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The Best Snips for Cutting Tough Materials

  1. Wiss A11 Straight Pattern Snips
  2. Tekton Straight Pattern Tin Snips
  3. Clauss Ti Tin Snips
  4. Midwest Straight Tinner Snips
  5. GreatNeck Tools T10SC: 10 Inch Tin Snip
  6. Wiss Tool 9 3/4 in Metalmaster Compound Action Snip
  7. Bessey D16S-BE Compound Action Straight Cutting Aviation Snip
  8. Stanley Bostitch 14-257 10" Aviation Right Snips
  9. Lenox 22213PDC4R Pipe Duct Cutter
  10. Midwest Tool & Cutlery MW-P1 Stovepipe & Duct Cutter
  11. Buyer's Guide

What do you do when you have to cut a thick material, such as sheet metal, hardened plastic or leather? Those are materials much too thick for scissors or standard shears so that’s when you’ll reach for a decent pair of snips. Best snips in 2022 are the tool of choice for professional sheet metal workers, hobbyists, or anybody that needs to cut something too intense for household scissors. While there are several varieties of snips, you can check out buyer's guide for everything you need to know before making a purchase. 

Compare The Best Snips Of 2022

Wiss A11 Straight Pattern Snips - Best Snips Overall

The Wiss 11” Straight Pattern Snips are the best tin snips available because the blades on each snip are individually edged. This helps to make the cutting edge as sharp as possible because they’re not done in groups, where some could slip through with inferior sharpening. That makes these snips last a lot longer between sharpening, which saves you money in the long run. The blades are also rust resistant. They will last longer because corrosion isn’t as big of a problem. If you plan on using your snips everyday, or will be storing them in your garage or truck bed toolbox, these snips are a great option.

Tekton Straight Pattern Tin Snips - Runner Up

The Tekton 8 in. Straight Pattern Tin Snipsis one of the best tools on this list because it has a polished finish. This does two things. One, it helps to resist corrosion, which is great if you are worried about your tool rusting. Two, it makes the snips very easy to clean up. If your snips ever fall victim to a spill (oil, tar, etc.) it will literally wipe right off the blades. Those two factors combine to make the tool last a lot longer than non-polished snips. I also like that these have extra-hardened edges, which makes the blades last longer under repeated use.

Clauss Ti Tin Snips - Honorable Mention

The Clauss 7" Ti Tin Snips are on this list because they are very durable and strong. They’re titanium bonded, which makes them three times stronger than untreated steel snips. That also makes the blades on these snips stay sharper for a lot longer, which is great for reasons I touched on above. If you want a pair of snips that will last as long as possible, this a great tool to consider. These snips are also semi polished, which makes them both corrosive and spill resistant. Finally, I have included them on this list because they’re adhesive resistant, making them perfect tin snips if you’re a professional roofer (due to the materials used in roofing).

Midwest Straight Tinner Snips - Consider

The Midwest Snips 8" Straight Tinner Snip is perfect for this list because they’re hot dropped forged from high carbon steel. This increases the strength of the steel in the blades, making them durable and able to cut through any thickened material you come across. It also can cut 24 gauge steel, making these snips more valuable. Other snips generally can't cut through that thick of steel. Plus, the only types of tools Midwest Snips makes are for cutting, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to making quality snips.

GreatNeck Tools T10SC: 10 Inch Tin Snip - Best Tin Snips

The GreatNeck Tools T12SC: Tin Snip 12 Inch wraps this list up because like the Midwest Snips tin snips, they’re drop forged. This makes the tool very sturdy. On top of that, the snips are heat-treated, which makes them more durable. Additionally, the blades of these snips are polished, which as I mentioned above, makes them easy to clean up and rust resistant. All of those factors combine together to make a pair of tin snips that are long lasting and great quality.

Wiss Tool 9 3/4 in Metalmaster Compound Action Snip - Best Compound-Action Snips

The Wiss Tool 9 3/4” Metalmaster? Compound Action Snips, Straight, Left, Right is the best pair of compound action snips because it has all three different cut variations rolled into one. That makes the tool much more convenient to use. The snips also feature serrated jaw blades. These hold whatever material you’re cutting firmly, making them easier to use because it prevents against slipping. The grip on these snips is textured as well, meaning they’re non-slip. If you ever get sweaty palms, these are a great choice. Finally, the bright yellow color of the tool makes them highly identifiable, even at night.

Bessey D16S-BE Compound Action Straight Cutting Aviation Snip - Best Compound-Action Snips

The Bessey D16S-BE Compound Action Straight Cutting Aviation Snip is on this list because it’s a fully heat-treated, drop forged tool. I mentioned above that this makes them a lot stronger than they would be otherwise. The blades of this pair of compound action snips are serrated as well. As I touched on above, this makes the tool easier to use because the serrations grip the material you’re cutting on, preventing slippage. This also helps to keep hand fatigue down because you don’t have to struggle to keep the material you’re working on in place as much.

Stanley Bostitch 14-257 10" Aviation Right Snips - Best Compound-Action Snips

The Stanley Bostitch 14-257- Bostitch? 10" Aviation Snips Right are one of the best snips available because the blades are coated in titanium nitride. This coating makes the blades harder, thereby extending their life. That makes this tool great if you want a super long lasting pair of snips. The hardware of the snips is low profile and the safety latch is internal. This streamlines the snips and makes it less likely that the material you’re cutting will accidentally get caught on them. That makes this tool way safer to use, which is good if you’re concerned about that. Finally, the blades of these snips are serrated, which is a good thing for reasons I mentioned above.

Lenox 22213PDC4R Pipe Duct Cutter - Best Pipe and Duct Snips

The Lenox 22213PDC4R Pipe Duct Cutter is the best pair of pipe and duct snips because for one, it has a sheet metal cutting capacity of 18 gauge. That’s really thick and will guarantee that you’re able to cut pretty much anything in your way, on any job. That makes these snips great if you want to buy a pair for your job. I also love that fact that the handgrips on this tool are over molded. That eliminates the possibility that they will ever slip or rotate while you’re using them, which is a serious safety hazard if it happens. Finally, this is the best tool on this list because the valve is reinforced with chrome silicone. This makes it more durable and ensures the wire lasts the life of the tool. If you want a pair of long lasting snips well worth the money, this tool is best.

Midwest Tool & Cutlery MW-P1 Stovepipe & Duct Cutter - Best Pipe and Duct Snips

The Midwest Snips MW-P1 Stovepipe & Duct Cutter is on this list because it can cut up to 1 1/4 inches per cut, which is a lot longer than other snips. This makes jobs go by quicker because you can make fewer cuts. It also takes some of the strain off your hand, which makes this another great choice for professionals. Additionally, it has a very pointed center blade so that users can pierce a starter hole before beginning to cut, a very useful feature. Finally, this is a great tool because the jaw is CNC (computer controlled) milled. This gives the blades maximum cutting power with no room for error.

Buyer's Guide

Snips are essential for cutting through thick materials such as tin, leather, shingles, and more. They’re great for heavy-duty cutting jobs that would not be possible with standard scissors. The best part about snips though, is even the most high-end options are relatively affordable. Our following buyer’s guide will walk you through the essentials to keep in mind when you’re looking to purchase a pair of snips.

Snip Types

Tin Snips

Tin snips are most often used with sheet metal, and come in a variety of different sizes for use with different gauges of aluminum or stainless steel. These snips are usually the hardest to use as they don’t have any features that make cutting easier; rather, it’s all based on muscle.

They come in two different varieties:

Straight Pattern

Tin snips are designed to slice materials in straight lines as well as long, gentle curves.

Duckbill Pattern

Tin snips feature tapered blades that make it easier to cut circles and other shapes.

Compound-Action Snips

Theseare frequently used in the aviation industry. They are easier to use than tin snips due to the their compound action design which increases the force applied while cutting. They come in three different varieties:

Straight Cutting snips

Cut in straight lines and wide curves. They usually have yellow grips.

Left Cutting

Snips cut in straight lines and tight curves to the left. They generally have red grips.

Right Cutting

Snips also cut in straight lines, as well as tight right curves. They most always feature green grips.

You can also purchase compound-action snips combing all three varieties in one tool.

Pipe and Duct Snips

These snips make use of compound action to cut materials with their three cutting blades. They’re used to cut stovepipe, ducts made from tough materials like fiberglass or hardened plastics.

Blade Configuration

Compound-action and pipe and duct snips feature three different configurations:


Is the standard blade configuration for snips.


Is used for curved and long cuts.

90 Degree

Snips are used for work in tight,enclosed spaces

Cutting Capacity

Snips are measured based on the gauge of steel they can cut through with each pair usually featuring a stainless steel and cold rolled steel rating. The lower the gauge rating, the thicker the metal the snips can handle.

Comfort Grip

Using a pair of snips for extended periods of time can cause considerable hand fatigue, especially with variety used for cutting tin. As such, comfort grips are very important, especially if you’re a professional looking for a pair of snips to use on a daily basis.

Corrosion Resistance

Snips are frequently used by professionals in environments like warehouses and outdoors worksites so rust resistance is of particular importance. Like most hand tools, corrosion resistance is achieved through either polished or powder-coated blades.

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