cutting HVAC ducts

I had to cut a rectangle out of my A/C duct to clean the evaporator. I had no tin ships but had a cheap pair of "penny cutter" EMT scissors. They worked better than my experience with tin ships because the bend meant I could keep my hand above the tin.
One of the plastic handles came off, but I was able to finish without the handle. I want to replace them with scissors that will cut sheet metal when necessary. Is the EMT style the best?
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On 6/6/11 4:05 PM, J Burns wrote:

Uh-oh, did I say "tin ships?" Twice?
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I can not decide if you are for real or just trolling so I will give the benefit of the doubt.
Long handled snips work very well for me. For most cuts in mounted duct work, I use aviation type snips in my right hand and a pair of cheap pliers in my left to peel back the waste. There are 3 kinds straight, left and right. I am right handed so if I don't use the straight, I use the right. :)
A dremel tool with a bunch of abrasive discs cuts cleaner but you have to breathe the dust.
--
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On 6/6/11 6:19 PM, Colbyt wrote:

I suppose what I've used in the past are called straight pattern tin snips. Besides requiring gloves, they were hard to steer.
I used a magic marker to mark my rectangle and a side grinder to cut a slot, maybe an inch long, on each side. The tip of the EMT shears would go through the slot and they could be steered along the line in each direction to the corners.
Afterward, when I was ready to screw down a cover, I used pliers to flatten the burr left by the shears.
Left- or right-handed aviation tin snips look less fatiguing than cheap penny cutters. Different brands appear to be shaped differently. I wonder if they perform the same.
Aviation tin snips often come in sets of three. By that, I infer that one person is expected to use all three, depending on circumstances. It used to be that right-handed shears didn't work well with the left hand because the left hand wouldn't keep the blades pressed together. Modern shears, with no slop at the pin, seem to cut well with either hand. I wonder if some modern aviation tin snips also cut well with either hand.
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On 6/6/2011 11:30 PM, J Burns wrote:

The "handedness" refers to the direction of curved cuts not which hand someone would use.
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The "multi purpose tool" is good for this. Harbor Freight one I have is now down to $29.99. WW
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A metal cutting one about one inch wide. WW

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Actually, I would use a true "duct snip" like a Wiss HM41V. They only cost about $20 and the sheet metal doesn't "part" with one side going down, and the other side going up above the jaws to get in your way. They actually cut a ribbon of metal about 1/8" wide and this little ribbon curls around as you cut. Nothing is in your way. They work great.
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On 6/6/11 8:36 PM, SRN wrote:

At Amazon, I found a description from a vendor where I'd pay $38, but I like them. That 1/8" ribbon would make room to steer. It says they cut fiberglass panels, kitchen laminate, and synthetic shingles. I don't know if "synthetic" means "fiberglass." I wonder why shingle grit doesn't ruin the edges.
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......................................
Home Depot has them for $21..................
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100174304/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
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On 6/7/11 12:43 PM, SRN wrote:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100174304/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
That's the same model Amazon shows. With shipping and tax, I'd have to send HF $30.
Amazon has one review saying they wouldn't cut formica properly out of the box, but they did better after sharpening, lubricating, and adjusting.
I wonder if they'll really cut shingles without getting wrecked. I wonder if that would be more efficient than a box cutter.
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On 6/6/2011 3:05 PM, J Burns wrote:

Another tool, I don't think has been mentioned, is a variation on the aviation snips - offset aviation snip.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/search.shtml?searchQuery=5HXR8 &op=search&Ntt=tin+snips|5HXR8&sst=All&N (reconstruct the URL. You can get them a lot cheaper than this one.)
The offset snips get in the way less than regular aviation snips. With both offset and regular aviation snips the handle action gives you leverage which makes cutting easier.
--
bud--

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On 6/7/11 10:31 AM, bud-- wrote:

Thanks. I saw some offset aviation tin snips at Amazon yesterday, by Klein, Bostich, and Bessey. I wondered why they weren't all offset.
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I was joking about the hand part hence the smiley :) at the end of the line.
The average homeowner using these once a year would most likely be happy with the Harbor Freight ones.
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=aviation+snips
My left and right which are seldom used came from their 3 piece set. I bought Weiss for the straight cut since I used to cut down drapery brackets sometimes with them. Those aren't tin so I needed a better pair of snips.
--
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