Looking after your tools will prolong their life.You should ensure that you use your snips correctly, keep them clean and store them safely. This should help keep them working for as long as possible.
Some tin snips have blades which can be resharpened if they become blunt but aviation snips and some tin snips do not. If snips become blunt or damaged and can’t be resharpened, they will need to be replaced.For more information see: How to sharpen tin snips?
The materials your snips can cut should be stated in the product specifications.
Be careful not to strain the tool or it may break or become damaged. If you find that you need to use two hands, or that the snips are not cutting smoothly, you may need to use a larger or stronger tool, such as a bench shear or electric metal cutter. Using snips with materials other than those they are designed for can stretch the pivot bolt and make them useless.
Snips are designed for cutting flat materials, rather than rounded ones. Though the snips may be able to cut through other materials, this is likely to wear them quickly or damage them.
Snips should not be used in high temperatures as this can affect the tempering process they went through during manufacture, therefore, they could lose strength.
Like other snips and shears, aviation snips should be kept clean and dry as moisture and dirt on metal parts can cause corrosion. Wiping the blade with an oiled cloth after use should help clean them and keep them rust-free.
Occasionally, the joining bolt and blades should be oiled to prevent rust and keep them moving smoothly. Also, the area underneath the joint where the blades cross one another, can be oiled so that the blades continue to pass each other smoothly.
Keeping the blades aligned
The pivot bolt and nut hold the blades in place and are aligned in a way that should produce a clean cut. Some snips have pivot bolts which can be adjusted.
If the material begins to bunch up in the blades, or bends instead of cutting, it could be that the bolt has become loose or has stretched. If the bolt has stretched, it can not be realigned, however, if the bolt is loose, the nut can be tightened to keep the blades aligned correctly.
The bolt should be tight enough to keep the tool cutting smoothly, but not so tight that blades will no longer open.
Some snips have a safety lock, which can be used when they are not in use. The blades are closed and the lock is simply pushed to secure them. This keeps the blades together so they don’t become damaged or cause injury.
They should be stored somewhere safe, such as in a toolbox or hung up in a workshop.