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Beginners Buying Guide for Shear Machines

Beginners Buying Guide for Shear Machines

Sep 30,2022
shearing machine
Sheet metal shearing devices are primarily used to trim metal into various sizes and shapes. Sheet metal shears have different cutting mechanisms and are essential in industries that work with metals and sheets. Some of the operations performed on the sheet include blanking, trimming, roll slitting ,and piercing. The purpose of this guide is to highlight important aspects of shears.

Before purchasing a shearing machine, businesses should consider several basic factors, as listed below.

Cut metal type

The thickness, type ,and consistency of the material being sheared will determine the shear used. If the material is ta hin metal or light aluminum, a pneumatic shearing machine is sufficient. However, 3/4" sheet metal will require a mechanical shear due to its ability to absorb shock and strength.

Shear metal yield

Specific improvements should be made when the volume of material to be sheared is larger. For example, businesses should consider whether a shearing machine can be attached to a conveyor belt to quickly convey material and remove workpieces. Industrial shears should be adaptable.

Shearing system

Shearing systems can be pneumatic, electric, hydraulic or mechanical. Pneumatic shears are known for their smooth cuts and quiet operation. They differ from mechanical and hydraulic shears in that they are quite noisy when in use. However, mechanical shears are easy to use, very fast, and have a shock absorbing design. Electric shears use electricity as a power source, so they don't have a flywheel to increase tonnage. Businesses should choose a shearing machine that better suits their needs.

Shearing machine design

There are two basic design types: guillotine and swing beam. In the guillotine design, the upper blade is driven directly downward, providing a stronger thrust. The pendulum beam design utilizes leverage by rotating the upper blade, so it uses a smaller drive to shear the workpiece. 

Fixed or adjustable front angle

The adjustable front angle can be low or high. The rake angle is the angle at which the upper insert is inclined relative to the workpiece. The lower rake angle produces a high-quality cut. However, it requires more power to drive the blade through the material. A high rake angle uses less force but has a poorer cut quality. Zero rake angle means a lot of force is used when shearing, so the cost is high. Businesses should know the best quality of cut they want to make as a guideline when buying a shearing machine.

Operating scale

The operating size will directly affect the size of the sheet metal that can be cut. There are different sizes of machines such as 1170mm x 300mm, 3100mm x 1600mm, 3880 x 2150mm, and many more. Knowing the size of sheet metal can help businesses determine the right size for their operations.

Types of shears

There are many types of shears, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Straight knife shearing machine

The straight knife shearing machine adopts a movable upper knife and a stationary lower knife. The workpiece is placed between these two knives.


Square shears can be used to trim and cut strips.

To maintain the gap, one of the knives must be adjusted.


It is economical to cut straight edge blanks from strip.

It can easily cut sheets smaller than 50mm.

Mechanical shears

Mechanical shears use two sharp edges next to each other and place the material in between.


It is manually operated.


Easy to operate.

It is easy to maintain.

It is impact resistant.

Pneumatic shearing machine

Pneumatic shears use the activation of an air cylinder to power the crosshead and upper blade.


The tool is placed at the end of the cylinder rod.

It uses compressed air as a power source to cut metal.


It is very fast and accurate.

It is overload safe.

It is easy to maintain.

Hydraulic shears

Hydraulic shears use a motor-driven pump to press the oil into the cylinder against the piston.


It has a digital display that shows the stock position and cut count of the Back gauge.

It has hydraulic transmission and accumulator stroke return.


It takes up very little space while applying the same pressure as other machines such as mechanical shears.

It is fast and accurate.

Compared to mechanical shears, it does not require much maintenance.

The above briefly introduces some basic knowledge of the shearing machine. If you want to buy or customize the sheet metal shearing device, please contact us.

Hengli is a professional custom sheet metal cutting equipment manufacturer in China. Hengli focuses on the R&D and manufacturing of high-end industrial automation equipment. The main products are synchronized with the world's advanced technologies and are widely used in the pillar industries of the national economy such as automobile manufacturing and parts processing, iron and steel metallurgy processing, electric power, and metal packaging. The company aims to become a technology pioneer and market leader in the metal blanket forming industry, insist on innovation, build a brand, and prosper China's equipment manufacturing.