A worker uses a shearing machine to shear a thin piece of metal.

What Is Metal Shearing?

Simply put, metal shearing is a finishing process that removes unwanted material from sheet metal.  The process is simple and easy leaving little if any wasteful byproduct.  

Understanding The Shearing Process

Shearing is often done on sheet metal and the process is done with a blade that is attached to a tool or machine.  The precision of the cut is done by a “squaring arm” that allows the sheet of metal to be placed in a precise location.  Once the sheet metal is placed with the squaring arm the blade will be lowered and compresses the metal against the lower blade.  


A common tool you can see involved in the shearing process is a bench shear.  Bench shears are mounted on a workbench hence the name and are most often small and easy to use.  Another shearing tool is the guillotine machine or power shear.  These machines are a little more involved as they use either hydraulics or electricity as their power source.  Though a little more complex than a bench shear, power shears are considered to be faster especially for large scale manufacturing.  



As mentioned, shearing is a popular and accepted practice in metal fabrication.  There are many advantages to utilizing shearing.  

  • Metal does not need to be heated to be sheared.  The process is most often carried out at room temperature.
  • Lack of Waste: When shearing takes place it is actually shocking how little material is wasted.  Allowing for savings and easy cleanup. 
  • Can be conducted on a wide variety of metals: such as stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, copper, and iron just to name a few. 



Even though shearing has its advantages, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of as well.  

  • Exceptionally hard metals can NOT be sheared.  
  • If not carried out carefully, shearing can cause sheets of stainless steel to become deformed.  


Contact Markham Metals

At Markham Metals we have a skilled team with decades of experience.  In our shop we have access to tons of state of the art machinery.  Contact us today for all shearing services and requests.  Call us at 978-658-1121 or fill out a contact form on our website.  We look forward to working with you.