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Teach me about tin snips
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Rob E

Locale: Canada
Teach me about tin snips on 02/12/2012 15:59:48 MST Print View

Hi everyone,

Having been exploring making alcohol stoves and wind screens for a while now using rudimentary tools, I decided to take the plunge and buy a pair of tin snips today.

Never having used tin snips before, I was amazed to learn that they come in a variety of flavours. I decided on a 10 inch "Aviation" style tin-snip for straight cut.

Am I going to regret not having bought right/left cut tin snips as well? Is there another kind of tool that is better for cutting aluminum flashing, titanium foil, hardware cloth, etc?



Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Teach me about tin snips on 02/12/2012 16:21:03 MST Print View

For cutting ordinary titanium foil, about all you need would be scissors and maybe a paper punch.

For aluminum of varying thicknesses, I use either a fine-blade hacksaw or else a Dremel tool. Eventually, you will need a Dremel tool, but it is adequate if it is a generic dremel.

Geez, I haven't used tin snips in ages.


Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Teach me about tin snips on 02/12/2012 16:44:45 MST Print View

You probably won't need the right/left versions - they are mostly for cutting curves. For lighter gauge stuff, a pair of utility shears is sometimes nice - basically just a heavy-duty pair of scissors so your wife won't complain that you used the "good" scissors for cutting all that stuff.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Teach me about tin snips on 02/13/2012 09:10:41 MST Print View

I've made hundreds of alcohol stoves and dozens of roof flashing windscreens using nothing but a pair of made in china, probably bought at walmart, scissors, and an ordinary paper hold punch. The paper punches are hit and miss, as they are made cheaply to loose standards, so some punch aluminum better than others (probably due to sharpness and/or die clearance variations)...

I even made an interlocking pot stand for a wood stove from .012" stainless steel sheet using the same pair of scissors, but that was one heck of a work out. I had to take some breaks when my hand started cramping.


Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
scissors are okay on 02/13/2012 10:26:35 MST Print View

Like others, I've just used a pair of decent kitchen scissors (Fiskars, because I have them) to cut aluminium and titanium foils for making windshields.

For cutting cans to make burners, I generally use a stanley knife blade resting on a book of suitable thickness, and the score & tear method. For making conic inner walls for burners, I use a pair of scribing dividers.

Rob E

Locale: Canada
snips on 02/13/2012 21:36:53 MST Print View

Thanks for the replies everyone,

after an evening of playing with stoves, I've decided that the tin snips are pretty easy. I have found that I can cut a lot more accurately and straight with them. The scissors cut easily as well, but the length of the blade I find make them a little more awkward to maneuver.

.... now to perfect my stove construction,