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What are the different parts of a pair of mitre shears?

Shop for Mitre Shears

   Mitre shears consist of a cutting blade which moves against an angled base plate, the shears are joined by a screw on the pivot point and they will usually have soft grip handles for ease of use. Wonkee donkee tools

Mitre shears cutting blade

The blade on the mitre shears will be sharp, sometimes it is replaceable The blade should be sharp, and strong enough to cut through the materials they are intended for use with. Some mitre shears are intended for use with specific materials, so check the manufacturer’s specifications.
The more mitre cutters are used the quicker they will blunt Mitre shears are designed to make clean cuts through materials, without crushing or deforming them. If the cutting begins to get difficult and the material is crushed before it is cut, or the cut is not as even and smooth as it should be, the blade may be blunt. The more you use the shears the quicker they are likely to blunt, however, most mitre shears have replaceable blades.
Some mitre shears have a blade specially made for the tool

Specific blades

Some mitre shears have a blade design that is unique to that tool, and these blades are often able to be sharpened when blunt. The specifications of the shears will tell you if the blade is replaceable or resharpenable. These blades are usually available from the same place as the mitre shears and often have a part number you can search for purchasing online.

Because they are specially made for the tool, they can be relatively expensive, compared to utility blades, however, they should not need replacing very often.

Utility knife blades are made to be replaced regularly so they are cheap to buy

Utility blades

Other mitre shears take a standard, trapezoidal, utility blade; the sort of blade used in retractable utility knives. The trapeze shaped blades are usually cheap to buy and should be available from any hardware store, so they’re easy to get hold of.

Most of these blades are intended to be replaced regularly, so they won’t last as long as a specially designed blade – this is why they are so inexpensive. More expensive, heavy duty, utility blades will last longer and be less prone to breaking.

Mitre shears anvil or base plate

The base plate foe mitre shears acts as an anvil for the sharp blades to cut against, it is marked for different angles The angled base plate works as an anvil for the blade to push against in order to cut the material. This part of the tool is sometimes replaceable as it may become worn or damaged if using with harder materials.
The base plate is angled and marked so you can achieve the cut you need The base plate has a guard on either side of the blade that is set to position materials against to cut at 45 degree angles. Usually, additional angles are marked on the base plate so the material can be lined up for making cuts at other angles with ease.
Base plates on mitre shears can differ slightly with different models

Differences in anvil design

You will find that there are differences in the anvil of different mitre shears. Most tend to have a number of separate angles marked on them while others may just have the main angles of 45 and 90 degrees. Some have extra marks for measuring lengths, as well as angles.

Some mitre shears will have a preset angle guide to help with cuts Another variation you may find on the anvil base plate is the addition of preset angle guides. This guide is not fixed at 45 degrees. It can normally be set at  angles of 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120 and 135 degrees. This is useful when you need to make a number of cuts at the same angle, other than 45 degrees.
Some mitre shears have other jaws that can be fitted allowing it to cut different materials Some mitre shears have additional base pieces which can be attached to the tool, to replace the standard anvil, and allow the tool to cut material of different shapes.
Some mitre shears have anvils made for cutting pipes and tubes These extra parts tend to have semicircle-shaped beds, for holding rounded stock such as hose or dowels, or a v-shaped bed which will hold square stock, like square tubing.

Mitre shears handles

The handles of mitre shears will usually be designed for a comfortable grip

Ergonomic handles

The handles will usually be ergonomically designed, which means they are made with the user in mind, so they should be fairly comfortable to grip.

This should ensure they are relatively easy to use as you apply pressure on them to make a cut. Most mitre shears can be used with either the left or right hand.

The handles of mitre shears and mitre cutters are often plastic coated.

Plastic or rubber handles

Usually the handles will be plastic or rubber coated so they don’t slip and are comfortable to hold when cutting, although some will have plain metal handles.

The rubber coated handles should be the most comfortable to hold, so might be beneficial if you need to use them a lot. Plastic handles should also be fairly gentle on hands, although plastic is usually harder than rubber. Mitre shears with metal handles are likely to be the least comfortable to use, so not really suited to regular usage, but these designs tend to be cheaper.

Mitre shears locking lever

The locking lever can be used for safety to lock the blades when the mitre shears are not being used The locking lever found on most mitre shears is a safety device that enables the sharp blade to be locked shut when it is not being used. The shears can be closed and the lever simple clips up to secure the blade in place, fastened against the anvil.