Hand Shears vs. Bench Shears: Which is Right for Your Workshop?

In every metal workshop, efficiency and precision are achieved by using the right tools.

Shearing is a metal fabrication technique that uses several tools to cut the metal. However, if you use metal shearing for the first time, you will always face a dilemma between hand and bench shears. Both of these are metal shearing tools, the use of which is inspired by multiple factors.

In this blog, you will learn about these in detail and which one is right for you.

For advanced metal shearing services in Albuquerque, contact New Mexico Metals LLC today!

Understanding Shearing and Cutting

Metal shearing and cutting are often used interchangeably, but the two processes differ. Metal shearing involves cutting metal sheets or plates into smaller pieces using shear forces. A perpendicular force is applied to the sheet metal to cut it accurately.

Cutting, on the other hand, involves separating a piece of metal from the other using manual or automated tools such as saws and hand blades. It is handy for small-sized metal pieces. However, it lacks the accuracy offered by metal shearing.

Hand Shears: Features and Benefits

As mentioned earlier, a hand shear is one of the different types of shearing tools. Its name is quite self-explanatory. It is a shearing tool that is manually operated. A typical hand shear has two sharp blades that cut metal with precision.

Here are some features of hand shears:

  • When used correctly, these are highly durable. You can change the blades, and they will be new again.
  • They are very affordable and low maintenance as well.
  • These are very easy to operate. Just mark the metal and use the shear to cut it.

Benefits of Using Hand Shears

The benefits of using hand shears are mentioned below:


The most evident advantage of using hand shears is that they are portable. Unlike bench shears, which are often stationed at the bench or a table, hand shears are easy to move and work around. This is especially useful for DIYers who don’t have a dedicated workstation.


Hand Shears are versatile as they cut different metals, including copper, steel, aluminum, etc. Just be mindful of the blade that you are using, and you are good to go.


Considering that you are shearing the metal through a hand shear, you need skills to operate it. It is difficult to achieve straight lines when you are a DIYer. However, when you entrust the task to an expert, they achieve unmatched precision with hand shears owing to their expertise.


For all DIYers, if you undertake metal shearing rarely, invest in a hand shear, not a bench shear. Hand shears are significantly less expensive than bench shears.

Intricate Shearing

Shearing is known for making straighter cuts in metal sheets. But when you are dealing with small-sized metal pieces, hand shears are very useful, as they can create intricate designs.

Bench Shears

Bench shears are bigger than hand shears and are used to cut various metal shapes. They are also called guillotine or squaring shears. The features of bench shears are discussed below:

Bench shears have a sturdy construction to ensure stability while cutting heavy metals.

  • The cutting mechanism of bench shears is quite powerful as mechanical and hydraulic systems power it.
  • Bench shears are designed for easy maintenance. Unlike other metal fabrication machines and tools, they are easier to maintain.
  • Bench shears are designed to be user-friendly, with intuitive controls and ergonomic features for operator comfort.

Benefits of Using Bench Shears

Here are the different benefits of using bench metal shears:

Power and Efficiency

Bench shears are very efficient as they are powered by hydraulic and mechanical systems. They are quick and fit for industrial shearing.

Cutting Capacity

Bench shears have a wider cutting capacity, from thin and soft metals like aluminum to cutting harder and thicker metals, such as carbon steel, iron, etc.

Straighter Cuts

When there is a need for straighter cuts, bench shears are the answer. This is a reason why bench shears are so popular.


Bench shears are durable and last for years when used and maintained properly.

Considering the Right Shearing Tool

When you are choosing between hand shears and bench shears, consider the following factors:

Workshop Size

If you are a DIYer, and your garage is your workshop, you must consider this factor. Hand shears are the best option if you have limited space. However, if metal fabrication is your hobby and you have a workshop, you can go for bench shear.

Type of Work

What do you need a shearing tool for? It refers to the size of the project. Hand shears are suitable for smaller, precision cuts, while bench shears excel at cutting thicker materials and large volumes.


Consider the long-term value of your investment and spend accordingly. Hand shears are relatively inexpensive and are a good option for DIYers. Bench shears are a good fit for those with no budget constraints and who use the shears for multiple projects.


Both shears have unique features and offer distinct advantages. The choice should be based on your need, expertise in operating the shear, and budget. Consider the factors discussed above and make the right choice.

DIYers attempting metal shearing for the first time are advised to use professional metal shearing services in Albuquerque.

Contact New Mexico Metals LLC for custom metal shearing needs. We have the expertise, tools, and reputation to offer the desired metal cuts.

Contact us now!