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Snips; Not Just for One Hand or the Other

September 1, 2017

Snips are an essential tool for the roofing industry. Whether the snips are used for vinyl or metal siding, metal flashing, asphalt shingles, or gutters, these tools can be found on just about every roof deck. Last week I was speaking with a buyer about the lineup of Midwest snips that Roofmaster carries. While discussing our various Midwest products I asked the buyer why they purchased mostly offset right snips and few offset left snips. The buyer’s response was something that I took for granted and learned long ago; he stated, “I only buy offset right snips because most of my customers are right handed, not left handed.”

As a former contractor I learned this lesson the hard way. Offset snips are not just determined by what hand the roofer uses for cutting. There are three primary functions for offset snips:

  1. The cutters being below the handle to keep the cutting hand above the work
  2. The direction of the cut
  3. A clean miter is impossible without left and right cuts

Midwest offers three directions in their snips: left, straight, and right. The right snips cut in a clockwise direction and the left snips cut in a counter clockwise direction. Each snip can do one direction well, but not the other. Using a straight snip to cut a hole is possible, but the resulting hole will likely have ragged edges. Again, this is something that I learned early in the construction industry, but definitely something I took for granted.

Midwest Straight Offset Cut

Midwest Left Offset Cut

Midwest Right Offset Cut

Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn more about how our lineup of hand tools can help ensure a quality job every time.


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