HealthyHandyman is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

8 Best Electric Metal Shears of 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews

close up using WEN 3650 Electric Metal Cutter Shear

Electric metal shears are a more convenient and powerful alternative to manual shears. Although there are bench mounted versions of this convenient tool available, when it comes to mobility, portability, and convenience, it is the handheld electric models that really excel.

Single cut and double cut shears are different variants of this powerful and popular hand tool, and regardless of which of these models you choose, you will want to consider factors such as the cut capacity, whether they draw power from the mains or from batteries, and whether the tool has variable speed settings.

We have put together a list of reviews of eight of the best electric metal shears to help you choose the pair that is best suited to your requirements and the project at hand. We’ve also included a guide to help you choose the right pair, and that includes information on some of the terminology and most important factors when buying this device.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
DEWALT DW890 Metal Shear DEWALT DW890 Metal Shear
  • Power lock
  • Reliable bearing based 5A motor
  • Variable speed
  • Best Value
    Second place
    WEN 3650 Electric Metal Cutter Shear WEN 3650 Electric Metal Cutter Shear
  • Cheap
  • Pressure sensitive trigger delivers up to 2,500 spm
  • Lock-on power switch
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Milwaukee 6852-20 18-Gauge Shear Milwaukee 6852-20 18-Gauge Shear
  • Powerful 6.8A motor
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Lightweight design
  • Genesis GES40 Variable Speed Electric Power Metal Shear Genesis GES40 Variable Speed Electric Power Metal Shear
  • Cheap
  • Three blade system minimizes metal deformation
  • Lock-on switch
  • Wild Edge SEMS5A Electric Metal Shear Wild Edge SEMS5A Electric Metal Shear
  • Cheap
  • 5-amp motor
  • Up to 2,700 spm
  • The 8 Best Electric Metal Shears – Reviews 2021

    1. DEWALT DW890 Metal Shear – Best Overall

    DEWALT DW890 Metal Shear

    The DeWalt DW890 Metal Shear is a set of double shears. They cut a narrow 7/32-inch strip out of the metal workpiece. This strip curls as you cut, which keeps it out of the line of sight and enables you to keep working without having to keep stopping to get rid of the excess material.

    The 5-amp motor is ball-bearing based, which minimizes friction and helps ensure longevity and continued high quality from the motor. It also allows for a variable speed, which is controlled via a convenient dial and can be altered from 100 to 350 spm. The 360° rotating head means that you can cut into tight and awkward shapes and the trigger can be locked in the on position, reducing user fatigue and making it easier to cut long strips while controlling the workpiece.

    The DeWalt DW890 Metal Shear is a great all-rounder, offering an appealing combination of affordability and powerful cutting. All it’s really lacking is a carry or storage case. If you want to cut thick material, you may need to look at a more powerful alternative.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Power lock
    • Reliable bearing based 5A motor
    • Variable speed
    Cons
    • No case
    • Not the best at tackling thick material

    2. WEN 3650 Electric Metal Cutter Shear – Best Value

    WEN 3650 Electric Metal Cutter Shear

    The WEN 3650 Electrical Metal Cutter Shear is a corded electric shear. It has a 4-amp motor and variable speed from 0 to 2,500 spm.

    While some devices offer a variable dial, the WEN relies on haptic pressure, which means that the tighter you squeeze the trigger, the more power is applied, and if you only lightly pull then you get less power. It isn’t as accurate a method, but there is something to be said for the manual nature of feeling how much power you want. The 4-amp motor is less powerful than the DeWalt but not by much, and the cost of the WEN means that it is one of the best electrical metal shears for the money. It will cut up to 20 gauge stainless and 18-gauge sheet metal. The double blade design cuts 1.4-inch ribbon, and it weighs just 4.7 pounds, which means that it reduces user fatigue because it is easy to hold and control even over long periods.

    If you’re looking for something with reasonable power and for occasional use, the cost and moderate power of the WEN, combined with features like a locking power switch and pressure sensitive trigger, make it a worthwhile investment.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Pressure sensitive trigger delivers up to 2,500 spm
    • Lock-on power switch
    Cons
    • 4 Amp motor

    3. Milwaukee 6852-20 18-Gauge Shear – Premium Choice

    Milwaukee 6852-20 18-Gauge Shear

    The Milwaukee 6852-20 18-Gauge Shear is a premium shear. It has a powerful 6.8 Amp motor and a cutting capacity of 1/18-inch sheet steel or 1/20-inch stainless. The waste curl measures 13/64 inches and has variable cutting power up to 2,500 spm.

    Like the WEN, the variable speed is controlled by how hard you squeeze the trigger. The head swivels up to 360°, which is fairly standard in these devices but should be considered a minimum requirement. The device weighs just over 4 lbs, which has been achieved, in part, thanks to a magnesium gear case, and it has a rubber, tactile grip, which serves to reduce user fatigue and provide a comfortable user experience. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee does struggle with corrugated metal stock, which is a common application for this type of device.

    If you are looking to cut flat sheet, or stainless steel, however, this is a powerful and comfortable model that will do the job well, but that power does come at a premium and these are some of the most expensive shears on our list.

    Pros
    • Powerful 6.8A motor
    • Variable speed trigger
    • Lightweight design
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Struggles with corrugated sheet

    4. Genesis GES40 Variable Speed Electric Power Metal Shear

    Genesis GES40 Variable Speed Electric Power Metal Shear

    The Genesis GES40 Variable Speed Electric Power Metal Shear has a 4-amp motor and can cut sheet metal up to 14-gauge. It has variable speed settings, controlled via the sensitive trigger, ranging from 0 to 2,500 spm.

    It weighs a little more than some other units, at 5.4 pounds, but the Genesis remains relatively light and easy to handle. It also has a lock-on switch, which leaves you free to handle and manipulate the workpiece as well as hold the shear in a more comfortable position. The 360° swivel head is great for enabling you to cut into tight spaces, but this model is another that struggles with corrugated metal.

    The tool is relatively cheap compared to most other models, it is effective at cutting straight lines and flat surfaces, and its three-blade cutting system does a good job of reducing metal deformation. However, it isn’t great at corners or corrugated pieces and it does require more effort to use than some other models.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Three blade system minimizes metal deformation
    • Lock-on switch
    Cons
    • Struggles with corrugated sheet
    • Better at straight lines than corners

    5. Wild Edge SEMS5A Electric Metal Shear

    Wild Edge SEMS5A Electric Metal Shear

    For around the same price as the Genesis, you can buy the Wild Edge SEMS5A Electric Metal Shear. It has a more powerful 5 -amp motor that will reach a higher cutting speed of 2,700 spm, although this will make little practical difference when cutting. It will cut 15-gauge stainless and 14-gauge sheet metal and has the standard 360° swivelling head to allow for some movement and curve from your cut.

    The two-finger trigger is easy to use and the Wild Edge has an automatic lock-on button. The device is a reasonable weight of 4.8 pounds, although some have said that it is heavy, which means that the weight could be more evenly balanced. Like a lot of these devices, it works better to cut straight lines than to cut curves and circles, despite the swivel action head.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • 5-amp motor
    • Up to 2,700 spm
    Cons
    • Better at straight lines
    • Feels heavy

    6. Gino Development 01-0101 TruePower Electric Sheet Metal Shear

    Gino Development 01-0101 TruePower Electric Sheet Metal Shear

    The Gino Development 01-0101 TruePower Electric Sheet Metal Shear is a single blade cutter. This means that the Gino will cut through metal without creating any waste, but it also means that the metal will bend and distort the metal as the blade works through it.

    As such, if you will be working with the remaining metal and you need it to stay flat, these won’t be the best choice of shears. A single blade shear can cut corners, but it has a wide turning circle so don’t expect sharp corners from your cuts. The Gino shears are a reasonable price, and the 3.5-amp single bladed model will cut 18-gauge sheet or stainless steel. Unlike a lot of similar devices, the manufacturer also claims that these shears are capable of cutting through plastic as well as metal.

    The device is a little difficult to control, and it is single speed which means that it is difficult to control the cut, too. It is also quite bulky, and most projects would benefit from a double blade model over the single blade cutting action of the Gino.

    Pros
    • Single blade means no waste
    • Cuts plastic, too
    • Will cut curves
    Cons
    • Only 3.5-amp power
    • Single-speed
    • Single blade distorts the workpiece

    7. Makita JS1602 16 Gauge Shear

    Makita JS1602 16 Gauge Shear

    The Makita JS1602 12 Gauge Shear is an expensive single blade model. It has a low power 3.4-amp motor that provides a single cutting speed of 4,000 spm. This will feel too powerful when first cutting in and potentially too powerful even when it is fully operational.

    However, the Makita is lightweight and comfortable, which means there is minimal user fatigue while cutting sheet and stainless steel up to 16-gauge. Because this is a single blade cutting model, it does not leave waste material but it will leave one half of the cut material deformed and potentially useless.

    The single blade means that this model can cut curves, but it struggles with corrugated and misshapen metal pieces. It also has the auto-switch on feature to further improve its comfort and usability levels.

    Pros
    • Can cut curves and shapes
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    Cons
    • 4-amp motor is weak
    • No variable speed
    • Expensive

    8. XtremepowerUS 41014 Electric Metal Cutter Shear

    XtremepowerUS 41014 Electric Metal Cutter Shear

    The XtremepowerUS 41014 Electric Metal Cutter Shear is a double blade shear that looks very similar to the Genesis above. It has the same 4-amp motor, the same 14-gauge limit, and the same 360° swivel head.

    It is 5 pounds, so it isn’t too heavy, but there are lighter alternatives. Also, the handle is not comfortable, and you should expect some user fatigue if you’re planning on any long cutting jobs. Because this is a double blade model, it won’t cut curves, but because of the double blade, it removes a ¼-inch waste strip and should leave both halves of the metal in a flat and usable state.

    The pressure sensitive trigger offers speeds of up to 2,500 spm. Its blades are duller than on other models, which means that it will stop cutting as effectively after a short time.

    Pros
    • Reasonably cheap
    • Pressure sensitive trigger up to 2,500 spm
    Cons
    • Won’t cut curves
    • Can’t cope with corrugated sheet
    • Blades are dull

    Buyer’s Guide

    There is a huge variance in price of electrical metal shears with the most expensive costing four times as much as the cheapest on our list. The power of the motor and the reputation of the brand are the two factors that have the greatest impact on price, but whatever your budget, you should consider the features and specifications below to ensure that you get the right set for your next metal cutting project.

    The first factor to consider is whether you want a single or double blade model. Both have advantages, disadvantages, and ideal uses, so there is no right or wrong choice.

    • Single Blade – A single blade uses a scissor type action. A single blade is pushed against an anvil or solid piece of metal. It slices cleanly through the metal and there is no waste material. However, the cutting action causes distortion or disfiguring of the metal, which means that one half of the worksheet may be unusable once you’ve finished. They are not considered the best choice if you need a straight and accurate, good quality finish. However, the single blade design is better equipped to cut curves. The single blade design has greater cutting capabilities than the double blade, which can either translate to the ability to cut through thicker metal or, as is the case with the models on our list, it means that the metal shear can use a less powerful motor to cut through metal.
    • Double Blade – Double cut shears use two blades to basically cut out a thin piece of metal. Obviously, this means that you are left with two pieces of metal of the desired size. The distortion from the cutting is present on the waste strip, which means that both sections of cut metal can be used afterwards, but because the device needs to power two blades, it will usually require a more powerful motor. A double blade shear will not be able to cut curves and will need to be kept in position if you want to avoid any distorted or disfigured edges.

    Speed Control

    Speed controls may come in the shape of a variable speed dial or, as is more often the case, a pressure sensitive trigger. With a pressure sensitive trigger, you simply squeeze harder to speed up the cutting motion. Most double blade models have variable speeds, and these can offer up to 2,500 strokes per minute or more.

    Weight

    If you are cutting a single piece of metal and you do not need to cut metal on a regular basis, then the weight of the device is not that important. However, if you will make regular cuts or use the shears for an extended period of time, you will want a lightweight device. Lighter devices are easier to hold and they are less likely to cause user fatigue than their heavier counterparts. However, it isn’t just the weight that determines whether a set of shears are comfortable to hold and use. Check the handle for a rubberized grip and for ergonomic design. These will further ensure a comfortable and convenient grip for your shears.

    Auto-Switch On

    An auto-switch on means that you can fully depress the power trigger and then press the auto-switch button. This will effectively leave the power turned on even if you let go of the switch and can make the device more comfortable to use. An auto-switch on leaves you free to hold and manipulate the workpiece or to hold the shears in a more comfortable position for the greatest user comfort.

    Swivel Head

    A swivel head does not make it possible to cut curves, because double blade models are incapable of doing this but are the type of device that includes the swivel head feature. A swivel head enables you to turn the head so that it faces into a corner or difficult area and so that the body of the device does not get in the way. It is more convenient and makes it easier to work in tight spaces.

    divider 8

    Conclusion

    Metal shears are used to cut metal workpieces, whether sheet metal or stainless steel. They are preferred over manual shears when you need to make a lot of cuts, must ensure straight cuts, or when you have a regular and ongoing need to shear metal. They vary in power, speed, and even in the gauge of metal that they can cut.

    Decide between single and double blade variants, look for features like auto-switch on, and ensure that the shears you choose will cope with the metal that you work with. Considering the range of features and specifications, as well as the manufacturers that produce these devices, it can be daunting when shopping for the best electrical metal shears, so we hope that our reviews have helped you choose the model that best suits your requirements and the job at hand.

    During our research, we found the DeWalt DW890 Metal Shear to be affordably priced, powerful, and to offer everything you need from this type of device. The WEN 3650 Electric Metal Cutter Shear is ideal if you’re on a budget and need a set of shears with variable power settings and a good power output.

    Other buying guides:

    Related posts

    Other categories

    Project ideas

    Hand & power tools

    woodworking

    Garden

    Automotive