In this guide we’ll look at the best tin snips.
We’ve compared construction material, cut capacity, grip comfort and cost
to give you our top recommendations.

What Are The Best Tin Snips?

IMAGERECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Weight 408 g
  • Length 39 cm
  • Cut capacity 1.2 mm
  • Weight: 404 g
  • Length: 30 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1.2 mm
  • Weight: 340 g
  • Length: 24.8 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1.2 mm
  • Weight: 150 g
  • Length: 18.5 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1 mm
  • Weight: 422 g
  • Length: 25 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1.5 mm

More Detailed Tin Snips Reviews

Irwin 10504311 Aviation Snips - Straight Cut

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  • Weight 408 g
  • Length 39 cm
  • Cut capacity 1.2 mm
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Irwin 10504311 Aviation Snips - Straight Cut Review

Anyone who has used pliers or vice grips should be familiar with the Irwin brand. The 10504311 aviation snips we tried felt solid and reliable, but surprisingly light for how aggressively they can cut.

The cold formed blades are razor sharp and close together with a satisfying action. The lower jaw is slightly serrated for extra cutting action, but doesn’t leave a burr on sheet metal after cutting.

The force multiplying compound action is unbelievably powerful and makes short work of sheet steel, whilst straight cutting accurately. They might just be the best tin snips on the UK market, due to the mixture of lightweight precision and brute strength when needed.

The over-moulded handles were soft enough for long cutting sessions, and we’re confident that they’re as non-slip as they get.

Stanley STA214563 Aviation Snip - Straight

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  • Weight: 404 g
  • Length: 30 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1.2 mm
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Stanley STA214563 Aviation Snip - Straight Review

Stanley and particularly the FATMAX line of hand tools are respected for their build quality and comfy reliability. The compound action aviation snips we tried out are a rightful continuation of the brand.

With forged chrome molybdenum steel cutting blades and a hefty pair of handles, there’s not much you can’t cut through, whether it’s steel, aluminium, copper or other sheet metals. They’re the best straight tin snips that Stanley offer, and we’re confident you’ll think so too.

Our favourite feature though is the well-sprung return. Something that annoys all tin snip users is when the jaws get stuck closed, so Stanley have made the return spring powerful enough to disengage properly. This also means that one-handed operation is a breeze.

Wiss M3R MetalMaster Compound Action Aviation Snips

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  • Weight: 340 g
  • Length: 24.8 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1.2 mm
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Wiss M3R MetalMaster Compound Action Aviation Snips Review

With over 160 years of specialist shear and snips manufacturing experience, US tool firm Wiss’s Metal Master snips are the best aviation tin snips made in the USA. We love the simplicity of them, and the obvious care taken in the manufacturing process.

The molybdenum steel jaws are serrated for extra grip, and the compound action amplifies the force put into them solidly. The large yellow grips on the handles let you know that it’s a straight-cut set of pliers, and make them comfortable enough for long-term use.

When you compare the weight of these to some of the other snips on the list, they offer the same force in the jaws but in a much lighter package, which makes the difference in a large tool box.

OX Pro Series 185 mm Snip Pliers

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  • Weight: 150 g
  • Length: 18.5 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1 mm
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OX Pro Series 185 mm Snip Pliers Review

Australian tool brand OX makes bold power and hand tools for the UK market, and pride themselves on high quality tools at affordable prices.

The Pro-Series snip pliers we looked at are a different style to the other entries in the list, and don’t include the same force multiplying mechanism, but they’re incredibly sharp and capable of cutting thin steel sheet without the compound capability.

The sturdy spring between the comfortable rubberised handles will stop them binding, and make them ideal one-handed snips. Easily the lightest snips on the list, they are highly manoeuvrable and are the best tin snips on the list for cutting curves.

We think they’re the best tin snips on the market without the compound action, and are well-placed for cutting anything around the home or in the garden.

S&R 250mm Tin Snips Aviation, Straight Cut

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  • Weight: 422 g
  • Length: 25 cm
  • Cut capacity: 1.5 mm
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S&R 250mm Tin Snips Aviation, Straight Cut Review

S&R Industrie Werkzeuge is a German tool company that specialise in precision drilling and cutting tools.

These S&R aviation tin snips are incredibly strong and made of solid chrome-molybdenum steel. Rated to an impressive 1.5 mm, they really mean business, and make the most of the strong springs that keep the jaws from binding.

We really like the sharp points on the end of the jaws, they mean you can get into the tightest spots but still apply the maximum force. The strong latch is well made

They feel like the best aviation snips for the money, and as long as they last as long as more expensive snips, they’re a bargain.

Tin Snips Buyer’s Guide

Cutting sheet metals without power tools can be a long and tiring process, but when you employ a mechanical advantage like compound action aviation snips, it can be as easy as cutting paper.

Types of Aviation Snips

When it comes to cutting sheet materials, there are four main types of snips

Straight-cut snips are suited for cutting straight through sheet metals, and can’t cut tight curves. Usually colour coded yellow

Clockwise-cut snips cut right-handed curves, and are usually colour coded green

Anti-clockwise-cut snips cut left-handed curves, and are usually colour coded red

Offset-cut snips cut at a raised angle and allow your hand to stay above the cut. The best offset tin snips use the compound action as well

Usage

The name says it all, aviation snips found their calling when they were used to cut sheet metal in the airplane-manufacturing industry.

They are used by DIYers, hobbyists and tradespeople alike to cut sheet materials like steel, aluminium or copper. Simple types of snips like the OX Pro-Snips resemble scissors, but compound snips like the Stanley FATMAX Straight Cut snips use two sets of hinges to multiply hand forces up to eight times.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the best tin snips on the UK market, we tried out five contenders for the number one spot. It was close, but the outright winner is the Irwin 10504311 aviation snips. The power to weight ratio is excellent, and the grips are supremely comfortable. We think they’ll last a long time in the right hands.

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