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I'm a thimkin' that I "NEED" a Nibbler type tool.  I used one many (MANY!) years ago that was easy to use and worked very well, but I have no idea what brand it was or what it cost back then or what one just like it might cost today.


I see in the MicroMark catalog that they have two Nibbling tools and a small Shear that is somewhat similar to a Nibbler.


If one were using these tools to cut one piece of sheet material into two pieces, the Nibblers remove material in short little snippets and the Shear strips out one long continuous strip.  The Nibblers take either a 1/4-inch or .132-inch wide (depending on which Nibbler) cut of individual snippets from the material, the length of the snippets at most would be 3/32 inch long (the depth of the punch).  The shear appears to cut a .1-inch wide continous strip (not that the strip would be in any sort of usable condition).  Aside from the scrap kerf material all of these tools should leave the two pieces with decent edges and not-curled or warped like cutting with tin-snips.


The least expensive is a Manual Nibbler (#81477 $12.30).  It looks like it would require a 3/8- to 1/2-inch diameter hole to start an inside cut and it takes 1/4-inch wide cuts at a max of 3/32 deep per nibble.


The Powered Nibbler (#81556 $144.95) makes a .135-inch wide curf, but the depth of cut is not listed.  I think it could cut a smaller inside area because it looks like it could probably need only a 1/4-inch starting hole.


The last item is the Metal Shear (#60662 $15.10).  It is like two pair of very short scissors that share one blade, thus it makes two cuts at a time, one on each side of the kerf, (making that strip I mentioned above).  It also looks like it could cut an inside area from a 1/4-inch hole (or possibly smaller).


The Manual Nibbler advert says it has a comfortable grip, but the picture does not look like a comfortable grip to me.  The Powered Nibbler looks to be small enough to grip easily, but I wonder if the ease of use and accuracy is as the pictures in the advert imply.  The Metal Shear has a vinyl grip handles and looks a bit more comfortable than the Manual Nibbler. 


The Manual Nibbler is designed to be inserted from below the work piece so you can sight down along the punch to see where to cut.  The Powered Nibbler appears to be used from above the work piece which may make it harder to make exact on the line cuts.  The Metal Shear appears to be usable from either above or below the work piece.  The Nibblers can probably make an 90-deg. inside corner very easily, but the Metal Shear would probably not make as good of an inside corner.


They all appear capable of cutting the same thicknesses of soft material (brass, plastic) up to 1/16-inch (.0625") thick, but the Powered Nibbler and the Metal Shear specifically mention steel, 1/32-inch (.03125") thickness for the former, and 18-gauge (.0478") for the latter.


I have no "plans" to make anything that would wear my hand out making cuts so the Powered Nibbler is not of extreme necessity on that point alone.  Still, I would buy it, except I balk at a price that is 10 times the price of the other two.


Anybody here used these tools?


Anybody used any two of them and can then give me an experiencial compareson of them?


Is the Powered Nibbler all that much better?  Is the Manual Nibbler or the Metal Shear "better" for some reason or other?
 
G

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I bought a small tool from Radio Shack on clearance a while back, I've used it, maybe twice...and once was to see how it worked...Unless one had a big nibble to complete, I would think the smaller manual set would be fine.

cale
 

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I have the Radio Shack hand nibbler which looks identical to the one in the MicroMark catalog. If you have a RS nearby it could be cheaper to just go get it. I have used it for a number of items beginning with an EBT style cab I made a number of years ago for my Accucraft live steam C-16 from .032 brass. For the money it is a very good tool and is fairly comfortable to use though it gets tedious after a while. Recently I made some slots in .016 brass using a 1/4" punch at each end but that wasn't large enough to get the cutter of the nibbler in place. By punching another hole overlapping the first by half it worked well. The nibbler cuts less than 1/4" wide so I dressed the sides with a file.
For most of my cutting I use a pair of Stanley shears that look like heavy duty scissors black with silver cutting jaws. I purchased it at a local home improvement store years ago. Browsing Stanley's website I don't see the exact number but there are a couple of cutters that look similar. They allow a fairly flat cut and what little distortion I experience on the edge (unlike aviation snips) I can flatten with gentle taps with a hammer on a flat surface.
For long straight surfaces I dress them after cutting slightly proud of my line by using a disc sander on my trusty Shopsmith multi purpose tool.
Hope this helps,
Tom
 

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Ditto on the Micro-Mark. It works, slowly when there is a long cut to make, but the end result is good and it will cut thicker than I want to cut with my old fashion snips.
Bob
 

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I have the one from Radio Shack and use it mostly for inside cuts that I can't get to with the band saw. It works fine except sometimes when making a small nibble in thin material the little scrap piece gets stuck and I have to unscrew the end plate to un jamb it.
 

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I have the MicroMark manual nibbler and have been well pleased with it.  I've seen a nibbler in Radio Shack and it is EXACTLY the same.

Llyn
 

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I've used the hand nibbler from Micro-Mark also with good success.  It's a little slow going, but in the end it did the job.

At the last Queen Mary Show, I sprung for a Rodman Nibbler.  It attaches to my electric, pnuematic, or battery operated drill motor.  Boy, it's fast and really cuts cleanly.  They were offering it at $80 OFF, I got it for just under $100 bucks.  It really cuts the time to fabricate the more intricate shapes.
 
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