What You Need to Know Before Purchasing a Shear for Metal Working

Metal shearing is a simple, easy-to-execute, and fast metal cutting process. These traits come out especially well where simply shaped parts, softer metals, mass production, and straight-line cuts are involved. Also referred to as multi-slides or die cutting, the process involves minimal to no kerf—material loss due to cutting like in other metal cutting methods—and can be applied with virtually any diameter part.      

Shearing is also one of the most affordable metal working methods around. You expect shearing to produce short parts from a continuous part. Also anticipate the ability to mount shears at an angle to reduce the amount of force you need for cutting off sheets, saving you more in terms of energy bills. 

You can also work many metals using the process including brass, non-stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze.

But all those benefits will come to you when you know the following, according to reputable technicians from Accurl Machine Tools, a market leader in metalworking machinery and sheet metal fabrication solutions since 1988.

Here are grabs of wisdom you can use from them:

  1. Metal shearing is best used for soft metals

That is because shearing does not cut by burning or melting and it also produces clean cuts (no chips). Expect the process to produce straight-line cuts and several other geometric shapes involving straight lines. Also, you need to double check if you are going to use used hydraulic shear.

Remember though, the size of clearance you’ll need to apply for each metal varies—whether you are using a soft or tough metal.

  1. But the best shears for metalworking can cut off all types of metal sheets

Need a shearing machine for tougher metal like tungsten?

There are “all-in-one” shears in the market today for that. To successfully choose a suitable machine, watch out for the following “standard” shearing machine equipment (in a hydraulic shear):

Based on the specs of an Accurl CNC MS8 Hydraulic Shear (ms8-6×3200 mm with pneumatic sheet support system)

  1. Understand the major types of shears

Expect either guillotine or swing-beam shearing machines. Aptly named, guillotines involve the upper blade and ram moving straight up and down. Expect this design in heavier shears that are rated ½ “or greater.

Swing-beam shears are designed to use leverage power. The blade is forced down by hydraulic or mechanical actuation. That upper beam is typically mechanically pivoted before swinging down.

If you need higher tonnage hence shearing capacity, say for harder metals, the second option may serve you right without increasing the height of the machine.

And that leads us to the debated issue.

  1. To pit or not to pit a shearing machine?

Pitting a shear machine is basically about adding more mass to the bed without increasing the working height of the shear. That, by “tucking” the extra mass in a dug-out in the floor.

Pitting can help add shearing capacity for heavy-duty metalworking and ensure low rake angle with little to no flex under load. 

  1. To go mechanical or with a hydraulic shear driving system?

Unlike press brakes, mechanical shears can be a welcome option because they are simpler, quieter, faster, and run cooler. They also produce less filter and hydraulic oil waste, as well as require no hydraulic oil and cooling.

But hydraulic shears need not make full cycles like mechanical options when shearing. They can make snappy short strokes. Plus, hydraulic types use a blowout valve to dampen a shear’s pressure when there’s an obstruction/complication, keeping the shear from locking in the metal sheet.

  1. Shearing is not ideal for more advanced shapes

But shearing can crush unsupported cutoffs. You have to use an unsupported cutoff if you are considering cutting off fine tubing because the process won’t easily allow for a mandrel placement. Shearing is also unsuitable for lengths under 3.175 mm (0.125”).

And there you have them.

Need to learn more about the best shearing machine to buy for your specific needs? Ask an expert and get the most ROI from your shearing process investment.      

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