What shear should I buy?
It depends on the job that you want to do. Wubbers does not manufacture or market shears, nor are we affiliated with any brand of shears, but we definitely use shears. We (Laura and Patti) have searched high and low for shears that work well for our own jewelry making, and we want to share those with you. We use two shears about 95% of the time, and they work well for most of the projects that we design.
On the left is the Lindstrom Shear and on the right is the ProShear. These two shears used in tandem will complete many, many cutting tasks. For comparison, the length of the Lindstrom shear measures in at just over 6 inches while the ProShear measure about 7.75 inches.
If you want to cut jump rings or wire links
The Lindstrom Shear is our go-to shear for making flush cuts when making jump rings or wire links. It has soft cushy handles and feels so nice in your hands. It comes as close to making two flush cuts as any cutter that we have found other than a jeweler’s saw.
Now we love sawing (well, most of the time!), but…
Sometimes it’s faster and easier to just grab our Lindstrom shears and snip. This shear works great with bezel wire as well as non-ferrous 20- and 18-gauge wire (that means no steel!). It works good with 16-gauge wire, but sometimes does leave a small divot when the jump ring or wire link is closed. However, we have found that when fusing Argentium Silver®, and especially when plans include hammering and texturing, the little divot virtually disappears. We have cut 14-gauge wire, but sometimes it requires a little clean-up. We can tell you more about the best options for “a little clean up” in the next newsletter!
What about cutting sheet metal?
Now that’s a different sport. While we absolutely love the Lindstrom Shears (and protect them fiercely from unscrupulous family members!), we have found that the blades are a bit short for the most effective cutting of sheet metal. That’s when we pull out our trusty ProShear Sheet Metal Cutters.
The ProShears look like the big brother to the widely-used Joyce Chen Unlimited Scissors that metal workers often have on their workbenches. The Joyce Chen Shears measure about 6.25 inches in length as compared to the 7.75 inches of the ProShears.
The length of the blades on the ProShears makes it easier to cut sheet metal, and while not padded, we find the grips to be comfortable. These shears are longer overall and offer a bit more leverage that the Lindstrom cutters. Both the Lindstrom and the ProShears are rated to cut up to 20-gauge non-ferrous sheet metal (again, non-ferrous metals do not include steel).
So now that we have offered you a solution, let us offer you a little something else. Visit our Facebook page by clicking on this link and share a little bit about your favorite shears. If you don’t have any, simply post a friendly hello. If you are not on Facebook, we don’t want to leave you out, so just shoot us a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will combine all the names and will randomly select one person to receive a brand-new pair of Wubbers pliers. We can’t wait to hear from you, and stay tuned to next week’s tool-making tip on how to get 16- and 14-gauge jump rings and wire links to close up perfectly!
Wishing you all the joy of creating,
Patti and Laura