projects/best craft tools compound lever tin snips

Why Aviation Snips Are a Makers Secret Weapon

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt"

- Sylvia Plath

Aviation snips are an essential tool for ALL makers and crafters.

I’d go as far as saying they REALLY are one of the most useful tools you can own!!

A pair of compound lever tin snips
They may look humble... but don't be fooled!

Not only will they open up new creative opportunities, they will also save you time and money. Why?

Firstly, because Aviation snips are so powerful… even a gentle squeeze is enough to cut through tin.

Secondly, they are also surprisingly nimble and precise… their unique cutting edges allow intricate curved shapes to be cut with ease.

How I Use Them

While their primary purpose is to cut through thin sheets of metal, they are exceptionally versatile.

I use them to cut a wide range of materials… like these:

Plastic stuff!
Illustration of the different materials you can cut using compound lever tin snips

MATERIAL 1: I’ve made intricate cogs from the plastic lids, and an entire birdfeeder by cutting up a thick plastic folder.

Soda cans
Illustration of the different materials you can cut using compound lever tin snips

MATERIAL 2: The sides of Soda cans are super easy to cut, even with scissors… but to cut through the bottom and top… you need aviation snips!

Biscuit tins
Illustration of the different materials you can cut using compound lever tin snips

MATERIAL 3: If you come across any tin boxes (in the UK Quality Street sweets are sold in tin boxes)… buy them, and then buy aviation snips! I’ve made so many things out of sweet and biscuit tins using these snips.

Tin Cans
Illustration of the different materials you can cut using compound lever tin snips

MATERIAL 4: My other favourite thing to cut using aviation snips is… tin cans. Trickier than a tin box, because the sides are corrugated… but still very easy!

More Stuff

  1. Vinyl Tiles
  2. Furniture Felt Pads
  3. Wire (upto around 1.5mm)
  4. Wooden stirring sticks
  5. Popsicle sticks
  6. Craft sticks
  7. Tupperware containers
  8. Wellington boots
  9. Space hoppers

Can they really save you money?

Yes, take a look at the tea light holder below… it’s as elegant as anything you might find in a shop, but cost nothing to make!

How to Make an Elegant Tea Light Holder From a Tin Can

Skills: A simple concept, but can get a bit fiddly.

Materials: You need an old tin can, tin snips, pliers and a glue gun... and a tea light!

How much do they cost?

It’s definitely one of the best hand tools I own, excluding my craft knife!

If you’d like to look at costs, here’s a link to some very affordable AmazonBasics Aviation Snips (straight cut).

Disclosure: The link above are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.