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What are aviation snips?

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Aviation shears may be known as aircraft snips, compound-action snips, compound tin snips, sheet snips or maille snips Aviation snips are hand-held tools designed to cut through sheets of metal and other, softer materials like plastic or rubber. They were originally designed to cut metal in aircraft construction, hence their name.

They may also be known as ‘compound-action snips’, ‘aircraft shears’, ‘aviation tin snips’, ‘maille snips’ or ‘sheet snips’.

Aviation snips come in different varieties, the main one are right cut, left cut and straight cut. Aviation snips come in three basic styles: straight cut, right cut and left cut. These will usually be colour coded to make them easier to identify.

Straight cut snips are yellow, right cuts are green and left are red. They may also have other variations in design, depending on their intended use.

For more information, see: What are the different types of aviation snips?

Aviation shears should cut sheet metal easily and leave a smooth edge. Aviation snips should leave a clean, smooth edge on materials which are usually difficult to cut. They are made to different specifications, so make sure you check individual tools to ensure they are suitable for the material you intend to use them with.

For more information, see:  What can aviation snips cut?

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