The 9 Best Power Shears

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Designed to cut through sheet metal, trim asphalt shingles, and shave siding, these power shears are versatile tools to have in your arsenal. Whether you're a professional contractor or a hobbyist, one of of our selections should suit your requirements, as we;ve included a wide range of options capable of everything from light-duty work to daily use and abuse on a construction site. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Metabo HPT CN16SA Nibbler

2. Makita JS1602

3. Makita JS8000

Editor's Notes

August 06, 2021:

The only alteration to this iteration of the Wiki was the removal of a discontinued model from Bosch. Don't worry, though, there are plenty of great recommendations that are still readily available, including the Metabo HPT CN16SA Nibbler, which is basically a commercial-grade piece of equipment at a mid-range price. Alternatively, the Makita JS8000 is a powerful choice for working with fiber cement and the DeWalt DWASHRIR a good choice if you'll only need a power shear occasionally.

June 25, 2020:

During this round of updates, while many of our previous selections proved to still be relevant, we did decide on removing the DeWalt DW891, DeWalt D28605, Pit Bull Snips and TruePower Electric, due to a combination of availability issues and an aim to inject these rankings with a bit more brand diversity and a couple more high-end options. Some of our new picks this time around include the Bosch 1500C — a contractor-ready corded model with a top speed of 5,000 strokes per minute, the Metabo HPT CN16SA Nibbler — which features a five-year warranty and three-position indexing head, and the DeWalt DWASHRIR — which isn’t truly a power shear, but rather an attachment for an impact driver, cordless drill or corded drill that presents an affordable alternative to the designated tool. Once you try out one of these powered models, you'll never give a second thought to using a manual pair of tin snips, unless it's absolutely necessary.

A few things to think about for this category:

Power Source: Of course, arguing about the superiority of cordless vs. corded tools is a debate that’s been going on for years on job sites, and it isn’t likely to stop any time soon. With that in mind, we’ve endeavored to fill these rankings with a variety of tools, so there should be something for everybody, regardless of your power-source preference. While advocates of corded gear are likely to like line-voltage models like the Bosch 1500C and Metabo HPT CN16SA Nibbler, tradesman who already have a like-branded collection of cordless tools might take to a battery-powered model like the DeWalt DCS491B or Ryobi P591. The Malco TSS1A Turboshear is a pneumatic offering that most users will find inconvenient, since it requires an air compressor on site to be functional, but for roofers or professionals working in fabrication shops where a compressor’s always close on hand, it might be an option worth considering.

Speed: A power tool’s no-load speed doesn’t tell you everything there is to know about that machine’s performance, but it is one metric we can look at to give us a clue, and in many instances it’s the only one that’s offered to us. You won’t always get an apples-to-apples comparison, especially when you’re comparing tools within a category that were designed with different specializations in mind – for example the Makita JS8000 fiber cement board shear has a top speed of 2,500 strokes per minute, while the Makita JS1602 straight shear has a top speed of 4,000 – but between similar models, it can offer you one consideration to help weigh your options — for example, the Makita JS1602 could reasonably be compared to the Bosch 1500C straight shear, which has a top speed of 5,000 strokes per minute.

Trigger Lock: Superficially, trigger locks can seem like a nice feature, and there’s no denying that a work day tends to be a lot easier without your hand cramping up from hours of trigger squeezing, but as somebody who came close to losing a thumb as a result of this convenience, I’m a bit biased against them. While I have heard of some safety programs banning the use of the feature, I’ve never come across this myself, and we've still included some options with trigger-lock functionality on our list — like the Makita JS8000 and Metabo HPT CN16SA Nibbler. We urge users to be aware of the safety hazards presented by trigger locks. If you are going to to use them, apply extra vigilance and take extra care to observe all safe-work practices. In short, make sure that you’re as engaged with your work as that trigger is.

4. DeWalt DCS491B

5. Ryobi P591

6. Milwaukee 6852-20

7. Malco TSS1A Turboshear

8. PacTool SS404


Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.