Metal plate shearing is as old as the metal fabrication industry. It’s a necessary fabrication process, and the use of the right tool for the same will increase productivity while saving time and energy. The paragon tool, in this case, is the metal plate cutter. It makes precise cuts and breaks for various materials, including steel, aluminum, plastic, and more. However, it’s hard to find a durable one in the flooded market, nowadays.
If you’re asking yourself how to get the best metal plate cutter, pore over this review of the top 10 best metal plate cutters/shears. The review contains the ten most durable and easy-to-use manual metal plate cutters of 2021, plus a buying guide to help the shopper find the go-to features. A keen read through the characteristics of each of the metal cutters will inform you more. Here’s the much-awaited list.
List of 10 Best Metal Plate Cutters in 2023
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#10. KAKA Industrial HS-12 Sheet Metal Plate Shear
This is a 12-inch sheet metal plate cutter. It can cut different sizes of sheet steel, round steel, and flat steel shapes. It is the ideal choice for both professional engineers and at-home metal fabricators alike. You don’t have to apply much force while using the HS-12 manual metal shear machine.
This metal cutter’s handle is sufficiently long to reduce the amount of required force for cutting metals. Its high-quality design will stay with you in the long run. The arched top blade is designed to make cuttings both effortless and smooth. Have a look at more features below.
- The blade is 12 inches long
- Cutting capacity: Sheet steel (3/16″), Round steel (0.5″), and Flat steel (2-3/4×3/16″)
- Its top blade is arched for easier cutting
- Blade: Hardened carbon steel
- It comes with a twelvemonth’s warranty period
#9. The CGOLDENWALL Aluminum Sheet Cutter
The CGOLDENWALL metal plate cutter allows you to cut through thick metals in a less laborious fashion. The heavy-duty manual metal cutting machine features a countertop ruler that’s meant to give you a more accurate cut. Each cut by this shear machine is clean, time-saving, and seamless, leave alone less noisy.
Most engineers love using this shear machine for circuit boards, but it also works perfectly on aluminum, copper, plastics, and iron sheets. The large working desk reduces the probability of injury, besides alleviating the amount of management while cutting.
- Blade materials: alloyed tool steel
- Cutting capacity: Stainless steel (1mm); Aluminum (1.5mm
- Features a long and sturdy handle
- It has an extensive working platform
- A hold-down clamp is available on it
#8. The Baileigh MPS-12 Multi-Purpose Manual Shear
If you have a small room to work within, you need a compact manual metal shear like the Baileigh. It’s a multipurpose shear that can cut thin metal plates, plastics, and other materials without an inch of damages. This shear has a throat-less design that’s useful for allowing the metal under a cut pass through without sticking anywhere.
It helps to have a long handle for a manually-operated metal plate cutter like the Baileigh. The long handle will reduce the amount of force needed to cut through metals; thus, saving a lot of your energy and time. This shear machine is also portable durable to its compact size.
- The blade is 12″ long
- It comes in a space-saving compact size
- Steel cutting capacity: 0.236 inches
- It includes a material hold-down clamp
- The handle is long and comfortable
#7. Pepe Tools 4-Inch GUILLOTINE SHEAR
This guillotine shear machine makes straight cutting edges when only a small amount of force is applied to its handle. It leaves flat cutting edges on gold, silver, copper, and other materials. The metal shearing machine comes with a separate measuring bar that you need to install into the machine. Installing the bar is as simple as ABC…
The guillotine features four mounting holes that make it easy to attach to your preferred bench. After sharpening, this guillotine will create around 10,000 cuts before getting blunt again. Ensure that you apply oil to the machine’s blades regularly. The tool is made in the USA.
- Cutting Capacity: 20ga (non-ferrous metals)
- Handle material: thick steel
- Includes a measuring bar
- Blade material: Hardened (60 HRC) A2 steel
- It isn’t recommended for cutting through steel
#6. The PepeTools 6-Inch Guillotine Shear
Here’s yet another one from Pepe Tools, but this time around, one that has a better curring capacity. The metal shear machine features sturdy steel blades that make 10,000 cuts before it needs sharpening again. It has a large feeding table, which is generous even for the largest metal plates. The table is laser-engraved.
You can mount this manual metal shearing machine to any work surface. Many users have given positive feedback, highlighting that the shear is one of a kind that offers clean, straight cuts without needing much of your effort. It cuts through gold, silver, and copper alone.
- Feeding Table Size: 10″ by 7.”
- Blade length: 6.25 inches
- Cuts 16 ga of gold, silver, and copper alone
- Material: all steel
- Mounting bench requirements: 290 by 775 millimeters
#5. The KAKA Industrial Hs-8 Sheet Metal Plate Cutters
The Hs-8 manual metal plate shear is yet another one from KAKA industrials that’s unique for its 8-inch cutting blade. It comes with a thrilling cutting capacity that has the ability to penetrate most metals. Its long steel handle reduces the power needed to cut through various materials, saving your back and hands alike.
The Hs-8 will cut half an inch of round steel, 3/16 sheet steel, and 2-3/4 x 3/16 inches of flat steel. You’ll save a fortune with all products from KAKA industries because the company offers the most cost-effective products. Besides saving your wallet, the Hs-8 will save your effort and time, too.
- Blade material: hardened carbon steel
- It comes with a full year’s warranty
- Frame: Solid steel
- Blade length: 8 inches
- Uses a long and comfortable handle
#4. The Erie Tools 8-inch Manual Hand Shear Plate Shear
If you’re looking for a metal shear that can make clean cuts on carbon steel, look no further, Erie Tools made this manual metal shear to help you with the same. It can cut round stock, rebar, and sheet metal. You can mount it on a preferred workbench on which it fits for maximum leverage of the right height.
A hold-down clamp is a feature on this manual machine. The clamp holds the material under a cut very tightly, not only to achieve precise and accurate cuts but also to reduce disturbances while cutting. The manual shear’s handle is 24 inches long, which means that it won’t need much pressure to make the machine operate on the hardest materials.
- The machine’s handle is spring-loaded
- Blade length: 8.”
- Blade material: precision-ground hardened steel
- It features a hold-down clamp
- Size: 3.5″ by 10″ by 14.5″
#3. VEVOR 12 Inch Hand Plate Shear, Metal Cutter
The VEVOR hand plate shear machine fits use on a bench or as a standalone machine — whichever you choose. It’s got mounting holes to make the mounting process more straightforward and time-saving. The metal shear tool can cut rebar, sheet metal, as well as round stock. It cuts straight and with negligible damage.
The long, level hand saves time and energy since it requires only a little force to cut through various thicknesses. The handle is also comfortable to hold and has a compensating spring. While working on a metal, you can use the hold-down clamp to secure it so that there is no movement. This way, you’ll make very accurate cuts.
- It features a hold-down clamp
- The blades are made of carbon steel
- Shear Capacity: Sheet steel (0.25″); Rod steel (0.5″); Flat steel (2-3/4″ x 0.25″)
- Blade length: 12 inches
- The machine weighs 27.2 kg
#2. KAKA HS-5 Sheet Metal Plate Shear
The HS-5 from KAKA industrials features an arched top blade that makes curring easier. Among the benefits you’ll enjoy while using it are its wallet-friendly price, convenient hold-down clamp, and compactness that allows it to fit small workrooms and stations. Its rugged steel frame will provide much-needed stability and durability.
If you have back pain, the HS-5 is another metal plate shear on this list that you can use without getting hurt further. Its long handle supports this. While the machine is small to fit restricted working spaces, it’s also strong to cut through thick materials, as stated in the features below.
- Cutting capacity: Sheet metal (3/16″); Flat Sheet (2-3/4″ by 3/16″)
- Blade length: 5 inches
- It features an arched top blade
- The machine comes with a full year’s warranty
- The compact size will fit small spaces
#1. Shop Fox M1040 Plate Shear
For the best mechanical advantage, you need this skillfully engineered, manual metal cutter from Shop Fox. It’s practically the best metal cutter, not only on my list but also in the metal fabrication world. The M1040 has all it takes to use very little force for cutting thick and sturdy materials.
This is the most wallet-friendly, yet very strong, versatile, and highly portable hand metal shear machine on this list and beyond. It utilizes a log handle to reduce the amount of strength you’ll need to cut through metals, plastics, and other materials. It comes with a two-year warranty — the longest on this list.
- Size: 20 by 18 by 6.5 inches (without the handle)
- The handle is 24 inches long
- Cutting Capacity: 3/16″ (plate) and 1/2″ (rod)
- Blade length: 8 inches
- Material: Hardened carbon steel
- It features four mounting holes
Metal Plate Cutter– Buyer’s Guide
Shear Capacity: Each handheld metal plate shear will have its shear capacity written on its label. This rating is crucial for several reasons. It will specify the type of material and thickness that the shear machine can work with so that the metallurgical engineer can only cut the right metals using the machine. Doing this will not only increase the metal worker’s productivity but also reduce the amount of effort needed to cut a specific metal plate, leave alone increasing the life span of the shear’s blades.
Materials: Metal plate cutters have to be sturdy due to the nature of the work they perform. Their blades should consist of durable and wear-resistant materials, depending on their shear capacity and the types of materials they can cut. Most durable blades are made using hardened steel. Cutters’ bodies can as well utilize steel, to increase their lifetime periods. The metal plate cutters above are all made of durable and sturdy materials that will get the work done for many years to come.
Handle Length: Manual metal plate shears have an upper handle that holds the upper cutting blade. It is this handle that’s moved up and down during the cutting process. Its length has a vast significance in the amount of force needed to cut the underlying metal plate. A longer handle will demand less cutting force from the user, unlike a shorter one. The handle shouldn’t be too long, either. Other advantages of long handles are alleviating back pains, keeping you safe, and more.
Hold-Down Clamp: When cutting a metal plate, it needs to be strongly held in place for accurate cuts. It also helps to avoid accidents that can arise from random movements. The best handheld metal plate shear should have a Clamp that holds the underlying metal plate in place. A Hold-Dow clamp can also help you do repeated cuts faster. The clamp should be strong and able to lock in place for easy usage. Most of the metal shears/cutters on my list have the hold-down clamp feature.
Adjustability: The best metal plate cutters should be adjustable in different ways. Adjustability is outstanding for several reasons, including making the cutting process simpler and more manageable. For example, a metal plate shear with an easily adjustable blade gap is the best for different materials and thicknesses. The ease of cutting any type of material depends on the blade gap setting — which, when adjustable — makes it easy to get fabrications done almost effortlessly.
Working Platform Size: While you make the cuts, the underlying material often rests on a working platform, against which it’s cut. A large platform accommodates all metal sheet sizes with a lot of ease and stability. One of the most admirable advantages of a large working platform is the safety and stability that come with it.
Besides use by engineers for professional fabrication, metal cutters are often also used for DIY projects. No matter the application, you’ll only need one that lasts long, uses little force to perform, and makes precision cuts. Finding such a cutter isn’t a straightforward process until you meet this exhaustive review. Please share the content with others — to help them through the selection process, too. Meanwhile, nice shopping!