Technicians and contractors are conversant with the indispensability of aviation snips. They are a must-have for anyone, from the seasoned professional to the budding greenhorn in search of a heavy-duty, easy-to-use, and dependable way of slitting or cutting through sheets of metal. While you can resort to cheap, conventional methods, they pale into insignificance compared to the convenience, power, and practicality of aviation snips and would struggle to go through particularly thick metal workpieces. The temptation to opt for cheap variants may be great but these flimsy, humdrum options only provide a quick fix. An aviation snip should be a long-term investment, providing you with a flawless, trouble-free performance.
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For the best cutting performance, we highly recommend you pick out a set with the right features. Heavy-duty construction ensures durability while a sharp blade allows you to go shear effortlessly and quickly through any workpiece. The aviation snip also needs to be easy to use as no one wants to end up with a nasty, jagged edge after hours of struggling with thick metal sheets.
10 Best Aviation Snips
1. Stanley FatMax 14-563
The Stanley FatMax 14-563 is a perfect choice for the value-conscious users looking for the best bang for their buck. It's a feature-packed choice with a wide range of features and specs to enable you, the user, to perform various applications comfortably, easily, quickly, and accurately. Features such as the serrated cutting edges, the Bi-material cushion grips, the straight-cut design, and the high-leverage, compound cutting design work flawlessly in tandem to deliver one of the best cutting experiences in the industry. If you want strength, durability, ease of use and affordability, the Stanley FatMax 14-563 comes highly recommended.
As mentioned earlier, the construction quality of the Stanley FatMax 14-563 is on a whole new level, thanks to the ingenious construction quality and the use of first-rate materials for construction. The aviation snip expertly brings together serrated cutting blades boasting a high-leverage, compound cutting design and featuring a high-quality, all-forged, chrome molybdenum steel construction to provide you with an indelible cutting experience. Together, the features take the time and effort away from cutting the toughest and strongest material including 18-gauge steel. Other materials the aviation snip can cut with remarkable speed and ease include aluminium, vinyl siding, screening, cardboard, leather, as well as copper.
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If the aviation snip had a middle name, it would be convenience seeing as it comes with a slew of easy to use features. The serrated cutting edges, for instance, minimize the likelihood of the cutting material slipping during use. It also features an anti-slip, bi-material cushion grip that provides the user with a firm yet comfortable grip. There is also the high-leverage, compound cutting design that makes it easy to cut very abrasive materials and because of the automatic releasing latch, you can operate the aviation snip with a single hand.
If your heart is set on acquiring a high-quality, cost-effective, easy-to-use, high-performance, and durable aviation snip, look no further than the Stanley FatMax 14-563. It also has a limited lifetime warranty to give you the confidence and peace of mind to purchase and use it.
A versatile, all-around performer
Feature high-performance serrated cutting edges
Bi-material cushion grips offer comfort
Compound cutting design for flawless cutting
Not the best for heavy materials
2. Clauss 18421 Titanium Bonded Snips For Sheet Metal
Our second pick, the Clauss 18421 Titanium snips, are truly deserving of the honour. Like our first choice, they offer remarkable precision and top-of-the-line performance. With regards to strength and reliability, our first choice easily cedes ground to this set. Its blades are up to 3 times stronger and boast exceptional edge retention. It also goes without saying that they offer incredible value, enabling you to cut a wide range of materials and objects around the house and in your workshop without putting in too much effort or investing a lot of time. Continue reading for an in-depth review of this workhorse.
To expound, the is forged from high-quality titanium, a material that offers up to three times the strength, resilience, and durability of stainless steel. It's also capable of retaining its cutting edge for considerably longer than stainless steel. Sharp blades allow the user to cut various materials easily and quickly and accurately, thereby reducing or entirely eliminating the likelihood of costly errors and mistakes. Aside from the generous lifetime warranty, the aviation snip also comes with tough serrated blades that conveniently minimize the likelihood of slip-out which in turn enhances accuracy.
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For additional convenience, the Clauss 18421 feature pivot points that enhance leverage, making them easy to cut through various tough materials. The handles, on the other hand, are not only sturdy but also come with cushioned grips that offer exceptional comfort and a firm grip, enabling the user to make precise and effortless cuts. To make it easy and quick to identify the aviation snip in a toolbox full of other tools, the pack sports colour-coded handles. With proper use and care, you won’t have to buy another aviation snip for the next several years, even with extreme, everyday use.
In all, the Clauss 18421 features sturdy titanium blades, serrated edges, and cushioned grips among several other nifty features to make cutting tough, pesky materials easy and fun. They’re also comfortable and easy to use.
High-quality construction ensures longevity
Heavy-duty, durable blades
A little on the heavy side
3. MIDWEST Set - Left and Right Cut Offset Tin Cutting Shears
With a paltry weight of 1.94 pounds, forged blades, and KUSH’N-POWER grips, this MIDWEST Aset is easily one of the best aviation snips you can get on the market. Unlike cheap, off-brand models, it provides you with the best of all the essential features without sacrificing quality or performance. One of the signature features of the snip is the offset blade pattern that diverts the cut material away from the blades thereby minimizing interference and allowing for considerably longer cuts. Since the set features both right and left blade pattern models, cutting tight curves will be a breeze, which is more than you can say for the other standard models flooding the market.
If it’s precision, performance, and durability you’re looking for, this aviation snip should be up your alley. Considering that the blades are made from high-quality hot drop-forged molybdenum alloy steel are further heat-treated using austemper, they are both strong and durable and capable of withstanding lots of attrition. Coupled with the fact that the blades are Glide-Tech Forged, they cut cleanly, quickly, very comfortably, and with the least effort. To make your work even easier, the compound leverage cutting action comes to your aid by multiplying the handle force by up to 8 times, letting you finish a cutting project in a fraction of the time it takes flimsy, run-of-the-mill models out there.
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The Kush'n-Power Grips of the MIDWEST set is yet another reason to consider going with it. They are soft, robust, and comfortable and make it easy to make repetitive hand motions with minimal risk of hand exhaustion or strain. Because it naturally conforms to the contours of the hand and comes with non-slip ribs, there's a remote likelihood of the fingers slipping as you work, however hard you work.
To conclude, this set is all you need for optimal performance. It’s precise, high-performance, long-lasting, and a cinch to use. Few aviation snips can hold a candle to it.
A cinch to use with its Kush'n-Power grips
Features compound leverage cutting action for effortless cutting
Cuts cleanly and quickly
4. Craftsman Evolv 3 pc. Aviation Snip Set
Like our previous choice, this Craftsman Evolv 3 pc. set features an ingenious design that makes it remarkably easy and quick to cut through several metal sheets and other objects. Hand fatigue and energy-sapping repetitive motions will never be a problem when using this set. It’s a versatile set with three pieces each optimized for right, straight, and left cuts, which in essence makes the user an all-around performance.
With the set with an arm’s reach, you won’t encounter the slightest hiccup with the toughest, thickest materials or even break a sweat cutting at various angles and even at hard-to-reach angles and tight spaces. If this sounds like the sort of aviation snip you need to accomplish your tasks, continue reading because it sports several other features you should know about.
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Forged with pro-grade materials, the set comes with all the qualities serious and seasoned tradespeople and contractors look for in an aviation snip. It has the heft to cut quickly and effortlessly through the toughest and hardest materials. It shears easily through metals, cardboard, and several other materials. The set’s unique selling point is versatility. While some options will limit you to straight, left, or right cuts, this aviation snip makes your work easy by enabling you to cut from multiple directions and even around curves and other tight spots.
Renowned for its ease of use, the set also packs a few convenience features to make your work easy. The ergonomically designed handles, for instance, aim to prevent chaffing from repeated use while offering your hands the ultimate comfort, firm and anti-slip grip. And since it weighs a paltry 2.8 pounds, it's easy to manoeuvre and use for accomplishing overhead projects. All the three pieces are also colour-coded so you can easily and quickly identify the piece you need and reach for it.
Overall, the Craftsman set arms you to the teeth with all the pieces you need to complete all the projects you have in mind. Users laud its comfort, ease of use, versatility, functionality, and affordability.
Locking mechanism and anti-slip handle enhances safety
Colour coded for easy identification
5. LENOX Tools (22105105)
Even though it comes from a relatively unrecognizable brand, LENOX Tools Snips set comes with all the hallmark features of a high-end option. The construction of the precision-formed blades with high-quality materials and their resultant ability to retain their cutting edge for long makes them an ideal choice for cutting notches in heavy materials. The long-lasting springs are a godsend to those who work for several hours on end. Another outstanding feature is the slip-resistant and comfortable over-molded handles and because the aviation snip is colour-coded, you won’t have any difficulties identifying and retrieving it from your tool bag.
Boasting a commercial-grade quality, this option is all you need for shearing through tough and pesky materials. The aviation snip is made from high-end materials and is therefore capable of handling various profession-grade applications and withstand attrition for years on end. The high-quality finish, on the other hand, means you don't have to worry about corrosion and rust, which in turn enables you to take on the toughest jobs in the harshest and most unforgiving environments.
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As we mentioned earlier, the construction of the springs from reinforced chrome silicone Valve-quality wire enables them to last more than a lifetime of consistent use. The same goes for the precision-formed cutting blades. As for ease of use, the brand goes all the way to ensure its customers get the best possible experience. The handles are over-molded to provide exceptional comfort and prevent the possibility of inadvertent slippage while working. The risk of them twisting is also remote. Like the vast majority of aviation snips on the market, the colour coding of the aviation snip and the fact that it sports arrow icons makes it easy and quick to identify when the need for it arises.
A perfect addition to any toolbox
, the LENOX Tools Snips set will enable you to accomplish any cutting project that comes your way. It's cost-effective and because of the high-end construction, it easily and quickly plows through dense, tough materials. Simply put, it’s a must-have.
Exceptional construction quality and performance
Durable, easy-to-use springs
Comfortable over-molded handles
6. Dewalt DWHT14676 Set, 3 pack
Another ideal choice for the value-conscious users is this Dewalt DWHT14676. The set comes with 3 aviation snips and goes for less than 40 bucks. A perfect choice for enthusiastic DIYers, seasoned professionals and everyone else in between, the set is packed to the brim with several time- and effort-saving features and is guaranteed to appeal immensely to the individual keen on augmenting their productivity and efficiency. Dewalt products
are renowned the world over for their durability, efficiency, ease of use, and exceptional performance and this aviation snip is not any different.
Its litany of features consists of flush hardware, a safety-enhancing internal locking mechanism, long-lasting construction using first-rate forged chrome molybdenum alloy, and best of all, a pocket-friendly price tag. As is the case with most top-of-the-line aviation snips, this is a very versatile selection. There is a straight, right, and left angled snip in the set, allowing you to take on a wide range of metalwork applications. All 3 snips are rugged and robust and ready to take on the toughest challenge you throw at them. Because they’re made using forged chrome molybdenum alloy, they can withstand the toughest working conditions, providing the user with several years of flawless performance.
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Accessing any or all of the pieces from the pouch is a snip, thanks to the flush hardware. And because of the internal locking mechanism with auto release, you can confidently use the set to shear through various objects and materials without worrying about the safety of your hand. The handles are ergonomically designed and cushioned to provide comfort and ease of use. Your hands won’t slip while working as they’re rugged and textured. Also, with a weight of 2.85 pounds, the aviation snip is lightweight and manoeuvres with ease. They are also colour coded for easy and quick identification.
If its durability, reliability, comfort, and cost-effective that you’re looking for, Dewalt DWHT14676 has you covered. They may not be the best but for their price, they’re more than ideal.
A versatile collection of snips
Flush design for effortless access
Internal locking mechanism for safety
A little uncomfortable to use
7. Milwaukee 48-22-4033 3-Piece, R-L-S Cutting
Because the Milwaukee 48-22-4033 is made in China, most users will immediately turn up their nose at it, erroneously construing its origin as a reflection of poor quality and inferior performance. An in-depth review of the features underneath the hood, if you will, quickly reveal that contrary to expectations, the aviation snip is feature-rich, easy to use, versatile, long-lasting, and performance-oriented. The set comes with 3 snips for right, left, and straight cutting, making it a budget-friendly all-around performer that makes quick and short work of the toughest and most demanding cutting projects. If you’re wondering how the Milwaukee 48-22-4033 stacks up against its other worthy competitors, we highly welcome you to continue reading.
First off, it features hard chrome plated blades constructed from forged alloy steel. This pairs nicely with the serrated jaws to provide the user with all the cutting power they need. To this add the cutting capacity of 18 ga. for cold rolled steel and 22 ga. for stainless steel. Because of their straight design, they shear through thin sheet metals with spectacular speed and ease, enabling you to finish your project without breaking a sweat. Because of their construction using forged metal, they’re capable of lasting up to 10 times longer than ordinary aviation snips, making them every value-conscious user’s dream.
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They are easy to use, too. The length and design of the handles provide immense comfort and traction. A finger lock feature significantly enhances controllability and manoeuvrability, enabling you to cut confidently and accurately. The colour coding of the Milwaukee 48-22-4033’s grips allows the user to accurately and quickly identify the right one for the job. For your safety, you can use the provided thumb lock when you’re done so there are no ugly accidents.
If you want an option that grips, unlocks, locks, and releases with ease, your best bet would be this Milwaukee 48-22-4033. And it comes with a limited lifetime warranty so you can purchase with confidence.
Cuts cleanly, powerful, and accurately
Durable, rugged blades
Generous lifetime warranty
Ineffective locking mechanism
8. Bessey D15-SET (3 Piece)
You’ll be hard pressed to find aviation snips that combine a long-lasting construction quality, impressive features, ergonomics, flawless and quick cutting, as well as value like Bessey D15-SET does. In spite of expertly balancing all these essential features, the aviation snip still surprisingly comes with a very reasonable and justifiable asking price. DIY enthusiasts and professionals will immediately fall in love with this aviation snip which, in spite of its small size, offers top-notch performance for all cutting tasks around the house, in a workshop, and on the construction site.
With dimensions of 8.2 by 4 by 2 inches and a weight of 2 pounds, Bessey D15-SET is easily one of the lightest and most compact aviation snips you'll encounter on the market. The compact design, however, belies its performance because compared to other models on and off this list, it requires minimal effort to cut through dense and tough sheets of metal and other materials such as cardboard. Little effort on the handles is quickly multiplied and amplified to immense cutting force at the tips, allowing for effortless left cutting, right cutting, and straight cutting. To further enhance performance, the cutting jaws are hardened to 62 HRC and lack any additional serrations, a fact that enables it to cut smoothly, cleanly, and easily.
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With a cutting capacity of 22 gauge for stainless steel and 18 gauge for carbon steel, this Bessey D15-SET is an ideal tool for all tradespeople and hobbyists. It’s lightweight and compact and fits comfortably and securely in the hand, leaving minimal room for accidental slippage when cutting through tough materials. The handles are also nickel plated and feature a heavy-duty locking latch for safety. They are similarly colour coded for easy identification. After you’re done working, you can quickly put them all back in the provided rugged folding ballistic nylon case with a quick connect closure for safe keeping.
To conclude, few snips can match the cutting prowess of this Bessey D15-SET. They are easy to use, perform exceptionally, and because of compact, lightweight design, are perfect for tight spaces.
Offers value for money
A cinch to use
Not ideal for large hands
9. Wiss M3R MetalMaster Straight
As the manufacturer accurately points out, the Wiss M3R MetalMaster is a perfect choice for users who need aggressive material cutting action. It's designed ingeniously to provide the user with nothing short of the best performance, bringing together a plethora of features and specs to enable you to complete your cutting projects in a fraction of the time it takes cheap, off-brand models on the market. Its performance on metal lathe is particularly impressive, thanks to its top-notch, double-action design.
If you want an option capable of making perfect, flawless, and accurate cuts, we highly recommend taking looking at this workhorse. The first unique selling point of the Wiss M3R MetalMaster is the design of the blade that lets the user make straight, left, and right cuts. It's, therefore, a versatile choice that comes in handy for the quick and convenient completion of a number of projects. You can cut through a wide range of materials including but not limited to sheet metal, leather, and even copper. And because of the inclusion of the compound cutting action, cutting through 18 gauge carbon steel will feel like cutting through a piece of cake with a hot knife – effortless, quick, and accurate.
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Expectedly, the compound cutting action puts excessive amounts of pressure on the blades, which makes it all the more important that they are high-quality, resilient, rugged, and long-lasting. To help with that, the brand prudently uses molybdenum steel for the construction of the blades, a material capable of withstanding loads of attrition and extreme use. This, however, doesn't mean the Wiss M3R MetalMaster is difficult to use.
It features non-slip grips to ensure your hands are invariably comfortable and to give you exceptional control at all times. The serrated jaw that’s also made from high-quality molybdenum steel makes sure the cutting material is always firm and uniform, providing for accurate and safe cuts. There is also a handy safety latch.
Wiss M3R MetalMaster is hands down one of the best snips money can buy. It easily exceeds performance and convenience expectations. For users who want an easy-to-use, cost-effective, safe, high-performance, and durable aviation snip, your search stops right here.
Features non-slip serrated jaw for firm, uniform cutting
10. MIDWEST - Left Cut Offset Tin Cutting Shears with Forged Blade
Our last pick is yet another Midwest snip. While it shares a lot with its bigger cousin, it also comes with its own unique set of features and specs that make it stand out. As well as sporting a considerably long-lasting cutting edge, they also comes with comfortable, robust handles, a compound leverage system to make your work a cinch, and durable construction to withstand the onerous task of shearing through tough and dense materials and objects.
For users who need an option that cuts fast, with ease, and cleanly, we can’t recommend this MIDWEST Aviation Snip enough. It has Glide-Tech forged blades that pair nicely with the compound leverage to make cutting a cinch. It doesn’t require as much effort or considerable time investment to finish a project, as is often the case with flimsy, run-of-the-mill options on the market. These snips have a reputation for longevity, exceptional performance, and cutting with military-grade accuracy. MIDWEST Aviation Snip only continues this tradition.
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Capable of cutting straight and around tight left curves, it features blades made with drop-forged molybdenum alloy steel and heat treated with austemper. The resulting strength and durability are responsible for its off-the-charts performance. As for usability, their design and engineering put the user first. The construction of the handles with high tensile strength steel minimizes the likelihood of bending even with an excessive application of force and ensure hand force is efficiently converted to sheer cutting power. The handles are also comfortable and sport lots of indented ribs for preventing hand and finger slippage.
These snip ticks all the right boxes and provides the user with one of the best metal and material cutting experiences. If you want to invest in a long-lasting, high performance, and easy-to-use aviation snip, this aviation snip would make for an exceptional choice.
Comfortable, anti-slip Kush'n-Power grips
Features compound leverage for effortless, quick performance
Tough blades cut precisely
Exceptional cutting edge retention
Criteria for Choosing the Best Aviation Snips
Aviation snips are a versatile selection and as such, are ideal for undertaking manifold projects. In addition to cutting sheets of metal, they’re also ideal for folding, shaping, and fitting the said sheets. A set comes in handy for cutting accurately, quickly, and effortlessly.
Because they’re colour coded, differentiating the left from the right offsets is a breeze. Marked with a red colour, left offsets are optimized for giving your workpiece a neat finish and retaining some fishhooks around the edges. Right offsets are green are for cutting in a clockwise direction while straight offsets, as the name suggests, are designed for making straight and small cuts rather than cutting around corners. They feature either a yellow or orange colour.
A functional and practical aviation snip is very vital to achieving the shape you desire and substantially minimizes the effort you’ll be using.
Whether you’re a regular or occasional user of aviation snips, compromising on quality will, in long-run, prove to be a costly mistake. Professionals understand the significance of investing in high-quality tools that offer value-for-money, which is why they invest only in sturdy, rugged, and long-lasting options.
Those made from first-rate materials deliver top-notch performance and will stay sharper all year long. They are also able to withstand loads of wear and tear that come with heavy-duty, extreme use. Further, take a look at the spring mechanism and if you can choose, go for those featuring an all-tempered steel construction as they are better suited to handle demanding applications.
Ease of Use
Convenience is an important factor for those who want to complete their cutting projects quickly, accurately and with minimal effort. Models with comfortable, anti-slip grips on the handle allow the user to work comfortably for hours on end without experiencing any serious fatigue or hand strain.
Left, right, and straight offsets also come in different colours. The design makes it easy for the user to differentiate between them and accurately reach for the correct piece he or she needs. And because they are lightweight and compact, they’re highly portable and give you quick, easy access to tight or confined spaces.
We bet you want to return home at the end of the day with the same number of fingers you left with. If that’s your aim, consider the safety features the aviation snip you’re enamoured of comes with.
Besides anti-slip grip handles, ensure it has a locking mechanism to prevent it from inadvertently springing open and this would expose you to grave danger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are some of the precautionary measures to take when using these snips?
A: Obviously, safety supersedes everything else. Unfinished workpieces with sharp edges necessitate wearing hand gloves and to protect your eyes from flying debris and particles, safety goggles are a safety staple.
Q: What is the difference between left, right and straight offsets?
A: Left and right offsets are for cutting in an anti-clockwise and clockwise direction, respectively while straight offsets are reserved for making small and straight cuts.
Like a hammer or a screwdriver, an aviation snip is a must-have tool not only for contractors, technicians, and hobbyists. They effectively do the heavy lifting by taking the hard work and time away from cutting through tough and dense sheets of metal.
High-end models are indisputably high-performance in light of their combination of comfortable, slip-resistant handles and serrated edges. Our picks come with these and several other features and will make for a perfect addition to your growing list of tools.