All about Aviation Snips – The Top Products and Considerations You Need to Know.
Sheet metal is an important material to have on hand for home improvement projects.
Because of its durability and pliability, sheet metal can be used for various applications. If you need to make repairs to your roof, your gutters, or some parts of your basement, there’s a good chance that you will have to use sheet metal at some point. Sheet metal can also be useful if you have certain crafting projects in mind.
To make working with sheet metal easier, you may need to use a specialized tool such as an aviation snip. With a good pair of aviation snips in your possession, even the sometimes complicated task of cutting through sheet metal can be made significantly easier.
It’s also worth pointing out that aviation snips can handle several other types of material while remaining highly efficient cutters.
This article will shine a brighter light on aviation snips by introducing you to some of the top options currently available. On top of that, this article will also highlight the factors that have the biggest impact on how well specific aviation snips work.
Consider this as your go-to reference for aviation snips. With all of that now out of the way, let’s get things started.
Best Aviation Snips Reviews
|Snips name|| |
|Aviation-style Metal||Left, Right, and Straight Cuts||14.1 ounces|
|Crescent Wiss||Molybdenum Steel||Left, Right, and Straight Cuts||14.4 ounces|
|Midwest||Molybdenum Steel||Left, Right, and Straight Cuts||16 ounces|
|Craftsman||Induction-hardened Steel||Left, Right, and Straight Cuts||15.2 ounces|
|IRWIN 21304||Hot drop-forged Steel||Straight Cuts||16 ounces|
|Stanley FatMax 14-563||Molybdenum Steel||Straight Cuts||14.7 ounces|
|Finder||Chrome Vanadium Steel||Straight Cuts||16.8 ounces|
1. Malco Max2000 — The Most Comfortable Aviation Snips
Tools are supposed to help you work better. They should actively aid you in your goal of processing specific materials or completing whichever task you have in mind. Tools that prevent you from working comfortably will struggle to do that.
Malco’s Aviation Snips are designed to keep you comfortable as you work continuously.
The handle can be operated with a single hand. It will also fit comfortably into either your left or right hand.
The snips also come with a narrower grip opening. Thanks to that feature, you should be able to properly use this pair of snips regardless of your hand size. You can’t say the same thing for many other aviation snips out there.
Comfort-focused features are not the only things you’re getting out of this pair of aviation snips.
Serrations along the lower jaw of these snips enable the whole thing to cut more effectively through sheet metal and other similar materials. The serrations also make maintaining a grip on what you’re cutting much easier.
Do note that the handle lock for these snips does tend to come loose. It can go back into place relatively quickly, but it can still be annoying when you’re just getting into the rhythm of working.
There are three variants of these aviation snips available so you can get something that specializes in either left-angled, right-angled, or straight cuts.
- Narrower grip on the handle makes it suitable for hands of all sizes
- Can be operated with one hand
- Fits either the left or right hand
- Serrations present on the blade
- Handle lock has a tendency to spring loose
2. Crescent Wiss — Best Aviation Snips for Quick Cutting
Many of the people who need aviation snips are professionals who often have to deal with sheet metal. Because of that, it’s important to have aviation snips that can also work in a hurry.
Fast cutting just so happens to be what the Crescent Wiss Aviation Snips specialize in.
The spring-action feature on this pair of snips allows for fast and easy feeding. It is designed in such a way that it can gobble up sheet metal in a manner similar to how Pac-Man eats up those pellets onscreen.
You also don’t have to worry about gliding through the metal and leaving behind a ruined mess. Features baked into the design of this pair of aviation snips prevents the material being cut from folding and also discourages the emergence of those annoying burrs.
The stops built in to these snips make it easier for you to produce the same quality cuts each and every time. The serrations on the blade will also help keep the quality of your cuts consistent.
The handle can be operated with either your left or right hand. You may even end up having to switch hands often as you use these snips because of how difficult they can be to grip.
The hope is that you can work quickly enough to avoid that fatigue issue.
- Spring-action enables easy feeding of the material
- Serrations can be found on the blade
- Built-in stops preserve cut quality
- Usable with either hand
- You will likely experience hand fatigue if you use these grips for an extended period of time
3. Midwest Aviation Snip — The Most Durable Aviation Snips
Many of the aviation snips you’ll see being offered today are simply not capable of lasting for a long time. Some aviation snips have blades that dull too quickly while others have handles that cannot withstand the pressure being applied to them from multiple sides.
Midwest’s Aviation Snips don’t have those problems.
Beginning with the blades, they are crafted from hot drop-forged molybdenum alloy. They have also been heat-treated to further enhance their durability.
It would have been nice to see serrations offset the amount of strain placed on the blades, but they are still plenty durable as is.
The handles are highly durable as well. The high-tensile steel used prevents the handle from bending too much from the amount of force being applied.
The handles on these snips also excel at converting the force you’re exerting into your cuts. You should be able to power your way through thicker materials with the help of that handle.
Using these tools is also easy for many folks thanks to the coverings applied. The coverings ease the tension on your hand and they also offer plenty of grip.
You should know that the handles are quite big. You will struggle to use these snips if you have smaller hands.
- Blades made from hot drop-forged molybdenum alloy
- High-tensile steel used for the handles
- Comfortable coverings placed over the handles
- Larger handles are not suitable for everyone
4. Craftsman Aviation Snips — Best for Precision Cutting
Upon taking the Aviation Snips from Craftsman out of their packaging and inspecting them closely, you will quickly see that there are markings present on the blades. The markings are spaced a quarter of an inch apart and they were added to help you complete precision cuts.
You don’t always have to be that precise when you’re working with a material such as sheet metal, but it never hurts to have a tool that can help with that. The markings should turn out to be even more useful if you use the snips for other materials.
Another advantage of working with these aviation snips is that they work well on thicker materials. It can handle 18-gauge cold-rolled steel or 22-gauge stainless steel. Cleaner and more precise cuts are tougher to execute if you are asking these snips to work on thicker materials though.
The edges are reasonably sharp and they will stay that way for a long time as long as you care for these snips properly.
Focusing now on the handle, it comes with a spring-assisted latch so that you can use it even with one hand. However, the handle is not designed very well and will place a significant amount of strain on your fingers.
You will probably have to take breaks from using this pair of aviation snips.
- Quarter inch blade markings allow for precision cuts
- Can cut through thicker materials
- Blades will remain sharp for a long time
- Equipped with an uncomfortable handle
5. IRWIN 21304 — Best Aviation Snips for Cutting Thinner Materials
Purchasing a pair of aviation snips that specializes in cutting through thinner materials may seem like an odd choice at first. After all, if you already have something that can handle the thicker materials, that should do just fine on the thinner ones as well, right?
While it is true that the snips capable of processing thicker materials should work fine for the thinner materials too, there is still a noticeable difference in performance. You may need to slow down more with that type of snip because it will be unable to glide through the thinner material.
The great thing about Irwin’s Multi-Purpose Snips is that they have no trouble at all with thinner surfaces. If you want to create strips of sheet metal, this is exactly the kind of tool that you will need.
In addition to this tool’s cutting capabilities, you should also consider purchasing it because it is equipped with sturdy blades. They are hot drop-forged steel blades that will not dull quickly.
The blades aren’t as sharp as what you will see on many other aviation snips, but it’s an issue you can live with since this tool should be used primarily on thinner materials anyway.
This pair of snips is also only suitable for straight cuts.
- Can be used to effortlessly cut 24-gauge cold-rolled steel and/or 26-gauge stainless steel
- Makes use of durable hot drop-forged blades
- Blades aren’t as sharp as what other snips can offer
6. Stanley FatMax 14-563 — Best Aviation Snips for Cutting Thicker Materials
Since the previous entry focused on a pair of snips that works best for thinner materials, we also have to feature one that specializes in going through the thicker materials. The FatMax Aviation Snips from Stanley can work their way through a sizable roll of sheet metal and just about any other type of material you put in front of it.
To be more specific, these snips can cut through 18-gauge steel with relatively no problem. That kind of cutting ability is simply not something offered by all aviation snips.
A big part of the reason why you can count on these snips to process thicker metals is because of the serrations found on the blades. Those serrations almost act like miniature saws burrowing their way through the steel and clearing the way for you.
The serrations also help keep the metal in place as you’re cutting it.
You may notice that this pair of snips does not always spring back into place. Applying some oil can address that problem.
The handle included with this pair of snips very comfortable. It won’t get in the way as you’re cutting.
You can only use these snips for straight cuts.
- Will be able to cut 18-gauge steel pretty easily
- Handle is very easy to work with
- Serrations assist with cutting and holding on to the material
- Does not always spring back into place
7. Finder Aviation Snips — Best for Cutting Different Types of Materials
As noted earlier, aviation snips are primarily used for sheet metal, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used to cut anything else. Still, the quality of the cuts may drop off noticeably if you’re using the snips on other materials. That’s why it helps to have something like the Aviation Snips from Finder on hand.
Unlike most of the aviation snips you’ll see being sold today, Finder’s Aviation Snips work just as well on sheet metal as it does on aluminum, copper, plastic, rubber, vinyl, and even cardboard. That kind of cutting versatility is something you will always be glad to have.
Serrated edges are also present on the edges of these snips. Once again, the serrations are going to help with gripping and cutting the materials.
The handle is also well-designed and will not place too much strain on your fingers. It also holds up very well to the force applied to it on a regular basis.
The safety lock on these aviation snips will also prevent any unnecessary injuries.
It can be tough to work with these snips continuously because of how heavy they are. Take breaks when necessary.
These snips from Finder are only useful for straight cuts.
- Capable of cutting through a wide array of materials cleanly
- Comes with a safety lock
- Serrated blades found on this pair of snips
- Heavy tool that can be tiring to use after a while
Now that we’re done reviewing some of top aviation snips available today, we can discuss the factors that matter when you’re shopping for one. Refer to these if you’re having a tough time deciding which specific snips to get.
You’ve probably noticed that aviation snips tend to have handles that come in different colors. It’s important to pay attention to those colored handles because they indicate the cutting capabilities of aviation snips.
Red handles are found on aviation snips that can produce left-angled cuts while green handles are installed on snips that are capable of creating right-angled cuts. Aviation snips with yellow handles are used for straight cuts.
If you’re wondering why the handles are color-coded that way, this article from Popular Mechanics hints that it may have something to do with nautical orientation terms. As much as possible, it would be best to get aviation snips that can cut in all three directions.
As for thickness, some aviation snips can cut through16-gauge aluminum, 18-gauge carbon steel, and/or 22-gauge stainless steel.
It’s not a must to have serrated edges on a pair of aviation snips, but they can be very helpful. The serrations do more than just improve the cutting ability of the blades. They also solidify the tool’s grip on the material.
The entire cutting process can be made significantly easier if there are serrated edges present on your pair of aviation snips.
Before you purchase any pair of aviation snips, hold it in your hand firmly and see how well it fits. Some aviation snip handles can be on the larger side, thus making them difficult to grip for people with smaller hands.
You should also check to see if the handle can be operated with one hand as that should make it easier for you to work.
The heavier aviation snips are the harder it will be to use them continuously. Many aviation snips way close to a pound, but there are some options out there that only top out at around 4 ounces. Make sure to get those if you struggle with heavy tools.
Aviation snips are underappreciated tools that belong in any workshop. They are the tools you will want to reach for if you want to cut through different materials as efficiently as possible.
Hopefully, the buyer’s guide and the reviews above will help you find the pair of aviation snips you need to complete your projects.