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What are mitre shears made from?

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Mitre shears body

Mitre shears are usually made from steel, which gives them their strength

Steel

The main body of mitre shears is usually made from steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and known for its strength, toughness and versatility. This  is why many tools are made from steel.

some mitre cutters will be made of zinc die casting rather than steel

Zinc

Some mitre shears are made from die cast zinc instead of steel. Zinc can be cast into very precise shapes for the parts of the shears and high-quality zinc can be produced with a strength that matches some steels.

Zinc alloys are less susceptible to corrosion and are lighter than steel, but they tend to be more expensive than most steels.

Aluminium is weaker than zinc or steel but it is cheaper

Aluminium

Another material you may find mitre shears made from is cast aluminium, this is the weakest and most easily deformed material.

However, aluminium mitre shears are corrosion resistant, lightweight and usually the cheapest to produce.

Which alloy will suit you depends on how you will use the mitre shears

Which material should I choose?

As the steel alloys should be strongest these would be better suited for use with tougher plastics and more frequent use.

Aluminium mitre shears will be weaker, but they will be lighter to carry around, less likely to corrode, and cheaper.

Zinc is likely to be the most expensive of all the materials and will be stronger than lower grade steels. It can be cast into more precise shapes than steel and is also lighter. It is a heavier than aluminium but is just as corrosive resistant.

Mitre shears blades

Mitre shears are made from steel to give them strength The blade of mitre shears will usually be made from hardened steel. This provides extra strength for cutting through different materials. The specifications of the shears should tell you the type of blade that has been used.
The quality of the material used to make a tool will usually be reflected in the cost. The quality of the steel used in the blade will usually be reflected in the price and can often be gauged by the reputation of the company and the toughness of the materials it is able to cut. If the shears can cut wood and tough plastic then the steel used to make the blade is likely to be of a higher grade than a blade which can only cut soft plastic and thin materials.
mitre cutters can shears through different materials, depending on the toughness of the blade The strength of the steel used in the blade should be included in the specifications of the shears – with stronger steel, such as hardened steel, being used for shears intended to cut thicker and tougher materials and lower grade steel being used when they just need to cut softer materials.

Sometimes the blades will be made of high-carbon steel; the higher the carbon level, the stronger the steel, but the more brittle it becomes.

some mitre shears use standard utility blades

Utility blades

Some mitre shears use a standard utility blade, also used in utility knives, this will be made of steel, often hardened or high carbon steel. Check the specifications of individual blades to ascertain their strength and intended usage as some, heavy duty blades, are intended to last longer than others.

Different steel have different properties

What steel is used to make blades?

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. When used to make blades it will usually also be mixed with other elements which will change the properties of the steel.

For blades, the steel ideally needs to be strong but not too brittle. Changing the chemical properties of steel allow it to be hardened more easily, and reduces the risk of cracking.

Blades can be made from different steel, the better quality the steel the stronger the blade You may see blades made from high carbon steel – the more carbon in steel the stronger it gets, but the chance of fracture increases. Alloy steels will be designed to allow the steel to be hardened without being so fragile. Stainless steel is also sometimes used, this is not quite as tough as some other steel but it is resistant to corrosion.

Mitre shears anvil

Sometimes the anvil of a pair of mitre shears is made of aluminium Sometimes the anvil is made of aluminium alloy rather than steel. This slightly cheaper material is used when the anvil doesn’t have to be as strong, for example if the shears are intended to cut softer material.

Mitre shears handles

the handles of mitre shears are usually coated in plastic or rubber for a soft grip The handles of mitre shears are usually covered in plastic or rubber to allow a comfortable grip and reduce the chance of the user’s hands slipping when the tool is in use.

Some mitre shears do not have a covering over the handles and may slip more easily and are likely to be less comfortable to use.