What are seaming pliers?

 
     
 Straight seaming pliers in use on a piece of metal sheet 

Seaming pliers are a hand tool used to grip and bend or fold small sections of hard but pliable material, especially lead, but also aluminium, copper and zinc.

 
     
 Seaming pliers 

Seaming pliers are also known as lead seaming pliers, hand seamers, clinching pliers and hemmers.

 
     
 A roofer on a lead roof with tools including seaming pliers 

Seaming pliers are used mainly for roofing work, where they form a seam to join panels of sheet metal together, to cover a roof. 

 

Seaming pliers are also used to create a decorative finish or ornamental ridge to the seam on the sheet metal.

 

Seaming pliers clinch the edges of metal to form a seal.

 
     
   

Sheet metal

 
 Sheet metal ready to be used with seaming pliers 

Sheet metal is any metal that has been made into thin, flat pieces of between 0.15mm (0.01 inches) and 6.35mm (0.25 inches) thick. It can then be cut and/or bent into a variety of shapes.

 
     
 Edging of sheet metal that has been seamed by seaming pliers 

Clinching sheet metal

Clinching metal with seaming pliers involves joining together separate pieces of sheet metal, either by bending over any protruding parts, or securing them by forming an edge.   

 
     
   
Wonkee Donkee For information on what materials to use with seaming pliers, see: What materials can I use with seaming pliers?
 
     
 Lead guttering with edges seamed by seaming pliers 

Forming a seam

When an individual piece of metal is formed the edges are bent over and shaped to form a smooth seam. 

 
     
 Examples of lead workers' tools including seaming pliers 

People who work with lead, especially roofers and plumbers, use seaming pliers on a regular, even daily, basis. 

 

Seaming pliers are an essential part of their tool kit. 

 
     
Contact Us