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How to cut curves with snips

Shop for Tinsnips and Aviation Snips

protractor

Step 1 – Mark guide line

Begin by using a felt pen to mark the cutting line on your metal as a guide for accuracy. For curves, it may be useful to use a base instrument such as a protractor to get a neat and even curvature.

Curve cutting

Step 2 – Choose snips

Ideally, for curve cutting, use curved tin snips or red/green handled aviation snips made for the direction of the bend. This will produce much better results than straight cutting snips.

straight cutting metal in jaw clasp

Step 3 – Open blades

Hold the metal securely and open the blades as widely as possible, then place the sheet metal into their clasp.

Curve cutting on line

Step 4 – Begin cutting

Follow the guide line, carefully keeping the blades as close to the sheet metal as possible. Keep cutting in a continuous motion, without taking the blades away from the metal as this will result in nicks and dimples in the curves’ edges.

scrap meetal

Step 5 – Hold waste

When working, waste material will curl up and should be held out of your way to prevent it from binding on the handles. This will make the cutting process easier and allow you to keep a clear view of your line.

curved finished

Step 6 – Complete cut

You will then have a smooth finished curve in your sheet metal.

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