.I already knew the HF crap was chinese.So I went online and found a Kett KD-200 18 gauge shear made 100% in the USA for $131 shipped anywhere in the lower 48.I've been on a real American Made kick lately, looking for old stuff that was made with pride,not by a greedy CEO looking to get rich. I want a bigass heavyass vise next.
     
  25. rouye56wingnut
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 352

    rouye56wingnut
    Member
    from mn.

    I have quite a few ways to cut sheet metal,but I have demonstrated at a few Metalmeets how well this tool works for the price.I made a little demo video to show how it works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jsRSS234eA
     
  26. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821

    tdoty
    Member

    The HF shear works pretty darn well! The HF Kett copy has been working okay for me too.

    I see a lot of recommendations for Wiss snips.....Wiss snips SUCK! Buy some Midwests or Klenks!

    Tim D.
     
  27. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,227

    Da Tinman
    Member

    http://www.matcotools.com/Catalog/toolcatalog.jsp?cattype=T&cat=2397&page=2픙

    Those are the only snips to buy. Any tool truck guy can get em, they are about 30 bucks a piece but they are worth it. I have been using the same rights and lefts for 3 years now.

    You can cut 16 guage with them if your arms are up to it. I have also used them to notch
    .058 wall moly tubing.

    Wiss snips are clunky and uncoordinated campared to those .

    HF cutoffs dont explode on contact, if treated properly they too last as long as the spendy mexican ones.

    Any air or electric shear will do fine for rough cuts, but if your going to use them for final cutting your gonna spend time straightening and undoing the rippled edge.

    I cut almost everything by hand with those snips and have never had issues.
     
  28. RAF
    Joined: Sep 13, 2008
    Posts: 432

    RAF
    Member
    from MA.

    Another vote for the Harbor Freight shears. I just cut up a lot of 16 gauge for my floors and it worked fine just had to go a little slower. Cuts 18 gauge with ease, well worth the money.
     
  29. AAFD
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 585

    AAFD
    Member
    from US of A

    I use the HF Nibbler air shears. It'll cut 16ga, but it's tough...18ga goes right through it. I think they were on sale for like $19. Hell if they last through a floor replacement, I'd say I'd got my money's worth. I've had mine for about a year...been used alot, but I have a Plasma Cutter, a Stomp Shear, and a Throatless Shear also, so it all depends what I'm cutting.
     
  30. bloodyjack
    Joined: Aug 29, 2007
    Posts: 649

    bloodyjack
    Member

    Ketts power shear Made in America and interestingly Ketts makes the heads for all the Chinese copy's from Mlwaukee to Dewalt they do not make the head for the HF rip off
    and I broke 3 of them before I dropped the coin on the real deal.


    [​IMG]
     

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