What Are Snips?


Snips also referred to as cutters, are hand instruments used to cut thickly constructed from sheets of metal, wood or other soft materials. The term “snip” comes from the action of snipping a nail through the sheet metal. There are two broad classifications: compound-slicing snips, generally used in industrial applications, and tiner’s snips, generally used in home applications. The former is used less frequently than the latter due to the greater difficulty in gripping thin materials.


What Are Snips?

Compound-slicing snips are made by sliding one end of the shear blade (the one that faces the edge) along the grain of the material to be cut. Tiner’s snips involve driving a second nail into the same groove with the same blade. A third nail is then driven in order to secure the blade in position. The result is a shear with a sharp edge with a long length. The shorter blade is easier to work with when cutting thick materials, such as sheet metals, but the longer blade is more adept at piercing denser items, such as solid wood.

There are several types of snips available for different purposes. For instance, a compound-slicing shear allows the user to move the blade over a piece of stock to cut it. A tiner’s snips is similar, except it allows the user to make several passes over the stock to cut it. This is often necessary when the user needs to cut several pieces of stock from the same piece of equipment. Lastly, a tippet saw produces crosswise-cutting edges that can cut all manner of sheet materials, including metals and wood. To make the bladesmiths most effective, they must have a wide array of tools.

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