Medieval adventures

Shears

Steel is incredibly tough. Thankfully metal shears were invented that can cut through metal like it was paper. We started off using a jigsaw, and then finally purchased a throat-less shear. What a difference! Production time was greatly reduced and our cutting accuracy went through the roof. Princess Auto is a great place to find a throat-less shear.

Steel comes in different thicknesses expressed as a gauge (ga). Your shears should be able to handle 14ga.
12ga = .1046in = 2.656mm
14ga = .0747in = 1.897mm
16ga = .0598in = 1.518mm

A throat-less shear may be one of the best investments you will ever make for metalworking. This will let you easily and accurately cut steel following almost any line or curve. Remember to get a model that can handle the thickest metal you want to cut. I’d suggest one that can handle 14 gauge.
If you put your shear on a portable stand you can use it to cut 4×8 sheets on sawhorses. It is a lot easier to move the shear than that sheet of steel.
Plate shears can be used for straight edge cutting. They are handy if you are doing lots of projects and are making bands. Some of these units are quite big and take a lot of physical effort to use. Make sure you have a place to mount it securely and that it can handle the gauge of steel you are using. To be honest, we hardly ever use this one and rely on our jigsaws and throat-less shear for most jobs.
Hand shears and bolt cutters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a set of hand shears/snips that will cut 14ga metal.

You can use electric shears for metal cutting. We bought one and found that if the sheet metal was at all bent it didn’t work very well. In the end, the one we had snapped in two and was toast. It was a cheap tool, so a better quality one might work better.