Snips are one kind of tool for cutting metal sheets. And there are mainly two types of popular snips in the market. They are Tin Snips also known as Tinner Snips or Tinner’s Snips and Aviation Snips, also known as, Compound-action snips, maille snips or sheet snips.

Now a question may come in your mind, tin snips vs aviation snip- which one is best? Well, to come in a decision, you have to know several factors.

Although both are used for the same jobs, there are a few differences between Tin Snips and Aviation Snips.

We’ve come with a complete guideline  that will let you know which is best to use. Let’s start exploring. 

Tin Snips Vs Aviation Snips

Tin Snips Vs Aviation Snips:

Let’s know some core factors regarding the both types of snips.

Structure: Main difference between Tin Snips and Aviation Snips is their construction. Tin Snips use a simple mechanism that works as a lever. These Snips are single pivoting. A blade pivots against the other just like scissors.

On the contrary, Aviation Snips has multiple layers. It has a complex double pivoting mechanism with extra linkage. Because of this structural difference, Aviation Snips gives an extra mechanical advantage over standard Tin Snips.

User-Friendly: Standard Tin Snips solely depends on the force of the user because of its single lever mechanism.

Aviation Snips has a mechanical advantage for its double pivoting power. It means it is less dependable on the user’s force than Tin Snips. Aviation Snips also allow more complex cuts than regular Tin Snips.

Though Aviation snips are more efficient, Tin snips are easy to use because of their structural simplicity.

Length: Tin snips offer more variety in length than Aviation Snips. It is mainly because of its simple structure. It can be 7 to 14 inches long. On the other hand, popular Aviation Snips are 10-12 inches on average.

Workability: Tin Snips can cut through 16 to 24 gauge cold roll low carbon tin. Aviation snips can handle up to 18 gauge aluminum or 24 gauge mild steel or 26 gauge stainless steel.

Price: Tin Snips are cheaper than Aviation Snips. Due to complex design and versatile work, Aviation Snips costs more than standard Tin Snips.

Difference of Tin Snips and Aviation Snips:

Tin Snips: Straight-pattern and Duckbill-pattern are the main two types of Tin Snips. Straight-pattern Tin Snips are mainly for straight cutting. But it can also handle minor and gentle curves.

Duckbill-pattern Tin Snips have blades that taper down from the pivot to the tip of the blades. The blade edges are also beveled to more easily cut curves and circles or shapes. It is also called Trojan-Pattern Snips.

There are also the circle pattern or curved pattern and the hawk’s-bill pattern Tin Snips blades. Circle pattern snips have curved blades which allows users to cut in a circle. The hawk’s-bill pattern snips are used to cut small radii inside or outside of a circle.

Aviation Snips: Aviation Snips offers three types of patterns. They are Straight cutting, left cutting, and right cutting.

Straight cutting pattern aviation snips cut metal sheets straight. Left cutting snips and Right cutting snips will cut straight and tight curves to left and right respectively.

In general, there are color codes for these three types. The straight cutting snips are yellow in color, left cutting snips are red in color and right cutting snips are green in color.

There are also upright and long-cut Aviation Snips. Upright snip has blades that are rotated 90° from the handles. It is used in a tight space. On the other hand, for big sheets and long straight cuts, long-cut snips are being used.

Difference Due to Materials (which are used in cutting):

Both Tin Snips and Aviation Snips are generally for cutting steels or soft materials. For hard materials like titanium, we need special snips.

Aviation Snips offers special hard snips. These snip blades are specially heat treated. The color codes also may differ from general Aviation Snips.

Tin Snips are not suitable for these kinds of materials.

Disadvantages of Tin Snips and Aviation Snips:

Tin Snips: Tin Snips don’t have spring-loaded handles. It takes more force from the users. And because of its simple mechanism, Tin snips cannot offer more versatility.

Aviation Snips: For its complex mechanism and structure, Avian Snips are costly. The user needs to be skilled to use Avian Snips for the same reasons.


Tin Snips and Aviation Snips both are extremely useful for cutting metal sheets. Both have their own pros and cons. Aviation Snips are more efficient but costly. On the other hand, Tin snips are easy to use and cheaper.

Hopefully, this article on Tin Snips Vs Aviation Snip was helpful enough for you. Now it’s up to you which one you will use.

Best of luck.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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